Modellers or modelers? I find both words in general use to describe people who cut themselves with craft knives and bleed all over the workbench.
Whichever it should be, the individuals who construct the Little World are not as other people – they have a unique set of traits and behaviours that set them apart from the rest of the citizens. Consider:
a. No modeller can pass by a commercial model of anything without stopping and looking at it. They may build toy trains or racing cars or figures of Napoleonic hussars, but they will still stop and look at an architect’s model of a new toilet block. There will be the inevitable mental note: ” I could have done that much better…”.
b. No modeller can pass a hobby shop without a visit that costs money. It might be only a packet of blades or it might be an entire R/C helicopter, but money must change hands. And it always goes over the counter towards the till.
c. When two modellers meet they ask how the hobby is going before enquiring about family matters.
d. No modeller has clean hands. Whether they are covered in glue, paint, or blood depends upon the state of the build and the age of the hobby knife blade.
e. Modellers have spares. They may be in boxes, bins, or wardrobes, but there is a ready supply of arcane parts somewhere in the vicinity. In most cases there will be two fewer parts than are needed, requiring another purchase. Whatever it is will be in packets of either 5, 14, or 300.
f. No true modeller will admit to doing a bad paint job or glue job. Oh, they’ll do ’em all right – they just won’t admit to it.
g. Modellers will purchase a $300 kit just to use up the remains of a $13 tin of red spray paint ” so it doesn’t get wasted…”.
h. Hobby shop owners can smell modellers from 200 metres. Sharks are limited to blood at 50 metres.
i. Modellers can excuse the purchase of anything.
j. Modellers are their own worst critics and their own most implacable enemies when the project is not going well. They lose all sense of proportion and all motivation over a glue joint that will not take. Entire models have been dashed to the floor and trampled when a part will not fit.
k. Modellers get greedy. Every one of them has tried to cut too deeply into the carving…or loaded too much paint onto an otherwise perfect surface…or held the soldering iron onto the joint just that fraction to long. The Little World has sure and swift punishment for this greed in the form of gouges, runs, and warps.
l. Modellers love gift certificates and they don’t even have to be for hobby shops. They can happily get value in a hardware store or a haberdashery.
m. Modellers love to show off their projects in any stage of completion.
n. Modellers save their coffee stirring sticks. Also corks, thread spools, used .30-06 cartridge cases, swizzle sticks, and broken slide projectors. In fact there isn’t anything a modeller will not save, apart from money.
o. Modellers know the subtleties between different blacks, different greys, and different reds to a degree that would baffle an art expert. They might not be able to tell the difference between champagne and lighter fluid by taste but they know exactly how both liquids behave when soaked onto enamel paint.