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What is your hobby anyway?

By Michael Benolkin

Those of us who are drawn into the hobby frequently talk about the two extremes - the builder and the collector.

The builder is that chap that leaves the hobby shop with a handful of model kits, and is back the next week for more. Why? Because he or she actually finished them! The worst part about these folks is that they're usually turning out contest winners. Why, because they're getting plenty of practice by frequently doing, not getting hung up on every detail. We've usually wondered when these folks have time to have a job, family life, etc.

On the other extreme is the collector. This is the person who knows when the wind changes and a given model is about to go out of production. They stock up on several - one for them, and a few more for future trades/sales. These folks have accumulated an impressive array of hard-to-find kits and are the envy of the rest of us. These are also the folks that are fun to watch when you hand a young modeler at your club a 'rare' Aurora kit, still in the cellophane, and tell them to build it. The collector will usually watch in abject horror as the child shreds the cello and fondles the plastic inside. I love it when a plan comes togetherů

Then there are the rest of us living somewhere in-between these two extremes. We take several models home, all with good intentions (key words here), and even going so far as to get the plastic out of the box before we dive into our references and begin planning. Sometimes we get a project started, only to shelve it because (1) it ticked me off, (2) I got distracted with honey-dos and lost interest, and/or (3) the next round of cool kits have been released and it is time to start this process over!

What is the common denominator here? FUN! We're all having fun. And the best part of this is we can all gather at the next club meeting or at the hobby shop and exchange ideas and information. We all learn from the builders who've discovered yet another interesting technique which just saved you several hours on that one bloody project you shelved out of sheer frustration. We also learn which of the kits in our amassed collection might actually be worth something so we can perhaps do some dealing to pay for the next round of new releases, while all the while trying to convince that collector to come out of the dark side and join those of us that build (even occasionally).

Let's have some fun out there. More importantly, let's have some fun together!

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