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Too much? Too little? how much detail?
SellSword
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Indiana, United States
Joined: February 15, 2010
KitMaker: 167 posts
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Posted: Wednesday, September 22, 2010 - 11:36 AM UTC
Hi guys! I really want to get some opinions on this question that gnaws at my mind... How much detail is enough??? To clarify... As a little boy my first models were the Snap-Tites that my grandparents would buy for me from the local K-mart almost every weekend. I'd rush them home and then sit in front of the TV with a hamburger in one hand and my new kit in the other... The kit would be finished in one sitting along with the fast food, and I was quite content with the finished product, parts broken off the sprue, no glue, no paint, and no attention to accuracy.

Then high school came, and my taste for models grew also. I could actually identify the aircraft I was building, and I was selective about my builds. I would attempt, with my developing skills to build an "accurate" model based on the limitations of the kit and my interpretation of what looked right based on the pictures on the box.

With a short stint in the Army, my interests turned to modelling armor for a short time. I was after all an M1A1 crewman, and had actual vehicles all around me, including foreign allied and enemy armor to base my build on, my builds began to include minor modifications and details that I was able to create with my wealth of references and my ever expanding knowledge of modelling techniques.

After leaving the Army I got away from modelling real life kits and ventured into the world of sci-fi and fantasy tabletop wargaming and miniature painting and conversion. I spent many hours painting and converting models to my taste only and not based upon any scale of accuracy.

Now after many years away, I've started to build 1/48 planes again. At first it was just because I thought it would look neat to have a few classic warbirds sitting on the bookshelves of my "man-cave". But I've noticed lately that it's become an almost work-like endeavor in quest of the "perfect model"!

So to repeat the question, how much detail is really required? I mean, I absolutely love the builds that I see here by so many amazing modellers, and I do want to create accurate replicas of my favorite planes, but where do we draw the line, how much aftermarket does one have to attach to a kit? I fear for my sanity sometimes as I catch myself sitting in front of my computer, having lost track of hours while researching my latest build in an attempt to get it right...

does the perfect build exist? where do you draw the line on your own builds? Is our hobby becoming a second job to some of us?
Bigskip
#035
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England - South East, United Kingdom
Joined: June 27, 2006
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Posted: Wednesday, September 22, 2010 - 11:47 AM UTC
My 0.02

I build for fun. My fun, my pleasure. i show my built kits at shows and people make comments about them, i don't get annoyed if they tell me i've got something wrong, or in accurate, or that i've got the wrong shade of sky blue pink on the nose cowling!!

If i've had fun building it, then i'll be happy.

Remember it's a hobby. If building a commission i can see the need to be hyper accurate and uber critical, but if building for fun, just go for it.

I build some OOB and some get a bucket of etch thrown at them, depends on how i feel.

The only thing i insist on in my planes is Seatbelts, sometimes PE, sometimes tamiya tape....

Andy
Keeperofsouls2099
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Florida, United States
Joined: January 14, 2009
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Posted: Wednesday, September 22, 2010 - 12:07 PM UTC
Personally i just like pushing myself to that next level to see if I can do this or that and it is totally a hobby which means fun.I have fun doing the little details sure I might curse it while I'm doing it but when it is finished I can sit back look at it go that is cool.When it becomes work its not a hobby anymore sorry that guy just makes me laugh maybe I should ware a sombrero
SellSword
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Indiana, United States
Joined: February 15, 2010
KitMaker: 167 posts
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Posted: Wednesday, September 22, 2010 - 01:12 PM UTC
very legitimate statements gents...

seatbelts huh? there's something I had never thought a moment about...

Both of you stress the fun factor. This is after all our hobby, and it's supposed to provide us some amount of pleasure!

I guess it just hard for me to justify re-scribing an entire plane full of panel lines if I'm not going to do the resin cockpit... and if I do the resin cockpit then why am I not doing the aftermarket decals... and so on and so forth...

but thanks very much for your input, it's cool to have other views on this!

I'm waiting for my Zvezda Bf109F-2 to come in the mail, and I intend to make it my best build yet. I just want to make sure I really am having fun and not making a job of it though... From what I hear it's a remarkable kit right OOB, so that's how I intend to build it!
vonHengest
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Texas, United States
Joined: June 29, 2010
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Posted: Wednesday, September 22, 2010 - 04:45 PM UTC
Ray: I have thought about this a lot and came to the conclusion that sticking with a nice OOB kit is usually enough for scale model aircraft. The only area on most WWII aircraft that demands high detail is the cockpit, but they are so small that you're usually going to be fine with a good kit's cockpit, or a nice resin one if the kit's cockpit is mushy on details. I will only use AM if the kit has flawed parts or I want to do a conversion. Same with decals, only if I like them and want to model that particular airframe, or if the kit decals are inaccurate. Just for fun and comparison, I would suggest you pick up one of the Eduard 1/48 Hellcats and build it strictly OOB. This should give you a good feel for what you will probably want in your builds.
thegirl
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Alberta, Canada
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Posted: Thursday, September 23, 2010 - 03:21 AM UTC
Basically it all comes down to what you want to get out of the hobby , some folks dump a lot of cash down for the AM stuff to add to their models , but it's not these sets which detremine the quaitly of build , but the skills one has .

I build out of the box with some kit's. others I will add a little extra detail . Some other ones I go just nut's with the detailing and do alot of scratch building . I don't relay on AM of PE parts to dress up a kit . Well gun jackets and seatbelts I use . My main area is WW 1 aircraft and there really isn't that much of a market for AM stuff , even though it is growing it's just easier to make the parts my self .


Build what you like , how you like and have fun !
SellSword
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Indiana, United States
Joined: February 15, 2010
KitMaker: 167 posts
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Posted: Thursday, September 23, 2010 - 08:55 AM UTC
Hey vonH, I'll have to give that Hellcat a try once I finish my Friedrich!

and Terri, you must truly embrace insanity!!! Meaning I truly am amazed by those of you who fiddle with the bi-planes and rigging of those WWI birds. I have a Pfalz DIII that I thought was coming along nicely until I tried to position the upper wing, I ruined it of course and now it sits in its box waiting patiently until I figure out how to fix it! HaHa!

Here's another facet of this question... I have several P-51s in my stash, I've built two so far, and the is a very noticeable improvement from the 1st to the 2nd... Do you build multiples of the same kit? Have you maybe even built an entire squadron? Do you use this as a scale to judge your skills and try out more AM stuff?
Keeperofsouls2099
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Florida, United States
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Posted: Thursday, September 23, 2010 - 01:01 PM UTC
Hi sell,as an answer to the question you just posed yes I have multiples of the same kit done in different markings also it lets you know what to look out for on the next kit.So I would agree and see why the next one would look better And also you might get to employ something you learned between that build and the next
JackFlash
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Colorado, United States
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Posted: Thursday, September 23, 2010 - 05:22 PM UTC
Challenge yourself with doing something different with each build. Model On!
AussieReg
Staff MemberAssociate Editor
AUTOMODELER
#007
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Victoria, Australia
Joined: June 09, 2009
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Posted: Thursday, September 23, 2010 - 06:03 PM UTC

Quoted Text


Here's another facet of this question... I have several P-51s in my stash, I've built two so far, and the is a very noticeable improvement from the 1st to the 2nd... Do you build multiples of the same kit? Have you maybe even built an entire squadron? Do you use this as a scale to judge your skills and try out more AM stuff?



Ray, I have recently completed a 1/48 P-61 for the Pin-Ups Campaign, which only leaves me with 6 more in the stash !! I love this aircraft and intend to do each one with different markings and schemes, but also try out different and new techniques and AM goodies. As the other guys have said, I build what I like, how I like it, and just enjoy the hobby.

Cheers, D
vonHengest
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Texas, United States
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Posted: Thursday, September 23, 2010 - 07:17 PM UTC
Ray: I'll be building up one of those Hellcats for Justin's campaign as soon as I return home.

I'm with Justing and Damian on the multiple kits. I already have a couple of Hellcats and some small collections of P-47s, P-51s, C-17s, and F-106s that I'm looking to build.
CaptainA
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Indiana, United States
Joined: May 14, 2007
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Posted: Friday, September 24, 2010 - 02:51 AM UTC
How much detail?
As much as you are comfortable with. Some kits have enough straight out of the box. Others are lacking. But when it is done, and sitting or haning in its place of honor, are you going to be satisfied with it? I find I am more prone to lose interest as the level of scratch built detail increases. I have a 1/32 109 G with the complete engine and interior that has been sitting in its box for a few years. The build is great with no snags, but I lost interest. I guess if a build takes over two months, my brain tells me I am finished and should move on to the next one. Another thing to consider is scale. Usually, the larger scales need, and often contain more detail. The human eye can't really read the gauges in a 72nd scale dash board. But if you just paint them white in a 24th scale aircraft, it wont look good. I have a tendancy to add engines and interiors to my armor builds. I go overboard with car engines, And I like to add something to all my aircaft builds. But sometimes, a oob build can really be satisfying. Let the kit and your interest be your guideline.

Multiple kits of the same subject?
I have a closet full of Albatros D.Vs from Eduard in 48th scale. 14 of them for those of you keeping track. Love the aircraft and the kit. If you find a kit you like, there is nothing wrong with building it more than once. Write down things you learn from the first build to make you next build better, Experiment with AM decals. Build a squadron. (Check out the Jast 5 build Dwayne Williams did here http://www.aeroscale.co.uk/modules.php?op=modload&name=SquawkBox&file=index&req=viewtopic&topic_id=128383&page=5 ) Remember this is a hobby to be enjoyed. If you enjoy your subject, do it again. If it is a good kit, it will be released again with different decals.

That 109 F is a great looking kit. I have had mine out and might even do it soon. It has been over a year since I finished my last WWII build and I guess I am due.

After you finish Friedrich, pick up one of those Eduard FW 190s (I have 10 of the 190s). OOB, they build up into a great representation. There is no need for adding extra detail. You might even choose to leave some of the detail off, as it is overloaded. AM decals are available in excess. And it is a kit you can improve upon with every sucessive build. Maybe you can try a Wingnut kit one day. With those kits, there is no need to add anything extra. Top wings are not difficult on them. They are engineered to make setting the top wing easier.

There is so much we can do in this hobby, and so little time. Just remember, it is supposed to be fun.

I was a M1 Cavalry type myself.
robot_
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United Kingdom
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Posted: Friday, September 24, 2010 - 03:25 AM UTC
I don't see the issue as being with level of detail, but more the accuracy, which I guess is linked to detail in some cases. My problem is that this hobby is an extension of an interest in history, so accuracy is important to me in most builds.

I had planned to do a quick OOB build of a Hurricane for the Aces II campaign, I bought a set of decals that had the scheme I wanted, but it cost twice as much as the kit.... then I logically assumed it was worth spending some more on a detailed PE interior, as the kit's didn't look great. Then I began reading about all the inaccuracies of the kit, and the decals I had bought had the wrong colours for the nose-art... so I never started the 'quick OOB build' of that one.

So I thought I'd build something that I didn't know anything about- a Mustang. The kit looked super- great detail everywhere. I wasn't going to do any research, and I knew most people though the kit was very accurate anyway. Then I accidentally read a few threads mentioning the filling of panel lines on the wings, the coloured lights on the underside of the wings needed filling for a RAF mustang, and the cannons didn't have exposed recoil springs- my build would definitely need those modifications to be accurate... it began to feel less interesting as a quick build.

So I stuck with the kits I had already started, and slowly I am making progress...

While there is a lot of benefit in doing a quick, simple build, there is also the option of appreciating the build you are working on- the grass is not greener in the next build- and slogging through until it is finished.
drabslab
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European Union
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Posted: Friday, September 24, 2010 - 04:15 AM UTC
well, its all been said really,

enjoy building, get yourself a great collection together and improve your skills gradually.

SellSword
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Indiana, United States
Joined: February 15, 2010
KitMaker: 167 posts
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Posted: Saturday, September 25, 2010 - 09:34 AM UTC
Ah, not quite... one more thing... what are your thoughts on the different scales? Are you a scale fiend, or do you dabble in a litle of everything, and why are you so inclined?
vonHengest
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Texas, United States
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Posted: Saturday, September 25, 2010 - 06:15 PM UTC
Ray: I tend to favor 1/48 overall, going to 1/72 or 1/144 for larger aircraft. I like the kit to be big enough that it's easy for me to work with. I do have some odd scales for rarer aircraft kit subjects like the C-5 Galaxy. I say just go with whatever you're comfortable with
CaptainA
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Indiana, United States
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Posted: Wednesday, September 29, 2010 - 01:10 AM UTC
Here are the main things to consider
1. Cost. Larger scale, higher cost
2. Display. Larger scale takes up more space in your display area.
3. Subject matter. Smaller scales typically have more variety.
4. Physical limitations. Eyesite
5. Detail. Larger scales typically have more detail.
6. Speed of build. Larger scales typically take longer.

Scale is a factor as you grow older. As eyes grow weaker, scales grow larger. I can't do 72nd or smaller anymore. I really love 48th for the variety of subjcts. I have a about 100 48th scale kits, but I typically do not buy that scale anymore. If I see a subject I want in 48th I will get it, but most of my purchases are 32nd now. I am lucky on the Armor side because 35th is the standard there. I have done that scale since I was a kid, and I have no desire to stray from it.

If you are wanting to add detail, you might want to check out the details available in the different scales. Also, remember you are not tied down to one scale. I am sure you will find a scale you prefer, but subject matter may pull you into another scale for a build or two. Don't limit yourself by only considering one scale. I usually do the larger scales. But if I get into a rutt, a nice 48th scale quick build halps me get the juices flowing again.