Saturday, December 12, 2015

What's This All About?

I'm a modeler, and I'd like to share my interest and experiences with others who are interested in modeling, particularly with paper models.

I've always enjoyed creating models.  There's just something that hooked me in at an early age about model building and making a creation look as realistic as possible. I enjoy building a model and then displaying it for others to look at and ask me about how I built it and applied the details to make it look so real.

I've created all sorts of models since an early age, from store-bought kits to from-scratch creations/contraptions that I would dream up.  I've built all different sorts of models over the years - cars, trucks, trains, aircraft, spacecraft, dioramas.  I even built a drum set from my mom's kitchen pots and pans to give me an outlet for one of my other passions, percussion music. No, I'm NOT a drummer, rather a percussionist. There is a difference. I'll save the details for another blog down the road.

I think that my modeling interest led me to my current profession in software development.  Creating a software application is just another type of model building effort, albeit the pieces and parts are electronic rather than physical.

As my blog tagline mentions, I'm a father of four wonderful kids who were all born within a three and a half year period. Needless to say, spare time for model building has taken a second seat to child rearing and all of the parental involvement in kid activities until recently, when I picked up and completed a 1/144 Monogram Heritage Series Apollo Saturn V model that had been given to me by a co-worker back in 1992.  It's a small miracle that this model didn't end up in the trash, as my wife has tried to convince me to throw it away many times over the years. I'm going to provide an overview of the Saturn V build and details of my paper modeling discoveries in an upcoming post.

But the blog title refers to paper, right?  What's that all about and how did I become exposed to it?  Well, my recent build of the Saturn V led me to the world of paper modeling and the amazing level of detail that can be achieved solely with the paper medium. The Saturn V kit is plastic.  A number of areas lacking in attention to detail on that model's stage two thrust structure led me down the path to looking for ways to achieve the detail that I desired  (have I already mentioned that I've been routinely accused of being a perfectionist?). My many searches for photos, etc. directed me to a number of paper modeling sites, where my eyes were opened to what can be done using paper, a good printer, an exact-o knife, and some Aleene's tacky glue.

I had built some paper models much earlier in life.  My earliest memories with paper modeling involve building different structures from the Fun Village collection that were printed on Burger Chef kids meal boxes.  I recall being intrigued at that age that a model could be made from paper. Like other kids, I also learned the fine art of paper airplane "modeling" and even received an origami-like paper airplane model kit for Christmas, which I enjoyed tinkering with.

The models that I discovered on my search to improve the Saturn V were amazing! I couldn't believe the level of detail and realism of the models that I found.  The other thing that blew my mind was that a large majority of them are free!  It never ceases to amaze me of the generosity of people who want to share their interests with others.  Take a look at uhu02's site to get an idea of what is possible with paper models. This guy is unbelievable! I can't wait to build some of his creations.  I've already used some of his Apollo 13 lunar excursion module (LEM) (Aquarius) plans to create the LEM detail for my Saturn V build.

So, now I'm hooked. Having whetted my appetite building paper-based components for the Saturn V model,  I'm now ready for build of a complex, paper-only model.  Keeping with the space exploration theme, I've decided to build the 1/100 scale version of the International Space Station (ISS), using the excellent plans created by Alfonso Moreno. I will be building the model in the order that the station was assembled in space and I am going to suspend the model from the ceiling of my office. Stay tuned for future articles, as I capture my progress in what I am sure will be a long, complex, and rewarding effort!

No comments :

Post a Comment