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General Aircraft
Discuss the finer points of aviation modeling.
Hosted by Kevin Brant
Other Interests- What makes modelers tick ?
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New Jersey, United States
Member Since: February 06, 2015
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Posted: Friday, November 10, 2017 - 11:05 AM GMT+7
I'm thinking of starting a thread where we might offer up what we enjoy other than model aircraft- what does the Aeroscale family think ? Is it beyond the scope of this blog ? Obviously most of us are interested in aviation and many, if not most , are also into history . If you think this topic has no place here don't be shy and afraid to shoot me down in flames - I have a parachute.

.?? Richard
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Auckland, New Zealand
Member Since: February 14, 2013
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Posted: Friday, November 10, 2017 - 01:13 PM GMT+7
I have love of History. Often something from modelling will catch my interest and so I will look into its background.

It might be something to do with physics, inspirational people, a whole series of connections. The opposite is a model inspired by a connection to something I have read. The Wright Brothers may have had some idea of how aircraft would affect Human Society, but I don't think they could have imagined shrinking our world so much.

It is surprising how just how much aviation and technology can influence our lives.


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Washington, United States
Member Since: March 15, 2009
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Posted: Friday, November 10, 2017 - 05:43 PM GMT+7
It's a good topic to ponder. I've known lots of modelers in my 55+ years of modeling, I'm certain the "things that make us tick" are as varied as the number of modelers out there. Here in my local area, I think I'm safe to say due to the proximity of Boeing and other aviation resources, there are a fair number of engineers and technicians involved in the hobby. Also due to the proximity of Military bases, educational resources and museums, we have a large population of amateur historians (and a few professional historians) who also dabble in the hobby. several years ago, Scale Modeler (now defunct) ran a survey and found there were a fair number of musicians who were interested in model building!-- go figure! And then there are those artistic types that just like to work with their hands, or for relaxation. So, it may be hard to pin down one or two common traits that "make us tick". Speaking for myself, I find modeling is both an extension of my interest in history and technology (I have two Master's Degrees in related subjects),and my desire to relax and express my artistic side by working with my hands. It's an interesting topic though-- hopefully others will chime in.
VR, Russ
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New Jersey, United States
Member Since: December 08, 2003
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Posted: Friday, November 10, 2017 - 08:46 PM GMT+7
I plead guilty to being a kinesthetic artist. I'm also a visual thinker so I see and like to handle something to understand as opposed to just reading.

Though as a history buff I do plenty of reading though very little about what I typically build. My reading extends far beyond modern warfare.

And then there's that whole body of work as a web comic creator.
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New Jersey, United States
Member Since: February 06, 2015
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Posted: Saturday, November 11, 2017 - 05:09 AM GMT+7
Great response so far - Thanks gents !

For my own part I am , like many , interested in all history but primarily WW II. I am a voracious reader - would rather read a book than watch TV most of the time.
I have a great many hobbies and interests ( some think TOO Many )- my father and grandfather were both boat builders by trade so boats and model boats were part of the life of most of the male members of our clan. I was a musician to some degree in my teens through my mid - twenties.
I discovered motorcycles in my teens as well and except for a self imposed sabbatical from them while raising a young family I enjoy them still. I have spent my entire life at the seashore- still surfing at 64 yrs - my wife and I were both down hill skiers until our children came along . Our interest waned because of the distance to ski areas and the expense. I enjoy bird hunting - I got real lucky in the dog department with two excellent Brittanies back to back . I'm obviously a dog lover and have always thought that there are only two problems with dogs :
1) You get too attached to them
2) They don't live long enough
Machining had always fascinated me so I bought a lathe/mill combo some years back and I dabble in that a bit as well.
I am a carpenter by trade and as may be obvious from all the above the money thing gets in the way at times - I would love to learn to fly but it is costly ( maybe I'm a little chicken and use that as an excuse ! ) - but it is on my bucket list.
Through all the one constant that I always return to is model building . Sharing our hobby with each other on this venue is a great source of joy for me - thanks to all for sharing your thoughts and hope to hear from more of the Aeroscale family !
Cheers - Richard
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England - South East, United Kingdom
Member Since: August 16, 2010
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Posted: Saturday, November 11, 2017 - 11:27 AM GMT+7
Hi guys

Well, one thing is clear already; we modellers are a diverse bunch that lead rich lives.

It was a love of second world war stories and history coupled with a strong visual creative streak that led me into modelling and still keeps me here. I grew up in Kent on the south coast of England. My grandparents and their friends told me stories about watching dogfights during the Battle of Britain, and I was hooked on Spitfires, Hurricanes, Messerschmitts and Heinkels. At first I copied pictures from books, and then I discovered plastic.

I love creating things, and nowadays my interests are broader than WWII aircraft although I still love them. When I'm not at the bench I enjoy photography, fine art and writing. I self published a sci-fi novel a while ago. If you'd like to take a look its here:


Oh yes, I love motorcycling too. There are some great roads that twist up into the mountains just outside Geneva where I live. I zoot up and down on my Yamaha Tracer whenever time and weather permit.

I squeeze in being a part time single-dad to two daughters too. Oh and of course there's a job that keeps me busy 9-5, and a beautiful girlfriend too.

Crikey, when I write it all down like that I feel exhausted.

Happy modelling and other stuff guys.

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European Union
Member Since: September 28, 2004
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Posted: Sunday, November 12, 2017 - 03:53 AM GMT+7
Oeps, other interests:

Well, it all started with a natural(?) interest in history

Which combined with model airplanes thanks to the Airfix boxes that contained a simple historical text combining the plane in the box with a history event

Which led to an interest in mechanics to understand how those aircraft were built in real life

and a motorcycle as cheapest way to travel to air shows

where I suffered badly from the absence of a decent photo camera and I am learning some photography at the moment

The interest in mechanics made me an engineer, and the computerisation of machines turned me into a computer addict, professionally, and for the last few years also for playing around with IoT...

I must have forgotten something in this list

Ow, yes, I need more time
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Nevada, United States
Member Since: August 28, 2013
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Posted: Sunday, November 12, 2017 - 05:40 AM GMT+7
Some of this is hereditary from my Dad. He built kits and worked on the family cars.

Going to Airshows, car shows, parts hunting junk yards (before Pic a Part) watching planes landing at LAX, where I saw my first Pan Am 747. And watched an Aero Mexico 707 get stuck in the dirt when he cut the taxiway, with the engine exhaust pointed straight at our car.

I also had a fascination with anything mechanical. Cars, Trains, Ships, you name it, I loved it. I was also a voracious reader of history from the civil war to today. But my first love is the WWII era. Almost all my kits are from the war.

This is what shaped my interest.
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New York, United States
Member Since: December 04, 2010
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Posted: Sunday, November 12, 2017 - 09:32 AM GMT+7
As long as I can remember, History, specifically American history has been a major interest. While my brother is a pilot and owned his own plane, I was never into aviation where I wanted to fly, but rather road racing cars for the track, and sports cars ( presently a 2 door sports coupe) for the street.

In the early 60s I discovered plastic models at a local toy store and built ships and planes whenever I had the money for a kit. I've been basically a modeler on and off to this day.

We moved to Syosset NY in the early 60s which is 20 min from Grumman's main gate, and 30+ min in the opposite direction to the front gate of Republic. So I got a constant stream of their aircraft flying over our house. Naturally, their planes are my favorite subjects to this day.

I've been fascinated by computers since I got my 1st one that ran on Windows 3.1. I'm back to building my own computers these days.

At one point I was a model railroader, but lost interest in the hobby. Recently I discovered computer railroading with TRAINZ, and it has become an interest once again.

I must confess that I spend way to much time watching Baseball being a Yankee fan, and Football following the Giants. As a matter of fact while I'm typing this on my computer, I have the Giant game on my cell so I don't miss a play.

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United Kingdom
Member Since: June 11, 2003
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Posted: Monday, November 13, 2017 - 08:58 AM GMT+7
Hi all

Music - or, more precisely, making it. One of the factors in my decision to step down from running Aeroscale was a growing urge to get back into playing guitar seriously while I still could (my carpal tunnel operation a year or so ago was big wake up call not take it for granted that my fingers would keep working like in the old days! ).

After such a long lay-off, it's great to get back to something that came within a hair's breadth of being my career "back in the day". And the break has paid off in some respects, because I'm finding fresh ways (to me) of playing stuff.

All the best

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Dublin, Ireland
Member Since: August 14, 2016
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Posted: Tuesday, November 14, 2017 - 09:50 AM GMT+7
It's really nice to read what you guys do in your free time. My own hobbies include (surprise surprise) aviation and history. Wife says I am obsessed with World War II, Eastern Front and Soviet Union in general being my favourite topic. As to interest in aviation, I was born with both unwavering desire to fly and the worst case of motion sickness (cannot even take a lift and a simple mention of getting into a car gets me headache for the rest of the day). I did not give up and started flying anyway, each flight takes a terrible toll on me but I push on regardless. Because I stay away from cars and only recently got forced by wife to learn to drive, I have more flying hours than driving hours in the log. I guess not many people can say that
Apart from that I am a great fan of board games, I design games myself as well and I also write novels (about flying obviously), but this is only for my own amusement, I am not good enough for the publishers to take a chance on me.
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Christchurch, New Zealand
Member Since: February 01, 2006
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Posted: Tuesday, November 14, 2017 - 03:12 PM GMT+7
I have a number of other hobbies but modelling is my greatest love (aside from my long suffering wife and kids LOL).

But I dabble in refurbishing computers and laptops. I build my own systems from second hand parts that while not new are still very capable.

I've also dabbled in home mechanics built my own sleeper car with an obscenely powerful (for the time) toyota motor in it. Those times have taken a back seat as the kids took up much of the available spare income. And my wife was less than comfortable with the possibility of serious injury LOL.

I'm an avid photographer that has just embraced the world of digital SLR's and is learning the craft all over again. but I still have my film camera's and I have a supply of films that I really should get developed.

I really enjoy working with my hands and making broken things work again. There are plenty of other things that also take my time but those are the main things
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Victoria, Australia
Member Since: June 09, 2009
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Posted: Tuesday, November 14, 2017 - 06:53 PM GMT+7
Apart from dealing with the tribe of kids, I love playing guitar, I have 3 electric and 4 acoustic guitars. If I get the chance to escape for a few hours I love fishing, and I am really enjoying cataloguing my grandfathers WWI memorabilia and transcribing his diaries, letters and postcards.

But, as with the vast majority of us here . . . .

Cheers, D
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Washington, United States
Member Since: March 15, 2009
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Posted: Wednesday, November 15, 2017 - 06:58 AM GMT+7

Quoted Text

Apart from dealing with the tribe of kids, I love playing guitar, I have 3 electric and 4 acoustic guitars. If I get the chance to escape for a few hours I love fishing, and I am really enjoying cataloguing my grandfathers WWI memorabilia and transcribing his diaries, letters and postcards.

But, as with the vast majority of us here . . . .

Cheers, D

As I mentioned in my post-- a fair number of you dabble in music-- a factoid also published some time ago in the old "Scale Modeler" magazine (and I think also mentioned in Fine Scale Models in the distant past). I have no such proclivity, as I couldn't carry a tune in a bucket, although I did play the cello for a short while in the 1960s. Until my music teacher suggested taking up another hobby-- whoops-- maybe modeling is related to music after all!!!

Seriously though-- I wonder if there is a connection between music and model building. I love to listen to music while building-- I lean toward classical and classic rock- just old school I guess. Lately though, I've been playing downloads of movies on my iPhone while building at the workbench. It would be interesting to get a psychologists perspective on these extraneous-related model building connections and activities.

VR, Russ
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New York, United States
Member Since: December 04, 2010
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Posted: Wednesday, November 15, 2017 - 10:00 AM GMT+7
Since the topic of modeling & music has come up, I'm certain that I'm in a very, very small minority. While I love rock & Roll as my growing up era and the music I still relate to from the 60's and early 70's, I prefer to model in absolute quiet. I will keep a ballgame on my cell, but the volume is turned down quite low. I guess that the quiet just helps me concentrate and focus on what I'm trying to accomplish.

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Texas, United States
Member Since: February 22, 2008
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Posted: Wednesday, November 15, 2017 - 07:49 PM GMT+7
Yep! History and my dad being in the US Air force had a big influence. I love to keep my hands busy by building anything from Plastic, to a house, an auto/truck engine, even an Cassatt formula one racer with a friend. If I cannot build something I go stir crazy.


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Alberta, Canada
Member Since: January 19, 2008
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Posted: Thursday, November 16, 2017 - 12:21 PM GMT+7
Interesting topic Richard . Outside of the modeling spectrum always had an interest in fountain pens and starting collecting them when at 25 years of age . Oldest one I have is from the 1600 hundreds and it's made of glass and writes beautifully . In total I have 21 in my collection . Haven't bought any in a few years now . Makes me giggle when guys complain about the price of kits . Fountain pens can be very pricey . Also have a very keen interest in mountain biking and have just finished customizing a new set of wheels . Cannondale RZ 0ne twenty full suspension all done in black and red right down to the chain ! With white forks and white hydraulic disc brake calipers . We have over 98 km of trails in our river valley and they are always added more expansion to the trail system . There is a huge difference between the lower end parts and the higher end . I'm running a 3x10 drivetrain / 30 speeds . It's my pride and joy !
Astronomy Like reading out . It's cool what they are finding out about our solar system and others as well . Anything to do with science really

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New Jersey, United States
Member Since: February 06, 2015
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Posted: Thursday, November 16, 2017 - 11:53 PM GMT+7
Wow ! Great responses - I hope all are enjoying this as much as I am.
Thanks to everyone so far and let's keep them coming !
Happy modeling and history reading and motorcycling and music making and fishing and everything else to all ! Richard
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Wisconsin, United States
Member Since: April 05, 2007
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Posted: Friday, November 17, 2017 - 01:15 AM GMT+7
Richard, THANKS ! What an interesting and eye opening question. Some great responses that we have other lives away from the bench.

Music seems to be a common thread for many of the responders. Me too. While the only thing I can play is the stereo The music I play pretty much dominates my day. I also help out at the local college radio station, WMSE, . Ehttp://www.wmse.org/schedule/ every now & then I get to curate a show. Next up is "Early British Blues".
I like to read, mostly fiction. I've become a pretty good cook, "World Cuisine", as my waistline is proof of that. Building mostly armor. But I always have music on in the background.
I think that the reason so many responders play music and model is related (cooking too). Whether you read sheet music, follow a recipe or the instructions of a kit it's about effort and detail. A half a$$ed effort gives the same result. You get what you put into it. But as we practice and hone our skills things start looking good, sounding well, tasting yummy. Things you want to share with your peers. One word, PRIDE !
Travel is a big part too. I've toured Europe quite a few times via the train. Taking language courses at the local junior college then visiting that country in the Spring. This year I went to Oktoberfest and got caught up in the big storm, Xavier, trying to get to the armor museum in Munster. Also, road trips in the US. We've been focusing on the National Parks lately. Eating local delicacies and visiting historical sites & catching lots of music along the way. Camping mostly and have met some really nice folks along the way.
I hope you haven't bored you folks with "what makes me tick".
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New York, United States
Member Since: December 04, 2010
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Posted: Friday, November 17, 2017 - 03:09 AM GMT+7
I've also found the replies quite interesting. For my money, right now Terri has the most unusual interest/Hobby I've ever heard of, and honestly, I've never heard of collecting Fountain Pens till now.