Yours truly recently attended the New Zealand IPMS National Modelling Competition, and returned home with mixed feelings. Although very happy with how my humble entries pulled ribbons, I felt quite strongly that the event itself was poorly planned and executed. As a public display the show overall was lackluster and underwhelming, to the point that I felt embarrassed for the few paying public who attended.
As a part-time educator, I often get to see what is missing in children's lives these days - modelling!
Modelling teaches kids patience. It teaches them tolerance. It also allows them to expand their knowledge and appreciation for art in all it's forms. The skills involved in modelling develops a child's dexterity, their spatial awareness, 3-dimensional cognitive processes, ability to visualise and plan, and most importantly, evolves their problem-solving skills.
Modeling is an artistic process that unleashes ones creativity, imagination, and even their mathematical powers! When I see a child show a keen interest in modeling it brings a happy tear to my eye. Not because I have found a new kindred spirit, but because I see the immense potential in that one child's eyes, and the wonderful life they are destined to live!
But modelling is most certainly not only for the children. As adults most of us are quick to learn that not all jobs can be creative, inspiring and exhilarating careers. No matter how much we try to "pour" ourselves into our work, most jobs are laborious and mundane, at best. Hence the need for a hobby. Something constructive, something interesting. An outlet that allows us to be creative and indulge our usually-lost-by-now imagination. While a "job" may allow us to live, a hobby is something to live for.
Speaking from experience, a hobby such as building scale models can offer us an escape, and (sometimes!) serenity. It is a form of meditation, a time for learning, reflecting, and self-improving. Also, like gymnastics, modelling can be considered both "art" and a form of sport, or athletics. For starters it can often elevate the heart rate! But it also nurtures our competitive nature,- makes us compete with ourselves, and sometimes others, it makes us aim higher, become better, and occasionally offers blissful and complete fulfillment!
Don't under-estimate the power of modelling!
Before they arrived in my humble neck of the woods I had no idea that Dragon ever planned to produce a range of models based on the latest Marvel movie blockbuster. Imagine my surprise when I found them listed on one of our local internet-based retailers, and the ensuing hours of drooling over my keyboard, absorbing the few photos of these magnificent model specimens.
Dragon Models have utilised their exceptional creative skills and technical knowledge to produce, so far, six 1/9th scale Avengers figure kit sets. They are now in the throes of releasing pre-painted versions of the same figures, plus some all-new ones, sculpted in even more diverse and dramatic poses.
Exciting as all this is however, I am a little concerned, (and you will notice too if you have visited the above link), that there is no Black Widow in their range. Why? I have no idea. Dragon Models have yet to answer my direct questions. Perhaps it has something to do with licensing and the fact Moebius Models already have a Black Widow in their repertoire.
So, although I would love to own all of these awesome Dragon kits, I am going to hold off until I know there will be a Black Widow kit to completely complete the set. ;)
I have already got my sweaty hands on the Captain America kit ('twas a Christmas present!), and I will post photos of it in due course. It is beautifully crafted in solid vinyl and goes together effortlessly, plus it barely requires any clean up of seam lines etc. The detail is fantastic, and clearly much thought has gone into assembly, with most joins being on "natural" seam lines, i.e. boots, belt line, collar etc.
With just 15 pieces in this kit (it includes a BIG base too!) I have been able to superglue "The First Avenger" together very quickly, leaving me to concentrate my efforts on the painting and bringing him to life. Fun ho!!
Well, this news more than piqued my interest recently. Just when you thought it was all but done and dusted, a resurrection of sorts is taking place, and the galactic juggernaut that is Star Wars is suddenly set to continue. To read all about it (if you haven't already) click on the above link.
Knowing what talented writers Disney has at their helm I am prepared to put all my stocks and faith into the possibility that in the near future we will get to see Star Wars in a fresh new light, with some good old-fashioned storytelling. Having enjoyed so many of Disney's and Pixar's movies over recent years I sincerely believe they are more than capable of delivering a decent blend of plot development, action, and humour. And hopefully all this will be carefully crafted to cater to the tastes of all SW fans,- young, older, new, and true. However, most of all, I pray for more fantastic space vehicles! Because we all know what that means...
Well, to kick off, if there is one name that makes me wanna scream like a pre-pubescent girl at a One Direction concert, it has to be - wait for it! - Prometheus! Without a doubt this has to be one of the most talked about, highly anticipated subjects to be pored over by the sci-fi geek communities of the world! And I, for one, am hoping and praying that someone will step up and launch a kit or two from this amazing looking movie. From what I've seen the Prometheus ship herself looks incredible, and I love the splash of canary yellow over her hull,- a subtle homage to the original-but-scrapped colour scheme of the Nostromo (Alien, 1979), which apparently, due to Ridley Scott's change of heart, was quickly repainted a neutral grey at the last minute.
Some of the terrain based vehicles seen in the trailer resemble things we've already seen in movies like Moon and Avatar, but still interesting enough. I truly hope that there are a whole lot of keen modellers out there making noises big enough for the model makers to hear.
The other movies I personally can't wait to see are The Dark Knight Rises and The Avengers. Both promise to be spectacular, and both have huge potential to spawn many more plastic models. So get beating your drums fellow modellers, and bring it on!
Solutions to global warming, the ongoing energy crisis', poverty and starvation have often been touted as "insignificant" or "too little, too late", however every now and again we come across something that truly offers a new hope.
Please watch the following video, share the link, and tell as many people as possible about these new discoveries, because solving the problems of our global community is something that we have been brainwashed into ignoring for far too long already. We have been brainwashed by the one percent of our fellow human beings who control over forty percent of the worlds finances and commodities, most of whom are directly involved with supplying energy to your home.
Prepare to be amazed...
Fine Molds have done a fine job so far, soothing our itches with a fantastic array of Star Wars models. But what will they produce next? I don't know what I would most like to see, but I do think it should be something we haven't seen before in the mainstream circuits. The Jawa's sandcrawler would be great. So too would Jabba's sail barge and skiff, or Luke's landspeeder. Or, getting off Tatooine, what about the Royal starship? Or General Grievous' fighter?
Don't get me wrong, I'd be happy to see them produce more of the already familiar subjects, like the Shuttle Tydirium, the A-wing and B-wing, or even an AT-AT. It would be great to see more accurate and detailed renditions of these cool vehicles.
With Fine Molds' recent foray into 1/48 scale kits I wonder if they will revisit some of their earlier 1/72 scale subjects... a 1/48 scale TIE Interceptor or Y-wing would be incredible!
And sticking only to 1/72 and 1/48 scale models is something I hope the FM team are not planning to do, as I would truly love to see them take the blockade runner or star destroyer out for a spin! Oh, to dream...
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