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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
I've recently started a couple threads, showing 1:87 models built by a friend. I'd like to tell you what "I've" been doing, because this thought has been on my mind lately.

This review, is a little different. It's not actually about the models. I've been thinking about things again, about the hobby of modeling. It's not just about models, or the details of them. Is it? The things I've been doing lately have me looking at the hobby in an over-view, sort of way. After-all, If it weren't for models, some real things may never have existed.

What is it about modeling? Can I do it? Can I do it well? Is it good enough? How good does it have to be? Will it make a difference to anyone? Why do it at all?

In the past 2 weeks, I've worked on one of my unfinished projects. The 4 month's before that... I've been modeling "loads" for truck collectors. Each one has been different. I review 2 here, done in March '12. They're not extravagant as some I've done, but there's something refreshing about these 2. Maybe because they model new equipment, instead of used equipment. New is not the usual subject people want modeled. I'm not sure what my reasons are, but I had to get several pics before they were picked up.

I envisioned 2 restored International Transtar2 tractors, hauling Case Bailers, to a growing farm out in the country somewhere. The one with fresh rolls of stainless steel, is making a delivery to a tool-n-die manufacturer. The trucks seem to give me the feeling of the past being renewed, and at the same time, helping to keep the present stable. A model of something that makes a difference, somewhere.

I've added details that most of the time are not noticed. Without 'em, you'd look at them, and still probably say they're nice trucks. Without the details, these trucks would not have the overall effect. Indeed my signature would not be seen without the details. Those details make my work, what it is. When you look at art, you see a little bit of how the artist sees things, by viewing his "work". It's a way for to share some things we see, with others. In some capacity, we're all modeling... Life... whether a dream, a fantasy, or something real.
 

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Discussion Starter · #2 · (Edited)
The trucks & trailers are produced by Diecast Promotions (DCP) in 1:64 scale. DCP has the most accurate version of a Transtar2 ever done in diecast. DCP trailers are equally accurate and detailed. It's a pleasure to work with something that already has alot of detail. It helps to make my custom work, less tedious. However, when a project starts out well detailed, it means anything done by the modeler, must to be equally well done.

I believe, that's a good thing. People who show an effort, can be seen for their effort. Those who may slack off & skimp... well they can be seen also. It's just my opinion. There are many levels. There is no actual rule to modeling what you like... they way you like it. Me?... I just love to build. Sometimes, I just gotta to build something. I like it realistic, but in a model form. It has to be "modeled".

I'll say it this way. If it's so realistic that you can't tell it's a model... It goes too far, in my opinion. I really do like when you can't tell it's a model. But then, how do you prove it's a model, and you built it? Do you carry your layout everywhere with you? Do you carry a library of evidence showing YOU did it? How satisfying is it when you can't prove you built it?
I don't doubt one's skill, or abilities. When it comes down to it, what identifies your work?... from someone else's? Answer?, By the way "YOU" did it... Your signature!

I identify a modeler by his style. His signature. You know an M2 product compared to a JL. Like all signatures, they can be copied, never 100% duplicated. I can tell the difference between a Don Fahrni, Augie Hiscano, Steve Jansen, Robby Gaines and many other quality modelers. You can't learn something new if everyone does everything the exact same.

If all modelers built models perfectly identicle to real things... so you couldn't tell the model from the real... you could say, they have ultimately, mastered, modeling. You could say that they are as perfect as one can get. Unfortunately, they would lose something, part if not all, of their artistic uniqueness. If 2 modelers are at that level, which would you award as the best? What if there were 1 modeler of that caliber, and 1 photographer of that caliber? Who receives credit for the picture? The builder, or photographer? Would the photographer's skill, make the model look good? Or, the modelers skill, make the photographer look good? Who is the greater?

What if there were hundreds of artists of this caliber? If they were all perfect in every way, how could you tell one artist from another? It woud be boring, No? If you take artistic value out of art by making it so real... anyone can simply take a photo and be just as good. Why would anyone want to build models anymore? We could all be photographers.

Your particular style is your signature. If you make them appear perfectly real, than you start to lose your signature... to... whatever comes along. I like realistic models, but they have to be "modeled". I know you can prove a model, but my point is that if everything becomes the same, even the new becomes the same. It wouldn't even be rewarding enough for a modeler to bother modeling. Would it? Maybe some would still do it.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 · (Edited)
Each truck in this review, has a level of realism & accuracy, that can be sincerely appreciated. It's still a model. I respect these models, even if I did build them.

It's a pleasure to me, to do those things that have artistic value. If the work is recognizable, as an art piece, the artist is also recognizable. Like painters, musicians, poets, photographers, and others.

Talent is talent. Different levels, styles, goals, etc. Mine are simple but effective. I like things that way. I hope you do too, of course. All modelers want some kind of recognition for their work. Good recognition, hopefully. Not all will like every style, or taste. That's what makes different art, valuable to different people. That "value" has to be seen by the one viewing it. I'm sure you understand what I mean.

I have alot of tools. Sometimes I don't think I have enough. Some modelers have large workshops, filled with tools. They may do things that I can't, or I don't, do. I'd like a workshop of my own. But, I'm content doing what I do, the best I can, with what I have. It makes my work unique. Someone, somewhere knows I did this, or that, by the way I did it. "That's an HRD!"

Whether it's materials, particular style, choice of colors, or the way those colors are used... I hope to be seen in a simple, respected way. A way that makes you recognize my work and say, "That's a quality piece of art". Or, if someone asks, you can say... "That's an HRD!" If you go to model shows, toy shows, or model train shows often, you may already recognize modelers by their work, even if you don't know them. That is part of what I enjoy about modeling and diorama building.

Even these review pages are effected by my personal artistic signature. An artist, is artistic in everything he does. I don't think any of us can help it.

My signature is out there. I do have competition, but they can't take my signature away. It's like anyone elses... My own! You've got one too! Is it all about the models? How do you see it? As for myself, I believe modeling helps the world to move and grow.

... As I said above, I was just thinking about things.

Thanks again for your time, and I'll review more soon. See ya then!
Ray

This was originally written for my model books, and is partially modified for internet.
 

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Hi Ray, I'm an artist, in drawing and sculpting. I think signature is a natural biproduct of doing something one's own way, and not always a conscious effort. Many artists revel is putting their own unique spin on whatever they do, that is where the satisfaction is for them. With others, absolute realism and technical perfection is the goal. Perhaps an impossible one. The challenge for these people lies in creating something just as it is in real life, almost completely devoid of personal signature. The "art" of that is in the skill necessary to mimic real life.

And even in that, there is room for the personal touch. Whether it's an emphasis of certain colors or textures, or special details. Two recreations of the same subject, by two skilled people can reek of realism, and at the same time each reflect a completely unique personality unlike the other. They can look real, but in a way you might never see in an unmanipulated photograph. The signature of an artist may very well be in his aknowledgement of the most minute details.
 

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I am a product of farm toy show dioramas in larger scales so your work interest me.I like that you start with the best models to work with.Most start with cheap worthless cars and end up with worthless customs.I like your work.Keep it up.
 

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Can't go wrong with DCP's Transtar! I know as I have a bunch of them in my collection. Loving your loads too although it's a bit odd to see coils and a baler together on one flatbed. I live in NW Indiana and see steel coils being hauled on trucks every day - always coils by themselves in this area for loads. Not saying your load is "improbable" or "impossible" - just very out of the ordinary! :wave:
 

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- always coils by themselves in this area for loads. Not saying your load is "improbable" or "impossible" - just very out of the ordinary! :wave:
Creative and efficient dispatching/brokering. 2 half load stops. We used to dream of this kind of stuff. Sometimes you get lucky. So, a little out of the ordinary but definitely braggin' material.

Really nice builds. Ever wish you had a mini CAD milling machine?
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
I didn't see any power tools in your 'workshop'. Old school. I like it.
I hope I don't dissappoint, but I do have 4 different drills & 2 different dremels, all for various tasks. As far as advanced machinery... none. Some modelers have minature metal lathes, mini drill presses, mini table saws, and lots of other fancy powered equipment.

I do most of my cutting and machining by hand because I can't feel a metal tap when it's in a machine, doing the work for me... and, machines don't care how espensive cutting bits are, or how rare a metal body might be. Modeling, for the most part? Yes, I like doing it with old school craftsmanship.

Honestly, I would like a mini CNC machine, or mini CAD mill for special projects and parts.

I live in NW Indiana and see steel coils being hauled on trucks every day - always coils by themselves in this area for loads. Not saying your load is "improbable" or "impossible" - just very out of the ordinary!
Yeah it was a little strange. I usually see machines together, or supplies together. But... this is what the man wanted done to these trucks. I aim to please. One time in Michigan, I did see a stepdeck with farm tractor tires and 2 steel rolls. Out at Iowa 80, I've seen just about everything imaginable, and unimaginable. Just standing at the on/off ramps would keep you in shock with what is transported daily by trucks.

I heard rumours, some truck enthusiasts have camped near the on/off ramps on weekends just to get pics of trucks and stuff, like 200' long windmill blades. How did they even turn them things? I have some pics somewhere, on disc somewhere. I'll look for them, and post them later.

Ever wish you had a mini CAD milling machine?
Yes. I could be making some very unique stuff, that no-one makes at all. Some things are tooooo tedious for hands. I am concidering making the move. I've been looking at several models. The money, and other projects, are preventing it, at this time.
 
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