The Modeler’s Eye, a.k.a. The Referencial Treatment

Since taking up scale modeling again, I’ve started to look at the world around me a little differently. Now, on occasion, things in my environment will just strike me as unique and noteworthy in some way–I’ll see them as references for scale models. Oh sure, there’s the obvious references: Air shows, tanks on display in a city park, 0r a gathering of hot rods at the local Culvers.

What really catches my eye is the less obvious insprations: The structures, the buildings, the rust. This doesn’t make me special in any way–I know many modelers do this–but this blog has always been intended to be an amateur modeling blog for beginners and amateurs like myself. So I think it’s worth pointing out where some of my ideas come from.

Let’s start with something that I’m going to be messing with very soon: A pumping station in southeast Nebraska:

It’s just so unique-looking! Immediately upon seeing it, I knew that I needed to snap some reference pictures.  Here’s another view:

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Sunday Afternoon Daddy-Daughter Model Project & Review: “Scooby-Doo Mystery Machine”

Sunday afternoon, my four year-old daughter and I started and finished a big pre-painted, snap-together model. We had a good time, along with a few moments of assembly frustration, so I thought I’d go ahead and turn it into a kit review.

For our project, I picked up something my daughter’s been wanting to build for a while now: The Scooby-Doo “Mystery Machine” van from Polar Lights. So I drove over to our local HobbyTown USA, snagged it for about $22, and then we were off and running.

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Progress Update: July 16th (PT Cruiser “Rat Rod”)


Progress Update: From Sunday, July 3

1/24 PT Cruiser (rat)


Progress Update: Friday, JULY 1

1:43 1938 Citroen 11L


Rat Rod Progress – Tuesday

Work 8 hours, go home, lacquer PT Cruiser body/interior/underside, work 5 more hours, come home, apply panel washes. It was a busy Tuesday. Pictured below is my “spray booth”. It’s the size of a two-stall garage. In fact, it is our two-stall garage, so I need to leave the car outside any time I need to spray something.


With that being said, I’m still not completely happy with the interior. I’m going to do just a bit more work on it before I apply the final lacquer to everything, assembly, and fill the stupid screw holes in the front wheel wells. I was going to compromise a little on quality to get it done, but I now realize that what needs to be done won’t take nearly as much time as it would to stare at it and think “I wish I’d done <insert improvement here> to it”. Regardless, I put in some time on it yesterday. It should be done soon.

The Pupil Becomes The Master…

Well, my wife’s skills as a painter were validated this weekend. After spending a few mere weeks learning the craft, she bravely submitted her creation for judging at the local HobbyTown Fall "National Model Contest"–and she took 1st place!
Even though teaching her what I know may have hurt her chances for the win, she pulled through and demonstrated a natural talent for painting. She has an eye for color, and–although it may not be visible in the images–she used two different shades of purple on the outfit, as well as used a dark green for the shadows. I wouldn’t have thought of that, but it worked brilliantly.
A little bit of quick background: I picked up several pairs of gaming miniatures from the discontinued "Nîn-Gonost" game line. That way, we could both work on the same figure at the same time. Well, she took it and ran with it. I ended up getting preoccupied with "Halo 3: ODST", but the lack of a good tutor didn’t even slow her down. She applied herself, did her best, and the win at the contest shows what she’s capable of in a very short amount of time.
I’m very proud–my wife is now a self-proclaimed "nerd". More images can be found here.