Picking up a new hobby can sometimes be difficult. If you don’t know what you need or are unsure how much time and money will need to be invested, you may find yourself at a slight disadvantage or loss thinking that certain hobbies are not easily accessible.
One such example of this is model making. What should be quite an easy hobby to pick up and get going can end up being frustrating if you don’t start with the right tools (literally) in place. So what should someone thinking of taking up this hobby have at hand so that they are ready to go at it with gusto and don’t have any hiccups from day one?
I want to highlight some of the things anyone starting model making would need to know so that it doesn’t become a hobby they quickly give up on due to not knowing what is needed. We’ll be looking at some of the basic necessities as well as some tricks those fully invested in the hobby would say can help you get going with even the most complicated of builds very easily. It all starts with having the right tools.
The tools you need
You might think that model making involves spending a lot of money on specific and delicate kits with precise tools that are essentially miniature versions of what you find in your toolbox. While there is some truth that you do need smaller tools there is a misconception that they’re going to be expensive and that model making will be a hobby that is surprisingly expensive today.
I recommend doing some research online, even if it is just for five minutes, to find inexpensive model toolkits. I would recommend against looking on specialist sites as the tools here will be of a high quality and therefore much more expensive. You wouldn’t even know if you’re fully invested in model making until you’ve made at least a handful of models, so don’t go buying expensive kits to begin with.
If you go on some of the larger online retailers (i.e. the one that offers some prime advantages!) you’ll see model kits available for less than £10/€15. Even though they’re quite cheap they do provide enough to get you going. Even if you end up not enjoying the hobby as much as you thought, you know that you won’t have invested too much money in it, and can pass on a tool kit as a gift.
The models you want to make
With any hobby you don’t want to start out doing something you really do not like . Much like going to the gym and being stuck in a class you never signed up for, you don’t want to buy models which won’t be fun to build.
I find it remarkable that there is such a wide variety of models available to build. Not so long ago, it was the case that model building was resigned to extremely specific vehicles and every once in a while, a fun model. Nowadays, the market is much more exciting and customers have access to an unbelievable range of model types. One such example of this is the UK based maker Model Space, which has a range of products including some fantastic models from throughout history and the movies.I highly recommend looking at some of their movie models and even researching online to find websites which offer models that are a bit out of the ordinary and make the process especially when it’s your first time a little bit more exciting than building a basic car.
The “Throwaway” model
This is a tip that I always recommend you keep to heart. When model making for the first time, your first model will not look as good as you want it to be simply due to the process of figuring everything out as you go along. If you plan on buying a large model that you really want to spend a lot of time on, and you don’t have much in the way of skill or knowledge before you begin, I would recommend going to stores like eBay and find very cheap models to practice on. I find it to be a great way of understanding how to use acrylics, precise brush techniques, thinners, and tools for the first time.
Making mistakes has to be done as it’s the only way you’ll be able to learn, especially considering model making is usually a solo activity. When making a model for the first time I would also recommend working while watching explainer videos on YouTube. As a free resource you’ll be able to find professional makers who will provide invaluable advice in a way that wasn’t accessible just a few years ago. You can even follow along and try their techniques on your “throwaway” model first rather than making a mistake on your expensive model that you’ll be annoyed at.
Now get to model making
I hope you enjoyed this brief introduction Into some of the obstacles anyone will face when model making. Just remember that as a hobby it can be an incredibly enjoyable and rewarding activity, as long as you’re willing to make mistakes and have the patience. Now go find a model and have some fun.