The current topic on the Sprue Cutter’s Union (SCU) is Your Stress Free Build.
Stress free. Hmmm…
I am pretty limited in the scope of my modelling endeavors. Mostly armor, with a sprinkling of aircraft. But, for pure relaxation and stress free modelling, tracked armor is my favorite.
Tanks, specifically WWII tanks, to me, are the very reason I stick with this hobby. Tanks are what first got me “serious” about modelling. By “serious,” I mean building a kit with care, and painting it. I find them to be enjoyable to build for a number of reasons.
1. There are wide variety of tank types to be built. I really believe a person could focus solely on the Sherman variants alone, for example, and have a hard time running out of different subjects to build.
2. Painting them is not as tedious, or difficult (in my opinion, at least) as aircraft. By their very nature, they lack consistency and uniformity, in colors and camouflage. Therefore, there is a little more leeway as far as accuracy goes.
3. Since tanks were home for the men that operated them, the possibilities are endless when adding extra stowage and gear.
4. The vast majority of tank models are in 1/35 scale. This scale is a perfect balance of size and detail. A completed 1/35 scale tank fits nicely on a shelf. Most modern kits include plenty of detail and with new molding technologies, even the molded on detail can look very good. Scratch building and super detailing are possible for even the less experienced modellers. And figures can be added in this scale that are big enough, that with some practice, one can add some very convincing life to an otherwise static vehicle.
5. There aren’t as many seams to fill like there can be on aircraft, and even if there are, I don’t have to worry about panel lines and tiny rivet detail getting destroyed when I smooth out the filled areas.
I think the above factors coupled with the nostalgic feeling I get when I build a tank, especially one that I built when I first started with them so many years ago, is what makes this hobby most enjoyable and stress free for me.