The first time I fell in love with making scale models was back in 4th grade when my dad surprised me with a Mazda Eunos Roadster model car for Christmas. Ever since then, model cars have become a huge part of my life, and over the past years, I’ve built over 100 models which I keep in my room! Granted, it’s not the most impressive thing to see when I bring a girl home, but I knew I liked building car scale models before I even knew I liked girls. Anyway, what to most people may be a dull, childish hobby, for some can be a great way to hone their skills with basic tools, kill time, help challenge their brain, and so on. If you’re contemplating whether you should pick up building plastic model cars, here are some of the benefits that may convince you that this hobby is just right for you, and it may turn into a lifelong passion.
Develop and Hone Various Skills
No matter the size and type of model you choose, there are several stages involved you’ll need to go through in order to complete the model. These stages may include learning the look and history of the model, it’s construction, painting it, and in some cases, applying and weathering decals. Naturally, all of these stages require various levels of skill and discipline, including researching, planning, cutting, drilling, sanding, sculpting, painting, gluing and detailing. Experienced builders are aware that they’re stronger in certain areas of this process than others, but the whole thing about building car scale models is that you can develop multiple skill sets the more models you build, as you will learn something new from every next project.
Learning the History of the Models
Whether you’re building American Muscle cars, WWII tanks or bombers, or modern European scale models – model building gives you the opportunity to dive deep into the history of whatever it is you’re building. Personally, before I even start building a model, I spend a few hours online, searching for details about when the model was first used, it’s paint-scheme, and other facts. Learning all there is to the model will give you a larger appreciation for the design and craftsmanship that went into the real deal, and you’ll be knowledgeable enough to seem cooler at parties.
Get Busy and Release Stress
As we grow, stress becomes an unavoidable aspect of our lives. Having interests and hobbies, whether it’s building scale models, watching movies, sports, or spending time with friends over a few drinks, can be a great outlet for all of that stress. A couple of hours spent by yourself being focused on a problem that’s directly ahead of you can clear your mind from the rest of your problems. If you’re an introvert, then solo activities like scale modelling can be a great way not just to relieve stress, but get some instant gratification.
Put Your Organisation Skills to the Test
As briefly aforementioned, scale car models come in a wide range of shapes and sizes, with some models including hundreds of different parts, while others just a few dozen. No matter, at every skill level, you’ll need to organise the parts you’re working with and follow a list of steps in order to get to the end product. If you skip steps or lose some parts, you’ll end up with a model that doesn’t even remotely resemble the one you had in your head. Of course, with experience comes skill, but for a beginner, proper organisation and following instructions down to a T are key to building models.
Exercise Your Artistic Skills
Art can be expressed in many different shapes and forms, and while not everyone is a great illustrator, musician, painter or writer, scale models let you get a taste of what’s it like to create something from scratch. Sure, the whole process may be more engineered than you’d like, but there’s a lot of room for personalisation every step or the way. At the end of the day, instructions are only there to guide you, and once you’ve figured out how to put a model together, you can customise it any way you want.
Spend Quality Time With Loved Ones
With more and more kids spending time on smart devices, scale modeling offers a hands-on way to spend meaningful time bonding with your most loved ones. As aforementioned, developing skills is a huge part of model building, which can lead to improvements in virtues like patience, self-esteem, perseverance and concentration. By working together with your kids throughout the building process, you also strengthen your relationship and instil the importance of teamwork.
That being said, building model car kits can be an affordable, yet extremely entertaining way to spend time, regardless of whether alone or with loved ones. You get to work on and improve a variety of skills that you can then take outside to the real world as well. What can start off as a hobby can turn into a lifelong passion for building artistic models that you can leave for future generations to admire!