Monday 30 April 2018

Commenting & criticising on this blog

Before we start posting models for our latest contest I would like to take this chance and touch upon the subject of commenting and criticising.
A few weeks back there was a similar posting on HS asking "Is it bad form on this site to say anything when you see someone's model here and it is very incorrectly detailed? Or to keep your opinion to yourself and let them continue?".
Here are my favorite answers even though I don't necessarily agree with all of them:
Best to not say anything unless they ask for it, there's some raging snowflakes out there even if you're nice about it. As long as someone says it in a nice way I appreciate getting any criticism but then that's a problem too, some people have horrible social skills.

- give effusive praise even when models are garbage. Presumably this is due to such modellers being precious little darlings and/or incredibly insecure.

- how you word it that's important.
Posting "Hey dumbo you've stuffed up the way the undercarriage fits - geez what a dickhead" may have the opposite effect to simply posting -
"My apologies, I don't mean to be rude, but I notice you've reversed the placement of the undercarriage legs. Is it possible to fix that."
The latter may been seen as helpful while the former might be seen as just plain offensive.

- Unless it would actually benefit you from saying anything, and it wouldn't. I say don't. As a young Management Trainee. I was taught to praise in public and discipline or say anything negative in private. All it would take is for someone to give unflattering commentary, no matter how constructive, and then the trolls and wagon jumpers lurking about here would show their ugliness with tacked on posts.
It would perhaps do more harm to both of you, publicly. So I would ask the builder to contact me offboard. Then be tactful.

Years back it was allowed, nowadays, nope, don't even try it.
Everything must be " excellent build and finish ", " looks great " and so on even if it is a absolute piece of you know what.
So i would suggest keeping it to yourself.

- I wouldn't comment negatively on a model on a forum because I have no idea if the guy on the other end will be hurt or not. It's hard to be sincere when you can't look someone in the eye.

- No one learns if they are encouraged to continue in their mistake

- No pity and straight to the point! (my absolutely favorite comment)

- I`d say you should be able to politely point out errors that aren`t related to the craft involved, like using a Walter HWK on a Stuka, but criticising the paint job is just rude unless it is asked for.
 People post pictures of their builds on the internet because they are proud of it, and who are we to tell them that they shouldn`t be?
 I remember 35 years ago I was at hobby exhibition in my little hometown, where they had some models on show. One of them immediately caught my attention because it was a 1/32 Me 109E in a very eye catching green metallic. I thought to myself "Wow, the guy who has built that really has no clue, and perhaps someone should tell him", but then I saw that the guy who had built it, who was standing behind the table looking very proud, had Downs syndrome.
 He enjoyed his hobby very much, and was very proud of his creation, and why not?
 We have all different abilities, and you know nothing about the background of a guy/girl who posts pictures of their creation on the internet, or how many kits he/she has built.
 So just stay away from it.
 You wouldn`t comment on another guys wife, would you?

- It is praise in public and criticize in private.

And here are the official guidelines of HS:
"Plastic Pix" is a forum for posting images of your models, under construction or completed. Constructive feedback about these models is permitted if the modeller posting the images makes the request.
In addition, Plane Talking is not a forum for the public criticism of the models that appear as Galleries or Articles. Please make any suggestions for improvements or criticism direct to the author via the email link at the bottom of the Article"
Here's my personal experience. A few years back I was invited to iModeler. I contributed a short report with my photos from Shizuoka and received some friendly and some really rude and hostile comments that I let pass. And one day a modeler posted photos of this model of his without any details about scale, maker or any other explanation as to his choice of scheme etc. He presented it as an exercise in weathering

My comment to the modeler, whom I didn't and still don't know personally, was: "Hmmm…It’s Nakajima, not Nakajimi. Scale? Maker? And sorry to say but the inaccuracies are just too many! What you basically did was use decals from a Zero kit, an IJNAF a/c, on a Hayabusa, an Army plane. Sorry but the end result is rather poor for my eyes."
I don't know how rude and inappropriate my comment was but apart from the dozens of abusive and plainly rude answers I received, what really amazed me was the number of comments saying "I don't see anything wrong with the model".
The "Editor" who I believe is the owner of iModeler commented:
"The Editor believes that modeling is a field to express one’s creativity in a way that satisfies the modeler’s own vision.
The pursuit of “accuracy” may or may not be a part of this effort and is one of the many choices that a modeler may do.
Everyone is allowed to comment and point out what they think. That said, I’d be always encouraging doing it with respect to the builder’s effort and without imposing one’s own modeling ideals on the work of others.
One of the beautiful aspects of of this hobby is the variety of artistic license out there. That’s what ultimately drives our hobby forward…"
And then I was banned from iModeler (for which I don't give a rat's ass or στα αρχίδια μου as we say in Greece) and the commentators were free to blame Hasegawa for the model or how difficult it is to be accurate when it comes to Japanese colors.
So, it seems that on iModeler the unwritten rule is: "unlimited artistic licence is allowed and models should always be praised no matter what. Furthermore, our friends are allowed to say whatever they like but newcomers or people we don't know should sheepishly keep their heads down and preferably stay quite or else".
Good for them, very glad I have nothing to do with their site. 
Personally on HS I only praise the models I really like. I do not comment on models I find  technically less to my liking, like over-weathered Zeros or less skilfully built. I have never contacted any modeler personally to start a conversation (ain't nobody got time for that) unless they did first. Luckily I haven't seen on HS a model as blatantly inaccurate as the one above.
I think there is confusion between accuracy and artistic licence. If a modeler is striving to replicate as accurately as possible the actual aircraft (or whatever other real subject) then criticising the accuracy of the result should be acceptable. Accuracy should be objective. If the modeler is just having fun, have let their fantasy and creativity loose and accuracy is the least of their concern, then criticism should be minimal, because art should be subjective. It would be absurd for example to say that the "Quernica" by Pablo Picasso is innacurate but you can say this statue doesn't look like the real person at all, like here or here.
This accuracy versus artistic licence controversy is better portrayed in the following video:

And so, in closing, I would like to say that on this blog I'm really proud of you all for keeping the criticism during our contests civil and most importantly creative. I'm also very happy that whenever there was a case of a model with inaccuracies, the builder was really open to suggestions.
I'm also very happy there have been no personal attacks or any bickering between modelers.
You have made my job as moderator really easy!
As I see it, this blog is a good example of how people should interact when they share the same passion and their aim is to get together, share and be better.
So a huge "kudos" and an even bigger "thank you" to you all.
This is how I feel but how about you? Do you think that something should change regarding commenting and criticising on our blog? Do you think that some comments were too harsh or too soft?

Sunday 29 April 2018

Japanese Aircraft Online Model Contest 008

ARAWASI would like to invite you to our eighth online model contest.

Theme: "Nakajima Ki-84 "Hayate" (Frank)"*

Submissions: Send as many photos as you like of your model and accompanying information to or At the very least please send: your name and country, model scale and kit maker. Your entry will be posted within 24 hours. You can enter the contest with more than one model in any scale.
If you decide to start a model for our contest you can send work-in-progress photos.

Voting: you can vote for each model from 1 to 5 either by leaving a comment on each entry or by sending an email to the above addresses. No anonymous votes will be taken into account (nicknames are ok). The model with the most points wins.

Deadline: June 15 (but it can be extended) 

Prizes: The winner (or winners) will receive a book and a kit from our on-line store, free of any charge, courtesy of Arawasi.
*The theme for the next online model contest is IJAAF & IJNAF Special Attack Units (Kamikaze) and will start from July. So be careful what "Hayate" models you choose to submit to this contest.

Tuesday 24 April 2018

Northern Virginia Scale Modelers Classic

The Northern Virginia Scale Modelers Classic was held on Saturday April 21. This model show is a yearly event held in Fairfax,Virginia just minutes away from Washington D.C. The model show is a large event with hundreds of model on display. As usual, the Northern Virginia Scale Modelers did a fantastic job hosting this event.
- Michael Furry -
Below are models in 1/72.
And below are the 1/48 models.

Monday 23 April 2018

Model Kraft 2018

We had a grand display today. We put out the Dinahs again along with some other stuff. The weather was OK, but the hall, most will agree, was quite warm. There were bargains galore and everyone came away with a kit or two, or three or . . .  .
We had models from Bill Anderson, Richard Brooker, Peter Fox, Peter James, Jonathan Stilwell, Peter Terry, and I. Milton Keynes put the profits at the disposal of the McMillan Trust and in support of the charity members of a reenactment group came dressed as Star Wars Stormtroopers. I thought it was kind of fitting sharing empires.
- Gary Wenko -

Monday 16 April 2018

Nakajima J1N1 "Gekko" by Jean Barby

Here are photos of my Tamiya Nakajima J1N1 "Gekko", based in Borneo, credited with two victories. The plain IJN Nakajima camo is not evident to shade in order to give some relief to an otherwise monochromic green.
- Jean Barby -
Early production Nakajima J1N1-S "Gekko" Model 11 of the 202 Kokutai. Pilot CPO Hatao Tetsuya, navigator CPO Yamada Nanpachi. January 1944, Manggar air base, near Balikpapan, East Klimantan ProvinceBorneo Island. 

Friday 13 April 2018

Fine Molds Mitsubishi Ki-15/C5M "Babs" in 1/48!!!

One more reason to definitely visit Shizuoka next month!
The first box is curiously for the Navy C5M instead of the much much more interesting "Kamikaze-go" or the various Army Ki-15s with different camouflage colors and patterns. But hopefully we will see these released in the near future.
We know how excited you all are but BE AWARE though and get ready to dig deeeeep in your pockets as the price is to be about $US30+.
Also, did you notice that Fine Molds released IJAAF MG131 in 1/72 and 1/48? Most useful for Japanese Army fighters.

Thursday 12 April 2018

Japanese Avaition SIG (IPMS UK) Display - RAF Cosford

Nine of us, Paul Bebbington, Bill Anderson, Andy Binks, Richard Brooker, Peter Fox, Frank Hayes, Jon Stillwell, Glenn Wilson and I, displayed our models on Sunday 8, in front of the sole remaining Kawasaki Ki-100 at the annual Shropshire Scale Modellers and IPMS Telford model show at the Royal Air Force Museum Cosford. Half of the display was a tribute to their Mitsubishi Ki-46 III, "Dinah", with all marks and scales of the "Dinah" as well as a display of box art. The museum also has on display the sole surviving WWII Ki-46.  We filled our four tables quite well I think.
Malcolm Barratt and Bob Foster were there too. 
It was a grand day out with there being traders offering new and second-hand model kits, tools, supplies and paints. All three hangars of the museum were filled with like-minded scale model enthusiasts and there was a fantastic number of members of the public.
Of particular interest were Andy's 1/48 Sea Stallion and Richard's "Fugaku", the Fujimi offering of the Transoceanic Bomber project in 1/144.  Many children had shown interest in Richard's egg planes. 
- Gary Wenko -

Tuesday 10 April 2018

MosquitoCon 27 report by Michael Furry

On Saturday April 7, the New Jersey chapter of IPMS hosted its annual model show and contest, MosquitoCon 27. MosquitoCon is held every year in April and attracts modelers from all over the northeastern and mid-atlantic states. Typically there are about 500 models on display. Japanese aviation was well represented this year. As usual, the members of NJIPMS did a great job hosting this rather large event.
The set of photos below are the 1/72 scale aircraft.
And the set of photos below are the 1/48 scale aircraft.