Modeling is a singular hobby. Most of us build, modify, and paint our kits with our own thoughts to the final end of our project. But with no feedback or knowledge of other techniques we often end up with our creations with no idea if it is a truly something that another modeler would like to view.
The benefits of becoming a member of a modelers’ club gives us the chance to approach our techniques with the benefit of the sight of a peer who may shed an entirely different view of how we can approach our work.
If we attend a meeting of a local club, or present feedback on an internet forum (in case we live in an area with no club) most often we are intimidated by the gathering. But it is important to grasp that most of the others in the club have our same skill levels or at least in the past were in the same position we see ourselves in level of skill.
But seeing and listening is crucial to an increased level of skill and enjoyment of the hobby. I joined my club, the Central Arkansas Scale Modelers in late 2008 after a long absence from the pastime. Here in my own words are the concise lessons from my experience in attending meetings of the club:
1) The Color Wheel is king. Be it armor, naval, science fiction, fantasy or any other subject regardless of complexity of the build remember the relationships of color in the color wheel.
2) When you start with the hobby always begin with simple kits. Kits with more than 300 to 400 parts should be avoided for the first year.
3) Take your time. When I attend a meeting of our local club I often feel the need to immediately start a project, regardless if I already have one in process. Only build one at a time and never rush the job. Observe at the meetings that even the more advanced modelers often take months to complete their projects.
4) If the club offers airbrush classes, or when you find the demonstrations on You Tube take note on the techniques. Buy a simple, single-action airbrush on your first purchase and ask for advice from your club members. Airbrushes elevate our hobby’s level but they can be frustrating for the first-time users.
5) See number 1. Remember the primary and secondary colors and how they relate. Some of our most advanced builders at CASM use only a few colors and mix their own variations to achieve results.
6) Remember that you are an artist. Regardless of feedback, regardless of winning prizes at hobby shows you are the final judge if your creation has been worth your time.