why build military crafts?

Discussion in 'General Card Modeling' started by lizzienewell, Dec 16, 2005.

  1. lizzienewell

    lizzienewell Member

    :) Oh a suntan and some weight lifting. Actually I saw that everyone else had a model or graphic image as an avatar so I put this one up. It's a self-portrait actionfigure. Several years ago, I made a commando unit of these gals out of cast polyurethane. They took over an art gallery and posted a manifesto demanding rights for toys.
    They still lurk around my house.

  2. barry

    barry Active Member


    I grew up in the war and my father was a CPO/Torpedo coxswain on destroyers and corvettes (and a light cruiser at Jutland in WW1) he was on convoy duty all of the war from Murmansk to Malta and somehow picked up a Burma Star. Did some odd journeys to Sweden on dark nights in MTB's. He only came home twice in 5 years but his shipmates used to bring me chocolate and carved model ships.Hence my interest in the escort ships.
  3. Getter1

    Getter1 Active Member

    You know this is a very good question. My intrests span quite a bit Aircraft (WW1 and WW2 in particular), Sci-Fi, Cars (limited selection), and of course Robots (most all robots but particularly the older 70's Super Robots). In looking at all these themes they are all still in some fasion or another military or fighting vehicles. I hate fighting but I'm facinated with war machines. I also like midevil reniactment but that too is founded in fighting and warfare. Hmm an intresting question indeed and the answer is I have no idea.

    And on the point of Nazi and Jap planes being wierd to the senses. I don't think of the Me-109 or Zero as a Nazi or Emperialist Japan plane, I look at them as a beautiful work of art regardless of the nation it came from or it's ideals at the time. Also I am facinated with Russian WW2 and jet aircraft, but I have no ties to communisim, just like their planes.


    P.S. thanks alot Lizzenewell, I'll be up all night analizing wether or not I'm a barbarian :p jk sort of..............my head hurts
  4. Rick Thomson

    Rick Thomson Member

    Someday when my Scots ancestery is off guard, I'm going to get that model...

    With the exception of the F-117 ( there is a reason it only flys by night) I don't think that Lockheed ever built an airframe that wasn't pleasing to the eye.
  5. k5083

    k5083 Member

    You've had a lot of answers here Lizzie and even though I enjoyed being one of the enfants terrible of the why-build-paper-models thread, I don't know that I have much to add here. A lot (not all) of the responses are very personal in terms of "Why I like ..." rather than attempting an explanation of why modelers generally seem to prefer martial topics. But they are none the less revealing for that; the market is just an aggregation of personal preferences after all.

    Trying to put this in a little historical perspective, card modeling arose in eastern Europe in the 50s and early 60s as an alternative to the plastic models then gaining popularity in the west. I guess the adolescent boys of Poland and Czechoslovakia wanted to build the same things that the ones of Britian and the USA did. This heritage is still with us to some extent.

    I will say that for airplanes and ships, the proportion of civil subjects in card compared to military is higher than for plastic, though not as high for flying model airplanes or fine wooden ship models. Generally the higher the level of craftsmanship in a form of modeling (if you imagine a progression from pre-built die-casts -> plastic models -> paper models -> wooden models -> anything-goes scratchbuilding) the less emphasis on military subjects.

    In terms of vehicles, I believe that in card modeling we see a heavy bias toward military subjects for a different reason: they tend to be quite angular and easily modelable in card. Civilian sports cars are the most popular category of plastic models, and the only way I can account for the near total absence of them in paper is that post-1945 sports car bodies just have too much compound curvature going on to be represented properly in paper. Some models exist, but mostly of earlier or simpler types of cars like race cars, and most of them are pretty toy-like. I have a feeling that if anyone could design a really adequate card model of a Ferrari 250 GTO or a 1955 T-bird, it would be immensely popular.

    Organic things like people and animals are fine to do using casting and similar methods, but it's very difficult to form card into pleasing organic shapes. Again, I think card models of everything from dinosaurs to Jennifer Garner would be very hot items if they could be done well. However, they really would require some type of forming or casting that changes each model into an individual work of sculpture and cannot be shared in the form of a kit. (Taking Jennifer Garner as an example, if you were to extract the CG model of her from the Alias video game, you would find the polygon count high enough to make Pepakura have a nervous breakdown trying to unfold it, and even that wouldn't necessarily build to a decent paper model.)

    Architecture, on the other hand, translates well into paper no matter what its purpose, and there are so many beautiful building kits out there.

  6. lizzienewell

    lizzienewell Member

  7. dwgannon

    dwgannon Member

    Well let me see. I grew up around race cars and mechanics. So I always new that I would follow that line. Well thought I would. I joined the Air Force for the love of planes. I selected the aircraft mechanic field. But i did not want fighters. I wanted the big birds. The KC-135A/R, B-52D/G and the B-1B. As a kid I was always putting together the plastic models. You name it I built it. NASCAR, Richard Petty, Mario, The Snake and the Mongoose, Rails and funnies. I built the 1/69 Scale Saturn V, the Gemini and the Mercury. I did the Wolf Man, Frankenstein and the Mummy. The hanging cage from Barbarilla. I did the model rockets. Those were the days. Try building those these days. So I found Paper. Since I can't get out and run around like I used to I found a non-impact hobby. To thank I never grew up with video games other than what was at the arcade. But that is my story and I’m sticking to it.

  8. Bernie

    Bernie Member

    Lizzie, I can tell/write only that I am specialized in building trucks, but in last months I do feel that more and more looking for army "tools".

    reason?? Allways looking for difficult models - to make me busy for months, there are lot of fine details and my way of modelling /painting with aquarell colours and chalk dusting/ is close to cars which are working for years in extreme conditions and usage is well visible in respect of mechanical damages, corrosion, weathering etc.
    When searching for the data to make a model according reality - allways finding new facts about the war machinery /terrible findings/
    As an example my Whisky in the Jar - Jeep


    If I would like to make glossy - shiny models - I would make Formula One cars
  9. PaperEngTech

    PaperEngTech New Member

    Paper Casting

    It would be nice if we could get some posts started that address paper casting methods and uses. Have been considering using a papercast for wingtips on my current design project so that compund curves would be smooth and would resist damage in the event they contact/scrape the ground. Never considered before that the reason there is not a lot of interest in casting is due to reproducability problems and being unable to include what is needed in a printed kit. There may be a way to approach this problem and make it possible to reasonably reproduce a mold for the papercast. Just formulating ideas right now...

  10. wunwinglow

    wunwinglow Active Member

    Stand by, Gil incoming!!!

    Tim P
  11. cygielski

    cygielski Member

    Let's face it, it's a purely visceral, testosterone-driven thing for many of us. Military gear is faster, tougher and generally more impressive than civilian counterparts, which are built for comfort and/or economy first of all.
  12. domingojs23

    domingojs23 New Member

    Interesting thread !

    While I by profession am a diplomat trying my darnest to promote disarmament, peace and understanding, as a hobbyist / card modeller I focus on military models. To answer your question, I would say that persons who are pre-disposed to card modelling (and plastic modelling) would tend to have a military or military enthusiast background. Car & other civil transport, sci-fi and building model fans would come second. Apparently the common thread here would be an interest in technology. Card- and plastic- modellers are into technology, as card and plastic lend themselves well to renditions of machines. I guess a cousin of this genre would be the model railroad community.

    Persons who do not have such an interest in military or technology themes would tend to use other mediums to express themselves artistically, such as origami, clay, painting, cloth (including cross-stich, sock doll-making), etc. Of course, there are a number of serving soldiers who indulge in cross-stich, but that's another story ! :).

    Just my two centimes worth.
  13. jagolden

    jagolden Guest


    I think you need to look wider to find the other things you mentioned. They a re all certainly done in the U.S. and links to such places are frequently posted on the other paper model group I belong to.

    Reasons are probably many:

    Having a country that is only 200 some odd years old, we are fascinated with antique things-be it furniture, farmware, militaria, whatever. We don't have the general experience of growing up (as a country and induviduals) while have many of those things.

    Boys are boys-always. Big equipment = interest (in general)

    From the Industrial Revolution onward, probably the most progressive engineering leaps were garnered from war machines. Therefore there's interest in building those machines. Yes there are other machines also (construction and trains) and those are well represented by U.S. builders.

    As with anything, there haas to be some interest to want to build a subject. Personally I can't iagine spending time building plain vanilla automobiles, trucks, private planes etc. because they are simply object with no worthwhile history or meaning attached to them. Again, this is my personal opinion. Others love to build these and I'm happy there are models available.

    Figures, Hmm, let's see, what are the most likely figures to be represented by model publishers. Oh, military figures. Also there do not seem to be many figures period as opposed to other types of models. Go the paper model electronic stores, in Europe, and go through what they sell, majority is military.
    Now, there are plenty of non-military figures popping up in the last 18 months or so, ranging from classic cartoon figures to super heroes. Again, who wants to build a model of just some non descript person.

    While paperc asting is very interesting and produces amazing art, I consider it more as sculpture instead of paper modeling pre se. Can you imagine the forum where anything was game as long as it was paper-it would be anarchy. The forums need to be somewhat structured.

    In the other group I belong to, I seem to be about the only military builder that posts regularly. That group hovers around 2500-3000 members, so you observation does not hold true when further explored.

    It's a big world - explore!
  14. Mark Crowel

    Mark Crowel Member


    You started this thread back in 2005, but if you are still with us, please see the other Zealot sub-forums: Paper Dolls and Figurines, Cartoons and Anime, Toys and Automata.
  15. cdavenport

    cdavenport Member

    Great thread. I didn't realize the thing started three years ago until it was recently pointed out to the forum. Nevertheless, when I read the first post, I knew it was a female question. I also noted with interest that she singled out the US audience. For the record I have two answers:

    1. Study Carl G Jung to gain an appreciation of the core differences between men and women. Boys do love stuff that goes, "Bang!"

    2. In the short history of this country, there have been only very brief periods when we have NOT been engaged in combat of some type somewhere on the globe. So, it seems to be an abiding interest to Americans. Also, if you look at American technology over the last two centuries, you may quickly deduce that we have been on an inexorable march towards the ability to kill the bad guys as quickly and precisely as possible with as little exposure to danger ourselves as is technically feasible.
  16. Lex

    Lex Dollmaker

    (Pretty old thread here) I regard this as a question on personal aesthetics... For me military ships looks way better than civil ones, maybe that's why. Also, don't forget military crafts tend to use cutting-edge technology otherwise not found on civil crafts, that's a major difference too.

    Indeed... Figurines are my job...! :D
  17. Gearz

    Gearz Member

    lol.. you've hit the nail on the head cdavenport. A Yin v Yang question asked by a Yin.. after endless debates with my daughters ( where both sides claimed victory) I'm convinced there is no simple answer to these kinds of questions. At least not one that would satisfy Lizzie.

    As an addendum to answer 1. 'Men are from Mars, and Women are from Venus' by John Gray, is another interesting publication delving into the M/F F/M relationship mysteries
    ( only half the book made sense lol )

    Lex ~ speaking of Figurines, are planning on continuing your anime figure tut ? ( please :mrgreen: )
  18. Lex

    Lex Dollmaker

    Now that Finals are behind me... Yes!!
  19. cdavenport

    cdavenport Member

    Since I do not know anyone on the forum, I was wondering Lex if you tell me in what course of study your finals covered. Are you a student at Oxford?

    I had the pleasure of spending a day at Oxford waaay back in 1979. I remember going to a nearby art theatre to see a screening of the campy classic, "Flesh Gordon." Some memory of a classic city, huh?
  20. Art Decko

    Art Decko Member

    I'm not sure the fascination with military models is necessarily an overly-American thing. I have noticed, for instance, that WWII German armor seems to posess an irresistable appeal to young males in cultures all over. Plenty of examples here in very non-western China!

    I agree with the sentiments that to a large extent, it's something hard-wired into the male brain -- and for a good reason that, for most of human history, served evolutionary ends. But at this stage of our evolution, it seems destructively counter-productive.

    I think it's interesting (and admirable) that card modelers, compared to those who work in other mediums, seem to be more interested in a wider variety of non-military subjects. Personally, I think we should encourage this trend.

    As I've posted elsewhere (repeating myself, I know), in the land vehicle category alone, the number of cool civilian machines throughout the history of technology far outweighs the number of cool military machines. There are categories like exploration, construction, fire-fighting, transportation, record-breaking, rescue, demolition, freight and heavy haulage, agriculture that have scarcely been touched, even by card modelers.

    A fire-fighting bulldozer can be every bit as cool as a panzer, a vintage Mack snowplow more interesting and visually pleasing than an army transport. And there are score upon score of stunning pre-1930s vehicles that would be very suitable for card (few compound curves).

    Yet for each thread like the recent Tucker Sno-cat build (http://forum.zealot.com/t158920/) there are about 20 for ... yet another panzer.

    My philosophy in a nutshell: The world needs more Sno-cats, less panzers. :)

Share This Page