This months SCU topic saw a very diverse response from my collegues and as the month is about to close it is time for a frog’s point of view!
What is, in your opinion, the single most important thing in modeling. The one thing you cannot do without?
Simple. Basic painting and assembly skills!
Sometimes you come across that modeler that shows his completed model of the most horrific Lindberg puttybomb monstrosity and yet turned it into a contest winning work of art. On the other end of the spectrum you also see the kind of modeler who draws his wallet and buys an expensive kit and all the fancy PE and resin he could get his hands on, yet utterly fails to produce a credible model.
To me it all comes down to having a solid basic skillset to fall back on, no matter what you have on your bench. So many models fail to ever turn out to be a reasonable model just because the modeler screwed up during assembly, even before any painting or fancy schmancy shading, washes, streaks and pigments and whatnot.
Just this week i saw an online post of a guy, just starting out doing armor models and asking his audience what to “get” for his second model kit. In comes the horde…. “PE!”, “Get a Big Ed Set for it!” and etcetera etcetera… This makes my toes curl to no end and will probably result in our new modeling friend to think he is not good enough or quit modeling alltogether when he finds out that using all that fancy stuff is harder than it looked.
Here is what i told him.
Learn to walk before you can run! Build and paint a few models. Have fun with it and try to not worry too much about uber realism. Thats a skillset that can only be built up over time, not purchased with fancy stuff.
Well i did not say that literally but that was the basic idea i tried to convey.
So yes, learn to properly assemble a kit, free of glue marks and seams showing. And learn to use an airbrush to be able to reliably put down a solid basic paint scheme. THEN worry about what comes next.
In my opinion this is something you just simply can’t escape and you will simply have to learn first before you can move on and evolve