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Old 08-08-2006, 09:47 AM
blogger-Frank blogger-Frank is offline
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Join Date: Aug 2006
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Icon Biggrin How Do We Research Our Models? (part One - Section I)

REFERENCES: THE STATE OF THE ART

If and when a modeler becomes “serious” about the hobby, the question of the physical accuracy of a scale model as well the historic context in which it operated begins to become more and more important. In time, modelers begin to ask questions regarding colors, specific unit markings, and physical details relevant to the specific variation they wish to replicate, as well as when and where their particular vehicle saw action. Although some models are marketed as being a “specific” version, used by a defined unit and at a particular place and time, in general this is information that is not included in the kit’s box.

Let us also never forget that model manufacturers are run by human beings. What this essentially means is that the “perfect” kit does not exist and probably never will, no matter how hard the manufacturers try (and they certainly DO try!). While it is fairly safe to say that the vast majority of newly-released kits can be rated about 80-90% (or more) on an “accuracy scale”, mistakes will inevitably be made.

Thus, the need for research.

Research assets traditionally took the form of published books and articles in various magazines. Nowadays, these are supplemented by the use of a Personal Computer with Internet access. Additionally, a few enterprising souls have created “books” stored on digital media, typically on Compact Disks (CDs); in order to read these, a PC is required. For the foreseeable future though, it would appear that the traditional paper publication, be it a book or magazine, will remain with us. The past few years has seen more and more new books published and has also seen new magazines hit the market, all aimed specifically at modelers of AFVs, military vehicles, ordnance and accompanying figures. Recently, the use of the Internet as the sole research tool for some modelers seems to be on the rise. Indeed, there are some extraordinary “free access” sites out there maintained by diligent enthusiasts doing excellent original research. But it is probably premature to say that the Internet will replace the traditional “paper” publication any time soon. Both electronic and paper media compliment each other, so for the present we can enjoy both as long as our budget can stand it!

To Be Continued...

Frank V. De Sisto
Brooklyn, NY, USA
August 2006
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