[WWI] Collecting Kits, Building Models, Then What?

Tom Mason tom.mason at charter.net
Sat Jul 28 22:21:29 EDT 2007


My attitude towards my models is, I am not going to worry about what happens to them while I am alive when I can't control what happens to them after I am dead.

  ----- Original Message ----- 
  From: michael wuyek 
  To: World War I Modeling Mailing List 
  Sent: Saturday, July 28, 2007 9:55 AM
  Subject: [WWI] Collecting Kits, Building Models, Then What?

  It seems to me soon, if society lasts that long, we are going to have a glut of built models as well as unbuilt kits as each of us eventually "heads west".  Has anyone else who collects and builds given some thought to this? (other than 'My kids/son/grand kids" will get my collection). I talked to an old hobby shop owner and he said he's seen some great models thrown away because no one in the family really wanted them or had a place for them. He said it was really heartbreaking. My own children have no real interest in my hobby, nor have they the space to display them. I gave an old Eduard Siemens Schuckert D.III model to a friend to display a while back. He seemed pleased, displayed it for a few years. Now I don't see it anywhere in his home. I haven't the heart to ask which box he's stored it in.
   We put a lot of time, effort, and research into these things, and we never give a thought to what will happen to them after we leave this earth (And don't EVEN get me started on all our research material).
   I have given this a lot of thought (which is why I have this constant headache that feels like I've eaten too much ice cream too fast), and can't seem to grasp a solution.
   The closest I've come is to somehow, in each area, to declare them "Works of Art" (easily said for most of you (Diego, Dennis and you others). or in my case ("Folk art" or "Primitive Art") and arrange each state to acquire some structure, house or building to house them as a permanent museum and tourist attraction. This should certainly include ot subjects as well (gotta be fair). Otherwise I'm afraid in 40 years they'll be digging up these landfills and finding these huge piles of pieces of models and either  say "Oh, I read this was a cult hobby, this building in plastic of historical objects" or even rarer "Wow, pieces of what they called a Newport (future spelling). Let's see if we can put it back together!!". (fat chance on THAT one). How much can you donate to current museums? (I notice that the Naval Academy museum here in Annapolis has only ONE aircraft model, a Curtiss H-12, in need of some serious repair. I have offered to do a diorama of early aircraft experiments the Navy did in the area, and haven't heard a word back from them.
   The National Air and Space Museum in Washington, D.C. hides 98% of their models on the third floor where the staff is located. You can only see them by making an appointment to do photographic research from their archives. Maybe we should copyright them as works of art and give them to the National Archives...Naw, they'd probably end up like the Arc of the Convenient in the Indian Jones movie...in boxes. (Although photographing them and sending  the photos to the copyright office would officially register them).
   Is it this little need of immortality that our names be remembered as modelers long after we're gone, that our models should be displayed for everyone to see, and not in some out of the way corner of a museum or shop. Hobby shops in my area have glass cases, but they put small or expensive stuff in there to sell, not to display built models. I actually had an owner say he wouldn't display any of my scratch built WWI models because he wanted to display models that if a customer wanted, he could order the kit. (He's since quite the business years ago). Another offered me $25 per built model, and that was a few years back.
   You can't get Federal grants for individual artists anymore here in America, but maybe as an organization, we could get a grant to purchase local buildings and display cases where our models may be displayed long after we've flown away. The thought of my models being trashed because no one wants them after I'm gone has eaten away at my enjoyment of building them, never mind the Buddhist concept.
   Well, I'll get off the soap box now and get some breakfast. And then I think I take a fresh kit from the stash and build it. After a big bowl of ice cream.

  Mike "starving artist modeler" Wuyek
  Annapolis, Maryland


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