Tuesday 29 October 2013

Everybody's a Critic

Spruecutters 15
 Everyone's a critic

As soon as I read this weeks topic, I just had to take some time out of my day and write this one as soon as possible. Why? basically because I have such strong feeling towards what I fear is a large portion of the scale model community. The eternal critics and the rivet counters. Make no mistake in what I am about to say: I LOATHE THESE PEOPLE; I was once a member of quite a few scale model forums and although I have personally never posted my work, I have witnessed on almost a daily basis, hobbyists like ourselves, posting images of their latest creation only to have them ripped apart by some idiot who had spent a good 15-20 minutes scrutinising every part of the model with the sole purpose of finding fault !!

Some of the comments I have seen recently are:

  • The unit marking on the figures is incorrect for the season that this vehicle is being portrayed in
  • A solider would never stand in that pose
  • I see you haven't used any after-market parts on this vehicle, it would look so much better if..........

 and my personal favourite:

  • I never use a figure out of the box, its just common and looks terrible when I know that someone else may have the same one

Seriously, who are these people? Are their lives that sad and uneventful that they feel the only way to glean any form of enjoyment is to inflict unnecessary insult and pain onto someone who is so obviously proud of what they have achieved?

I have said this on more that one occasion that this is a hobby, one that should be enjoyed and shared. I have no problem in buying after market parts and conversions for models if I feel that my current project warrants it, but I would never have the audacity to talk down someone else's project because they have not used these parts. I look for what a model or diorama stirs in my imagination when I view it over anything else. I could be looking at a fantastically accurate vehicle or model that has every rivet and detail faithfully re-produced, but if it does nothing to stir my imagination then as far as I am concerned it is an example of the modellers skill to execute a project but not something that I would class as an amazing model.

I find the portrayal of a topic or scene more inspiring than how much everything cost to put together. An example of everything that I find appealing in a model is the following photo:

This scene is so simplistic, has a great amount of skill in terms of groundwork, water work, figure sculpting and more over, its ability to evoke an emotion. The first time that I saw this diorama I chuckled to myself as did my workmates who don't take part in the hobby. For those of you not as eagle eyed as me, you will probably not have seen the Russian figures hiding in the bushes in the bottom left hand corner of the dio catching a sneaky peek as well. Are there faults in the work? I'm sure there are as I am also sure that we would all find different faults depending on our individual skill levels. Does that give any of us the right to openly criticise this persons work? No.

While I am more than open to discuss my work with anyone, I do not feel comfortable when someone who I do not have some form of relationship with begins to openly criticise something that I am proud of producing, conversely if someone such as a member of the spruecutters union whom I hold a great deal of respect for, made an observation, then I would of course welcome it and then ask for advice in order to improve my skills or abilities.

Essentially for me this hobby is about recreating things in miniature that are either true to life or believable if it were true. How we get there, how close it is to our ideals and what makes us happy is not really for anyone else to judge. If your like me then you are probably your own worst critic. Do you really need anyone else to help you?

If you found this interesting then why not click on the link below and see what the other spruecutters members think:

go to the bottom of the page for member links


  1. I don't think I have to write up a post this wee Craig, because you took the words right out of my mouth. Spot. On.

  2. Perfectly written and so true to how life is out there on the net. I did not notice the Russian figures or whoever the ones in the bottom right hand side are either....lol
    Too much is said about what is wrong but never enough is said of how good something looks.

  3. Agree 100%! I'm not a fan of rivet counters within the modelling community. Within the aviation art field it is even worse, and very hurtful when you've worked your arse off creating something you're proud of. I guess it's the same in all walks of life.

  4. Speaking from a wargaming minatures perspective as well, all of what you have said holds true to some degree. The simple fact is there is no excuse for not showing a person respect at least for their efforts and their courage in deciding to lay their work bare to the world.

    There is always a way of saying what you want to about a persons work that is constructive and polite, and we should always compliment the positives about the piece as well as commenting on the areas that we think might benefit from our experience.

    There is simply no excuse for rudeness.

  5. What a superb post, a big thumbs up.


  6. Thank you all for your feedback. Its actually reassuring that this hobby has people like you guys who share in my views of what this hobby should really be about.