Happy New Year!
Well, another century is behind us. I didn’t finish nearly as many models as I would have liked to. But the ones that I did finish will now go into history as genuine 20th Century antiquities!
One for us significant achievement of this century is bringing model building hobbies to the general public, boosted some time during1950s by the introduction of inexpensive and relatively accurate plastic model kits. The enormous development in this area may be appreciated on the adjacent photographs of this modelling gentleman from the early 1930’s - can anybody recognize the aircraft type? (and no, it is not me on the picture).
Looking back, plastic model building has been improving just about as rapidly as other aspects of our life. Modern manufacturing, materials and technologies, and most of all, gradually improving quality of life giving us more spare time off-work have all resulted in hobbies - model building among them - having gained a significant role among the adult part of our society. Nowadays most of my friends have some kind of an active hobby, be it modelling, playing music, singing, painting, dollhouse construction, DYI or something else.
During the last 20 or so years model building gradually shifted from being primarily a teenager’s pastime to a more mature audience. Although many would see this trend as a sign of modelling being in decline, I would rather say that it have reached maturity. Sure, most of us would like to witness kids’ massive fascination by plastic kits again, but hey, let’s not forget that it recently happened 30 years ago! What we have today is a mature enthusiast market where nice things like laser-quality kits, perfect decals, photo-etched detail parts or even an airbrush are within reach for most of us. I believe it’s likely to stay this way in the future, and that the interest among younger generations, although comparatively smaller, will prevail. Let’s work for it.
And hopefully, scale model building will be remembered as a pleasant heritage of the 20th Century. It is somewhat ironic that our most popular areas of interest – two World Wars, and other armed conflicts – most certainly will not.
...and Another Anniversary...
Reflecting on the past, I would like to take the opportunity and remind you that this December also marked the 3rd anniversary of this web site. Being on the Internet for so long ranks us among the veterans… so let’s make a short summary. As webmasters love statistics, I cannot restrain myself from including some of it below.
As you can see, our site has also reached "maturity" - quite extraordinary because it has always been based purely on voluntary work. I’d like to thank those from all over the world who generously worked for free to make this publication better during 1999. Special thanks to Frank Spahr, Janne Nilsson and Göran Kindlund for a steady flow of excellent modelling articles; Rick Kent for those amazing camouflage profiles and all the research behind them; Peter Alsterberg for hundreds of excellent photographs; to Mats Hammar for the cartoons; Magnus Fridsell for articles, photos and translation work; Urban Fredriksson for his color charts; Joe Baugher, Ragnar Ragnarsson, Philip Treweek and Tim Mc Coy for their research and writing. Also to Jeff Warshaw, Joachim Smith, Anders Nowotny, Mark Wlodarczyk, Anders Svennevik and all the others who gave their contributions.
Build more steady models in the coming century; your grandchildren will be happy to have one or two as family memorabilia!