Funny, how things work. Today I read Spencer Pollard's blog post about why he models.
I have been recently thinking about this question myself. I tried to analyze it and to take a few notes but that went pretty much nowhere. Then Spencer's blog post caught my attention.
Thinking back, I am trying to remember which models I have built that, during the building process and the painting and weathering, gave me constant pleasure. Honestly, none of them did. All of my modeling experiences have included issues, some large some small, some egregious enough to get that particular model trashed.
I think it's a matter of expectations meeting up with human abilities and the abilities always coming up short.
I do not think this is an unusual aspect of modeling. Every modeler whom I know, and all the others about whose work I have read about confess to the same thing. Murphy was quite obviously a modeler.
My experiences, likes and dislikes are different than Spencer's for example. He wrote about really being driven to finish a model to the best of his ability so that he would have one of his creations completed to admire on his display shelf. My experiences have been different. I often enjoy parts of the building process especially when complex parts assemblies come together well. I do not enjoy those times when things just don't go together or fit as they should. I do not think it should be incumbent upon the modeler to correct design and manufacturing issues in the kit.
There are evidently some modelers who look upon ill designed poorly fitting and inaccurate kits as some sort of modeling challenge. From what some of them write turning one of these awful examples of scale modeling kits into a detailed well made model is the epitome of the hobby and should be celebrated as everyone's standard of modeling master work. I guess if you are into modeling as a competitive behavior that makes sense. But here we are ruminating on the things that drive or influence people to build scale models in the first place. I don't think people come to scale modeling with the notion that they are going to specialize in turning sows ears into silk purses.
When the building, painting, decals and weathering all come out well, it is a lift to ego, no doubt.
I have a rather large number of completed scale models on my shelves: aircraft from WWI to modern jets, ships from the American Civil War to littoral combat vessels. Formula 1 and Le Mans cars to Japanese Light Armored Vehicles and AFVs from 1916 to the Gulf War. What connects all of these?
I think it is that they represent items and histories of personal interest to me. I have turned out to be a life long student of history, and building certain models representative of some of those historical events and periods just fits into that entire world view for me. That is probably why I continue to tolerate the issues, screw-ups, and frustrating episodes inherent in each build.
Every completed model I have is testimony to that historical fascination as well as mute evidence that I can still learn more and build a better model.
Next time.