History Of Model Kits
Sunday, June 2, 2019
As far as hobbies go, model building is one of the most popular and yet underrated pastime activities around. Model building is an activity that involves builders creating models of various structures, using pre-made kits prepared from different materials. Essentially, the builder uses these pieces from a model kit to assemble their finished structure. Many models are miniature scaled-down versions of everyday structures such as buildings, ships, automobiles, airplanes, bridges and so on. Model building as an activity has evolved over time, becoming a staple in many communities; from the commemoration of special events, to a relaxing hobby in the comfort of one’s home. Based on skillset, model builders range from hobbyists to fully employed professional builders.
Professional model builders are often called upon to help assemble commemorative models of important structures. For example, the construction of a new building might warrant miniature models of the structure to be made in order to mark the occasion. It is not uncommon for there to be a miniature model version of a ship located on the actual vessel itself. In fact, popular culture often depicts ship captains building miniature Ship-In-a-Bottle versions of their own ships or older ships that they admire.
Enthusiasts of various skill levels can engage in the pastime at their leisure. Perhaps one of the most widespread examples of amateur model building is the popular Lego bricks. Started by Ole Kirk Christiansen over half a century ago, Lego bricks are an immensely popular toy and worldwide phenomenon found in nearly every young child’s home. Lego sets are simple pattern based plastic bricks that come with instructions to assemble a structure. One can use the individual Lego bricks to build the structure their set comes with, or mix and match nearly any of every available pieces in existence to make their own unique creations, thus taking advantage of the universal compatibility of the Lego bricks. Although Lego is a popular gateway into the world of model building, its stylized attributes don’t quite satisfy the enthusiasts who wish to create exact replica of real world structures.
The more serious model builders often aim to recreate accurate scale versions of real world structures, using kits that contain materials made of plastic, metal, glass or even wood. Model kits have been prevalent for over a hundred years, with companies such as Frog and Revell acting as pioneers for plastic model kits that can be assembled into various structures, while companies such as DJH Model Loco focus on kits made from metal—specifically to build locomotive trains, as their name implies. Companies such as Wonderland Models even offer some wooden models for hobbyists to assemble. Most model kits usually come with accompanying tools necessary to assemble the model; these tools can range from paint, to glue, to model specific paint brushes. Of course the model kit will also come with detailed instructions.
Model kit hobbyists and professional builders alike will often tell you they enjoy the act of methodically building a structure from start to finish as it engages their creativity, increases their focus and sharpness, as well as stimulates them mentally. As such, model building has become a popular pastime for children and the elderly alike, with children learning concentration, while being creatively stimulated, and elders using model building to remain engaged and present. Model building is a great hobby for those who have an attention for details, or those who appreciate the feeling of satisfaction that comes with completing a project. The hobby is also known to have great benefits for those looking to increase their mindfulness and concentration.
Having been a consistent pastime for over 100 years now, model building has firmly entrenched its roots in our culture; we might not realize it, but we come across various miniature scale models in our everyday lives, whether it’s the colorful Lego bricks of our childhood, or the accurate models of buildings, museums, vehicles and other points of interest. Model building is not just an engaging pastime, but also a pivotal aspect of our society; it is a way for us all to not just indulge our inner builders, but it also represents human creativity, ingenuity and achievement all in one.