Saturday, September 04, 2010

"Hobby", "obsession", to-may-to, to-mah-to...

There’s something awe-inspiring that happens at the intersection of “Neato!” and “Get A Life!”

Somewhere I have a modeling magazine that I had to buy because the cover claimed that there was an article inside about a guy who'd built a 1:72 replica of the USS Enterprise (CVN-65, not NCC-1701), accurate to the smallest detail, down to researching which squadrons and a/c were aboard on a given day in the mid ’80s…

"No way!" I thought. "1:72? That'd be, like, fifteen or twenty feet long. It would take years. You'd need a special room in the house just for the model ship!"

The thing indeed does take up an entire room of his house, which has its own separate HVAC system to keep it at the optimum temperature and humidity.

As you view it, your mind wants to shout “WOW!” and “Seek help. Now.” at the same time…

20 comments:

Steve said...

But it got him a personal, 2 day trip on board the Enterprise. Not a bad unexpected reward.

Tam said...

For the amount of time and effort that went into that, it might have been cheaper and less time-consuming to just join the Navy.

Still, it's awfully neat-o!

Anonymous said...

Imagine my chagrin when I realized the subject matter was, uh...not what I envisioned after reading this:

"Somewhere I have a modeling magazine..."

Ah, well, whatever floats your boat, as it were.

Still, one imagines the possibilities for gun-rag titles:

"Girls of the Gun"

"Bullets, Boobs, and Bullseyes"

"Unconcealed Carry"

ad infinitum...

AT

Butch_S said...

Here's one that's comparable, Pierre Scerri's 1:3 scale Ferrari 312 PB.

video at:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SeUMDY01uUA

and

http://video.google.com/videoplay?docid=3522234692952701573#

Quilly_Mammoth said...

Jeebers! He even got the names on the nametags right!

Ed Foster said...

Not at all in the same class, but there was a guy on Cape Cod who built and repaired models for the Smithsonian. I believe he lived in or near Bourne. If anybody knows his name, I'd be thankful for a heads-up.

He died 6 or 8 years ago, but I believe he finished the last model he was building, of my old man's ship, USS Belleau Wood, CVL-24.

It was at 100 to 1 scale, the only Independence class model of that size. My brother Kevin met the guy, and arrainged for me to fabricate the flight deck for him out of very thin toolsteel, over which he laid wood.

So technically, the model has an armored flight deck, but the original didn't. Something that might have saved almost a hundred lives when the kamikazi hit. Sadly, no carriers smaller than the Essex class could carry an armored deck and still have the range needed to fight in the Pacific.

Dad was a plank owner on the Belleau Wood. He helped fit her out in Camden New Jersey, giving up his survivor's leave to do it after going down on the USS Erie (PG50) off Curacao in '42.

I'd like to find out where the model is, and get some pictures. If anybody can help me find it, I'd be obliged.

Anonymous said...

Tam, I've lots of this obsession behavior in the shooting sports. Buddy of mine essentially sleeps, eats, works, reloads, swims and shoots. There's a reason he's a Grand Master and has 15 or 16 state championship wins.

Anonymous said...

While my wife has over two-dozen firearms of her own, so would you please explain to her that purchasing the third, refrigerator-size gun safe does not mean our hobby and past-time has become an obsession.
Dann in Ohio

IZinterrogator said...

There was a similar hand-built model of the Enterprise in the National Air and Space Museum depicting it as it appeared in the early to mid-70s. I saw it back in 1989.

http://www.imagicdigital.com/enterprise/tour/overship.html

Anonymous said...

Dann, sounds like a good start to me.

wv - shellom - Jewish gunny greeting

Steve Skubinna said...

I've subscribed to FineScale Modeler for over a decade now, and every issue has at least one article at that intersection. With my present job there's no way I have the time to get that deeply into the hobby.

I have built a separate workshop on my property though, for all of the projects piled up for retirement. That possibly displays, maybe a touch perhaps, of that obsession.

Come talk to me later, after I finish my 1/700 scale Japanese naval base and shipyard. It's not going to be much larger than 6'x3'. Going to build it on a door.

TheGraybeard said...

Don't go dissing my peeps, now.

I have been to national conferences of guys like that. I personally haven't reached that level of accomplishment, but I've stood around with a guy who was making a scale tractor and wouldn't accept any small screw he could buy because the threads were too large (I'm talking like 0-80 is too big). So he went off and learned how to make 400 pitch screws .075 in diameter.

For openers, The Internet Craftsmanship Museum should blow your mind. Look at Jerry Kieffer

Ancient Woodsman said...

Wow. That took skill, patience, years of hard work and dedication to detail. Simply amazing.

His mom sure does a nice job vacuuming that blue rug, although I'd bet she curses the dusting every day.

Ken said...

Wonderful work. I admire that level of dedication.

There was a mention here a while back about the fella built himself a Graf Spee big enough to tool around the lake in, wasn't there?

Anonymous said...

Steve S:

If you haven't already, start building NOW. Most of the people who wait until they retire to start building that spare room full of unbuilt models discover belatedly that their eyesight and motor skills are no longer up to the task and end up having to unload all those kits.

BoxStockRacer

Sean said...

Not that long ago, they were trying to find a new home for the model; I know they were posting on my site (modelwarships.com). I was under the impression they found one, but I can't recollect where. I'll see if I can find that post in the archives....

Loki1776 said...

Then there's the guy whose latest project was a matchstick model of Minas Tirith. One of his earlier projects was a 13' model of USS Iowa.

Ric Locke said...

Great Ghu on a pogo stick!

However --

No carrier has ever been that clean once it left the yard. It needs wear-streaks and scratches in the non-skid. And there's no messmate goldbricking on the fantail, which diminishes the authenticity quite a bit.

Regards,
Ric

Steve Skubinna said...

Anon - right now, I'm only home a few months of the year, so my model building I restrict to smaller projects, that can be completed in about a month.

I understand your point about the race with physical decrepitude, though.

Buddy said...

Have you seen the model of the Nimitz at the Museum of the Pacific War in Fredericksberg, Texas?