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General Ship Modeling
Discuss modeling techniques, experiences, and ship modeling in general.
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An Odd Question But I Am Curious
ChurchSTSV
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Arizona, United States
Joined: September 20, 2017
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Posted: Monday, May 21, 2018 - 02:42 AM UTC
So I have been browsing not only this site, but many other modeling sites and have come across, what I think, is a common thread:

We are people so "obsessed" with German armor and the Imperial Navy?

From forums like this to hobby stores either online or in real life, these are the two subjects I see built/covered/discussed most often. Not that there is anything wrong with it, but how many different Panzer tanks and Yamatos have been made over the years? Seems like every time I turn around, a new Panzer/Tiger is being released or a new Kongo or Musashi.

Just curious is all.
brekinapez
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Posted: Monday, May 21, 2018 - 02:58 AM UTC
Perhaps the answer is similar to one my father-in-law gave for his fascination with Hitler.

He said he was attracted to the notion of a person who came to so much power so quickly and overwhelmingly, had most of the world in fear of him, and then suddenly went down in vicious flames. The German Panzerwaffe and the Japanese Imperial Navy represent the mighty swords of these empires that were used against the world, and there is a perverse attraction to things that seem so perfectly designed to their purpose failing so spectacularly. That and the German penchant for trying all kinds of designs and creating a treasure trove of different vehicles to build. That never hurts.
Vicious
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Posted: Monday, May 21, 2018 - 03:35 AM UTC
time ago I read an interview of one of my "music idol" Lemmy Kilmister the Singer and Bass player of the band Mötorhead, he was a great fan and collector of militaria, especially Nazi, to the question why and if he was a follower, the answer it was that "no" he did not absolutely support ideology in fact he was more a Anarchyst but for some obscure reason the bad guys always have the most beautiful and fascinating uniforms,medals and history, and I think this can be translated also in this case, I have never been attracted by navy but the only 2 ships I've ever built are the Bismark and the Yamato
Kevlar06
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Washington, United States
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Posted: Monday, May 21, 2018 - 03:54 AM UTC
I don't think it's a strange question at all. The answer for modelers can be summed up in the subject areas of "artistry and technological innovation". There is no doubt the Germans and Japanese (and the Italians to some degree) had the most forward looking and technologically innovative designs for major pieces of equipment during the 1930s and 40s. And the most interesting and complicated camouflage schemes to go along with them. Some of this is related to thier need to innovate (primarily in the case of the Germans) and the need for a technological advantage based on resources and geography (primarily in the case of the Japanese). Modelers as a whole tend to be more attracted to "futuristic" looking designs (even though in reality, the tactical use and strategic employment of these designs was often flawed on the part of the Axis). I personally don't share the fascination or enthusiasm now that many do on the subject of "Axis Hardware". I'm more interested in the "standardization" of Allied hardware that eventually defeated the Axis powers. Ironically, it was this "lack of standardization" on the part of the Axis and the great unity of effort on the part of the Allies that contributed to the Axis defeat. But nobody can argue the "snout" of a Bf 109, the forward "skulk" of a Panther, or the massive "pagoda" like observation platforms of a Yamato don't look just plain "cool" to the eye. This is why there is such a fascination with the subject. Admittedly, I was (at a much younger age) fascinated with this equipment, but I began to veer away from these subjects as I learned the truth behind the political motives of their employers. They still look "cool" though. But I agree, why do we need a new Axis vehicle or ship when there are so many Allied vehicles and ships that have never seen the light of day in a hobby shop? If you can answer this question, maybe you have a cure for the common cold too!
VR , Russ
ChurchSTSV
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Posted: Monday, May 21, 2018 - 04:07 AM UTC
All of these posts make sense. German Armor does look pretty rad and who isn't fascinated by the largest battleship ever built.

I guess, deep inside, I could see more builds on other things. The Italians built some beautiful ships in the 1930. With those candy cane stripes!! The French Navy made some excellent ships as well.

Guess I just wish I could see more posts about those kind of things. Guess I'll have to post them when I start building them to even it out!
brekinapez
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Posted: Monday, May 21, 2018 - 04:31 AM UTC
I myself would like to see more stuff from other nations as well as the lesser represented vehicles of the Russians, Germans, and Americans. That is starting to happen to a degree. I would love to see more Italian and Japanese aircraft, for example.
justsendit
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Posted: Monday, May 21, 2018 - 07:46 AM UTC
Upon my return to model building (although not obvious to me at the time), I became obsessed with a desire to build German armor. My stash was getting out of control and my online Wish List on one site alone had grown to nearly 500 kits in merely a year — 90% of which included German armor and figures, and that was even without being consumed by the Tiger variant trend.

Since then, I participated in a really fun Armorama campaign. The ’Half-Track in Half a Year’ Campaign is where I decided to break out of my Axis rut in order to rekindle my love for the Allied ‘M’ Series Half-Track from my youth. Thus, I committed to a lonely M21 residing in my stash… and that led me to a GPW Jeep build… and my newfound love for Olive Drab. So, tell the pointing German Commander... ”NUTS!” … well, at least for now, while I get some of my OD stash built-up and cleared.

PS: At heart, I still have a place for German armor — especially since it is a domiting factor in my stash!

Cheers!🍺
—mike
petbat
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Queensland, Australia
Joined: August 06, 2005
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Posted: Monday, May 21, 2018 - 08:12 AM UTC

Quoted Text


Since then, I participated in a really fun Armorama campaign. The ’Half-Track in Half a Year,’ is where I decided to break out of my Axis rut in order to rekindle my love for the Allied ‘M’ Series Half-Track from my youth. Thus, I committed to a lonely M21 residing in my stash… and that led me to a GPW Jeep build…

Cheers!🍺
—mike



And we were glad you joined Mike.



LonCray
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Posted: Monday, May 21, 2018 - 08:03 PM UTC
The simple answer is: because it looks cool. Hugo Boss designed Army uniforms for the Heer, and Hitler had people who's job was to make the uniforms and insignia and equipment look cool, both to excite his people as well as to intimidate his enemies. Think about it - to this day, the stereotypical Gestapo black trench coat and fedora is STILL what folks think of for villainous spy types. The Bismarck was a gorgeous ship, and the Brits sang songs about her. The Graf Spee went adventuring. Even the Unterseebooten have a romantic quality about them, for all that they were killing Brits and Americans.
Kevlar06
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Posted: Monday, May 21, 2018 - 11:04 PM UTC

Quoted Text

The simple answer is: because it looks cool. Hugo Boss designed Army uniforms for the Heer, and Hitler had people who's job was to make the uniforms and insignia and equipment look cool, both to excite his people as well as to intimidate his enemies. Think about it - to this day, the stereotypical Gestapo black trench coat and fedora is STILL what folks think of for villainous spy types. The Bismarck was a gorgeous ship, and the Brits sang songs about her. The Graf Spee went adventuring. Even the Unterseebooten have a romantic quality about them, for all that they were killing Brits and Americans.



Fashion (as in uniform) design is a far cry from the need of a technological advantage, and certainly more of a political statement than a strategic or tactical need. German tank design of the late 30s was pretty much standard and in keeping with current thought (for the time) about tank technology-- that a tank was an infantry support weapon. German strategists thought otherwise, but It wasn't until the lessons of the blitzkrieg (which gets a bad rap for "armored" warfare when in fact it was "maneuver warfare" employing sub-standard designs that could move fast with up-to date communications) that German tank design matured. When sloped and hardened armor plate was employed out of survival necessity, that's when the designs started to look more forward and "cool". The same goes for Japanese ship design- those "Pagoda" like fighting tops and heavy caliber guns are the products of an island nation whose maritime strategy depended on long range sighting and engagement as an element of survival. So to say these things were designed "to look cool" to stir the imagination is not the whole story. But there is no denying it, they do "look cool" which is a secondary, not a primary reason they existed.
VR, Russ
Chillidragon
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Posted: Tuesday, May 22, 2018 - 05:43 AM UTC
I am told that there is an old engineering proverb: "If it looks right, it is right".
As a corollary to this, perhaps technology which is eminently fit for purpose looks attractive to those of us who appreciate such things.

I wonder if the phenomenon the OP asks about applies to older subjects? Outside of wargaming, figure and ship modellers seem more interested in Roman subjects (a nasty lot) than their enemies, and Japanese Samurai out number the other contemporary Oriental armies.
Kevlar06
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Posted: Tuesday, May 22, 2018 - 10:17 AM UTC

Quoted Text

I am told that there is an old engineering proverb: "If it looks right, it is right".
As a corollary to this, perhaps technology which is eminently fit for purpose looks attractive to those of us who appreciate such things.

I wonder if the phenomenon the OP asks about applies to older subjects? Outside of wargaming, figure and ship modellers seem more interested in Roman subjects (a nasty lot) than their enemies, and Japanese Samurai out number the other contemporary Oriental armies.



I find this entire string of posts fascinating in itself. And you may have detected I'm a bit of a "philosophical historian" (I do have two Masters in Strategy and National Policy and Strategic Operations which are absolutely useless except to philosophize!). But I think you are on to something here. I think our knowledge of such matters is based primarily on classical European history. This is because, in general, Western history has been preserved better in written form and in more abundance and frequency than Asian, African or the history of the America's. And of course there is the effect of the "conquerors" being more apt to preserve thier history better than the "conquered" ( in regards to ancient history). And this "history" tends to become "institutionalized memory" the longer the "conquerors" "stick around" (hence why more folks probably know what a Roman Bireme looks like as opposed to a Korean "Turtle ship"). This effect has been mitigated and thankfully is changing somewhat in the last two centuries by advances in communications. Specifically the printing press, telegraph, radio, and and now the electron and byte which allow a much wider "collective history" to be told and recorded. So, perhaps Axis hardware is popular because of its form and function, but also because more people have become aware of it, even more so today than at the end of the war. Is it possible that "modern" model builders and model manufacturers have something to do with that?
VR, Russ
BravoTwoZero
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Posted: Wednesday, May 23, 2018 - 04:55 AM UTC

Quoted Text

So I have been browsing not only this site, but many other modeling sites and have come across, what I think, is a common thread:

We are people so "obsessed" with German armor and the Imperial Navy?

From forums like this to hobby stores either online or in real life, these are the two subjects I see built/covered/discussed most often. Not that there is anything wrong with it, but how many different Panzer tanks and Yamatos have been made over the years? Seems like every time I turn around, a new Panzer/Tiger is being released or a new Kongo or Musashi.

Just curious is all.



I think you can answer this question yourself too. For instance, why do you have a Star Wars Imperial Crest as your Avatar instead of the Rebel Crest? When I saw Star Wars back in the 70s, I thought the Stormtroopers and Darth Vader were the coolest thing ever. As much as I root for Luke Skywalker, et al, I own a Stormtrooper armor.

Scale modelling-wise, I agree. In my opinion, though I do not subscribe to their ideology, the Germans have cooler looking tanks and uniforms. In my stash, these outnumber the allies because of the various reasons already stated above.
LonCray
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Virginia, United States
Joined: August 24, 2005
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Posted: Wednesday, May 23, 2018 - 10:12 PM UTC
You are absolutely correct that looks are secondary to function as far as the existence of the weapons in question goes. But models don't exist to kill the enemy, they exist to be purchased and built, and cool looks are primary to THAT existence.
Chillidragon
Joined: September 20, 2012
KitMaker: 102 posts
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Posted: Thursday, May 24, 2018 - 03:25 AM UTC
I had forgotten Star Wars; I shouldn't have. After my daughter received her first mobile, (I think she was 10) she used to make her entrance to the 'Imperial March'!
RobinNilsson
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Posted: Thursday, May 24, 2018 - 01:21 PM UTC
"Evil" is more interesting than "Good" or nice.
Keep track of the news headlines for a week and count the mumber of "evil" news and "good" or "feel good" news.
I think the human psyche has a fascination with the threatening aspects of life. People slow down to gawk at road accidents, even when it happened in the opposite lanes.
Maybe it is a way to experience "danger and adventure" without getting hurt or involved.
I wouldn't want to have a close encounter with a real enemy tank in combat but a 1/35 model in the display cabinet is cool.
Why do some people watch horror or thriller films?
/ Robin
CMOT
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Posted: Thursday, May 24, 2018 - 02:24 PM UTC
I believe it is because the Germans produced bigger vehicles than most of the Allies and the colour schemes are more visually pleasing. I do believe that in the current market it is Israeli armour that is starting to attract a huge attention and is only not as obvious because there are more German kits out there.
ChurchSTSV
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Posted: Thursday, May 24, 2018 - 09:10 PM UTC
I love all the answers with different opinions!! All these different opinions and expressions!!

I picked the Imperial Crest for a simple reason. The galaxy needs order and security from that roving band of terrorists. Peace and order through technical superiority.

Long Live the Emperor!