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How much has Internet influenced modeling?

By Mario Covalski  

In 1978 I discovered the 1/12 Tamiya Ferrari 312T, when I saw the box I stuck to the shop window wondering if it was a kit or a puzzle. Imagine my excitement when I viewed the box content, with sprues full of parts and details that seemed to be coming from a sci-fi novel, and though such an expense was not within my budget at that moment, I decided my purchase without hesitation. The following weeks, during my honeymoon with the kit, I built it using the best techniques I could: Testor spray cans and Humbrol with brush.


My references were just the few black and white photos I had taken from a 1976 local magazine. The final result was a beautiful model straight from the box which to my belief ….was super detailed. Yes, because I thought that the Tamiya kit was super detailed itself.

Time went by and at the beginning of the 90’s, I got another kit of the 321T (which was actually discontinued). Since 1986, I had been buying modeling magazines and in one of them, there was a picture of a 312T which had won a contest, full of details that I couldn’t imagine how they had been achieved and it was then when the fever of superdetailing a model turned into a must to me.
On those times nobody used to dream on etched parts for cars, and every detail had to be made from scratch. The result of my second 312T, just looking at a reference picture, was in my humble opinion…great.

In 1999 I purchased a release of the kit and decided to build my third Ferrari 312 T. By that time, I had gathered a great deal of information and so I could add a lot of detail to my model. Also, there was aftermarket, which allowed me to give more realism to certain areas.
As consequence of painting practice, decaling etc, my techniques had improved a lot and the result was excellent. I was really proud of my model!!.

In June 2009 issue, we published an article of a 312T built by Robert Huges one of our talented collaborators, a beautiful work, full of unbelievable details. And no doubt this is a good reference anybody can take as guide to build a 312T. If I decided to build a fourth Tamiya 312T, I would follow this article to have access to dozens of ideas which before would have meant to spend months or years.

How much has Internet influenced modeling?
If you read again the story I’ve told you, you’ll realize that modelers like Robert has always existed, but Internet allows our skills to be potentiated. Perhaps, like Robert, any modeler has received the influence of other models and at the same time has been an influence on others, it’s instantaneous. In the past we used to wait for years to see a work and we considered ourselves lucky if that happened. I’m sure that there have been excellent modelers who by being introverted, nobody ever knew about them.

I’ve been very critical regarding Internet lately: I don’t like anonymity where everybody under the guise of different nicknames can say offensive things about people or well known people without worrying about the consequences or damage they could be doing since in most of the cases, they omit or falsify their personal data. Within this context, everything is possible and to have a nick and 4 stars in a Forum seems to be a safe-conduct to ignore or transgress rules and codes that the society outside Internet imposes us.

However what I’ve told you about the Tamiya kit, makes me think that Internet has influenced a lot and very well on our hobby, creating ways for everybody to show and share our works no matter what country we are in…for others to enjoy and learn from them.

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