Denny Anspach <danspach@...>
The very finest modelers of past decades made extraordinary use of the materials and tools that they had in hand. These modeling skills are and were inarguably totally irrelevant (irrelevant!) to whether or not they knew or had any knowledge or access to styrene, Super Glue, or had the slightest notion of resins, mold work or investment casting. That they could, and often did produce models of wood, paper, brass, and tinplate that rivaled the best of today is certainly something to be both admired and appreciated, not disparagement. That they often did so without the access to all the prototype information that we all take for granted is a further testament.
That so many of us can now create on a daily basis models to equal the best of the past is a testament largely to technology advancements in materials and the use of same, of which we have nothing to do with; certainly not to great modeling skills- although the latter will still separate the men from the boys.
A favorite image that fills my mind when I address this subject is a famous photo of a Japanese Model Shop (Tenshodo?) with two rows of artisans fabricating fine brass locomotives, attaching details with soldering irons the size of baseball bats. A favorite model that fills my mind is an extraordinary 1936 scratch built HO locomotive with finely machined and shaped air pumps- as fine as-, or finer than anything produced by Kemtron, PSC or CalScale.
I rest my case-
Denny S. Anspach, MD