Is modelling educational?

Discussion in 'Building Questions, Tutorials and Guidebooks' started by Airframes, Sep 19, 2008.

  1. Airframes

    Airframes Benevolens Magister

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    When I was a kid (many years ago!), I probably learned quite a lot about aircraft; their shapes, aerofoil sections, dimensions, and so on, by building and painting Airfix 1/72nd. scale kits. As the years passed, and my knowledge increased, the 'educational' side of the hobby probably waned slightly.
    Having been 'involved' in aviation at various levels since then, I can fully appreciate how models in, for example, museums, can be an educational aid for younger people, by illustrating, in 3D form, artefacts that are not available, conveniently, in full-size form for whatever reason, and this can be particularly helpful in, say, the reinforcement of a particular history lesson from school.
    Nowadays, apart from still enjoying the modelling hobby, and still building models for display at home, the main use of my modelling skills is to produce, literally, a 'model' to 'pose' for my aviation paintings. Mostly, these paintings, commissioned or not, are of aircraft types that I am very familiar with. I will have flown, or flown in, the type, I will have seen them and been around them often, and will probably have previously built numerous models, and produced a number of pictures of the type. I'm sure many of you will know what I mean when I say "I have a 'feel' for (aircraft type)."
    However, I am curently working on a 1/48th. scale B26 Marauder, and I suddenly realised that I am learning something!
    Although I obviously know a little about the Marauder, it is not as familiar to me as many other WW2 types, perhaps, in the U.K., being overshadowed by other U.S. types, such as the B17. I have never even SEEN a 'real' Marauder, unlike most of the WW2 types still extant. Consequently, the research required in order to produce the model has been a little more involved than usual. It was during this research when I realised I was learning; the photographs and diagrams studied came to life when compared to the kit components, giving me a sudden, clear understanding of particular parts of the aircraft.
    It made me think; will future generations learn from modelling and, more importantly, will these same generations learn from OUR models, built with the benefit of either first-hand, or related experience/descriptions, from aircrew still surviving? Let's face it, sadly, in the not-too distant future, WW2 aircrew veterans will be no more, and the 'information bank' they hold will be lost. Therefore, will our models help to educate future generations, and, do you think modelling is educational?
     
  2. Lucky13

    Lucky13 Forum Mascot

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    I think that it's very educational Terry. I didn't know how you saw see the difference between a Mosquito with single stage or twin stage Merlin engines, I always thought that "Flak Bait" was the machine with most missions (202) on the Allied side, until I found the 'F' for "Freddie' Mosquito (213)....
    You also, like here, meet many great people Veterans or not, that have an inpact as well, one way or another, on your life....
     
  3. Heinz

    Heinz Active Member

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    I totally agree on it being educational. Modellings is generally the pathway if you like to history for this era and others. Personally I love engineering, if it moves I'm interested. Making models of machines that were pushing the limits of their time I find fascinating. The natural progression of the history involved has come along too.

    The skills too, teaches many things including patience and waiting. Two things not seen too often in people these days. If more people had 'a' hobby or more I think they'd be the better for it.

    I would say modelling keeps me off the streets but alas it doesn't :lol:

    Cheers
     
  4. 109ROAMING

    109ROAMING Active Member

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    Just off the top off my head I'd say I learn the most about the structual side of Aircraft.For example the 1/48 B-26 I just made if I hadn't of the made that model I would of had no idea of how the bomb bays open same with a 1/48 B-24 model I made years ago so yeah I'd say its educational
     
  5. Airframes

    Airframes Benevolens Magister

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    Glad you all agree. As for the B26, '109, I was the same. I knew a bit about the aircraft, including the bomb bays, but had no ideas about the layout of the beam guns, or where the entrance hatch was etc. With the pictures I found guiding the way, it was easy to plot positions on the model and put two two together.
    But it will be interesting to see further response as regards the 'future history' aspect of this thread. We, that is, those of us alive today, building models with the benefit of info supplied by still-living vets that used the aircraft we model, probably don't realise how lucky we are. We can access data and, on a forum site such as this, 'speak' to vets, or others who have first hand experience of the aircraft. But, in, say, fifty years time, will our models, being as accurate as we can make them with the precious knowledge we have gained, possibly be one of the only ways that, for example, a 15 year old can obtain some understanding and appreciation of what, to them, will be 'ancient history'? (Given that the 'real thing' either doesn't exist, or is too remote to access.)
    Looking forward to some views!
    Terry.
     
  6. ccheese

    ccheese Member In Perpetuity
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    I am in total agreement with all of you. I grew up during WW-II. The models
    that I built [balsa/tissue] were the airplanes I was looking at flying above me.
    I made it a point to go see them whenever possible. I was fortunate that I
    lived withing biking distance of Glenn L. Martin Aircraft Co. I learned a lot
    about aircraft that was to benifit me in later years when I actually flew in a
    lot of these same aircraft.

    Charles
     
  7. muller

    muller Active Member

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    It has been educational for me personally, I've always been interested on WW2 aircraft, I'd say it was from watching Black Sheep Squadron as a kid, but that led on to a general interest in WW2.

    It was a fascinating period in history. If you asked the average person what was happening in the world in 1942, they probably wouldn't be able to tell you with any great detail, but I could tell you how the war was going and what was happening on all fronts.

    My interest in the WW2 in general has led to a fascination in the people who experienced the war. I scour bookshops for books with 1st hand accounts or diaries from people who were there.

    The war brought out the best and worst in people.
     
  8. B-17engineer

    B-17engineer Active Member

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    Well I mean its constructive....:D
     
  9. Catch22

    Catch22 Well-Known Member

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    I'm not gonna lie, it's probably the big reason both my dad and I ended up being interested in the whole subject of WWII. My dad was interested in it long before I was born, but I think a combination of modeling and Baa Baa Black Sheep got him into it originally, and through him me.
     
  10. 109ROAMING

    109ROAMING Active Member

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    I spose in the future kids who have an interest in WW11 will learn alot from modelling , although now the with the computer age kids will already learn alot from say CFS3 ie amount of guns etc.I would still think there is a lesson to be learn't from modelling
     
  11. Lucky13

    Lucky13 Forum Mascot

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    Just to show you once more folks....
    We all know that there were different versions of the Mosquito, right? But, how many here did know that the bomber and the fighter versions used different controls? I sure didn't....! :shock:

    [​IMG]
    From Squadron Signal, Mosquito Walk Around.....
     
  12. Heinz

    Heinz Active Member

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    Agree with above sentiments. Family history is as big as ever at the moment and people are always fascinated by where they came from especially military service. Lets hope the knowledge carries on through the eras.
    Its the least we can ALL do for all who have fallen or served their country
     
  13. Airframes

    Airframes Benevolens Magister

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    I fully agree, Heinz. Unfortunately, unless man has a sudden overnight change, there will always be wars. The First World War made a massive impact on the way we live, throughout the world; dubbed the 'War to end all wars', it was followed in a single lifetime by the wider, even more shattering disaster of WW2. Even though all conflicts have been remembered by some in their own way, and present conflicts will be remembered similarly, I don't think any war to date has had the same impact on politics, technological development, everything you can think of, including lifestyle, than World War Two. It would be nice to think that we, on this forum, from our various stages within a generation (or generations) can leave behind some valuable 'illustration' of that conflict, in order that future generations can benefit from the value of our knowledge/studies/experience/work etc.
    So, if modelling accurate representations of WW2 aircraft helps in this respect, hopefully it is truly educational, and let's hope we can continue to provide our examples... and enjoy it at the same time!
     
  14. 109ROAMING

    109ROAMING Active Member

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    Didn't know that Lucky!
     
  15. Airframes

    Airframes Benevolens Magister

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    Hi Lucky. My American friend who flew Mossies during the war, told me that there was a difference flying the bomber version, using the yoke instead of the stick. He flew a F.P.U. Mosquito BIV srs.ii on the Shell House raid, and said he wasn't entirely comfortable. Having been in a fighter version of the Mosquito, and experiencing how narrow the cockpit is, I would think that the yoke (control wheel) would make a difference, as the pilot's arms would be wider spread, especially if he had both hands on the wheel.
    Incidentally, one way you could tell a Mosquito pilot was by the left sleeve of his battledress jacket or Irvin flying jacket; it would be worn or scuffed, due to constant contact with the cockpit coaming. That's how cosy the Mossie cockpit was!
     
  16. Lucky13

    Lucky13 Forum Mascot

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  17. Heinz

    Heinz Active Member

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    Great info Airframes :)
     
  18. Wayne Little

    Wayne Little Well-Known Member

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    Mmm interesting stuff Terry!...the education continues!:D
     
  19. petadel

    petadel Member

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    I can only speak from my experience.
    My father was an aircraft designer through the 1950s and 60's involved in jet engine design with Rolly Royce in such as the Nene and Goblins.
    In the seventies we started completing models together - I beleive the first was a 1/72 B26 with several hundreds later. The last being a 1/96 Scale Bristol Brittania on which he flew in the 50's to England to start with Rolls Royce.
    During this time not only was construction a time sharing event but also the understanding of the aircraft development through engine design, structures and aerodynamics made for a level of understanding commensurate to my age.
    The NACA aerofoil sections effect upon airflow meant nothing to me, as a youngster in theorectical terms but seeing in, fairing it and feeling it led me to develop insights into my present career - an airline check captain.:oops:
    The historical application of aircraft has also lead me to hopefully pass on the value to my children.
    They are lucky I suppose, my father designed, I get to fly and we get to share that experience through making models together. It is more than just a pasttime in our household, the research taken into each project to ensure serial numbers, paint schemes and history all add to the education process.
     
  20. Lucky13

    Lucky13 Forum Mascot

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    That's half the fun in modeling....the research! 8)
     
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