Why no pilot?

Discussion in 'Modeling' started by diddyriddick, Oct 20, 2010.

  1. diddyriddick

    diddyriddick Active Member

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    My apologies if this has been posted before.

    I'm not an expert model builder, so I wanted to ask the input of the group. Why don't you incorporate the pilot figure into your finished builds?
     
  2. Capt. Vick

    Capt. Vick Well-Known Member

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    If I may be so bold, at least in 1/72 scale, no matter how good they are painted (and they usually are not due to many factors) they still look "fake", that is toy like, and actually take away from the look of the model. Plus they hide cockpit detail. My 2 cents.
     
  3. Colin1

    Colin1 Active Member

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    Yep
    my impression of the pilot figures that came with the kits is that they always seemed to be an afterthought, there was no attempt to animate the pilot in any way eg head and torso cranked round to get an eyeball on what it was that just flashed past him.

    Even well painted (in the larger scales) he really just sat there, bolt upright, hands in his lap looking dead ahead; I can't remember seeing a kit where the pilot came as a head, arms, legs and torso and the modeller could animate him - I think the Monogram 1/32 transparent P-51 Mustang had one but that's a dim and distant memory I'm trying to call on.
     
  4. BombTaxi

    BombTaxi Active Member

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    I would agree with Vick, the pilot figures do not look good unless you are willing to spend serious wedge on resin figures, in which case the crew may well cost more than the kit did. Also, many 1/72 kits do not include figures - Italeri kits usually don't, nor do some Airfix releases. If you have done a really good job on the cockpit, or done some scratchbuilding, or splashed out on some PE, the figure obscures the view anyways.
     
  5. N4521U

    N4521U Well-Known Member

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    They just look dorkey staring into space, never bloody blinking! Never letting go of the stick!
     
  6. vikingBerserker

    vikingBerserker Well-Known Member

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    To me, it just takes away from the finished product.
     
  7. Wayne Little

    Wayne Little Well-Known Member

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    Never used a pilot figure...mine are always posed 'on the ground' with canopy open to display whatever cockpit detail that can be seen...don't want a figure blocking the view!:D
     
  8. rochie

    rochie Well-Known Member

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    i'm crap at painting pilots so i dont !!!!!!
     
  9. zoomar

    zoomar Member

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    In the the "old days", I seem to remember that most plastic kits usually did include a pilot figure. Some, like those from Aurora, even had him molded right into his cockpit. I mean the real old days of the 1960's when plastic models were still marketed mainly as toys. Back then you wanted a pilot because how else was your P-51 Mustang going to look cool hanging from your bedroom ceiling shooiting a Zero with cotton balls stuck on it to represent MG hits?

    When plastic models improved in quality and modellers got older (not sure which was the chicken and which was the egg), we wanted detailed cockpits (which was a natural place to add detail). If you stuck a pilot in his seat (no matter how well painted he is) people couldn't see the hours of work you put into the teeny throttle down by his left knee or his rudder pedals. So, kit makers generally stopped providing pilots, although occasionally you could find kits with really nice multiple piece pilots that could be realistically posed. Now, it seems pilots are generally absent, except as standing figures to be placed next to aircraft in a mini-diorama. I recently saw a kit of a Soviet Pe-8 (Zveda, I think) that was Stalin's personal aircraft with tiny figures of Zhukov, Molotov, and the Great Leader himself you can pose by the doorway. Now that's cool.
     
  10. Ivan1GFP

    Ivan1GFP Member

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    This may be sacrilege, but I prefer to build aircraft in "Air Superiority" configuration: For a fighter, no bombs, no drop tanks, and basically as sleek and dangerous looking as possible. They look kinda silly in the air without a pilot. Eventually I plan on modelling and casting a few. Pity they don't come with a lot of the newer kits.

    I have never been much into building a plane with its drawers down and all its guts hanging out, but even I don't consider myself a serious modeller in the competition / super- detailing sense.

    - Ivan.
     
  11. mikewint

    mikewint Well-Known Member

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    Diddy, same here. i toss them and don't even try to paint or animate. a few come with ground crew for diorama use but i don't do that either so those get tossed as well
     
  12. fisty

    fisty New Member

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    I have allways wanted to know why the 1/48 scale kits like the B-29 never came with pilot and copilot and other crew, and no one seems to make them either. If they did i would love to have them.
     
  13. mikewint

    mikewint Well-Known Member

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    Fisty, the 1/48 B-29 I just built came with 4 figures. Two appear to be mechanics and two crew but they are all standing. My assumption is that with the canopy on you cannot see much of anything in the crew compartment so why waste a figure
     
  14. fisty

    fisty New Member

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    well the pilot and copilot and the Bombardier are very easily seen with the glass on, but there seems to be no crew to use for that.
     
  15. mikewint

    mikewint Well-Known Member

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    Yea, the bombardier is right in front and you might make out the other two but not very well. Also with the wheels down the crew would be on the ground so I guess it's set up for a diorama set up
     
  16. Bernhart

    Bernhart <b>2012 Forum Fantasy Football Champion</ b>

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    have built the b 29 with the mechanic inside the bombadiers spot,making it look like he was working on some of the electrical systems
     
  17. tonyb

    tonyb Member

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    Majority of my models have no pilot figure as they generally look bad imho.
    It's a real struggle finding ant decent figurines to be honest.
    Does anyone make any good 1/48 pilot figures?
    I have seen quite a few but they all have stupid poses imho (bending down,climbing into cockpit etc) I'd love a figure that will just stand next to the plane with,say, an elbow resting on the wing.
    Only instance that I have put a pilot in the plane unintentionally is with the Airfix 1/48 Hurricane and that was purely because I made a pigs ear of the cockpit! LOL!
    Cheers,
    Tony.
     
  18. Loiner

    Loiner Member

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    #18 Loiner, Jan 12, 2011
    Last edited: Jan 12, 2011
    I'm quite a fan of including figures, as I think if done well, they can give an additional bit of life to the subject with the inclusion of a bit of 'human' interaction and activity, and also adds a human proportion to the scene to help make the aircraft appear the large size that the real things really are.

    I therefore generally include a pilot figure, but also like to use ground personnel for small dioramas. Just my prefered way of displaying a model, but I suppose different people have a different perception of the model presentation and what it is representing or trying to disply.
     

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  19. ppopsie

    ppopsie Member

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    #19 ppopsie, Jan 12, 2011
    Last edited: Jan 12, 2011

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  20. mikewint

    mikewint Well-Known Member

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    Great looking figures guys. My problem has always been making them look "real". A simple coat of "flesh" paint looks dumb and even in 1/48 eyes, nose, lips are really too fine for me to paint so???
     
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