Why do you like the mecha modelling hobby? How did you get into the hobby? It’s an interesting pair of questions for me, and I think we have all taken widely varying paths to varying levels of enjoyment in the hobby. Do we all feel the same way about it?
So what ‘feeling’ does mecha modelling, as a hobby give you? It’ll no doubt vary according to mood, but think of a time when you enjoyed it the most. What was that feeling? For me, it’s mixture of excitement, awe and achievement. It’s also betterment. Knowing I have done something I did not do before, even if it did not turn out so well – it’s a plus.
So let’s get back to the ‘why’ I am into the mecha modelling hobby. First, a little background.
In my teens I had a relatively brief interest in warhammer 40k, painting the odd mini without any kind of encouragement or decent tuition (not to mention lack of money) so naturally, my interest in painting models was lost. In fact, all the way up until 2012 I had no interest in it at all – so what changed?
For most people I imagine, the healthy interest in the hobby is formed from having an established background in scale modelling, or wargaming of some kind. For me, it stemmed from finally allowing myself to just try it. I had an interest in these models before, but always at a distance, favouring that part of me that says “you’re too old to enjoy these things” or the classic “it’s a bit of a weirdo hobby”. I’m so glad I finally stepped over those thoughts.
In the year I started to get into mecha modelling, I was in the process of self discovery, and was really getting into philosophy that really bought home the reality of.. well.. reality. You got to live it, not exist in it. I had come out of stagnation in my music career (a whole other story) with a little extra time on my hands, and was looking for something to spark a new passion.
While travelling in Japan with my wife and then only child I did one of my usual junk shop rummages – and there they were. 2 HG kits. One, a calamity, the other a strike rouge + IWSP. Dead cheap, I think less than the equivalent of 5 pounds each. When I got back to my in-laws house I spent all afternoon building them, and I loved them! From that point, a trip to a hobby store in the local mall I picked up a Rick Dias HG and build that too. My in-laws I think were a little bewildered by my sudden enthusiasm for it, after all in Japan this is largely seen as an activity for children.
When I returned home, I did a little research into the hobby, found the MAC forums and joined up – quite literally a whole world of possibility opened up to me and I was very keen to get stuck in. I saw a PG red frame, painted up so exquisitely I knew I wanted to be as good as that, but would the interest hold? I thought it would be just a small fad or passing interest.. but here I am 3 years later with the very same passion and drive to make models as good as that. Unfortunately, I can’t find that image any more, but modellers around the world continue to showcase amazing works, and that works great for my motivation.
I think the ‘why’ for me is not only the feelings I get from taking part in the hobby, it’s also the fact I allowed myself to do something, without restraint by social pressures. A lot of people I meet now, when seeing what I do look puzzled, almost like they are saying “why are you doing that? that’s a bit childish!” and that’s something that used to bother me. It’s now become a great measure for me as to what level of interaction I have with that person. Liberating yourself from social memes, and these individuals is a great path to happiness. It seems on occasion, people are uncomfortable or even offended with others who get such enjoyment from a less socially-acceptable pastime. It is to me, being myself, and not a night-clubbing soap-watching drone that society wants me to be (…ok a little hyperbole, but the point is made). I’m thankful too I chose to surround myself with only those who share or support my passion, and even that alone could answer the ‘why’. Remember that, people who deny your individuality care about themselves more than they care about you – so distance yourself from them.
Ok, so I’m getting a little off track and philosophical here, probably a little too off the subject of mecha modelling, but this is my experience. So how about yours? I love to hear from you people in the community. Did the hobby have any impact on your life, or the people around you?