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Build to impress or build to display?

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The answer to the question is very easy.

If you build models with the intention of entering contests, you obviously have to build to impress others.

If you build models for your own enjoyment, what others think doesn't matter.

Only you can decide how you want to take part in the hobby.

Of course, the pleasant surprise comes when you build for yourself and your standards and then you enter your model in a contest and it wins an award. It's double the pleasure at that point. :DB):lol:

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If you build models with the intention of entering contests, you obviously have to build to impress others.

I respectfully disagree. I build what I want to have in my showcase, i.e., to please me. I enter contests with those models too. Whether others are impressed or not has no bearing on my efforts to build to satisfy myself.

Side note, see my sig line...

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I build for me. My main interest is vintage drag cars and All I really set out to do is replicate what I can , when I can and with some reasonable effort. Once on my shelf , if it looks like the subject I set out to replicate,,,i'm good with it.

I haven't entered a contest in over 10 years. I walked away from building several years ago ( still bought though when I saw something that caught my interest ) and just got back into it in the past 6-7 months.

This past Feb. I attended my 1st swap meet / contest in over 7 or 8 years. And I barely looked at the contest tables. But,,,to be honest I was there to sell off a bunch of stuff that I'll never do anything with was my primary goal.

I used to belong to the model club that put it on,,, and may someday go to one of the club meetings. If I do I'll take my daughter with me.She seems to have garnered an interest in building models .

Edited by gtx6970

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I respectfully disagree. I build what I want to have in my showcase, i.e., to please me. I enter contests with those models too. Whether others are impressed or not has no bearing on my efforts to build to satisfy myself.

Side note, see my sig line...

I wasn't talking about subject matter, I was talking about the level of effort put into the model. If you build a model with the intention of entering it into competition, of course you have to build it to impress others. The contest judges! Building just to amuse yourself and building with the intention of competing (and winning) are two different things.

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I really,appreciate all the replys to this topic... I've never joined a contest besides a couple CBP's I just got into on here. I have all this time been building for the wow factor from people.. However, I notice most people probably wouldn't take a liking to my style of building so in reality I was doing it for the wrong reasons in general.

To me when I sit down and build, I'm a grease head, I love every aspect of real cars and building them. I just bought a home last year which leaves me pretty high and dry every paycheck. I figured I'd get back to modeling because I Figure I can squeeze a kit out of each check after everythings paid.. So for me, from now on. I am gonna build for me, not for anyone's approval. I am gonna build cars that since I am unable to buy in real life, I'll build them in scale. No more half built threads from me when all I got in the picture is a truck body laying on the ground with wheels under it for motivation.

Once I get my tools together (Paint brushes, bottles of paint, BMF. engine detail items I am gonna be a new builder. One who takes the constructive criticism from you all and run with it. I hope one day to have a very large collection of nicely built models to display, I think when people enter my hobby room (I am anal about keeping it clean) and see the display cases with some nice models in them that it will give me a good feeling to hear the compliments even though that's not what I am out for.

Thank you to all of you who have helped me out with this in this thread. I appreciate it.

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That's simply not true or at least for me it isn't. I build for myself. If others or judges are impressed,that's fine. If not,that's fine too. After all, it's my shelf it's going to be setting on when it's done. If a person builds a model that truly impresses themselves,nine times out of ten, it will impress others as well. Maybe more so.

People that claim they build "for themselves" and yet enter contests are not being honest with themselves. By definition, a contest is a competition, where your model is displayed in a public setting, competing with other people's models, and being judged by others. If you enter a model in competition, you can no longer say that you only build "for yourself." No model was ever entered into competition that wasn't looked at, and judged, by others. Entering contests while claiming you only build "for yourself" doesn't pass the logic test.

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I see your point Harry and I think you are right. By competing you have accepted that it will be judged by others and that your standards as a builder have to be that of a judge or higher.

You can say, "I build for myself" as long as your standards are high enough to compete. And I think that is the catagory I fall in.

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I've never understood the "I never enter contests/shows"(whatever you want to call it). This hobby is rather isolated to begin with,why wouldn't you at least want to display what you find as a fascinating pastime. And I highly disagree with you can't say you "build for yourself "and then enter contests or displays.If I SAY that I build for myself( or my own approval),that's My belief.You can challenge that,but you'll never convince ME otherwise.

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I have never even honestly finished a build. I don't know of Model shows around me but I've been reading and taking.everyone's advice like a big vaccum I am just taking it all in. I am going to take these next 3 projects very very seriously. If I end up with something I am proud of, I may down the line enter it into a show/contest. However, I wont build with that on my mind. I am going to build it so when i look back in 10 years ill be able to say this is how much my skills have changed.

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I wasn't talking about subject matter, I was talking about the level of effort put into the model. If you build a model with the intention of entering it into competition, of course you have to build it to impress others. The contest judges! Building just to amuse yourself and building with the intention of competing (and winning) are two different things.

I was referring to the effort, even more so than the subject matter. If I am satisfied with it, I expect it to pass muster by the judges too.

People that claim they build "for themselves" and yet enter contests are not being honest with themselves. By definition, a contest is a competition, where your model is displayed in a public setting, competing with other people's models, and being judged by others. If you enter a model in competition, you can no longer say that you only build "for yourself." No model was ever entered into competition that wasn't looked at, and judged, by others. Entering contests while claiming you only build "for yourself" doesn't pass the logic test.

If I didn't build my "contest models" to meet my standards (not some unknown set of judges) which I do for my own enjoyment (and the challenge which I enjoy too) they would not come out the way I want them to.

I can't count the amount of comments I have received of how ugly a Super Seven is, or how the subject matter and style does nothing for many people, and how the modifications I have done to them also are not many people's cup of tea, including judges. Had I tried to please “the judges” I would not have built them as I did, which is clearly “for myself” in both subject matter, and level of effort.

So again, I have to disagree with your "logic".

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I've never understood the "I never enter contests/shows"(whatever you want to call it). This hobby is rather isolated to begin with,why wouldn't you at least want to display what you find as a fascinating pastime. And I highly disagree with you can't say you "build for yourself "and then enter contests or displays.If I SAY that I build for myself( or my own approval),that's My belief.You can challenge that,but you'll never convince ME otherwise.

The hobby may not rise to the level of a "fascinating pastime" to everyone in it. For me it's just one of several hobbies that I enjoy. While some may be passionate about the hobby and looking to create something special from a kit to others it may just simply be something for those ten years old or older to do to pass some time.

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I was referring to the effort, even more so than the subject matter. If I am satisfied with it, I expect it to pass muster by the judges too.

If I didn't build my "contest models" to meet my standards (not some unknown set of judges) which I do for my own enjoyment (and the challenge which I enjoy too) they would not come out the way I want them to.

I can't count the amount of comments I have received of how ugly a Super Seven is, or how the subject matter and style does nothing for many people, and how the modifications I have done to them also are not many people's cup of tea, including judges. Had I tried to please “the judges” I would not have built them as I did, which is clearly “for myself” in both subject matter, and level of effort.

So again, I have to disagree with your "logic".

Got to agree with Mark. To build a really fantastic model you have to be passionate about the subject matter. The time and effort it takes to do the research and getting the detailing right requires more than a passing interest. Entering a contest or an NNL is an opportunity to share that passion with others. Many of my best modeling buddies are people I met at contests. I don't think I ever consider judges when I am building. If I did that my models would not have half the detail(all the stuff that winds up hidden or very obscure) they do.

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I build to pass all the time i have to occupy besides that its what I like to do. I build not to impress or show....only to make me happy with them and the results of the work. I was forced into entering one contest by an uncle in Kansas once got second place was enough for me. I also restore the ones of my dads when I can find the parts they need...that is a labor of love.

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If your "passionate" about a hobby,wouldn't it stand to reason that you find it "fascinating"?

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I have entered many contests (well, not so much any more), but I have never built a model for that purpose. When show time comes, I'll just grab whatever hasn't been shown before and enter it. I entered the BSAC Columbus show primarily to help the show. I figured the more models were displayed, the more successful the show would be.

I guess I build for myself, but I don't take it too seriously (well, seriously enough to purchase two showcases, but let's not cloud the issue with the truth). I enjoy doing it, and it satisfies my need to do something creative.

I only wish my sons would show the slightest interest...

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I don't build to either impress or display. I build just to build, something to pass the time and keep me busy, much like doing the daily crossword puzzle. The completed project gets photographed then placed in my parts bin to be scavenged for future projects. Nobody but me ever sees them.

I mean no disrespect, but this post makes me kind of sad, like I'm missing out by not seeing the builds.

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Myself, I pretty much build for the love of bulding. I used to build all my stuff, with my Dad's standards in mind. And then one day he said, Why are you worried about whether or not I like it? It's your model, build it how you would want it if you had the real car. Once that was said, I started to realize that the biggest critic I have to please is myself. You're not gonna see my builds from your living room, so I guess when it comes down to it, my opinion is what matters, and that of my family since they have to look at em everyday also. I've only ever entered two contests. I've won top honors at both of them. The first one I entered was in 1994, and the model was finished a whole two years before the contest ever took place. So in no way was it built to please the judges. The only other contest I've ever entered was this year's GearZ/Revell contest which my build was done specifically for. But I still built it the way I would've done for myself if it wasn't being entered into competition. The one criteria I tried to stick to on this build was using 50% of the kits original parts. If I didn't have that guideline to go from, it would've gotten the full aluminum paneled interior, and bigger roll cage. That's the only thing that held me down as far as the way I built it. So if I wouldn't have had those guidelines to follow, it would have been totally based on mine, and mine own opinion of what should and shouldn't have been. So, I can see both sides of the story.

Corey

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I find myself time after time going beyond what my current model skills can handle and I always find myself backtracking, trying to fix my mess ups and it makes me lose interest... I think I need to start building box stock for awhile and slowly up my skills. I've ruined a lot of plastic doing this and its costing me a lot of $ because I always end up going an buying new kits... When you build do you go for the wow effect or do you do it for your own taste? I need to figure out something that I can keep up with, its mostly when it comes time ro build a custom frame or something I mess up, don't have the right supplies and I get frustrated and I give up... Maybe I need to switch over to a different style of building... ?

my reply to you would be this.........i started back into models in 2000. i spent an endless amount of time and money over the next several years and almost finished one model in that entire time frame. i would start one then get bored or screw it up and start something else. in 2008 i read a post on a forum about a small contest that some of the forum members would be attending so i decided to go to it. this was my first contest and boy was i surprised at what was on the tables. i came back home and decided that i would build a model for 2009 and start attending shows.

i finished the final little odds and ends on that model the night before the show in the hotel. i was very proud of it and off to the show i went. after all the entries were on the table in my class i studied them closely. i was confident that mine would win.........it came in second. not bad for my first contest and my confidence built from there.

i attended many more shows that year and starting asking the judges what could i do better on my builds. the most common reply was "master the basics". i was told about decal silvering, paint finish, details being too heavy handed along with a whole list of other things. i took this information and put it into the next build and i debuted it at an ipms regional convention.......it won.

i asked the head judge what could i have done better and he gave me a whole list, i found this strange since i had won the class. this same thing happened a few more times that year and i took that information and applied it to the next build.

i finished the next build in feb of 2010 after about 400 hrs of work and off to start the show season i went. that model has been to 27 different shows in six states and won all of them including several best automotive, best engine, best paint and a best in show award. i asked judges throughout the year what i could do better and the most common reply was "put the next one on a mirror". i have been putting all my builds on mirrors ever since.

now you may be asking what all this has to do with the original question? if you set goals and knock them off one at a time then you will get builds finished. i had a hard time doing this when i just built for myself, with the shows i'm always inspired by all the great builds that show up each year. i build for the heavy commercial class mainly but have ventured into cars, bikes, armor and a jet here lately. some of these builds were successful and some weren't at the shows. i find that with the inspiration from others and putting the judges comments to use works for me.

do i build to impress? i guess i do. i build the subject matter that i like to the level that the judges want to see and that's what keeps me going in the hobby. the day that i'm no longer able to place at the shows is when i will give up on that side of the hobby. i may still build for myself......only time will tell.

i'm finishing a customer build right now and then i start into next years show build. i will be taking everything i've learned and adding items like running water and a working tv, ceiling fan and a simulated gas fireplace into my next sleeper.........being built to impress?.......these are ideas i've wanted to accomplish for a while now and i feel i have advanced my skills enough to do them. i guess if folks think that's building to impress then so be it, i'm cool with that. i just hope all works out and the model is well received and is successful at the shows.

so in closing.........hang in there my friend. if you need to build something boxstock......go for it. remember, just because it's boxstock doesn't mean it's not a great model. if your desire for the hobby is strong enough whether for yourself or for others you will win. B) B)

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If you stay within your limits and continue to build the next one better you will produce some very nice models without the need for heavy body or frame mods or the need for lots of aftermarket items. Smooth paint with proper thickness can be

tough to master but it is worth the effort to learn.

A well done foil job can take some practice too

but will really make a build stand out. Proper

body fit, wheel alignment, and stance speak

volumes and can create the need for serious

modifications to look right, and will teach you

tons. Get the basics down and the tough stuff

aint so bad. Good luck and have fun :)

X2 That's what's up right there!

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I've never understood the "I never enter contests/shows"(whatever you want to call it). This hobby is rather isolated to begin with,why wouldn't you at least want to display what you find as a fascinating pastime. And I highly disagree with you can't say you "build for yourself "and then enter contests or displays.If I SAY that I build for myself( or my own approval),that's My belief.You can challenge that,but you'll never convince ME otherwise.

i agree Mike, the key word in your statement is "DISPLAY" i dont buy a lot of aftermarket stuff, i paint with enamels, and i tubb everything!! so i build for myself. now i have no problem "displaying" my builds with the knowledge that i didn't plan on winning anything. bowling turnament, yes i expect to win, model contest, i am happy when someone is just looking at my stuff.

now sooner or later i will post a pro mod ford lightning that i am doing, doen't compare with whats posted on here, and i am going to try my hand at a lot of aftermarket stuff on this build, but am no way building for any show....... but i am sure it will find its way onto a few tables.

Edited by tubbs

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you are right, but i see these nicely built models fall constantly to loaded up aftermarket builds. i have always pushed for a "PLASTIC/RESIN ONLY" catagory at shows. different from "box stock"........ anyone listening.........

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I'd like to say that I build for myself, but, as Harry pointed out, I'd probably be lying to myself. Yes I build the cars that I like and that appeal to me, but I always seem to go a little overboard with the little details. When I joined the LIARS Club in NY 20 years ago I started entering contests. Of course I went home empty-handed after the first few, but I examined the cars that won, spoke to the builders re how they did this and that to their cars and slowly learned over the years how to build a successful contest model. I honestly just love competing. I find that I learn so much from other builders which helps me to make my models that much better. I haven't really been to any shows, other than the NNL East, in quite a few years, since I moved from NY to PA (5 years ago). Most of the time I just wind up adding lots of details to my models because I enjoy doing it. I especially enjoy doing extra work on interiors which is why I usually go crazy when I build convertibles. I don't build every model to go in a contest, but most of the time i wind up doing a little extra detailing just because it makes me happy doing that. That's what this hobby is all about isn't it..?? Building stuff that makes you happy..

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Build to impress yourself.

If you impress others....that just makes it better.

Took the words right outta my mouse, Charlie. If others like it, I consider it a bonus....and if they don't, I'm alright.

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I build for my own enjoyment , if along the way one of my builds impresses someone , then thats just icing on the cake. The closest I get to building for the contest table is for the monthly club theme's, and thats if I build for the theme.

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As said above, I think there are 2 completely different mindsets when building. Contest builds and fun builds.

For many years, I was stuck in the contest build mindset. Everything I did 'had' to be full of every bit of detail I could fit, I 'couldn't' start on a model until I had all the right references at my disposal. I found the novelty wore off pretty quickly.

With the fun build mindset, I actually finish things. I'm not afraid to experiment with different techniques (because if it doesn't work perfectly, who cares!), and subsequently my models look better for it.

Its a hobby. It's supposed to be fun. Just have fun with your builds, and you can't go wrong :D

Cheers,

Denzil

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