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What About Scale?

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I recently attended the IPMS Nationals in Omaha and was very impressed with the extremely detailed level of work on the aircraft models. However I have one issue that I have been trying to sort out. Most of the models, with the exceptions of the dioramas, were displayed as static stand alone displays. As a result, in many cases, it was difficult to relate the model to scale in the real world.

I know many modelers are afraid, unsure, or reluctant to include figures in their displays. Most of the modelers I have spoken with would like to add figures to their models but don't know the first thing about painting them. To many of them figure painting is a black art relegated to the guys in the back room with the Ott lights and Optivisors talking about painting with dirty water and stop sign lighting. As an aside, check out Last Cavalry TV for some very useful videos to dispel those misconceptions.

Well, I can agree with some of that thinking and have a simple solution for modelers who are reluctant to take up figure painting to add scale to their displays. Simply this, airbrush a scale figure in a complementary monotone to stand next to your model. If you would like to add some highlights, airbrush a lighter color straight down, like the sun shinning down at noon.

Standing next to a Skyraider at the National Naval Aviation Museum, it is amazing to see the size of that aircraft. It is HUGE! But looking at a model of the A1H on the table at IPMS, the the relative size is not evident. I wouldn't care if the figure was monochromatic or lightly highlighted, but I think seeing the relative scale of a model next to a human representation adds life to a display.

The figure in the picture was airbrushed in basic black and highlighted with a lighter gray.

Give it a try and let me know what you think.