Ships, planes, armor, trains, automotive, figures, fantasy, Sci-Fi: whatever interests modelers have, they can find a wide range of reference material to help with their modeling experience. Here are some tips for locating useful scale modeling information.
1. Magazines. There are many magazines dedicated to the different areas of scale modeling. Not all are written in English since they come from a variety of countries. This generally isn’t a problem because the articles usually compensate by having a large number of photographs for reference. Major hobby magazines from the United States and England are available at local hobby shops, on-line hobby suppliers and at bookstores such as Waldenbooks and Barnes & Noble Booksellers.
2. Books. Books with reference material are readily available at hobby shops, on-line websites or local bookstores. Two principle scale modeling publications are Kalambach Publishing: www.kalmbach.com/ and Squadron/Signal Publications:http://www.squadron.com/. These reference books are reasonably priced and generally full of photographs to help build models step-by-step. Sometimes the best reference book is out of print or difficult to find in regular bookstores. A search in used bookstores, secondhand stores or on-line stores such as eBay: www.ebay.com, AbeBooks.com: www.abebooks.com, and Amazon.com: www.amazon.com, can uncover some real treasures. Reference materials are not limited to these websites. Expand the search and build your knowledge base.
3. CD’s. Scale modeling how-to articles and kit reference materials on CD’s are becoming more popular and available in a full range of topics. There is an increasing amount of information being distributed on them, from how-to-paint airplane models to ship walk-abouts with full color photos included, the art of using photo-etch after-market parts, and much more. These CD’s can be found on-line or advertised in monthly hobby magazines.
4. Websites. Go to the Internet to locate a wide range of model clubs, SIGs (Special Interest Groups) and forums where you can ask questions and receive valuable information on any problem or topic. Modelers are more than willing to share their knowledge and expertise. Be sure to bookmark your favorite sites for future reference.
5. Local Modeling and Hobby Clubs. There are formal clubs and informal groups that gather regularly to share mutual interests in fine scale modeling. Most hobby shops have information about local and regional club meetings. If there are no local hobby stores, check the Internet. Modeling clubs often have their own website; and those that have national affiliations are generally listed on those sites, such as International Plastic Modelers Society: www.ipmsusa.org and www.ipmscanada.com. These clubs offer great opportunities to meet and talk with experienced modelers.
Whatever the scale modeling interest or research project at hand, there’s a book, CD or Website available to help instruct a new modeler. With time, the reference library will grow and valuable information will be only a fingertip or key stroke away. As you become more skilled be sure to share that knowledge with other scale modelers who are starting their journey of fine scale modeling.