Orangeville, ON (James Doan) Just as in the full-scale automotive market, trends define scale modelling. Perhaps surprisingly, there are modellers who tend to follow the current fashion. They will build what is new, what is popular, the latest fad. The scope of the real car market often provides the information and the inspiration we seek when building scale models.
A quick look back at the history of model building bears this premise out. Through the late 50s and into the 60s, we emulated the full-scale car world by building surf rods, custom show cars, and hot rods. When the 70s arrived, we followed the automobile manufacturers’ lead by cutting back on our modelling. Full-size cars were so boring that we weren’t inspired to build any models. When, in the early 80s, heavy trucks were the buzz, and later muscle cars collecting caught on, we found the enthusiasm to model these subjects.
Anyone who started modelling in the 60s probably remembers building Revell’s Ed Roth Surf Fink, AMT’s Ala Kart, Monogram’s Tom Daniel Red Baron and then nothing for nearly a decade. When you finally started modelling again, it is likely that you built the AMT B.J. and the Bear Kenworth Aerodyne or one of the trucks from the movie “Convoy”. By the mid-80s, you had started collecting classic muscle cars – which is probably what you are still building today.
Through the 90s, vintage street rods, pickup trucks, NASCAR racers, and lowriders successively were the “hot” thing to build. Today it is a little more difficult to define the latest trend.
True, the old standbys are consistently popular. Modellers will always build muscle cars, 50s cars, street rods of all styles, and a wide variety of racecars. Although I think many builders have had their fill of NASCAR racers. (The common comment I hear is that you can only build the same kit so many times). Also, there will always be a small number of modellers who specialize in heavy and light commercial vehicles, foreign and exotic cars, vintage racecars, or customs. And of course, there is one eternally popular subject: the newest kits.
This is where you come in. Tell us what you think is the current trend. What inspires you today? Based on your answers, what kind of articles would you like to see on our website?