First quarter 2022 update
During the latter part of 2021, I started to make some fundamental revisions to the book's photographic focus and modelling content. Mainly to reflect the changes going on in the digital photography landscape, but also to bring the model subjects in line with the huge leap in the breadth and depth of contemporary model kits now available. Realising that while my own first love of scale modelling centres around aircraft, there are so many other wonderful genres to explore, and these should be included. A brave move and one which requires me to expand and diversify my modelling activity to include figures, automotive and sci-fi subjects.
So the aim is to make the book more inclusive, diverse, relatable and visually appealing. In short, offer more people some really useful stuff which will make their enjoyment of the hobby more rewarding.
As a reminder, it's not about 'oneupmanship' displays of modelling prowess, or a humble brag of false modesties about thinly veiled model making skills. No, it is about taking the time to craft a quality model making resource and provide some really useful, valuable photographic skills which can be built on to make our hobby more enjoyable and fulfilling.
Speaking of resources, there's a little thing called a smartphone. When I started laying out the structure and ideas for this project in darkest 2008-9, the mobile phone was pretty much just that, a clunky device with buttons, a limited SMS text capacity, and definitely no camera to speak of. My how things have changed, and mobile phones have evolved into the technological marvels that are now ubiquitous.
It can be argued that they are poised to usurp the digital single lens reflex camera (D-SLR) as the prime tool for taking stunning images. Where phone cameras run rings around the venerable D-SLR, is in their ability to shoot, edit and upload really good images to a hungry social media audience almost instantaneously.
So the focus of the book has shifted, and while the DSLR is still our go-to as far as flexibility, image quality, optical light transmission and capturing detail goes, the smart phone is no longer just an expensive 'toy' with a camera in it. Remember folks, it's not the machine you can afford, but what you see with it that is important, and while suggesting "any old bit of cheap tat will take a decent snap" is not quite true, it is really our knowledge of how light works and how we develop an eye for the image and composition that is paramount.
Which means that there is a whole new section on mobile phones, looking at how to make the most of their functions, and abilities but also more importantly, understanding and working with the limitations imposed by the fixed aperture and tiny optics. Other sections of the book are to be extensively revised to include smart phone camera options.
One important aspect of this new content is the acknowledgment of how third party applications have now expanded the functions of basic phone cameras to challenge the once unassailable DSLR flexibility. New sections look at specific software and how these can be used for our hobby photography.
But, smartphone cameras are getting really rather good. . .
Where is it at?
I keep being asked (quite rightly) about a publication date and I cannot give a firm date. Simply put, this is not my professional paying day-job gig (I wish) and I spend most of my daylight hours at a computer, writing, editing and otherwise 'creating' learning materials for all manner of exciting subjects. All of which leaves me 'plum tuckered out' most days and very reluctant to spend my evenings looking at more words and pictures.
So the basic premise remains - this book is designed as a really useful resource. It is not pretending to be something that is 'essential' to the the evolution of model making just to relieve you of more of your dwindling modelling funds. No, it is still first and foremost, a sound resource, a guidebook, and the start of an open-ended learning journey without time limited skills or goals.
April 2022 addendum
All of my creative activities are on an extended hiatus until Early 2023.
In the interim, here are some screen grabs of the main section contents, quick start guides - a pagination shot of the section and some teaser page shots.
Go well, Kia kaha, noho kaha.
Wellington Jan '22. (edited April '22)