Sunday, November 05, 2006

Hobbyists' Fair

Went with my eight-year-old and his pal to a hobbyists' fair this afternoon. A whole gymnasium full of displays on model railroads, cars, airplanes, helicopters, boats. The exhibitors were largely retired gentlemen with a bachelorly air. Most looked like they might run very dusty used-book stores for a living. But there were hobbyist firms there too, and their exhibits of course looked a lot more professional. The visitors were largely parents with kids, mainly dads, and many with a non-urban, non-hip look. Subbacultcha.

The boys had a go at a huge slotcar set and some radio-controlled cars, and then we watched these really good RC people driving cars and piloting airplanes.

I felt a little sad for all the old guys wilting behind their folding tables. Kind of a dying breed, returning to now almost obsolete childhood hobbies after retirement. But the Swedish Model Airplane Association seemed a lot more more vigorous, with a larger display and more people of different ages & genders behind it. Their bimonthly journal is excellent. They also had a pretty cool recruitment drive, handing out simple rubber-band airplane kits for free to all kids who would write their names and adresses on a list.

Some pretty funny software was demonstrated: a model airplane simulator. Yes, you build model airplanes because you dream about flying, and then you get a computer program to simulate such a model airplane as it flies. Very meta.

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Blogger Hans Persson said...

Nah, the modelling hobby as such is alive and well, even though I think much of it has migrated into gaming. Have a look at these:

(I can't figure out how to get images to display in the comments.)

06 November, 2006 10:19  
Blogger Martin said...

Nice stuff! I used to paint gaming miniatures myself. Never actually got enough painted to play games with them, though.

06 November, 2006 10:38  
Blogger Karen said...

My brother began with model plane kits as a kid - nothing fancy just generic plastic stuff. I remember at one point he hung them up with fishing line on the ceiling of his bedroom in a mock air battle. It was very cool. He stopped for quite a long time until he hit 30 and then went over to the gaming miniatures. He's still very into it - he games every Monday night with his buddies. Two days after the birth of his daughter, he was out gaming. If that'd been my husband I would've slapped him.

I've never really understood the fascination with the models or the miniatures myself. Maybe it's a boy thing.

06 November, 2006 14:09  

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