There has never been a better time to indulge your passion for model tanks – and it could even be good for your health.
That’s the message as The Tank Museum presents “A Salute to Model Making”; an online celebration of the craft and benefits of model making.
Between 26 February – 15 March, the Museum will be releasing a series of videos and content on social media relating to the hobby, which will include a beginner’s guide, appearances from well-known modellers and an exploration of the models found in the Museum’s collection.
“It’s a hobby that has, in recent times, suffered from the competition of video games among other things,” said Nik Wyness of The Tank Museum.
“But we noticed a huge surge in sales of models from our online shop when the pandemic began last year, with the lockdowns giving people the time to explore new, or re-engage with old, interests.”
The Tank Museum would normally be welcoming thousands of visitors and model makers to its South West Model Show this February, but the event has been shelved until 4 & 5 September 2021 due to the pandemic.
Nik said: “We know people are struggling to find productive things to keep themselves busy, and we know model making is a craft that can be as therapeutic as it is rewarding.”
“We hope that by celebrating the hobby in this way, we can encourage more people to give it a go – or get back into something they may have enjoyed many years before.”
A Salute to Model Making
The season starts with “A Salute to Model Making”, hosted by Curator David Willey and Actor Chris Barrie.
Both he and comedian Al Murray, who is also featured, returned to model making during lockdown, as a way to keep busy and focus their attention on something other than the somewhat depressing news cycle of 2020.
Barrie talks of how despite being an enthusiastic model make in his youth, he never felt comfortable discussing the hobby on the red carpet, but now he “doesn’t care”, adding “model making is cool. Don’t let anyone else tell you otherwise!”
The video also features examples of “lockdown models” sent in from around the world by the Museum’s Facebook followers and highlights the work of Models for Heroes – a charity which works with veterans to promote the therapeutic benefits of scale modelling.
Fake Tanks: Models at The Tank Museum
Fake Tanks – exploring The Tank Museum’s model collection – was released on YouTube on 5th March; David Willey explores The Tank Museum’s collection of model tanks, ranging from military recognition models, to 1:1 scale life-sized models.
A Beginner’s Guide to Model Making
In the final episode of the ‘Salute to Model Making’ season, Steve Malley presents a guide on how to choose and build your first model, using the Cromwell starter kit.