To detail or not to detail that is the question, Tis it better to suffer the slings and arrows of rivet counters or build as you see fit. Detail inclusion or exclusion while building is the topic of this month’s Sprue Cutter Union. More specifically do you add details that won’t be seen in the final model or do you skip them and add them when they will be noticed. For me, the answer is it depends.
It depends because I am still really getting back into the hobby even though I have been back for about three and half years. Prior to this I did build kits but I had such fear when it came to painting that nothing ever was completed. My recent incursion has seen me get over my fear of screwing something up when painting and my apprehension of cutting off a fender or part to replace it with PE or wire. But my fear of screwing up the whole kit is still strong to the point that I don’t skip any of the steps. My thought process is the step is there for a reason and if I skip it, it might screw up something later like an alignment or cause a gap somewhere unexpected. However, that doesn’t mean I don’t see the advantage of adding extra details to a kit to make it more accurate. It just means that I do add the interior to a kit if it comes with it even if I have no plans to show it off. I just don’t super detail it with PE, resin or scratch built parts because no one is going to see it.
I also find the process of adding interiors that may not be seen or other details as good practice. By this I mean they are good opportunities to try a new wash out or a new technique such as paint chipping. The process is also good practice at building or figuring out instruction especially if it is new kit manufacturer you have not built before. Or use it to practice basic skills like sanding, scribing or gap filling, because if you screw up, who cares, no one will see it.
However, if the interior will be seen, I think the amount of detail depends on what will be seen versus the final build. If all the hatches on an AFV will be closed except for the one for the commander, I won’t add a new interior to the vehicle but I might make sure the open hatch has some detail to it. Or if it is wheeled vehicle, such as the recent MRAPS is the subject of my build, I may add a few details to it to flush it out if the plan is to keep it buttoned up. But if the plan is to open it up, I think you have to be prepared to add some detail to make it at least looking decent. I am not sure I am to the level of some modelers that add all the various wires and other items along every surface but I do feel items such as seat belts, some wires from the various electronics, and tie downs seem like a must to make open interiors at least realistic if not presentable.
In conclusion, I do build the detail if it is included in the kit because I am not at the point in my return to the hobby to not include it for fear of it screwing something up later. Also I find it an opportunity to try something new out and a chance to practice some basic skills. However, if the interior will be seen, I do say you need to add at least a little detail to upgrade the basic interior to make the kit presentable.
Thanks for reading. I hope to have a post about my first trip to IPMS Nationals later this month. Until then, model on.