Groupthink and the Little Dudes

It’s important to have old guys like me hanging around. We can recall what happened, and make up a narrative to explain it. Sure, anybody can make up a story– but old people make up stories that can’t be disproven through mere research.

It requires geniune BIAS to disprove and elder-story. Bias. And a good imagination.

Nobody expects The Spanish Inquisition!

Now, where was I?

It’s remarkable how long this “airbrush bias” has been going on. Since the invention of the “Modeling Magazine” in the 1960’s, the airbrush has been a sort of “lighthouse” providing a point of navigation for magazines, books, a TV show, Youtube videos, websites, mysterious Q-Anon groups on 4chan…

You get the idea. The airbrush was featured in 1001 New Model Airplane Ideas from 1967. It was pushed by Scale Modeler.

Fine Scale Modeler practically made it into a religion. Sorta like the LDS Church only without the golden statues on top of temples.

But back in the day, OTHER ideas were pretty important. There was the “candid” appearance of the flight controls. The “dropped flaps” and ailerons and rudders that had to be “off center” in order to look good. Then there was the pilot figure and the diorama that went along with it. The pilot had be modified to look “candid” and the idea of building a diorama wasn’t seen as a strange branch of model science, but as more mainstream. Detailing was done with the idea of a diorama in mind. Battle damage was explored– and articles came out showing how to tear off portions of the airframe and show this realistically.

Now we see how this all went. The cutting and re-positioning of flight controls, the modification of aircrew (and the detailing of aircrew in general) and the use of model in dioramas has all fallen down the rabbit hole. The idea of a “themed collection” has been cast adrift. These notions are still around, of course. Don’t post a comment saying that I’m all wet because people DO TO modify flaps and pilots and have themes and dioramas and blah blah.


What I’m saying it that it’s all just pales in comparison to the Great God Airbrush. The airbrush has grown and grown and grown until… it is like THE BLOB. It absorbs everything. Everything becomes an adjunct of airbrushing. Preshading and post-shading and salt and hairspray and yadda yadda yadda.

If all the OTHER stuff had been the focus of the same energy as the airbrush, we’d have KITS that feature candid aircrew, wheel chocks and downlocks, and ground equipment and dropped flaps and ailerons and rudders and stabilizers. We’d have engines to display and battle damage parts. Right in the kits. But we don’t because the airbrush mania has taken over. We don’t have this stuff because it doesn’t fit into the airbrush agenda. You can’t airbrush a pilot figure. The position of the ailerons doesn’t matter if all you’re concerned about is “the airbrush finish.” The background, the theme of the display, all of it. Meaningless in an airbrush world.

It’s airbrush this and airbrush that. Endless nonsense about airbrushing. Every single blessed thing about the airbrush. The other aspects of the hobby have been squished in the bed of this great obese monster. The poor, wretched victims of the great slob are only crushed remnants, stuck up in the massive armpits of the behemoth.

All hail airbrushing. Our new God.

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