My name is Chris… and I have an addiction…

No – it’s nothing serious and probably not all that harmful.

Kit hoarding you think?  No – its not cool model kits, interesting and colorful decals or aftermarket.  Besides, seeing some of the stashes I have seen, my pile of kits is barely at Level 1.  As well, I have been to many a show and hobbyshop and walked out without buying a single kit or aftermarket product.  But I almost always walk out with something else.

Reference material?   Close, but not quite.  I do have an ever expanding library of good reference material. But I also have a confidence that lets me ignore yellowing old books featuring “in action” photos and questionable color plates… they will always make a better one if I just give it time. Otherwise, collecting these things can lead down the hoarding path quickly.

No, my addition is used model magazines.  Usually priced cheaply and stored unsorted in cardboard boxes.  Under tables.  Away from more discerning modellers.

Sad, isn’t it?

I swear to you, it all started innocently enough: I was getting back into the hobby, I had no friends involved with model building and I had no idea of how to do certain things.  I really wanted to know how the “masters” highlighted their panel lines!  I wanted to know how to work with resin.  How does on glue on a canopy without wrecking it??  And Photoetch!  How cool is that?!!

Sure I found places like Hyperscale and ARC quickly enough.  Many a workday lunch hour was spent scrolling over build reviews and photo stories featuring build techniques.  But for whatever reason, I found it difficult to use or refer to digital material.

And then I went to my first model show – Capcon in 2007.  Keep in mind, back then I lived in an apartment and I didn’t have space for a kit stash.   Back then my process was that I would work on a model and when that model was complete, I would go and buy another model!  I was in no way ready to display my two completed models to anyone –  and certainly not ready to compete.  So I went to Capcon just to see the models at the contest.

(I know… the way I approached this hobby back then….so sweet and innocent….)

After taking in all those models, I decided to see what the vendor room as all about and right off the bat I came across a vendor with a bin chock full of Tamiya Model Monthly International.  For $1 a piece!


I had to have them all.  Pretty soon me and my pile of 15 pre-enjoyed mags left that show.  I had a very happy smile on my face.

Since then my approach to model contests has changed somewhat.  But my old mag purchasing habit is as strong as ever.  I’ve got stacks of them.  All acquired second hand… at $1 or less… from bins at hobby shows… with a varying amount of shame.    I even get them at the LHS when he gets a box of old mags.  Some of these are over 10 years old.

I have been back into model making for over 10 years (my god).  I have acquired a ton of skills and most of my hobby questions were answered long ago.  So why am I still buying model magazines?  I am well aware of and I actually practice a majority of the techniques featured in these old magazines.  New product information in on the internet well before it gets into mags – especially by the time I find them – and besides, if I don’t know about something relevant to my interests, my model buddies will.

I believe it’s simply because I like to read about people making models.  I like the art and the pictures and the tidbits of info that often inspire me to think about my next build or turn me onto a cool product.  I take them with me on trips and I even find myself paging through an old issue while watching Netflix or other non-model related nonsense. And I can still stand to learn a couple things from time to time.

So – what is your modeling obsession?  Are you a magazine collector like me or is it something else?  Let me know in the comments!

8 thoughts on “My name is Chris… and I have an addiction…

Add yours

  1. I used to buy, and have subscriptions to about three magazines a month. Like, a lot of other people, I suspect though,, once read, they just sat on the shelf, or in a corner taking up room. I still like reading the modelling mags, but these days, I only buy digital. Obviously there are a ton of people out there, like you Chris, that still love to collect the old mags as every time I have taken a collection to sell at model shows, they walk out the door. I price them at Australian 50c and they walk out the door. That said, I mysel am a sucker at buying up old copies of Scale Models International, still my yardstick, along with Tamiya for judging a good model magazine. Great post !

    Liked by 1 person

  2. You are not alone…I love when the various retailers dump old stock for a buck or two per issue. There are worse habits to have : )

    Liked by 1 person

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