Over the last 24 hours, pretty much everyone has seen the infamous Rinaldi Studio Press video about SMC.
For a moment, lets park most of the video and address his main point:
The Lack of Risk Taking and Innovation in the AFV Modelling Hobby
There is a lack of innovation at present in the AFV hobby. It is true that styles have moved towards each other and at the top end of modelling, a lot of modellers’ work looks superficially similar. However, it is also true that AFV Modelling has reached a very high level of excellence at the top end. Anyone (other than Mr Rinaldi it seems) who looked at the Masters category at SMC2023 saw models of a very high standard overall, and models that clearly stood out from others in the category. It is true that there were no models that stood head and shoulders above any other, but when every runner runs very very fast, it is going to be a photo finish.
That being said, we are due a breakout modeller, someone who changes the conversation, but how often do those come along? Mr Rinaldi opines for the early 2000s at Euromilitaire and the innovation of Mig Jimenez, and Adam Wilder (He doesn’t mention Phil Stutcinkas, but he should, considering Phil invented the hair spray technique MR uses a lot). Its true, those were exciting times. But they were exciting because the last innovation before that was Francois Verlinden 15 years before.
The fact is, big changes in style and innovation, are not constant. Style will always move on and someone will innovate, but it will take inspiration and the right model in the right hands at the right time. It WILL happen. but in the meantime the hobby, like all craft, does progress, incrementally, over time.
I look at the work of David Parker, Lester Plaskitt, Ivan Cocker, Peter Usher, and Mirko Bayerl, modellers I saw in Euromilitaire back then, and I have seen their work evolve and change in that time. I was at these mythic Euromilitaire shows Rinaldi was at. I’ve been to a lot of shows around the world since, and the hobby has moved forward. Not in leaps and bounds, but it has moved forward and although he won’t accept it, the standard has increased. The very high standard now, and the huge number of modellers circling it (myself not included, I would not have the arrogance to elevate myself to a position where I claim to have that authority) suggests to me the waters lapping at the rim of a dam. We can, I think, expect something huge soon, it will happen, but when it is ready to happen.
But lecturing modellers who are more consistent, and better skilled, that they are soft and playing it safe, won’t make it happen.
Judging the Judges
I want to close this one by addressing a couple of other things Mr Rinaldi said in his video:
1. Accusations of friendships affecting judging: Unlike Mr Rinaldi, I have judged at SMC a number of times. I have never seen anyone’s decision or comments affected by any knowledge of the name of the modeller. Not once. I have never heard of it happening either. Subconsciously it may happen, we are human, but I know I am aware that’s a possibility and check myself when judging models I know. I am sure I am not alone in this. This accusation is baseless and somewhat offensive to everyone else that judged at that show.
2. You don’t need to innovate to get a gold at SMC. Innovation is not in the judging criteria. I was at the Jury briefing on Saturday. I listened closely to Robert Crombeecke, Fabio Nunnari, Ivan Cocker and the team when they told us how to judge. We were there to judge the models on the table against the current standard of the hobby. Not some nebulous idea of where the hobby is going. We were also told by Ivan in the contest room, before we started, that we were there to find the best in people’s models, and to reward it. Mr Rinaldi’s Youtube rant was not in that spirit.
The hobby IS moving forward. Those of us that have remained in touch with it can see it. We see it every day. A big innovation is due, but it will come when its ready, and maybe if you want it to happen, you need to be more involved rather than demanding from the sidelines that others do it.
I won’t be deleting comments I don’t like