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Profile of a Model-Builder (Skills and Traits)

May 05, 2015

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Airfield Models ( and Traits of the Model Builder

When I tell the average person that I am a model builder, 99.9% of the time the first thing they say is, "I do not have the patience for doing that."  Then they usually make an unwittingly insulting remark such as, "You have too much time on your hands." Or even worse, "Wouldn't it be funny if it crashed?"

The problem as I and many other modelers see it is the general public has a misperception of what we do.  Their only exposure to model building may have been their own unsatisfactory results or seeing kids in the neighborhood tossing small balsa airplanes around.

That is where most of us started, but the dedicated model-builder has advanced light-years beyond the rubber powered stick models that come in cellophane wrappers.

So what skills does a model-builder posses?  This page is a scratch pad of sorts.  As I think of things I will put them here and add to the list.  Maybe we'll enlighten the world.  Or maybe that is a lost cause, but at the least we'll give ourselves more that we can feel good about besides the works of art we create. Most people don't think a model airplane is art because they know what it is.


Personality Traits

  • Attention to Detail and Accuracy
  • Creative
  • Disciplined
  • Follows Directions
  • Intelligent
  • Problem-Solver
  • Resourceful
  • Visualizes Spatial Relationships


  • Aerodynamics
  • Component Construction
  • Composite Construction
  • Design and Layout
  • Diagnostic skills (ruling out possibilities to find the source of the problem)
  • Electronics
  • Finishing
  • Graphic Arts
  • Hardware and Fittings selection and installation
  • Laminating
  • Material Management
  • Material Selection
  • Mathematics, Geometry and Physics
  • Mechanical Engineering
  • Metal Working
  • Mold construction and composite lay-up
  • Planning and Efficiency
  • Project Management
  • Propulsion systems
  • Shop Management
  • Structural Engineering
  • Technical Drawing
  • Technical Writing
  • Wood-Working


My Wish List
Why am I a Modeler?

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Copyright 2003 Paul K. Johnson