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The Model Citizen: The Procrastinating Modeler

American Government Special Collections Reference Desk


The Model Citizen: The Procrastinating Modeler

"I'm much more likely to appear at each meeting with a bucket seat I've painted or a single tire I've detailed, never mind an entire finished vehicle."

Tom Geiger
January 1999

Most of my friends fall into the category of the procrastinating modeler. This is not our intent, in fact, we greatly admire the prolific fellow who shows up at each club meeting with one (or God forbid more) new example of his ever growing modeling talents.

This brand of assembly line modeling is just not in our bag of tricks, or genes as most procrastinating is. I'm much more likely to appear at each meeting with a bucket seat I've painted or a single tire I've detailed, never mine an entire finished vehicle. You can recognize us at model shows everywhere. There are five stages to this phenomena outlined as follows:


This is one vehicle, at some beginning stage such as a primered body conversion that appears regularly, possibly for years, at most regional shows. It is exhibited either for a vague sense of belonging, or at least, for the reduced admission charge of exhibitor over spectator. This model'' primitive state, allows for much conversation over it'' eventual completion and possible the sharing of good concepts if it ever gets finished.


This is the procrastinating modeler at his highest zenith. He now has several models such as described in Stage Number One and for a reason only known to God, his therapist and possibly himself, he has failed to finish any of them. When asked, he will explain his well-intentioned plans for any one of them, that you know will never come to fruition. Make a mental note to acquire these projects from the man's estate someday.


This is the well executed model, possibly a regularly placing contender that said modeler has proudly displayed well beyond it's show season. This model may be up to five years old and is fraying around the edges from shop wear, possibly showing as bare spots in the bumper corners. This effect is almost impossible to detect in Light Commercial examples since weathering and wear actually increase the competibility of models in this class. Possibly the recent interest in this category. Who knows.


The next stage beyond "The Daily Driver" is also known as the "Shrine to Chevrolet". This is where our friend, possibly catching some flack over showing the daily driver for his fifth straight season, feels a tinge of guilt and builds a raised platform of wood and velour, hoping to disguise his car as a new effort.

If he is successful in his deceit, the display will sprout mirrors, "327" emblems, and a rotating platform in each successive show season. Soon the only thing missing from the extravaganza is votive candles. The modeling equivalent of the Velvet Elvis.


After many, many show seasons, our here has conned enough model show photographers out of "one shot of my car…" and has sufficient pictures for "The Model Magazine Article". Once on the cover of our favorite rag, the modeling community gives a collective moan since every modeler coast to coast has personally seen, handled and possibly tasted this model.

For those of you who haven't attended a model show, this car is identifiable by its build references to long out of production and valuable models. ("Take two Mod Squad Woody wagons and cut them in half. Now take the hood louvers from four Fireball 500 kits and carefully….") It is quickly nominated as "The Most Fondled Model in History" and is immediately sealed in the vault at the National Model Car Museum to assure future generations of modelers this privilege.

At this stage of the game, our model friend is hypnotized by his own model and often buys a 1:1 scale example to build in it's image. This is where the process has come full circle. Reference: Stage Number 1 - The Eternal Primer Project

Copyright 1999 by Tom Geiger, All Rights Reserved, Used with permission.

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