What are museum models?
Wondering what are musuem models compared to other types of models?There are a couple of things to consider in defining what museum models are. One, they can represent a host of different, unique items of various sizes. The second consideration, and a very subjective one at that, is determining what exactly is museum quality.
Museums are a showcase of artifacts and exhibits designed to give the guest a sense of what a certain time or place must have been like, or to invoke a certain emotion. A well constructed museum model accomplishes this sometimes difficult task.
What They Are
The term Ďmuseum modelsí may conjure up visions of aging fashion models grasping for that one last shot at fame. But letís face it; no one wants to see a blue-haired gal in tight-fitting leather and stiletto heels shuffling down the runway.
Museum models have an entirely different objective (thank goodness). In general terms, museum models are re-creations of virtually any item or display done to exacting specifications.
If youíve ever seen a 30-foot T-Rex that has you spinning on your heels and running for cover, or an airplane that looks like it could be flown out the museum doors if it only had some gas and a Smurf to fly it; youíve seen museum models.
They are model replicas built by extremely patient craftsman to mimic the look and feel of the original. They can be as small as a desk top vintage car, or weigh more than a ton and hang from the rafters of the Smithsonian. The common theme is the quality of their construction.
What Makes Them Museum Quality
So that begs the question; what makes one model or replica museum quality and another simply a model? Being subjective, there are no hard, fast ways to determine museum quality, but there are guidelines observed by the craftsmen that construct these works of art.
Many models, airplanes for example, have industry-accepted classifications for levels of difficulty and sophistication. For airplane models, there are 6 unique classes ranging from the most basic (rookies) to level 6 that requires the skills of only the most experienced builders.
Museum models, regardless of the subject, are built to exacting specifications. While the T-Rex thatís scaring the you-know-what out of school age kids may only be 10 feet high, its features and proportions will all be very precise, if it is truly museum quality.
The same true-to-scale properties apply to ships, planes, re-creations of old relics and the myriad of other museum models across the land. The materials themselves must also mimic those of the original. A museum quality ship would never use anything but real rope for the lines, and after extensive research the builder would ensure the colors matched the original.
Subjective or not, a quick glance will not determine if a model is of museum quality or not. For that, a museum model is able to pass an exhaustive examination, and still prove true to the original. Not an easy thing to do, but the objective is to place the final product on exhibit, not to collect dust on a shelf at home.