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How much detail is too much


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#1
shihawk

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I,m not sure if this topic has been dicussed in detail before ,but for the last while i seem to have got bogged down in endless ,fine detailing work mainly rigging cannons and am slowly coming to the conclusion that a lot of it may not be worth the effort . Not only in the time spent but at my scale of 1 : 72 a lot of the finner detail will either not be seen or not be that noticeable . I,m just wondering if any of the more experienced or life long builders have come to any simple rules as regarding how much detailing is necessary . I coming close to starting rigging and can,t decide if i should over complicate this delicate process or if simple is the way to go ? I understand i have skill limitations which will restrict me in some ways but is it worth spending an extra maybe 6 months on a build on things that ain.t really necessary ??? I have seen some fantastic super detailed work on the site ,way beyond my abilities ,but have also seen some equally impressive work with very little detail . Is there a stage where the quest for detail starts to take away from the overall look of the build ?? especially if not done to a very high standard .


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#2
FredSC

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I just saw your query.  I certainly can't answer it, but I know that I share your issue.  I'm guessing that the "answer" may be what you are happy with.  Purists might say that every detail must be perfect, whether it can be seen or not.  I can't do that, but for now, I'm happy with the best that I can do.  Maybe with more experience, more help from others here, who knows....  But it is fun doing it, and that matters.


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#3
J.P.

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I would maintain that it is a personal endeavour and one should be able to respectfully choose to take "things" as far as one is comfortable,... and your last comment relates to this sentiment. Strangely enough, it also might be directly related to how OCD one is at any given moment. Personally I would never completely rig and hardware that is to be covered but enjoy the efforts of those that do...to each their own.

JP
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Built & De-Commissioned: HMS Endeavour (Corel), HMS Unicorn (Corel),

Abandoned: HMS Bounty (AL)

Completed : Wappen Von Hamburg (Corel),

Current WIP:Le Renommee (Euromodel)

On Shelf: Berlin (Corel), HMS Bounty (Billings),

 

Le Renommee - Euromodel


#4
Landlocked123

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Hi,

I just want to point out that Impressionist paintings command some of (if not) the highest prices in the art world. I truly believe that a lot of what we do is art. The important thing is to present a cohesive "whole", i.e. dont go hyper detailed on one part of the build and gloss over others. Just my 2 cents worth.

Best,
John
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Member:
Connecticut Marine Model Society
Nautical Research Guild

#5
Chuck Seiler

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All good points. I think that the better you get, the more detail you can put into your model. One reason for this is because you are getting better and can do things quicker. If it takes you forever to do the basic stuff, it will take several forevers to make it detailed. Secondly, when you get better your quality improves. Crappy details don't improve crappy models (trust me on that one). However when you have a quality model, quality details improve it.

That having been said, there IS such thing as too much detail. I think scale dictates that. Sometimes you can overwhelm a model with too much detail. Personal preference. Take a step back and let the model tell you what is right.

Who is your audience? If you are doing if for just yourself, make it for you. If you are making it for the public to see, remember people will only look at it for a few minutes, then go away. Some will look for 30 seconds some for 10 minutes. Make your model so it appeals to all of them in its own way.

...and whatever level of detail you decide upon, make ONE thing significantly more detailed. People will focus on that, you will get your "Holy Cow!!!" and people will walk away with a feeling it is far more detailed than it really is, because of the one they fixated on.
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Chuck Seiler
San Diego Ship Modelers Guild
Nautical Research Guild

 
Current Build:
Continental Sloop PROVIDENCE
Continental Gunboat PHILADELPHIA (1/2" Scale Model Shipways Kit)
Colonial Schooner SULTANA (scratch from Model Expo Plans)


On Hold:
Colonial Pinnace VIRGINIA (1607)(scratch)
18th Century Longboat (Model Expo Kit)
 
Completed:
Missouri Riverboat FAR WEST (1876) Scratch
1776 Gunboat PHILADELPHIA (Scratch 1/4 scale-Model Shipways plans)


#6
Modeler12

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Chuck's point is well taken. First of all, though, is you. What do you think will be the main features you like? If it sails you want, be ready for a lot of work. If the cannons are very important as a 'whow', then concentrate on those more.
I personally liked doing the rigging with lots of details on the various lines that operate the ship. I not only learned what they were all about, but it was a challenge to put them all together (with mistakes and several re-does).
Then when it came to doing both sides of the ship the same, I 'cheated' because I was going to have the ship against a wall. So I used that side to 'experiment'. That was for the hull as well as those lines not too visible from the front view.
To give you an idea of what the sails on my USS Constitution took to make, here is a picture of one of those topsails and all the lines that go with it.
fore topsail 2.jpg
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Jay

 

Current build Cross Section USS Constitution  http://modelshipworl...s-constitution/

Finished USS Constitution:  http://modelshipworl...n-by-modeler12/

 

'A picture is worth a  . . . . .'      More is better . . . .


#7
popeye2sea

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Personally, I am trying to make the rigging of my build as real as possible.  Down to proper eyes, lashings and seizings.  Overkill....maybe.  Adding a lot of time to the build...definitely.  Proving to myself that I can do it and enjoying the ride...priceless


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Henry

 

Laissez le bon temps rouler ! :D

 

 

Current Build:  Le Soleil Royal


#8
Duffer

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A very good question, and all very good responses.  To 'sumarize' and to add my comments:

 

You are the artist, you decide the level of detail, the paint, the overall effect.

 

You decide if you are having fun.  When you make the ship for yourself - family - friends, then the process of making the ship is very important.  As Henry said, enjoy the ride,

 

You decide if you will enter the ship in a judeged contest.  Now the ride is still important but the level of artistry,attention to detail, scale fidelity, fit and finish, and overall effect went much higher.  It is still your decision.

 

Above all, have fun - enjoy the ride~!                                                Duff


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#9
wefalck

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For me there is only one rule: reproduce the prototype as well as you can within the limits of materials' sizes and their workability (and of course your skills). Detail only appears too much and overcrowding, if they are done overscale (for whatever materials or skills reasons). The conclusion from this could well be not to include a certain detail, because it cannot be reproduced adequately.


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wefalck

 

panta rhei - Everything is in flux

 

 

M-et-M-72.jpg  Banner-AKHS-72.jpg  Banner-AAMM-72.jpg  ImagoOrbis-72.jpg

#10
shihawk

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Tks for all the comments so far and i have to agree with all and pick a few key points

.

FredSC , I understand there probably is no answer ,but it,s when it reaches the point where it stops being fun and becomes a chore that i think endless detail could spoil the enjoyment of the build .

 

 Jp ,    To each there own !.    a very true statement and again one i totally agree with .The OCD  can be a problem at times and a help at others but where do you draw the line and decide the last 2 days where wasted making some paticular piece that when fitted can barely be seen ??

 

Landlocked123 , I have commented before that sometimes ,less is more ,and still believe it to be true . Your point about keeping all aspects of the build to a similiar level of detail is very valid ,it,s very easy to go overboard on some aspects, i suppose simply because they are easier or of more interest . To call my efforts Art would be pushing it a bit but i suppose very few can  build exact replicas so we all put our own artistic interpitation on them !!

 

Chuck  , You have summed my problem up well . I think most builders come to realise that when a  builder looks at a model they see something different from a non builder . Few of our builds will be seen by more than family and friends so in most cases we build for our own satisfaction ,so then does it matter if every t is crossed and i dotted ?? You also hit on my other concern is that crappy detail can spoil an otherwise acceptable build .

 

Modeller12 , Although i have considered rolled up sails on my present build i find the though of full sails and their rigging way beyond my abilities at present and possibly ever , but hats off to you and the other sail makers , Maybe some day ?

 

Popeye  , I to would like to make my rigging as real as possible ,but the    Overkill   is my worry . Lashings and seizings will be new to me but i am also hoping to learn a bit of the proper terminology as i go along and understand how the different parts of the rigging worked . Am looking forward to it but a bit worried .

 

As usual there are no hard and fast rules but i thought it was worth discussing to get a few things clear in my own head and hear others opinions . 


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#11
catopower

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All very good points. The only comment I'd like to add is to modify Chuck's statement slightly. I believe for the observer, there may not actually be such thing as "too much detail", as long as the details are to proper scale. That is, the details must be physically to scale and visually to scale. The problem with "too much detail" is usually that things stand out too much that shouldn't. Treenails that are too dark or too big look too busy because on most models, they should barely even be seen, some might suggest that they shouldn't be visible at all. 

 

But, I agree as to what has already been stated, that it's up to the builder as an artist what level of detail he or she desires to present.

 

Clare


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Clare Hess

He's a -> "HE"

 

Hyde Street Pier Model Shipwrights

South Bay Model Shipwrights

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Current Builds: HMS Victory, 1805; USS Saginaw, 1859 (on hold); Too many miscellaneous projects!

 

Recent Builds: HMS Alert, 1777 (Card Model)Tosa WasenYakatabune, Japanese Edo Period Pleasure Boat; Hacchoro, Japanese Traditional Fishing Boat; Higaki Kaisen, Japanese Edo Period Transport; 18th C. English Longboat; NY Pilot Boat Mary Taylor, 1850; Privateer Lively, 1813; HMS Fair Rosamond, 1831


#12
AON

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Every time I start a piece I say a small pray for guidance from above:   Please Lord tell me "when"


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Alan O'Neill
"only dead fish go with the flow"   :dancetl6:

BUILDS
     1989-90 : 27 foot Type K MONAGU WHALER (1945), POF scratch build, scale 1:12, pulling sweeps stored & rigged for sailing, clinker built
     ***31 Dec 2013 - HMS BELLEROPHON (1786), POF scratch build, scale 1:64, 74 gun 3rd rate Man of War, Arrogant Class
     14 Apr 2014 - Building my Modelling Table
     16 June 2014 -  Refit of the Schooner Charlie
     13 June 2015 - Building my Light Box
 
*** active build


#13
JerseyCity Frankie

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I think a big concern should be consistency of detail rather than level of detail. If you are depicting the hinges on the gunport lids on one part of the model, something eight inches wide on the actual ship, you are now obliged to represent every other object on the ship that is eight inches or greater. In other words don't depict those gunport hinges if you don't intend to include the ironwork on the pumps. My trouble in my own models is in trying to adhere to the level of detail I decide to aim for when I begin the project, I always find myself adding detail later in the project that winds up being at a higher fidelity than details I had built earlier. In some cases this forces me to go back and tear out earlier parts of the build in order to match the new standard as I had raised the bar during the process.

Following this urge to depict great and greater detail leads inevitably to frustration, you will never be able to include every detail. Nor will 99% of us ever be able to achieve levels of detail as small or as precise as can be found on some superlative models built by craftsmen who's talents and abilities outstrip our own.

Also here is a conjectural rule of thumb I just invented: If it takes 100 hours to build something which includes all details which on the real ship would be 12" wide, multiply those 100 hours by 1.5 if one now wishes to depict all 6" wide components. If one wishes to include all components that are 3" wide, double the time you must allot for the project. I picked those numbers out of the air and they may be debated, but the point I am making is the time added to the overall project grows exponentially as you increase the detail. If one persists in more and more infinitesimal detail, the amount of time expands past any reasonable amount.

An argument for less detail is that most models will be viewed from across the room most often. Those hinges on the gunport lids will not be visible if the model is high up on a shelf. An educated eye scanning the model from up close will look to see if such hinges are included, but only one half of one percent of the people viewing the model will have that educated eye. But YOU are one of those one half of one percent and YOU have to decide if you can live without the hinges. The words " I could have included the gunport hinges but it would have taken too much time" are never going to taste good in your mouth.


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#14
LFrankCPA

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For me several thing come into play here; consistency; as said before, if you are going to include items at 6", include them all. be consistent, right or wrong...Consider the scale and set the tolerances; within 1 inch of actual???....Reduce the detail on items that will not been seen, don't reduce the quality of work....
It is a work of art and you are the artist, if in doubt, sleep on it, go watch TV, then come back with a clear head.....
I'll also add, that what was acceptable, may be 10 years ago, is not acceptable today. As your skills improve and grow, step out and try new things...work them into your regular build process.
Larry

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#15
Chuck Seiler

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Frankie,

I disagree. I see no issue with including SOME detail at a certain granularity, but not include all. I suspect we already do that. If you rig a ship without sails, don't you leave off some of the rigging? Some people rig the guns to a gnat's ***, but do the really model in every rope, line, bucket, widget and who-ha that might be on deck?
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Chuck Seiler
San Diego Ship Modelers Guild
Nautical Research Guild

 
Current Build:
Continental Sloop PROVIDENCE
Continental Gunboat PHILADELPHIA (1/2" Scale Model Shipways Kit)
Colonial Schooner SULTANA (scratch from Model Expo Plans)


On Hold:
Colonial Pinnace VIRGINIA (1607)(scratch)
18th Century Longboat (Model Expo Kit)
 
Completed:
Missouri Riverboat FAR WEST (1876) Scratch
1776 Gunboat PHILADELPHIA (Scratch 1/4 scale-Model Shipways plans)


#16
shihawk

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Chuck ,you make a good point .If you start measuring and exclude everything below a certain size surely you must then include everything above that size . So i,m beginning to think it comes back to what looks right ?? eg  to-night i started thinking about the netting ,very fine stuff but as i have now decided to forget about rigging the cannons does this mean i should forget about the netting as well .( I don,t say for sure i will include netting untill i try )  . No i don,t think you can work on measurements alone although it could be a place to start from ,ruling out certain things from the beginning .  



#17
Chuck Seiler

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As most have said or alluded to, in the end, it depends on what you are comfortable with.  I, for one, will admit that I have omitted some details I originally intended on including because, try as I might, I couldn't get it looking very good.  After numerous attempts I resolve to leave it off but try again will my skills improve (and/or I get better tools).


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Chuck Seiler
San Diego Ship Modelers Guild
Nautical Research Guild

 
Current Build:
Continental Sloop PROVIDENCE
Continental Gunboat PHILADELPHIA (1/2" Scale Model Shipways Kit)
Colonial Schooner SULTANA (scratch from Model Expo Plans)


On Hold:
Colonial Pinnace VIRGINIA (1607)(scratch)
18th Century Longboat (Model Expo Kit)
 
Completed:
Missouri Riverboat FAR WEST (1876) Scratch
1776 Gunboat PHILADELPHIA (Scratch 1/4 scale-Model Shipways plans)


#18
Nenad

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Good points said here.

I think there can be one more angle of view.

If you enjoy in challenge, and just in making process (as me) , do the fun, and enjoy making details, no matter your model is up to.

My model will be almost 100 cm long and over 70 cm high , and it is a great collection of mistakes and wrong made places and parts, but I enjoyed very much in last challenge I ordered to myself - make cathead 30x3,5x3,5 mm with three metal sheaves inside. I know rhat NOBODY can see this, but I was enjoying a lot making them. And I think that is a point - joy and fun

post-4738-0-09863700-1433445572.jpg

Edited by Nenad, 05 June 2015 - 04:49 PM.

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In progress:

CUTTY SARK - Tehnodidakta => scratch => Campbell plans

http://modelshipworl...ge-1#entry64653

Content of log :

http://modelshipworl...-62#entry217381

Past build:

Stella, Heller kit, plastic, Santa Maria, Tehnodidakta kit, wood, Jolly Roger Heller kit, plastic


#19
LA Don

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I will say that this thread is a great read.


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#20
Chuck Seiler

Chuck Seiler

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Nenad,

 

    I disagree.  If you have the opportunity to display it where people will see it, at least ONE other person will see it and say "Holy cow!!!  Will you look at that!!!!"   ...and that makes it doubly worthwhile, because that person will talk about it for years.  "....I remember one time, I was looking at a ship model.  The guy made actual working sheeves THIS SMALL."


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Chuck Seiler
San Diego Ship Modelers Guild
Nautical Research Guild

 
Current Build:
Continental Sloop PROVIDENCE
Continental Gunboat PHILADELPHIA (1/2" Scale Model Shipways Kit)
Colonial Schooner SULTANA (scratch from Model Expo Plans)


On Hold:
Colonial Pinnace VIRGINIA (1607)(scratch)
18th Century Longboat (Model Expo Kit)
 
Completed:
Missouri Riverboat FAR WEST (1876) Scratch
1776 Gunboat PHILADELPHIA (Scratch 1/4 scale-Model Shipways plans)





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