When I started a few years ago to build model airplanes, then AFV-s and later figures, it seems every week something new surfaced in this hobby. A new technique, a new approach, different materials, new paints tested. You could wonder at every step at people power of innovation and use of imagination.
I had my idols to follow. I wanted to be able to reproduce a metal chipping on an airplane like Criss Wauchop, build a diorama like Bob Letermann or Shepperd Paine, weather a tank like Mig Jimenez or paint a figure like Bill Horan, Raoul Garcia Lattore or Diego Ruina.
All those guys and other new talents are now lost in a deluge of modelers and painters of same level. Almost nothing really new appears in the whole hobby, or if it does, is stifled by mainstream advocates.
There are thousands of modelers that are applying "sets of techniques", with kits of paints or tools, guaranteed to get them results. In contests jury has a hard time to shootout a few models for the podium. And after the contest there are endless discussions that the model on the fourth place was better than the one on the second. Because all are at least good.
But there is no more soul in those models. There are tutorials. Tutorials sold by by some guys that have become experts in applying techniques. There are courses which teach you what to do to finish a model plane or a figure in a certain number of steps, but very few are teaching you to think like an artist. To shut your senses to the mechanical techniques and give your feeling a chance to really create something with your inspiration and your taste.
The curiosity of copying something cannot equal the curiosity of creating something. The courage to ruin a kit and achieve something different, cannot equal the courage to follow a recipe and paint by numbers.
The problem is also that if you want recognition, is advisable to stay mainstream. That is something that most of the people in the "industry" will understand. Out of ordinary weathering or a different set of colors used for a face will not be understand and people used to see just one kind of result will (out of respect or education) avoid to comment. So if you'll try to get out of the box you will have a great chance to pass by unnoticed, in the wast number of posts on different forums.
So why should I continue to do this ? Why should I continue to build and paint ? What should it be needed to push me forward ?
Of course I will continue to do things that I like for myself, but why should I present those things to others, when opinions or critics that will come, will take as a default basis for comparison, a plethora of "mandatory" techniques, a wide landscape with just one kind of trees stretching to both sides and to horizon !? The Official type of horizon.