I have recently grown so tired of, so very weary with all the idiots, know-it-alls, politicos, trolls and half-wits who refuse to learn how to spell or use the English language on the various forums of which I have been a member over the years, that, apart from Club Triumph's helpful club forum, I have left the lot.
Of course, unless one is actually kicked off a forum by the little Hitler who runs it, leaving means simply failing to either contribute or even look at them, since one cannot insist on the owners actually removing all evidence of one's appearance in their midsts.
So, I am here, I am on a few very specialised Facebook pages as it makes sense professionally to be so and I follow a few other blogs, mainly those of a scenic model nature...where it all began for me.
And it is in that connection that I ask the heading question.
In recent years I have read a great deal about "weathering powders", a phrase so commercial in its immediate "hit" that I assumed, correctly as it turned out, that some intrepid entrepreneur of the modelling world had jumped on the ancient practice of using not paint, but, effectively, the main constituent thereof, to final colour a building or scenic part of a finished model.
Now, forgive me if you have in fact been on Planet Zog for a few decades, but how did you ever miss the fact that good old fag ash dulls down too much brightness on a model, or talc. OR...pastels? I've had a box of pastels (Rowney Greyhound, without checking) for about 50 years, a little more, I think. I have only recently re packeted them with those my Mum left me in a nice tin.
Out of absolute sentimentality I have never used them for scenery (well, OK, maybe a rub with a pastelly finger), but I always buy a stick or two when I go to any kind of arty farty suppliers and have only to give them a light rub on a bit of 400 wet 'n' dry and I have enough for a small town of dulling down colours, suggesting green mossiness under windows or round the bottom of walls. Or the slight difference in tone on model roads where the tyres go ( a personal hobbyhorse).
Why, oh why would anyone go to all the trouble of buying this dust from the aforementioned business in dinkydoo potlets, when for almost nothing it's all there for you to use only when you want it or store away for over 50 years, like me? If you don't smoke, find someone who does and ask for the contents of his ashtray in a wee zip-lok baggy. Because it works a treat and is completely free!
It seems to me that model fans are being hyped into all this off-the-shelf stuff and seem to have lost all ability to regard "product" as worthy of assessment. Some of it really is very silly. And before the cries of "Oh, but..." come screaming in, I have it from the importer of some of these pots of dust that he regards it as ridiculous too! But Oh, so lucrative. Refreshingly honest of him. I was quite flattered when he said, "Ah, but you're a real model maker, you'd know". Well, yes I am and I would, but why can't others work it out for themselves too? Fashion, that's why.