Laws for Modelers
NOTE: These originally appeared in CRAZED PLASTIC #12 (December
1981), which was a quarterly publication of the Gateway Chapter of IPMS
(St. Louis, MO). The items were actually submitted by and named
after club members. There are some inside jokes, but most
modelers will certainly recognize these universal rules.
If something can go wrong, it will.
MACKOWSKI’S LAW OF DROPPED PARTS
1. The probability of dropping a part on the floor inversely proportional to the size of the part.
2. The closer the color match of a part and the floor, the greater the probability of dropping the part.
3. A dropped part will bounce to the most inaccessible part of the room.
Corollary: If the dropped item is heavy or sharp, it will visit your foot before obeying the third law.
4. As soon as you give up on looking for a dropped part, you will find it by stepping on it.
DOWNEY’S LAWS OF INERTIA
1. The more unbuilt kits you have on the shelves, the fewer kits you actually build.
2. Unbuilt kits expand to fill the space available.
3. Reference material expands beyond the space available.
4. Additional reference material adds confusion, not clarification.
There’s no such thing as a perfect kit.
KUKLINSKI’S PRINCIPLE OF APPEARANCE
A half-built vacu-form impresses people with your skill; a completed vacu-form just looks like another model.
DRESCHER’S PARLIAMENTARY RULES FOR EXECUTIVE BOARD MEETINGS
1. If it doesn’t matter, it doesn’t matter.
Corollary: However, it will take the most time to discuss.
2. A motion to adjourn is always in order.
CRAZED PLASTIC LAWS
1. Tube flue strings only in the presence of clear parts.
2. Paint causes seams to crack.
MILLER’S CHAIRMANSHIP PRINCIPLES
1. You can’t win.
2. You can’t break even.
3. You can’t even quit the game.
SPELLERBERGER’S LAW OF FINITE DIFFERENCES
In most people’s minds, the line between being different and being weird is thin and easily crossed.
THE THICK THUMB THEOREM
The difficulty in reaching a seam to sand is directly proportional to the mismatch of the parts.
1. As soon as you scratchbuild a model, someone will release a vacuform kit of it.
2. As soon as you finish a vacuform kit, an injection molded version will be released.
3. As soon as you convert an injection molded kit to the version you want, it will be released by another manufacturer.
4. As soon as you finish that kit, a better kit will be released.
(See Miller’s Principles)
The probability of finding an error in a model increases exponentially after you’ve entered it in a contest.
Corollary: The more important the contest, the greater the error.
SAM CLEMENS LAW OF DIVERGENCE
There are references, and there are models, but never the twain shall meet.
MRS. MURPHY’S COMMENT ON MURPHY’S LAW
Remember, Murphy was an optimist.
Compiled by the Editors