Well, it's, so to speak, a hobby: I don't really do this often enough for it to count as a permanent activity. I assembled a MiG-15 last summer, and have started assembling a MiG-29 now, which will take some time to complete, given how slowly I'm moving along.
This is not the only similarity between model planes and journal articles or scholarly monographs. To wit:
- Both, at least to me, are founded on moments of introspection and focus on very tiny details;
- Both are, for the most part, self-centered activities. I'm not interested in displaying my models in a museum or anything like that (they're not good enough);
- The process is painstakingly long, involves many steps, many of which repetitive or reiterative;
- The process involves as much handwork (putting together things, making sure they fit, etc.) as creativity;
- The finished product ends up lying on a bookshelf in my office, not quite forgotten, but more like a memento of some hours of loneliness and, paradoxically, of fun.
That's about it. If only I could produce articles as fast as I produce model planes...