I was sitting at the workbench this afternoon just looking around the room which to be honest is a favourite past time of mine, no wonder I never get anything started built painted or finished, and I was looking at the many boxes that crowd the many shelves and as I looked over into the farthest corner where I keep the numerous boxes of magazines and books that I keep just incase I ever need them, nestled amongst them are several boxes full to the brim of spares, you know those bits you get left over after a build and you safely pop them in a box just in case you ever feel like building another. Sets of Sherman wheels, tracks you have replaced with better aftermarket sets, limbs and heads from badly postured tank crews and soldiers, spare vehicle tools, spare aircraft props, undetailed cockpit seats the list goes on, why do we keep them? what is the point of keeping a set of poorly moulded badly detailed 1970’s 1/35 Tamiya Panzer IV rubber band tracks??? I myself have no idea, it may be the million pound question however I have several sets just waiting never to be used, so why do we keep this stuff??, I have a theory we just cannot throw things away.
I remember some years back when I first discovered the internet and especially ebay, the ‘marketplace’ where you can buy virtually anything. My Dad once said to me what is the point of going to a car boot sale, I have no need to buy other peoples rubbish, I guess he had a point and ebay can be a bit like that, especially when I noticed somebody was flogging off their spares box at a reasonable starting price. I watched the item and bid on it as it was ending which of course is the best course of action and low behold a couple of days or maybe weeks later several boxes of what I can only describe as stuff you would not really want to keep came through the door. I cannot criticize the seller of this spares box as it was quite obviously chock full of stuff he or she did not have the heart to throw away, I can’t lie there was some useful stuff contained within those boxes a lot of which I have passed on to other modellers, you know those posts you see on forums and more recently Facebook where someone has lost or mislaid something vital like a Panther A road wheel some plastic Italeri zimmerit a 72nd scale Harrier cockpit and pilot or a set of Tamiya Panzer IV rubber tracks – I knew keeping them was a good idea and somebody would one day require a set. Anyway none of this spares box I purchased have been used by myself other than some ammo boxes and a Tamiya Brummbar that I practised zimmerit on, and quite badly at that.
Maybe it is a bit of an obsession this keeping of parts we may probably ever need let alone use and in this day and age with the plethora of items made of etch and resin available to buy and use maybe the spares box is just becoming a thing of the past, a burden on the valuable available space in the workroom. I did something a few years ago that I could blame on OCD if I had it, I bought some storage boxes for my spares box so that each kit that I had spares left over from could have their own little compartment, a little square home of their own. I spent hours days and maybe even weeks sorting through the many boxes of unused items that I had accumulated plus of course the many items that I had bought from ebay a few years earlier. Now I will not lie to you all it was most definitely a labour of love and quite therapeutic spending hours sorting through the many minute pieces of plastic trying to remember which kit that each and every piece had come from however I felt quite accomplished once it was done. Now those boxes are very rarely opened, I have from time to time needed to look for a spare Tamiya Polly cap but apart from that the boxes stay unopened over in the farthest corner of the workroom in amongst the boxes of books and magazines that I keep just incase I ever need them.
I think that there is a moral to this story and to me as a modeller on the whole, my modelling time is short and maybe if I had not spent much of that time sorting cleaning arranging and tidying my blog may have been called something else, the accomplished modeller maybe……..
The average modeller.