I quite often sit (or stand for that matter) and think about this wonderful hobby of ours, the many diverse areas of modelling I see at shows and on the internet, the many fantastic works I see in books and in the magazines that I buy and the ones I peruse in my local WH Smiths. In this modern age of social media I very often see the works in progress and the finished article of the many modellers who’s work that I admire and whom I can call ‘Facebook friends’, it is most definitely a far cry from my early days as a modeller where the only people who’s work I would see was those in magazines and my Step Dads whom I shared my modelling time with. I have to admit that I rarely show off my models and there is good reasons for that, 1, the amount of models I actually finish is not very many (a measly one in the last several years) and 2, I kept that build reasonably quiet to surprise my club members at last years Scale model world. The competition tables that I love to look over at the many shows I attend are always full of models of the highest calibre and although I am predominately an armour modeller you can’t beat a well constructed painted and finished model in any genre.
I have made no secret of the fact that I struggle to find the time drive and desire to make my way to the workbench and do some modelling and this last 7 months has been a particularly barren time for me and although there have been a few mitigating circumstances there are no excuses and I need to get my finger out and do some modelling. As a member of school staff this time of year is always a good opportunity to kick back relax and get some modelling done and whilst a lot of modellers down tools and not model during the summer I am looking forward to knuckling down and getting some serious building done and hopefully some painting too. I have earmarked a couple of projects that I would like to crack on with and hopefully finish by the time the second half of my model show season kicks off again with the Farnborough show in mid September, I really do enjoy the shows in the latter part of the year culminating with Scale model world in Telford in early November, I just need to make sure I get some projects finished ready to display.
Displaying as part of my modelling club has always been a double edge sword for me, on the one hand you do not want to let you fellow club members down and on the other you have the insecurity and self doubt as to whether or not your work is up to the standard as everybody else’s, in the cold light of day we all have our own level and standard of work and after all every expert was a beginner once. There are positives to this, I remember the first time I displayed as part of my club and when you are sitting there at the club stand and that first person takes an interest in your model, that first bend forward to take a closer look, the what kit is that?, the first photograph, it gives you an enormous feeling of pride, somebody actually likes what you have spent hours working on, fretting over, it’s a great feeling, it was the same feeling when the first person read my blog, that feeling that somebody is interested in what you do..
When I started writing this blog back in the cold days of February I was not sure where it would go or if it was something that I would stick and continue with. I have been quite surprised with how it has been received and the feedback I have received has spurred me on to keep on writing. Over the next few months I hope to expand and change my blog to include me blogging about particular projects that I am working on and I have one particular in mind which is a project that has become quite close to my heart and I am looking forward to building blogging and sharing the journey with you all. Taking the blog forward as the year goes on is something that I have been thinking about recently however it needs to go hand in hand with how I develop as a modeller, building and completing models is the name of the game and if I can throw in a couple of build blogs with maybe some reviews and maybe even a video or 2 I will feel more justified with my blogs existence, after all there are only so many posts I can write regarding my laziness as a modeller. There are quite a few modelling related blogs out there and I like to read as many as I can to help keep mine different, I am not involved in the hobby in any way other than it is my hobby and as such it is something that should not be a chore just something to help me kick back relax and unwind. I may never win a gold medal for my work or be revered in modelling circles written about in magazines or be recognised at model shows and maybe I do not need all that, for now I am happy as the average modeller.
The Average Modeller.
As I sit here at the keyboard thinking about modelling in general and the state of my own little corner of the hobby, the fact that I have not written a blog post for what seems like an absolute age, the forthcoming summer break and whether or not I will get any modelling time in, the end of year model shows in Farnborough Folkestone and of course the biggie in Telford and how on earth I am going to find the time to build paint and finish all those kits that are sitting waiting for me to get round to doing exactly that. Time, it’s an odd perception isn’t it?, I sometimes wonder how I ever get the time to do anything other than work and the numerous household chores that demand my attention, it could be that I am just no good at time management or it may be that I am a lazy bugger and spend too much time procrastinating that by the time I decide that’s what I am going to do the opportunity is gone and it’s either back to work, time for bed or chore time.
When I look at the fantastic models that I see on Facebook web forums and in magazines it is often with a sense of wonder not just at the amazing work that has gone into these mini masterpieces or the obvious talent that these modellers have it is also the fact that these guys have the time to sit down and actually complete these lovely models. Where do they find this time, I know it’s a hobby for most of us and you find the time where you can however I just seem to fail miserably at this, I could blame it on a demanding job, a slightly complicated home life, too many half started projects, a lack of focus the weather the price of potatoes the list could be endless however the problem lays within my own make up, in my inability to concentrate for very long and definitely my inability to prioritise to get things over the finish line. I think the mere fact that I have finished 1 kit, yes one singular kit in 5/6 years tells it’s own story, and to be honest it is quite a sad little story, just 1 completed kit, I feel ashamed, very very ashamed. I started modelling back in the cold winter of 1992 and my finished model count is nothing close to an average of 3/4 kits a year more like one every 4/5 years a very dismal return it is true and one I am very ashamed of, my school report would say must do better, much much better in fact, I definitely have room for improvement.
Now as I sit here with 68 days to go until my next model show at Farnborough which will need me to display about half to three quarters of a table full of models and I am not quite sure how that will occur and there is nobody else to blame but myself. It is not as if this has been thrust upon me as I have known that this will be the case for quite a while. I have put off and procrastinated over it for as long as I have known and to be honest I am not getting any closer to having anything ready for it than I was 2/3 months ago when I told my good friend Andy Langridge that he was not to was worry about having to fill 2 tables on his own as me and my partner in crime and fellow modeller Kerry Carter would be there to share his burden and help fill the tables, in Kerry’s defence she has finished several pieces of work to my none and she stands a better chance at this point of filling our side of the bargain than myself. So I have now reached a point of having just over 2 months to get my act together so that I do not end up looking like a complete failure and have something to share with the modelling world plus I cannot be letting Andy or Kerry down come September 16th.
So this phantom modelling time that everyone else seems to have in abundance and I have zero of needs to come from somewhere, but where??, that’s the burning question. Maybe it is not the fact that I am a lazy modeller or one lacking enthusiasm and drive, or that any modelling time I get somehow gets watered down by procrastination and the necessity that my workbench is neat tidy and clean nor is it the time I take to decide which of the numerous part built ‘shelf queens’ need to be finished first, nor is the need for me to spend hours trawling the internet for my next purchase. Now I am no professor who has spent years studying at school college and university, neither am I an expert in time and motion however it does not take a genius to work out where my modelling time disappears to as it is quite obvious and here in black and white for all to see, my problem now is to take all that wasted time put it all together and get my lazy arse back to the workbench and finish something off and decreasing my stash the shelf queen pile and in the process get the creative juices flowing and have some kits finished off for Farnborough. Practice makes perfect they tell us, you will never be any good if you do not apply yourself and I guess they are right and it is all so very true if I ever want to be seen as anything other than just an average modeller.
The Average Modeller