Stepping out of……THE COMFORT ZONE!!

workbench picture

I was out in the garden yesterday afternoon cutting up some old bed frames using the angle grinder and as is the norm whilst doing a mundane job my mind wanders and it got me thinking about how often I feel the need to step away from what is safe and normal and try or use something different. I uses power tools on and off in my day job so using a drill or an electric screwdriver is a common occurrence however a power saw or angle grinder for instance now that is out of the comfort zone. To be honest with you I am a play it safe kind of modeller, my models are usually Tamiya, painted in a one colour scheme lightly weathered placed on a simple wooden base with no scenics and definitely no figures. It ‘s a bit like when I started this blog, it was a real head above the parapet moment from me which was bought on by another such event, a build review for modelling website Armorama.

I don’t know about everyone else but I love browsing the internet looking at all the fantastic work of my fellow modellers, the fantastic figures the great aircraft and armour models plus my favourite area of modelling, dioramas and the amazing diorama works that I spend hours drooling over, at the moment I am enjoying the work of Roger Hurkmans whose work I admire greatly with his use of vehicles and figures that just compliment each other and looking at these amazing works really does inspire me to do something a bit different from what I do normally.

Speaking of this whilst at Telford last year for Scale Model World my long suffering partner in crime Kerry and I decided that it would be a great idea for us to purchase 2 of the same subjects and build/paint them separately just to see how we would approach and paint them as we model differently, simply just to do something a bit different from the norm and challenge each other, a kind of great British paint off. We decided that we would purchase 2 Nosferatu busts from the stand of Andy Cope, who’s work I have to say is fantastic and inspiring even though it is not my genre at all. So we have these 2 busts waiting for paint and although this is very much Kerry’s area of expertise it most definitely is not mine. To paint this ‘thing’ I will most certainly need to step outside my cosy comfort zone and try something completely different to the norm and it is something that troubles me, yes I could paint it and leave it hidden however Kerry will most probably paint hers to her usual high standard and display hers around the show circuit and it would be a huge shame if once we have finished them we did not share the finished articles with the modelling world at the same time. Now as I have said previously I am a creature of habit who likes nothing more than to live quite happily in my very cosy comfort zone and only venture out of it when I have to and then scurry back as quickly as I can and that cosy comfort place maybe under threat by a certain wind of change.

So as we approach 6 months since we purchased said busts discussions have arisen of late about the fact that we should actually get our fingers out and start them and I have started to feel a bit of apprehension regarding this and although to take my modelling forward I need to step out of these shackles that hold me back and embrace this new challenge and see it as that, a new challenge and not something to be worried or scared about. With this in mind and feeling the need for some kind of pre-emptive strike so while we were at last weekends Milton Keynes Model Show which I have to say was great in it’s new venue plus it is always a show we enjoy and have not missed since we first visited in 2013, I digress of course, while walking round last Sunday looking for something to spend the hard earned cash on, I decided to not spend it on a new kit, yes I could of picked up another tank or vehicle, the new Tamiya Spitfire or the recent Airfix Hawker Hunter which of course would be a step away from the norm and out of my comfort zone completely however as much as I would love to build an aircraft I feel I’m not quite ready for a leap out of the comfort zone, a small step I can probably deal with, a leap no. Anyway, I decided on a caricature of Sir Winston Churchill by Cartoon Miniatures to help me dip my toe in the water of something different and help me out of my comfort zone and help me into the art of figure painting.

So here I am a week later and although I have yet to make a start on little Winston a start has been made on the little cobbled base he stands on and I thought that a start there would start pushing my head bit by bit above that parapet I seem to worry about a bit more that I should. I’m not saying that I have never ventured out of the modelling comfort zone, I painted a couple of android busts from the MDC range that were available a few years back however they were very one colour and I chose a simple approach to painting these and they didn’t really stretch my modelling or painting skills at all although on the plus side they were the first resin kits I ever worked on, you see every cloud has a silver lining. I have tried other things to drag me away from my comfort zone however theses have been unsuccessful and had me scuttling back with my tail between my legs licking my wounds and diving head first into that safest of places, the comfort zone. So now that the die has been cast I have no choice than to take myself forward and leap two footed into a world unknown and I might find that being out of my comfort zone may not be the unwelcoming wilderness I think it is but the door to a bigger challenging and a more fulfilling phase of modelling for me.

The Average Modeller


One thought on “Stepping out of……THE COMFORT ZONE!!

  1. I appreciate that you are not asking for advice so I will offer encouragement instead. In short go for it. As with anything it is a learning process where typically 80% can be learnt relatively quickly while the remaining 20% may take considerably longer. On a personal level I would put myself in the remaining 20% when it comes to figures and some diorama work whilst knowing I will never ever make it to 100%. That is blessed upon those who have been gifted a natural ability and I am not one. Small incremental steps I found worked for me along in later years with some incredible YouTube video’s. Good luck and remember it is a hobby so just relax and enjoy it. Besides it sounds like you have someone along side who can teach you. Can’t wait to see how you get on.


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