We can all agree that 2020 has been a crap year what with Covid-19 and its associated lockdowns and although it has not affected my job as I have still needed to go to work everyday it has affected my life away from work. With the majority of model shows having been cancelled including our yearly trip up to Telford for Scalemodelworld it has made me evaluate how I model and my approach to it. Normally I would be sitting here a week on from Telford feeling the normal burnout yet being satisfied that I had at least completed a couple of models, not so this year the modelling output has been zero, that doesn’t mean that I have sat idle twiddling my thumbs, to the contrary the extra time being spent in doors has given me the chance to work through my shelf of shame and at least get some of those kits closer to being finished. Now we all model differently according to what we build and how we approach it, me I like to work in a clean and tidy environment away from noise and possible disruptions, nice quiet music on and the workspace to be nice and airy. When I refurbished my workroom a few years back I over estimated what I needed to house in my little workroom and everything became a little enclosed and cramped.
Before we entered lockdown 2 here in England I decided that it was time to clear the workbench and remove and re-home things I felt were taking up valuable space, re-site the spray booth and remove one of the three racks that holds the stash and put up a couple of shelves, this was all done over a weekend and to be honest it was more like how I had imagined the workroom to look when it was refurbished a few years back. Now, 2020 being the pain in the proverbial that it has been, it was about throw a spanner into my plans and a couple of weeks ago the old water tank in my loft decided to spring a leak and make my home uninhabitable, luckily it did not cause much damage and I will not bore you with the finer details however my nice workroom is full of the loft contents and is currently unusable. As luck would have it we do have alternative accommodation however this does not have anywhere other than the kitchen table to model on and everybody congregates around the table and at times it is like trying to model on the Titanic as it was sinking. My partner in crime the ever smiling and positive bundle of loveliness Kerry came up with an idea that we could set me up a temporary workspace in her spare bedroom, so yesterday we sorted out said spare room and set me up a little table from which I can work at, it’s a nice little drop down number so if need be we can drop the leaf and use it for whatever spare rooms are used for.
So here I am sitting at said table, blogging away feeling positive about being able to model for the first time in a couple of weeks and with all this in mind I can concentrate on changing my approach to how I model. Now as those that have read my previous blog posts will know that I have been modelling for far too long for me to remember and I have changed my approach very little over those years. Of course like everyone else I started modelling with a flurry, a trip to the local model shop returning home with numerous kits paints and glue and wasting no time in getting them built painted and put in the display case for all to see, these were of course hand painted with a flourish, probably quite badly yet they were models to be proud of. That was how it stayed until I discovered modelling magazines Francois Verlinden airbrushes and other more advanced modelling ways and techniques and in all honesty I feel that is where my modelling stalled, all that and of course acquiring a girlfriend, girlfriends to be fair do not always understand our hobby although the ever smiling Kerry is a modeller in her own right so some do and I am very lucky in that area. So as my modelling was starting to progress it stalled in the process and the harder I tried the worse I seem to get, project after project was started and then put back in the box as I either hit a stumbling block, usually painting or through lack of interest the effect of which was a mountain of half started kits that in a strange way affected my modelling confidence which caused me to stop modelling for a number of years and returning to it sporadically.
I returned to the hobby once more probably around the turn of the century and I started to attend model shows and as inspiring as the models were the more frustrated I felt with my own modelling and my inability to replicate what the eyes were seeing at shows, in magazines and on the internet. It just seemed the more I wanted to improve the less improvement I was seeing in my own work, the more ways that were tried to inspire me to get kits finished the opposite effect I was getting. I started signing up to campaigns on Armorama to try and motivate myself, all this did was add to the pressure and made me want to model less, I joined a model club the Bulldogs hoping that would help inspire me, that had the same affect it just heaped more and more pressure upon myself, something needed to change. The shelf of shame seemed to be getting fuller, the less I built or half started the more I bought, it just seemed to be a never ending cycle of start one, buy two complete none. At the start of every year I say to myself keep your money buy nothing yet those devious people at model companies keep releasing kits that make me part with my money, and so the cycle continues. So here I am, it is November 2020 and it is time to make a positive change, they say a change is as good as a rest, so I have this little workspace to work at, there is no shelf of shame, no piles of unbuilt kits no piles of books and magazines to intimidate and an opportunity for a kind of fresh start. I prefer armour in 1/35 yet the kit I have made a choice on to ignite this fresh start is a 1/48 Eduard aircraft, a new workspace, a new scale, a different kind of kit and a chance to kick start my modelling with some positive change.
The Average Modeller.