As summer seems to be coming to a close and back to normal work beckons after what seems to have been a really short summer holiday and with it the end of what promised to be a productive break yet in the end was not what I hoped it would be, that is not saying that it has been completely unproductive, I have spent a bit of time at the workbench away from home, maybe not as much as I planned or would have liked however I have made use of the small amount of time that I have had. Modelling away from home has its pros and cons, there are less models that try and steal your attention and you do not have the shelf queens looking down, judging you, and asking why they are sitting on the shelf collecting dust and not on your bench being finished off. On the flip side there is not the access to all the paints tools and the like you have spent amassing over the last 20 odd years and you can bet that you will need at least one of them to help with what you are doing. I have realised that it is not always about the amount of time that you spend at the workbench, it is what you do and how productive you have been, there have been times I have spent a whole day in the workroom only to sum up at the end of the day that I have achieved hardly anything, yet have spent an hour or 2 and achieved loads. Over the summer and in my down time I have been reading some modelling related blogs and watched a few live chats regarding different facets of the hobby and I like to hear other people’s views and opinions on the hobby as it always helps to get my thought processes going especially if what you are hearing or reading sparks off something in the brain.
In the week I was watching the Interesting Modelling Co. on Facebook discuss whether or not the hobby has become too expensive, now I will not revisit their discussion, and it was very very interesting and thought provoking and I would recommend anybody to find it and watch it, although be aware it is about 90 minutes long, there was one point that rang true with me and that was regarding social media and showing off our work. When I started modelling in the early 90’s the only people other than me who saw my work was my close family, my Step Dad Adrian and me would sit and model together showing each other our endeavours as we went along, then the internet and forums came along and you could show off your work to complete strangers if you so wished, then came social media and you could see all the great works that before you could only see in magazines and books. I think, and this especially true for me, you kind of stopped modelling for yourself and start modelling for your peers which in the end ends up putting so much pressure on yourself that one mistake has that model hurtling towards the bin or back in its box and on the shelf with the rest of the part builds. Personally I do find it an unnecessary pressure to try and emulate what we see on social media, I also find myself getting extremely frustrating trying to copy the techniques and finishes that I see on virtually a daily basis, please don’t get me wrong, a lot of the work I see is fantastic and inspirational, yet I feel a need and the draw to try and please my peers before I please myself, a sentiment echoed by the team of the Interesting Modelling co. midweek.
With all this in mind, I spent a little time the last couple of days thinking about my modelling and how to change things a little and really get back to developing my modelling in a way that suits me better. It is difficult for me to, in essence run before I can walk, there are certain aspects of my modelling that really frustrate me, lack of time and opportunity is one of the biggest however it is not something that I have much control over so it is a case of making the best of the time that comes my way. Another part that frustrates me is the fact that I tend to stay within my comfort zone and very very rarely wander out of it, as an example most of what gets finished are Russian tanks and very green which is fine if not a bit bland, anything that deviates from one colour, especially green either stays part built or unbuilt. Consistency in my modelling output and the way that I build and finish is something that needs work on, starting a model is not a problem, there is nothing in this hobby that gives more pleasure than opening that box full of fresh plastic and starting the creative process, it is the continuation of that process that gives way as the building progresses, hit a snag and the enthusiasm wanes, or life gets in the way and it keeps me away from the bench for days sometimes weeks at a time so when I return to it my enthusiasm that was there at the start has disappeared and this is how the pile of shelf queens develops into an even bigger pile. It is not all doom and gloom and negative,the challenge of a group build is something that has always interested me although building within a certain time frame is something that is a struggle for me as the pressure of this ways heavy and I tend to fall way before the final hurdle, my enthusiasm at the start far out ways my commitment as it reaches the end.
So here we are, lots to think about going forward and a feeling of pleasing myself a bit more in what I am doing with my modelling and feeling quite excited about the journey ahead. Usually I would be thinking about the modelling shows coming up and what builds that are planned however this year things are still a bit up in the air and with Scale Model World still on the will it go ahead, will it not go ahead list as I write, so a more relaxed time at the bench beckons. Painting and finishing things off are going to be the order of the day and I am going to try and squeeze a bit more bench time in each week within the busy schedule that I am sure will gradually try and take over my life, sadly life has a habit of doing this and I must focus and take what bench time comes my way and make the most of it. Focus, commitment and consistency need to be my friends if I am going to start enjoying my modelling more, after all it is a hobby and something to be enjoyed not endured, a means of relaxing away from the rigours of life and a way of channeling my energies into something positive. Sometimes I do not feel that it is enough to just build lose interest and then never finishing anything, I need to feel the process that is started is seen right through to the end and with this in mind using it as a learning curve and enjoy what I do, one project at a time. Now I am not saying that only one project will be on the go at once, maybe the way forward for me is to have 2 or 3 projects in various stages criss crossing across the bench, maybe that will not work, and maybe it won’t, perhaps one project at a time is what is required, at this moment I am unsure, what I am sure about is that the procrastinating needs to stop and I had better get back to it.
The Average Modeller.