I have spent quite a considerable period of time away from both the workbench and my blog mainly due to work and just life in general, when you are working long hours on a split shift it is quite difficult to motivate oneself to get to the bench and do some modelling or to sit at the computer and tap away when all you really want to do is to sit on the sofa and chill. The weather does not help to lift the mood and criss crossing between 2 houses does not really do too much to help motivate either and with no Telford for us this year and no other model shows on the horizon my output over the last 12 months has been zero, that is not saying that I have spent no time in the modelling zone, however it has been well below my usual meagre efforts. My modelling cohorts Keith and Andy or Andy and Keith have done their best to keep me motivated, involved and amused even when at times I feel like shutting my workroom door and never going in there ever again. My motivation for modelling in the years prior to the pandemic had been shows, build and finish for this show, build and finish for that show and to be honest it burns me out and does nothing to motivate me at all. Since the pandemic and the cancellation of virtually every model show you would think that the opposite would have happened and I would gratefully grab the chance to build away to my hearts content on projects of my own choice yet it seems that has not been the case and my output has ground to a depressing halt.
With money also being in short supply and hardly any new models or accessories finding their way onto the workbench it has been a barren few months at Average Modeller HQ which in turn has had a negative effect that has helped fuel my modelling lethargy and lack of output. Under normal circumstances I sit down and build a model up to a point and most of the time they will stall either at a tricky part, the wheels and tracks, some etch or when it needs painting. Throughout the building process it is easy to rectify a mistake, whether it be over zealous sanding or maybe a bit of over gluing yet when it comes to the painting a disaster is never far away, there are at least 101 ways the painting can go awry, and I bet you that my future masterpiece will find at least one of them. This is my single most issue with my modelling other than motivation of course, painting, it is as if I get a mental block when it is time to break out the airbrush, maybe that is the problem, use of the airbrush. I guess from the mixing of the paint to applying that first coat things get out of hand, I want to use the airbrush as little as possible so the sooner I get the paint laid down the sooner the ordeal is over, so in essence I end up laying down thick coats of paint not letting each coat dry which in turn ruins what may have been a decent build up to that point. After the paint is dry I then lay down a coat of gloss varnish that never seems to go to plan and it always comes out looking patchy which disheartens me, so many variables and so many areas for things to go wrong. Decals being next on the list, a pet hate of mine yet they always look so good once they are done and start to bring the model together and give it a more complete look. It is almost a tick list of possible disasters, if you get past the first stage without disaster then the chances are the next one on the list will get you and so on, it is like my own personal modelling hell a non stop path of pitfalls like some modelling game show without a happy fulfilling ending and without a winner.
Although I may make it out to be all doom and gloom it is not always necessarily so, the painting of a model as you can tell is not a favourite of mine however this is down to several reasons, self doubt, the fear of failing and not living up to my high expectation of how I feel my models should be all come into play, looking at the level of where the people that I admire are at makes me look at how I model in a negative light, whether that is right or wrong it is part of my makeup and probably something that I need to address to move forward. When I look at the hobby as a whole and not just my little corner of it, it really is a great hobby full of extremely talented and really nice people, of course there are those that do not sing along to your own hymn sheet and it is these things that make the world go round of course, how boring would it be if we all agreed on the same things, liked the same kits and the like, how tedious would that be, difference of opinions are good even though there are those that take it to the extreme however that is their prerogative and even though we do not agree we should not put them down for it. Just because we build in one scale in a particular area of history that does not mean we all do, and if something is released in say 72nd scale and we would like to see it in a larger scale that does not make it wrong in a smaller scale it is just what the manufacturer decided to release it in and they should not be criticised for it after all they are putting their money into the project and if it sells well enough we then may see that particular item in that bigger scale, it must be a bit disheartening to receive critique from certain areas of the modelling public just because they chose to release their chosen subject in a scale that does not interest you.
Now having got all that off my chest and as we come to the end of another year with no end to this pandemic in sight my thoughts turn to my own modelling and how I can improve my meagre and virtually nonexistent output as the days count down and we enter 2022, I could go on about how I am gonna finish this and that however the reality is that unless my approach to modelling alters nothing will change. I can rattle on about how unfair life is having to work long hours and that modelling time is at a premium however a change of approach is what is required and I am very lucky to have a job and a roof over my head plus a modelling room full of kits to build, so much so that If I never ever bought a new kit there would be enough to see me well into the next millennium. So as I sit here contemplating my little corner of the modelling world, feeling that I would love the chance to get back to the workbench over the next couple of days and I am sure that the opportunity will arise if I make it happen, that is the bottom line to move forward inspire myself to get to the workroom and use the meagre bench time and make the most of the opportunity. Over the last few weeks I have been working on a project for myself and have used a different approach and it has been a leap of faith, I do not know where the project will take me or how it will finish yet I am taking it one step at a time and enjoying the process, and that’s what it is all about, it is a hobby my hobby and it should be treated as such.
The Average Modeller