Sometimes I feel that there are those that are just plain sadists…..

Elefant

It has been quite a while since I last put my fingers to the keyboard and drummed up some words of wisdom regarding this fantastic hobby of mine and this has been for numerous reasons, life of course gets in the way and keeps me away from the workbench and my keyboard whether that is work, the need to get stuff done around the house and garden, the weather,  I don’t know about anybody else modelling in a boiling hot workroom with a fan moving around the already hot air blowing cat fur and dust about and ever so often turning the instruction sheet page is not something I get particular joy from. So I took a bit of a modelling hiatus over the summer and concentrated on the ever increasing list of jobs that need doing around the house and the garden, work and doing some reading to while away the summer holidays. Once we saw the back of August and with the approaching Autumn/Winter model shows it was time to once again return to the bench and especially with one eye on Telford get my finger out get some models finished and once more break out the airbrush and see if for the second year running avoid breaking one. With our yearly trip to Shropshire on the horizon and as mid September approached we packed up our models and headed for the IPMS Farnborough model show which is a huge favourite of mine for several reasons, it was the first show I met some of my fellow club members at, the first show I ever displayed at plus it has a great atmosphere and the host club always make you fell welcome and this year was no exception, when we arrived we had not been allocated a space however they rallied around found us a lovely spot and although it was in  a corridor we had a steady flow of visitors to the stand who stopped by for a look a photo opportunity and lots of chats.

With Farnborough sadly over it was once again time to get some serious modelling done and decide on what I wanted to get finished in time for Telford. After great deliberation, well it took me all of about 20 minutes of sorting through various boxes to decide what part built half painted and unbuilt models I was going to get ready, now one of the part built kits that I had started earlier in the year with an eye on Scale Model World is the very lovely Tamiya 1/48 Elefant, I have debated about building this a couple of times since the better half and ever smiling Kerry bought it for me, the build went fine, after all it is a Tamiya kit and in all honesty where they may make shortcuts in finer details they soon make up for in ease of build. Now I am not one that goes in for huge amounts of research and feels the need to be 100 percent accurate although having said that if a Tank requires camouflage or in the case of German mid/late war tanks, Zimmerit I have tended to give them a huge wide birth. However after flicking through a couple of books magazine articles and the internet I noticed that the Elefant all had Zimmerit so after looking through a drawer or 2 I found the Tamiya adhesive Zim sheet that I had bought after I got the Elefant and set about adding it, simple eh?.

Tamiya must have released the Zimmerit sheet after the kit had been released and the instructions printed as there is no reference to it at all, so I set about adding it once the kit was three quarters built, not a great start…..  the Zim sheet is one big sticky sheet and the Elefant has all these lovely bolt heads sticking up all over the place which means you need to cut holes in it, I tried drilling them out however this just caused the holes to look jagged so after cocking up the very first piece it was back to the drawing board and time to order a new sheet. Now I am not someone who moans and berates model companies about choice of kits they release or how bad the instructions are where they decide to put injector pin marks and I am not about to start that negative trip now or ever to think of it, I just think that somebody at Tamiya is most definitely a sadist. Adding Zimmerit to a tank that requires it is a task in itself, you can use putty to replicate it however I have tried that and it was a bit of a nightmare to be honest and ended up a right mess, there are etched brass sets, resin sheets and even embossed paper to replicate it or you can even use a heated needle (a pyrogravure) and etch the plastic yourself, and now Tamiya have bought out this self adhesive sheet that you need to cut out and punch/cut yourself, sadism at it’s finest.

So last week, starting Sunday whilst I waited for the second sheet to arrive I slowly and meticulously went about adding this sticky sheet to my Elefant, I cannot say that it was an easy task, you need to be able to cut out just about every shape known to man out of the sheet and then get it into the smallest areas that even a contortionist would struggle to get into, couple this with the need in some areas to fold the stickiness around corners it just does not want to go round let alone stick  to you have a battle well and truly on your hands. I am a patient kind of guy and I do like a bit of a challenge and getting this stuff to stick to the plastic to look how it should was most definitely a challenge, also what would have been helpful is the fact that you need to read the Zimmerit instructions before you commence your build threw another spanner in the works so the need for some initiative came into play as I had already assembled nearly all of the kit and had Zimmerit to stick to areas that were already occupied by bits of plastic. So after spending a couple of hours a day cutting fitting cutting some more to get this stuff in the right place I finally had it all completed and all I needed was to add the final pieces of the kit and then sit back and admire the fruits of my labour, well of course that’s how it all ends in modelling fairytale land, not in my world, having completed adding the Zimmerit and the final pieces of the puzzle I decided to clear the bench of all the tools I had used, then as my celebrated triumph was close I picked the glue pot up to pop it back to its home at the back of the bench and……. yep you guessed it the lid was not on properly and it decided to fall the small distance to the workbench and deposited its contents all over the cutting mat. Luckily it only ran onto the running gear of the Elefant and complete disaster was averted and it lives to fight another day, the moral to this story could be always do the lid up on your glue pot, for now maybe it should be do not bask in the glory before your work is done.

The Average Modeller.

 

There are times when some of my fellow modellers make me mad…..

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Please excuse the title, I was not too sure how to express how certain members of the modelling fraternity make me feel. There is a lot off laziness in the hobby and one of the things that boils my piss more than those that post on forums and social media about what colour they should paint their panzer grey Tiger is those people who post other peoples work on Facebook pages without crediting the modeller who has spent hours day weeks even months on it or even worse they post pictures of others work passing it off as their own. Now I will probably never have my work treated in this abominable way however come on people credit where credit is due, if I had worked my butt off creating an inspiring diorama and somebody else passed it off as work they had done I would be less than impressed. What makes me laugh is when you see work by a well known modeller, a piece of work that has been seen around the show circuit on the internet and in magazines and somebody is passing it off as their own it’s a bit like me going to the Louvre in Paris and saying that there Mona Lisa, I painted that, or the Venus de Milo, I sculpted that.

Another thing while I’m at it is plagiarism, not only are people passing others work off as their own they are blatantly copying other peoples work and saying that the original idea was theirs. Now I am sure the great modellers among us would be flattered if work they have done inspires others to have a go at emulating that work, blatantly copying is just plain wrong. I know it is tough coming up with an original idea for say a diorama, and it is something I have struggled with over the years copying is not the answer, being inspired by someone’s work or by a picture in a book now that is what should be happening not directly mimicking the work of somebody else. The advent of the internet over the last 20 years has not really helped with this at all, please don’t get me wrong the internet has added an extra dimension to the hobby as far as I am concerned, for example you can obtain anything you need for the hobby 24 hours a day 7 days a week and from all 4 corners of the world, it has given me the platform to share my thought frustrations and annoyances about the hobby with those who choose to read my rantings.

Plagiarism is not just blighting those whose work is at the very top of the hobby, it also effects those who have the talent to sculpt and try and make a living selling those wonderful figures and busts to us the modeller,  bad copies of these works crop up on a certain auction site on a worrying scale, it is piracy and those in power to restrict the sale of these pirated items do not seem to act quick enough and it puts these small cottage industry businesses at jeopardy. When I write the blog posts I try to use pictures of my own work or photos I have taken at military vehicle shows, air shows or at museums. I think I have only used a picture I found on google once, and that was of Geoffrey Wellums Spitfire, it isn’t hard to be original, if you cannot sculpt, leave it to those that have the talent to do so, and the pirating and illegal distribution of other peoples work is not unique to figures and busts, it can be found in other areas too, such as books and magazines.

A few years back I was looking for a book that had been out for a couple of months and the only copy I could find was going for a kings ransom on the auction site I mentioned earlier, so every Friday an internet search would take place and on one of these searches I found one going free, yep free and to my utter shock it was a PDF copy, now the guys that write these special interest books are not multi millionaires with a sports car in the drive, theses are guys like me and you just trying to share with the modelling world how they achieve the level of work that they do. Next time you are after a book a bust or a set of figures and you see them really cheap on the internet take a minute and think about the person who has sweat blood and tears and put their heart and soul into the original work and treat them with the respect they deserve. The same can be said about the modellers whose work gets posted on certain Facebook pages and does not get the credit, I always credit the modeller when I see this, and I am sure sooner or later I will get removed from these groups however I don’t really care, these people deserve the credit their talent and dedication deserves.

The Average Modeller.

 

Stepping out of……THE COMFORT ZONE!!

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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

 

A sad modellers tale…..

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As I sit here on a chilly and windy Saturday evening wondering where the day has gone and why on earth I have not got any modelling done yet again and my thoughts also turn to the fact that I have not blogged for the best part of 4 months so after hanging my head in shame and chastising myself knowing that I have once again allowed life to get in the way of my hobby and more importantly I have allowed work to dictate my life once more and this is something that I have tried without success to eradicate from my life for as long as I can remember. Work should just be work and when I walk out the door at the end of each shift be able to switch off and be ready to move onto whatever I want to do with the rest of my day/evening. In all honesty I am absolutely rubbish at switching off and this is possibly one of the reasons I spend far too much of my spare time dwelling on work and more of that time castigating myself  for not being motivated enough to switch off and to get my backside to the workbench (or keyboard in this instance).

At the start of each year I make a promise to myself not to allow work to take over my life and spend some decent time at both the workbench and keyboard with less time stressing about work and to start enjoying and getting the best out of my spare time. As you can guess it never works out like that and I spend more time stressing about things that I have no control over and allowing it to ruin my downtime to such an extent that by the time winter evolves into spring then into summer and the warm weather morphs into the autumn panic has set in and I am trying to balance the demands of work, home life and getting all those kits finished off that I promised myself I would get done for the club stand at SMW in Telford that November which in turn ends up with a severe case of burnout when we return something that in a weird way sours that most wonderful of weekends and leaves me in a modelling void that lasts up to Christmas and beyond. I do admire my fellow modellers that build paint and finish relentlessly throughout the year however it is not for me as I tend to get far too much enjoyment of sitting back and marvelling at my masterpiece and pondering how I managed to finish it without completely ruining it.

As I sit here in mid March feeling happy about my hobby and finally feeling the words flow which in turn is getting me closer to finishing the first blog post of the year, a model show to attend tomorrow in the guise of Southern Expo in Hornchurch Essex with a bit of money to spend, not on kits of course as I have enough of those however there are a few books I would like to add to my library plus there are always sundry items to add to the workbench or a new tool as an addition to the toolbox. Maybe as we approach the spring with the clocks going forward in 2 weeks time and with more natural light pouring through the windows I am finally ready to step out of the shackles from the winter and the burn out still lingering around from last year finally being able to put work in its place and prepare myself for some time at the workbench maybe even find some positive energy from the longer daylight hours and finally get round to gluing some plastic together perhaps even break out a paint brush or two and try my hand at something new or wherever any new found inspiration may take me. It is hard for me to break the old habit of do nothing until the summer holidays in July/August then spend September procrastinating over getting stuff finished only to struggle through the mad rush of getting kits over the line for Telford and then suffering the feeling of burnout that I spoke of earlier.

So with all that in mind and with a feeling of positivity and excitement I look forward to the week ahead with a model show to come tomorrow with the hope that it will kick start the creative juices enough to get them flowing again and knowing what I need to do when work ends Monday evening, leave it at the door have a peaceful evening and maybe just maybe a little bit of modelling time. I accept that getting your self in the right frame of mind to model after a tough and tiring day at work can be difficult however if I approach it in a positive way anything is possible and maybe that is the key to getting more done, a more positive and proactive approach and hey what do you know, I may have found the answer to my sad modellers tale after all.

The Average Modeller

Another year over and am I any wiser?

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As the sun begins to set on another year here at  average modeller HQ and I find myself sitting at the workbench pondering over what has been a reasonable modelling year all round, yes I could have finished more models, yes I could have attended more shows and yes I could have blogged a bit more however overall it has been a decent year. A year which has seen a refurb of the workspace into a more useful and cohesive place to work, out of the 4 kits I started this year I completed 3 of them, 2 of which took their place on my club stand at this years scale model world in Telford to commemorate the 100th anniversary of the end of WWI, job done and mission completed. My blog sadly took a bit of a back seat as the year went along due to work and life in general getting in the way, all things being equal life should return to normal and I can spend a bit more time at the bench and just as important to me a return to the keyboard and the continuation of the absolute nonsense I write here, the blog which I started last February  was a way to keep myself  involved with this lovely hobby and a way of venting my frustrations in regard to my modelling output, lack of motivation and a near unusable workspace.

This past year has seen a plethora of new kits released, some of which surprised us and of course some that we never thought would ever be released in plastic, I am not one of those that has to buy a kit the minute it is released I usually bide my time and maybe pick it up at a show once the euphoria has died down somewhat, that is not to say that I have not bought kits the minute they are released, the Riich models Skoda RSO a few years ago springs to mind however I am a bit more laid back about kit releases these days and after all if I am honest there are racks full of kits just vying for my attention collecting dust in the workroom some of which I may never get round to building at my current rate of finishing kits which is about 2 every 12 months especially as I have probably bought about 10 kits to replace the ones that I have built. We have seen some great kits released this year far too many for me to list here and in all honesty my memory is absolutely shocking at remembering these sort of things these days plus there are people better placed to comment on these and as I have not built any of the kits released this year I am not qualified either.

After finishing the workroom refurb back in snowy March and with my thoughts moving on to what model would be gracing my new workbench first which in all honesty was quite an easy decision as I unboxed my birthday present from the ever suffering Kerry and built a Tamiya Radio control car which was something I had wanted to do for a number of years since I built my last one back in the early 90’s, I say built it at the bench, I did the fiddly bits at the bench the rest I did crouched on the carpet as you cannot drop stuff too far if you are sitting as close to the floor as possible. Once this was completed and run around the car park where I work it was time to move onto some proper modelling and I started something from the Tamiya 1/48 armour range in the shape of a Crusader which I blogged about at the time and with a bit of luck I will return to finishing off sometime in the new year. This is where life and work took over and of course the smoking hot summer weather that kept me from the workbench until late September which coincided with a long weekend in Folkestone for Euro miniature expo which reinvigorated the creative juices and got me back to the bench with a frenzy. In the time since I have built painted and finished 2 kits ready for Telford with nearly a week to spare which was quite a weird feeling having no modelling stress in the last few days before we made the long journey up the motorway which helped put me in a relaxed mood for the long modelling weekend spent in great company with great friends.

So as the year draws to a close and I look upon it as a good modelling year all round my thoughts turn in 2 directions, 1 is have I developed as a modeller this year? have I made any progress and have I learnt anything new?, now being  a bit of a creature of habit I find it hard to change how I model which is possibly why I do not finish many models however I tried a few different techniques on my two completed static kits this year one of which, the use of pigments I look forward to returning to in the coming 12 months, the other was weathering using oils something else I look forward to exploring more and using in 2019. The other direction is where will my modelling take me in the forthcoming 12 months? that I guess is down to me and the world is my oyster, will I continue in my usual vain of disjointed stop and start building coupled with a rush to get things over the line come October/November in time for Telford or will I model consistently for the first time since I can remember and finish numerous projects so I have a choice come November. I think consistency is the key for me as the year progresses with an early start as possible in January on my first project, I’m not quite sure what that will be yet, perhaps something from the pile of shame or that Spitfire project I have been putting off for the last few months. I would like to dabble in some figure painting in some shape or form as I would like to try my hand at a diorama or 2 as I have a few ideas up my sleeve. Hopefully we will see some surprise releases as the year kicks off and with one eye on the Nuremberg  toy fair in late January which might give us a clue on how the year will pan out and hopefully 2019 will be another great modelling year.

The Average Modeller

It’s that time of year once again….. is it too early to panic??

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Modelling has been on the back burner over the last few months, well actually most of this year due to many reasons, my health, life in general,  lack of inspiration and of course work which has been particularly stressful with much going on especially over the summer and with the couple of weeks that I had off and with much planned I ended up spending just as much time in work as I normally do, some holiday. Of course there are always positives as I managed to refurbish my workroom this year and built yet not painted a couple of kits one of which is for this years long trip to Telford so it has not been all bad. To be fair it has been a bit of a strange year in my modelling world and it has been rather up and down with more time spent in the down than the up. In my opinion the modelling year starts with the return from the midlands for Scale Model World and ends the moment we pack the car for that very same trip the following November, I had a lot of high hopes for this year however circumstances being what they are it seems to have gone the same way as all the others in recent memory. Once we returned last November and the new modelling year kicked off I begin by putting the purchases away reflected upon the weekend just gone, thought about blogging about it and did something that I’d not normally do and I built a model, strange I know although it has yet to see any paint.

Fast forward 10 months and I find myself sitting here mid September thinking that above everything else it is only about 50 or so days until the annual trip to Scale Model World and I have just one and a half built models and have the feelings of a severe case of deja vu, I really do not do myself any favours year in year out and find myself looking ahead at the ever decreasing day count to get my models built painted weathered finished and put on bases before I run out of time. If I worked well under pressure it would be easy to say that it is not a problem however sadly it is and I can feel the panic and obvious stress building and I know that it all should be very straight forward and I should complete them in good time and be able to sit back and maybe build something extra for the club stand yet I know that there will be the annual airbrush disaster and I will be drying paint and varnish on the night before we leave with the trusty hairdryer. Maybe I should start my builds during the cold winter months of December January and February when there are little other distractions and not the roasting hot months of June July and August like I did this year, although the weather was glorious (to some) it is not very conducive to good modelling as the glue evaporates quickly under normal conditions yet alone when it’s around 30 degrees in the workroom.

Every year I go through the same mental torture as the summer holidays end and we are thrown into the deep end of a brand new academic year and as the hot weather cools  into the nicer autumnal temperatures and the model show scene kicks back in and we find ourselves travelling either into the deep countryside or down to the coast in search of our modelling fix and to be able to feast our eyes on the endeavours of others knowing that our own lack of effort at the workbench is highlighted by the great work done by our fellow modellers which sadly puts us to shame. It is the harsh truth that every year I sit down faced with an ever dwindling amount of potential modelling days and know that as a lazy modeller I will be really up against it to get anything finished let alone 2 or maybe 3, why do I do it to myself ?, maybe it’s a way of punishing myself for constantly adding to the stash throughout the year when at the start of every year I promise myself and the long suffering Kerry that I will not buy any new models as I do not really need any and then low and behold they start arriving or I pick up them up at shows and add to the ever increasing and rarely diminishing stack of unbuilt kits. I suppose one of the shinning lights is that any kits I have started this year have been built from start to finish and are only in need of a slap or two of paint, perhaps it is a sign that I have turned a corner in my modelling and are not going through the start a kit, have problems, put it on the shelf forget about it and then repeat the process all over again.

So, here I am on a Saturday evening updating my blog which is something I have not done in nearly 2 months and although it is 56 days until the start of Scale Model world according to the IPMSUK website I am not quite panicking yet, I have tomorrow evening set aside for some bench time and the hope to get kit number 2 as close to finished as I can plus with a trip to Folkestone next weekend for Euro Miniature Expo on the horizon not everything is gloomy modelling wise at average modeller HQ as there is still time to turn out a model or 3. Of course not withstanding I can always turn what could be a potential success into a complete disaster and back again in the little over a month I have left as it would not quite be me if I didn’t. Now with this blog post nearly done, some bench time planned a weekend away and with modelling back at the top of the agenda it is a little bit too early to panic and I will hold that back for at least a week or so.

The Average Modeller.

Here we go again, frustration after frustration after frustration……

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Well it has been a whole year since I started this blog and I have to admit it is not always easy to find things to write about and sometimes you have to wait for the right subject matter to rear it’s head and then BANG!!!! you have it. Over the last month and a half there have been quite a few opportunities to write about one particular subject however there are only a set number of times you can write about the moaning and complaining modellers within our hobby and boy do they like to moan, it gets to a point sometimes when you just have to stay away from the various forums and social media platforms just to keep sane because sometimes enough is just enough, and to be honest I’d had enough.

On to more positive thoughts, at the start of the new year I decided that my workroom was no longer working in it’s current state, the desk was oversized, I wasn’t using the rooms natural light as I had moved the desk away from the window (don’t ask), it was overcrowded with boxes of non modelling related stuff spare doors for my kitchen cupboards and nearly 20 years of buying models and not really building, well finishing them is more to the point so in a bout of new year enthusiasm I decided the time had come to sort it all out, so with pad pencil and tape measure in hand I ventured into the workroom to devise my plan. The room itself is a not very big and is what is commonly known as the box room so when you fill it to almost bursting point with stuff it is hard to work out where to start however with my enthusiasm unabated I started measuring and fermenting my plans.

I thought I would start by dismantling the desk a big old Ikea number which would then free up some space to move stuff around which in theory sounded like a great plan however the reality was not how I had envisaged it, when I moved the desk from it’s original place in the house my workroom was relatively empty now it was chock full to the rafters and manoeuvring stuff about so I could undo the bolts that held the higher level shelving ensemble together was no mean feat, neither was doing the same to get to the 4 or so bolts that held the 2 ‘legs’ on, once I had managed this and removed the offending remnants of the desk I thought I would have a lovely big space to work in, sadly I had not taken into account  what I was going to do with the stuff that had lived on, underneath or on the high shelving that made up the Ikea desk. This is where the frustrations started to creep in, I had envisaged a reasonably complex project yet short in terms of time yet every time I entered the room more and more issues were screaming out for my attention, however now that I had started I needed to persevere and see it through to the end otherwise my once lovely workroom would just become a glorified cupboard.

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Once the desk was gone I needed to think about what to do with my endless, (well it seems endless and you stand and look at it) selection of unbuilt, and part built kits that sit quietly on a selection of Ikea shelving of varying lengths and widths adorning the rooms 4 walls,  you could say my workroom had become more of a bad advert for Ikea than a modelling room however I needed a solution to what to do with this large dare I say it ‘collection’ of kits something with a bit more flexibility than wall mounted shelves.  After I had spent 5 or so minutes searching the internet and Amazon in particular looking at the possible solutions to my conundrum I settled on some nice easy to assemble (and the first 2 were, more on that later) 5 tier racking, I thought I would be able to get the stash on these no problem, oh! how wrong was I. The racking arrived a few days later and I felt a little bit closer to reaching my goal. Another frustration in this self inflicted headache I mean project of mine was the factor of time, it was taking so long just to achieve the smallest amount of gain, firstly the problem of working in a room that still has it’s entire contents still in residence is a major stumbling block and as you need to virtually empty the room before you do any work  and as this takes a good hour or so, you can only really do this at weekends, which also creates its own set of frustrations because you spend a great deal of time doing the workroom and very little time doing very little else, which I am sure pleases the ever suffering and very understanding Kerry because I guess while I am doing this I am not bothering her or breaking airbrushes and swearing about it.

Having bought, built, and put the racking in place, filled them up with some boxes full of magazines on the bottom to add some weight, two things were becoming quite clear, 1 I had far too many models, and 2 with the racks in place I was short of space for my planned workbench so it was back to the drawing board, and yet another solution was required. On the other side of the room I have a bookcase, now as I have come to work out this is no ordinary bookcase, it is a bookcase on a par with the Tardis or Mary Poppins’ handbag. When I first moved into my workroom back in 2003 I removed the horrible and ugly set of spotlights with the plan of putting a strip light in and things being what they are I never got round to it and as the light switch is virtually flush I covered it over with said bookcase, now with the light back on the agenda I felt I needed to move the bookcase over and free up the light switch, to do this I needed to empty it, once emptied I needed to move and refill it, and yes you guessed it I ended up with at least a shelf full of books with no home, I really do love how things evolve over time and once you alter them it all goes a bit awry and are altered forever. So now the book case had moved I realised that I needed another bookcase to pick up the slack so once again the tape measure came out and it dawned upon me that I needed either a very thin bookcase, or a new one to fill the space entirely and then it came to me in a flash of light, well maybe not as spectacular, if I bought another set or two of racking I could turn one into a bookcase, and being bigger than the old bookcase would take my books, some magazines and I would still have space for some more, the other racking could pick up the rest of the stash, and although now they have been ordered, delivered, built (yet not as easy as the first 2, I think these ones had either been danced upon by Elephants or somebody somewhere hates me because they fought me and Kerry all the way and took to being built very very reluctantly). With the room rejigged and filled with books on one wall  the surplus stash on the other and although the bookcase needs some reorganising it looks ok and will take a bit of getting used too, the surplus stash is still looking rather surplus albeit a bit less in number and I still have a few more hurdles to overcome until the room looks a bit more how I envisage it.

It has been over a week since I last did anything with my work in progress and I have had time to think about a few of the issues facing me in the cold light of day, these are quite simple 1, I have far too many kits that I have completed that have got broken over time and they need to go, 2, I have far too many kits that I have part built and lost interest in or have parts that have either got broken or lost, and 3, I have far too many kits, far too many for me to build especially at my current build rate and far too many I will never build so I need to go through them and sell them on, the cull is underway my friends.  As for the room itself, I have a list of things that I still need to do before I can think of installing my workbench, I need to clear the floor of kits for starters so I need to put back up a couple of shelves to take the slack, rearrange the racking to maximise the space, purchase a spray booth (I have my eye on what I need) and that will enable me to paint in doors once again so no more freezing my legs off in the build up to Telford, and I can get back to modelling again in a room that is more user friendly and exactly how I want it. Will it have been worth it? I think so, the room has evolved over the last 15 years into in unusable mish mash which has made it difficult  to model in so at least once it is done I can get back to enjoying the hobby once more because to be honest I haven’t been recently and I have begun to miss how much enjoyment I used to get out of it, it’s a glorious hobby and it is there to be enjoyed.

The Average Modeller