Thursday 23 April 2015

Sprue Cutters Union 33: Your Stress Free Build

There are those people that claim our hobby to be a source of relaxation, a provider of some sense of achievement. Time maybe to take a step back and see if this holds true for everyone?

- What is your source for pure relaxation? -

I have more than one source for relaxation, but I wouldn't call modelling my primary source of inner peace and quiet. I have other sources for that.

When I'm truly yearning for relaxation, I will just plant my behind firmly in the sofa and watch a movie or series. Currently, that would be the season endings of The Walking Dead, Supernatural, Person of Interest and NCIS, after having recently discovered and devoured the first 4 season of Falling Skies.

Another big time-consumer is AD&D, which I play both as participant and dungeon master, taking about 2 days a month actually playing and at least 3-4 evenings planning the next session. Relaxing isn't the word I'd use to describe this hobby, but the almost mandatory total immersion in another world gives me the often-needed sense of being away from it all.

Back to the actual subject of this blog : scale modelling.

I wouldn't call relaxation the primary goal of why I build scale models. It involves a lot of time trying (and failing) new things, disassembling an unwilling airbrush, locating a missing part on the carpet, dropping paint or cleaner on a fresh paint-job (being clumsy doesn't help a lot), ... to start wondering why the hell we do this "for fun"?

For me, the words challenging and rewarding are closer to home. They are also what I would use to describe what attracts me in my day-job (being a software engineer). The challenges of scale modelling can be big or small, starting with the choice of colours, whether or not to deviate from the building instructions, correct a "flaw" or not, ... It can stop there, but you can challenge yourself further. Do you want light or heavy weathering? Paint chipping? Maybe some battle damage here and there? I haven't mastered ANY technique, but tried out a few, and know enough that I want to continue trying to do "better" each time.

To answer today's true question : the most relaxing part of the build is the actual building for me : snipping parts from the sprue and gluing them together, hiding imperfections (or trying my best), filling and sanding seams (if not TOO many, that is).
Basic airbrushing has become less of a challenge (although it took over a year to get to this point) and laying down the primer and basecoat is usually relaxing as well, but there are many more tricks to learn.

If I do not constrain myself, I would probably open a new kit every week, and putting it aside halfway through painting.

Other spruecutters' thoughts: