Wednesday, 22 January 2014

Sprue Cutters Union #25: Finding the time, making the time








How do you find the time to model?

Jon's posed us an deeper, more subtle question than it looks on the surface.

I remember a time when I'd push my homework to the edge of my desk, grab my granddad's tea-box/cigar box, and pull out my Humbrol enamels, a brush and whatever kit I was ruining (sorry, 'working on').

I remember another time when I'd just say 'I'm going to the garage to paint'

Then there was all that time my wife was pregnant, would watch endless '24hours in A&E' or would go to bed early, and I'd have simultaneous hobby time.

Of course that's all history. You don't stay a kid all your life (or do you?), and your wife only has a limited run of actually being pregnant. Even when she got pregnant again, we had the issue of baby #1 doing his thing all light long. Hobby bliss was not the same.

I found that taking over some space in the kitchen (not a popular move) meant I could glue a part, or paint a section while eating breakfast, and generally 'getting ready' for work.

I'm writing this on a bus to work. I usually drive, as my wife and I commute together, to the same office, but as she's part-time, and has the toddlers mid-week, I try and get some blogging done. If the bus wasn't so crowded, I'd bring the paint, too...

I've written recently about the pitfalls of forcing hobby time - before Christmas, I had planned a day in the office when work was non-existent, so I could paint. The results were less-than-favourable. The light was dull and a tad orange, and with the blue glare of the computer screen I couldn't get the colour balanced well. The air-con dried out the paint quickly, and my desk is too low. As I wrote, it's a good place for prepping and gluing, if not for painting.

I had a week off last week - unofficially rolled-over leave from last year, that would otherwise have been lost. So I just didn't go into work.

I had Monday and most of Friday to myself - no toddlers, no wife, no stepkids, and I made use if it by setting the airbrush up in the kitchen. I didn't get any gaming miniatures painted, but I did finish the USS Sulaco, and got most of the Alien3 xenomorph done. I'm about 2 hours away from finishing it.








I finished the Alien figure about 8-9 years ago, but had no ideas for the base. It sat in a box, waiting for inspiration. The inspiration's finally arrived, and now I can't even make the time to harness it!

It's at this point in a model's progression that you can't fake time. You can't just grab a brush or a file while you sip your coffee. You need to sit down, relaxed, and work. This is the part of modelling where you make or break the final article - "it'll do" or "Crystal Brush".

And, as it's not a commission piece, if I have to wait another six months before I spend my final two hours with the model, that's how it has to be.





See how other Sprue Cutters are finding time to put paint to plastic...


Fill n Sand

The Combat Workshop

And the hub where future links will be found...

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