Saturday 9 January 2016

Spruecutters' Union: The Fine Art of Procrastination

At what point during a build do you usually stall?

It's a new year again. Those arbitrary resolutions have been uttered again, and may be upheld for a few weeks. How many of us resolve to complete our stash of part-finished models? It's a simple concept: don't start a new kit until the current one is completed.

Yeah. Simple.

I remember last May I started my Predator for the BritModeller group build. I didn't finish in time, and that's where the figure has languished. He's out of sight (out of mind) now, having been moved to the garage for safekeeping over Christmas. I have no idea when I'll pick up again.

The same thing happened with the Alien3  kit I've written about. 8 years between finishing the figure and making a decent scenic base was a bit too long.

The problem is the dreaded Hobby ADD", which isn't currently recognised by the WHO as a real affliction, but is something a lot of us have. We're quickly bored by the thing we have, and as soon as the new shiny comes along, our eyes broaden, and we move on.

The Millennium Falcon kit I started around Christmas will be the 3rd spaceship I've started in 20 years. Hopefully it won't be the third stalled one. I have a TNG Enterprise that I began in 1994, with flashing circuits and other lighting ideas I had. It's mostly painted, too - by hand, and with enamels. I doubt I'll ever finish that one, as its way past the point of repair, but I've kept it to kitbash other projects and learn from mistakes.

I gave up on it partly because it got too complicated to light, and partly because the Voyager kit came along. I recently undid the only work I managed on the Voyager - thankfully the thick paint I can-sprayed on the hull came off easily. I'll definitely finish that one. One day. With lights.

I have a Spitfire Mk1 that I started 7 years ago. I spent ages researching what made  the Mk1 different to subsequent versions, and bought superdetailing aftermarket parts. Then, after not getting anything done with the model, I forgot what I'd  researched, and it's been boxes ever since - resin, PE and vacuform canopies and all.

Time is definitely a factor in stalling a project. Committing to a long-term build is like a marriage. Time, effort, compromise. And if you have one of those marriages already, there will be some extra compromise to work with. 

Another stalling factor for me is the diorama. I prefer to show my kits on more than a plain base. I definitely don't like to show them on the kit base - that would be too easy, right? But scenic bases need to be creative, and need to tell a story. The Predator will be on the kit base, but customised extensively. The Falcon, though, is huge. I'm still making decisions and researching colours and details to worry about the base.

For personal projects, I guess I overcommit; I make massive plans that I want to achieve, but deep down I know I can't handle. Then the Hobby ADD kicks in and I move on to the next overblown plan, and repeat the cycle. I'm better behaved with commissions, though. I'm rarely late with a project for a client.

As soon as the WHO recognises Hobby ADD as a true and debilitating affliction I'll get on and finish those 3 Batmobiles in the cupboard. And those Warhammer armies. And those military vehicles.

Oh dear.