It's a sad fact of life that we can't attend every National Convention. Maybe your budget is limited, maybe you can't get the vacation time at work, or maybe you have family obligations that come first. No matter what the reason, it's a bummer to log onto your favorite forum and see all the chatter among the attendees and realizing you're not enjoying the great models, finding that rare kit in the vendors room, or taking home the Best of Show award for the model you spent 50 hours on.
What's a modeler to do?
If you're not attending the Nats this weekend, here are a few suggestions.
1. Get together with a few of your modeling buds and have lunch or dinner together. The Nats is primarily about friendship and camaraderie (or it should be), so if you can't spend the time with 500 friends then find four or five and enjoy a few hours of modeling chit chat.
2. Go to your Local Hobby Shop (LHS) and splurge a little on a few models, books, and supplies. A big attraction of attending the Nats is bring home some booty from the vendors room. If you can't be there, treat yourself and support your LHS in the process. Both of you will be glad you did!
3. Spend the day at the workbench. I don't mean one or two hours; I mean the entire day. Tell SHMBO that you need the time to decompress, and then lock yourself away in your room from 9 a.m. until 11 p.m. and enjoy doing what you love. If you want to be really ambitious, commit yourself to completing one model, whether it's one you start that day or one that's nearing completion.
4. Watch a favorite war movie. It might be Top Gun, Band of Brothers, Henry the V (great battle scenes), etc. Whatever it is, engross yourself in a movie that will inspire your modeling.
No matter what you do, enjoy the weekend and our hobby. And start saving your pennies for next year!