That said, as I move further into my middle years I admit to becoming increasingly grumpy and cranky. I'm easily annoyed by silly things -- people who wear sunglasses indoors, people who laugh a little too loudly, the fact that my laptop takes longer than 30 seconds to boot. It should be no surprise then that my irritability extends into our hobby, more specifically into online dialog. My enjoyment of Hyperscale, ARC, Missing Links, etc. is now somewhat tempered by annoying questions that are asked all too frequently. So in a spirit of middle age irritation and fun, I'm begging you...please stop asking these questions!
When is the new Tamigawa Fruitbat Mk IVc going to be released?
Look, I’m as excited about a number of upcoming releases as you are. There are a few I plan to buy immediately, such as the Kinetic MiG-25. But please, stop asking when they’re coming. They’ll get here when they get here. Go build one of the dozens or hundreds of kits in your stash while you wait. One day in the not too distant future you’ll log into your favorite forum to find that the kit or decal sheet that's been promised has just been released.
What color red/blue/yellow/black is that?
I see this question asked at least a dozen times a year. “What color blue are the ACMI pods on adversary A-4s circa March 1985?” “What shade of white is the underside of the A-6A?” "What paint should I use for the tires on Preddy's Mustang?" Cripes man, just pick a color out of your collection of paint that looks the same and use it. Assuming you’re not colorblind, trust your eye. As an early mentor once told me, “Paint what you see, not what you know is there.” Blue is blue. Red is red. Don't overthink things.
What should I build next?
Every couple of months someone poses this question to a forum community. He lists four or five models and asks us to vote. For crying out loud, man up and pick one yourself! It’s just a model, not a $300,000 house. My advice is always the same: build the model that most excites you. If you find yourself plagued with indifference, you're going to wind up with another half-built model collecting dust on a shelf as soon as something else catches your eye.
Can I do this?
This question really gets me. “Can I apply Maskol over Bare Metal Foil?” “Can I apply a thin coat of lacquer over Polly S Sky Blue?” “Can I use the natural oils from my skin as a weathering agent on 1/35 shovel handles?” I know the internet makes it very easy to reach out to each other for advice and help, but why not try something new or uncertain yourself? Take an old model (or part of a model), build it, paint it as far as necessary, and experiment. You may discover The Next Big Thing and become as famous as Francois Verlinden.
Is N's web site down?
Finally, my favorite...or should I say, least favorite, question. There are people who, when they can’t access a favorite web site, panic and immediate go onto the forums to ask if everyone else is experiencing the same problem. Friends, I’ve worked in the software industry for nearly 20 years, and I can tell you that web sites occasionally go offline, either for routine maintenance or due to a malfunction. Either way, there’s not much you can do about it. The next time this happens, simply walk away from the computer and try again 12, 24, even 48 hours later. Odds are the site will be back up sooner than later. In the meantime, go build a model. After all, that’s what we do.