|I can haz a Su-24?|
I know, it's a good problem to have, right? But when I sit amid my stash of a few hundred unbuilt models (it could be 150,000, I've lost count) and realize that I'm in my mid-forties, I'm forced to acknowledge that when I die most of these models will still be unbuilt. That makes me very sad; not that I'll die (well, that kinda sucks, too), but that so many projects -- and I have a vision for each model that I own, as I'm sure you do as well -- will not come to fruition. There's a chance I may never build that Kinetic F-16D in MiG killer markings of the 56th FW! What will my friends say? "That Steve. He never fulfilled his destiny. How sad." And then they'll fight over the model and the related aftermarket.
These days I find myself being very selective in what I buy. It's tempting to buy every cool new release, but just how high is my enthusiasm for that new Wolfpack 1/48 T-38? Sure, I'd like to build it, but there are so many more models in the pipeline that I'm much more excited about. Maybe that's the trick in managing our money. Before you buy a model, ask yourself, does this model get me more excited than the "top 20" models already in my stash? If the answer is no, you can probably skip it.
Here's what I've learned about buying models these last few years.
1. If you don't buy a model when it's first released, odds are good that you'll be able to find it on eBay or from another modeler 5, 10, 15 years from now. True, the price may be higher, but that will determine just how much you want the model.
Real life example: When Hasegawa released their 1/72 series of F-111s I was spending my time building armor. Fast-forward ten years and I'm back to aircraft, but alas, I ain't got an F-111 in my stash! It took a few years, but I've since acquired one each from the series, which makes me one step closer to what Maslow referred to as "self-actualization." Or something like that.
2. To point #1, even if you never buy that one rare model you've been looking for, aren't there at least ten others that you own that will provide just as much satisfaction?
Real life example: I'd like to have the old Otaki C-5 Galaxy. I'm not sure it's rare, but it generally sells for around $120. I will probably never get one, but I'm pretty sure a few dozen of the other kits in my stash will keep me very happy over the next 40 years of my life.
3. If there's an expensive kit you want, wait for it. There's a good chance you'll find it at a good price in the future. It may not be this year or even next year, but eventually you'll find it on sale via Squadron, Sprue Brothers, or at a contest.
Real life example: I've wanted the Trumpeter 1/48 Su-24 since I saw it at a contest several years ago, but the $130 price tag put me off. I just couldn't justify that much money for a model. But then Squadron had it on sale for about half that, and I took the bait. Add in a couple of other models for friends and I got their free shipping deal as well.
I've ranted long enough. Time to log off of SMS and go check the classified on ARC and Hyperscale.