Sunday, November 24, 2013

When the spirit moves me

What inspires me to build a particular model? That is the topic of this week's Sprue Cutter's Union.
When my grandmother would ask my grandfather when he planned to do something around the house, he would usually say, "When the spirit moves me."

And so it is with scale modeling.

Like most of you, that spark comes from any number of sources. It might be a movie, an article in a magazine, an inspiring build online, a new kit release, or even a video on YouTube. The process is magical in a sense, and I often feel like I'm waiting around for that spirit to move me, to walk me over to the stash and pick out something good. I usually find something interesting, but there are times when I find myself working on a model that doesn't really "call" me on a day-to-day basis, as is the case with the Trumpeter M1117 Guardian I'm working on at the moment.

But beyond this simple discussion of what inspires us is the more important issue of why those choices are important, and that's what I'd like to discuss here.

All too often I hear from modelers who talk about the many half-built models they have in their workshops. One guy on Armorama even posted a photo of his half-complete projects; there must have been 20-25 tanks! Seriously, that would depress me to no end if those were mine. I don't know how you get excited about a new model when there's such a strong pattern of defeat.

I'm amused when guys post to the forums to ask our opinions about what to build next. How should I know? My response is always the same: Build whatever it is that excites you the most!

I offer that advice because I firmly believe that you should build only those models that most excite you. Life is too short to pick something from the stash that offers little reward. Your goal, assuming you're looking for more than just the experience of *building* models, is to finish each and every model you start, because only by doing so will you a.) have something to show for your efforts, and b.) improve your skills.

As with my Guardian, I've been guilty of not following my own advice, but with the New Year 'round the corner, I plan to commit to not wasting my time on any model that doesn't excite me to my core. And that's the point of my response to this week's Sprue Cutter's Union topic...follow your passion, follow your gut, invest your time only on models that you care about.


  1. Great post! Admittedly, I have about 5 aircraft just waiting for paint that have just been sitting on my shelves for several years now. However, I'm a bit more focused as a modeler and this isn't likely going to happen any more.

  2. Very good advice, and nearly impossible to follow. : ) Definitely something to chew on though.