Monday, December 15, 2014

6 downsides to being a scale modeler

Being a scale modeler isn't easy at times. Aside from the typical challenges of filling seams, using an airbrush, rigging a bi-plane, and dealing with "that guy" at contests, there are the more mundane issues we face on a regular basis. Here are six experiences that you may have muddled through.

1. Deciding when to tell your new girlfriend that you build models



You've been dating a beautiful, sexy, vivacious woman for several months, and you've carefully hid your hobby from her. "What's behind that door?" she asks, pointing to your workshop. "Oh, that's just a closet. Nothing to see there," you tell her. Your weekend at the IPMS National Convention was explained as a weekends with your college buddies (true story!). But now it's time to tell her. Dealbreaker? There's only one way to find out.

2. Sneaking new models into the house



If you're not on the dating scene you're happily married and your wife supports your hobby...more or less. She doesn't understand why, given your big stash, you need to buy more kits. You've tried to explain it -- the appeal of all of those cool schemes for the Phantom, the intricate differences between wet and dry stowage Sherman turrets -- but she just doesn't understand. Now you have to resort to sneaking new kits into the house. Late at night. When she's out with the girls. In an empty Revell 1/48 B-1B box. Despite the challenge and risks though, like Walter White, you enjoy getting away with it.

3. Trying to look rugged as you look for diorama supplies in the dry flower aisle in Michael’s



I'm looking at you armor and diorama modelers. You know that certain dried flowers provide the basis for convincing foliage in 1/35 scale, but how do you browse the dried flower section in stores and still look like the tough, rugged man you are? Early in the day is best, and a leather jacket doesn't hurt. Better yet, bring your wife or girlfriend.

4. Realizing you’ll never build all of those models in your stash



Holy crap, you're approaching 50! You sit in your workshop staring at your impressive collection of unbuilt kits. You know the exact paint scheme and markings you're going to use for each and every one of them, but then you realize that at your current rate of productivity there's a very strong likelihood that your Meng M2A3 or the Hobby Boss A-10 will be sitting on that very same shelf unbuilt when you die 20 or 25 years from now. Sad but true.

5. Watching your LHS close knowing that it’s partly your fault



You fondly remember your first hobby shop and always look forward to visiting the hobby shop in your town. But this week you learned it's closing and, being the intelligent person you are, you realize that its closing is due in part to your many purchases from the online retailers, eBay, the trading discussion groups. Sure, you've saved some money, but where are you going to buy that bottle of Olive Drab now when you need it at the last minute? We reap what we sow.

6. Being unable to watch a war movie without pointing out the inaccuracies



You're 10 minutes into a great war movie and then, boom! The producers made a mistake (the passengers in that Huey are holding a conversation as if they're sitting in a Camry!) and it ruins the movie for you. Has there ever been a perfect movie? Probably not, but we keep holding out for it and complaining as we go.


12 comments:

  1. Here's my take on this. 1.Right away. Tell her right away, If you're going to date, she should be well aware from the beginning that she goes before the models. Accept it, or not. This has been tested several times in my life, and the models are undefeated. 2.I'm single, so this isn't an issue. But yes, when I was married this became an art form. 3.I walk into a Michael's like I walk into any hobby shop...like I own the place. 4. I realized this when I was a teenager. This is no mystery. 5.Yes and no. Yes, I've split the online/LHS shopping pretty much 50/50. What I can't find online, I find there, and that's where I get my supplies. My LHS knows this, and doesn't blame me, The real reason is there's less of us coming up the ranks. Little to no new clientele. 6.Yes.

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    1. Thanks for sharing your thoughts. Glad I'm not the only one!

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  2. My lovely Lady was very interested in my models when she saw them the first time. I had a display case in the living room of my tiny apartment, with a building area in the corner of my bedroom. (also a tiny room, lol) We have moved a couple of times since we got together, mostly trying to find a place that allowed me to build inside the house.

    As for the sneaking models into the house thing,,,,we go to the hobby shops together, go to the shows, and we load my debit card for online purchases. At the shows, she is worse than I am, finding bargains and dragging me over to look at them. ("no, honey, I am a USN jet focused sort of guy, those pre WWII British tanks don't fit in my collection, yes, that is a good price for them")

    The only grief I get is "what are you doing?, why aren't you building?, surely you've read that airplane book 100 times already?"

    She'd like to see more of this stash built up,,,,,,,and she remembers some little goody well enough to ask me if I have included it in a model yet.

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    1. Rex, you've found a keeper. Buy her something really nice for Christmas!

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    2. My wife is the same, she finds the shows to go to, then raids the bargain boxes, she builds snap kits too!!!

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  3. Bravo....It seems we all have had the same experiences in life, I have lived each and everyone of your points, yes the store names may have changed and the topics for me are car based but yes i could relate to each point you had.....Brilliant read.

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    1. Thanks, man. I had a feeling car modelers have had the same experience. Well, except for the dried flowers maybe. :)

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  4. Regarding the whole girlfriend thing...ahhhh...that's why I avoid women at all cost! They're much too complicated and highly emotional! Plus, scale modeling and woman don't mix anyway! Stay away guys and you'll be much happier in the hobby!

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  5. I know many of these problems are what other modellers have but I don't. My wife of 33 years (4 years together before marriage) takes a keen interest in my hobby and was also a builder in our younger years. I don't need to sneak anything into the house as she encourages me to buy and brings kits etc home for me. The stash, well I know I'll never build the 800+ I have but have enjoyed buying and "feeling the plastic" always. I still have never bought anything online and have supported LHS with my personnel shopping always.

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    1. Never bought anything online? You are a hero to local hobby shops the world over! I respect that!

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  6. You left one out - dealing with the guy who put that ring on your girlfriend's finger. :-) I've actually only dealt with number 4.

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  7. My wife is OK with my hobby affliction. I think she figures it's better than being a drug addict at least. Never mind the flower aisle, guys, check out your local Walgreens or the like for sales on nail polish or those make up powders. Nail polish is generally a high quality paint in endless variety of shades. The powders are great for weathering. Go in and buy with confidence.

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