Friday, March 27, 2015

Don't ask me what you should build next

I occasionally see guys post to the forums asking what model they should build next, sometimes accompanied with a poll listing four or five models. Just the other day my best friend (let's call him...David) asked for that guidance on Facebook!

I'm always amused by these posts. Who am I to say what someone else should build? I wouldn't ask David that question much less a few hundred strangers. The choice seems quite personal to me, as difficult as it can be, particularly when you have dozens or hundreds of models in your stash.

My response to this question is always the same -- build what excites you the most right now. And I usually remind folks that most of us have too many half-built models on the shelf, which for me represents something of a failure. A failure of commitment. A failure to follow-through. A failure to maintain enthusiasm.

A couple of weeks ago someone on Hyperscale asked for advice on getting motivated to start a large project. I wanted to respond honestly but was afraid I'd come off as a jerk, which we know is all too easy on the internet; I wanted to say that if you have to "summon the motivation" to build a model, especially one that's going to require a great deal of effort, you're probably biting off more than you can chew. Or maybe it's not the right project for right now. It seems to me that this fellow should be kicking off a new model with great excitement. He should be telling friends, "I can't wait to get started on this!" with a big smile on his face.

I speak from experience. I could point to numerous models in my stash that are just too big an investment for me at this time, in terms of the time I can invest or the skill I have to apply. Like that Trumpeter 1/32 F-105D. Or my Monogram 1/72 B-1B. And it's the reason I decided not to buy the new Wingnut Wings Felixstowe; I admit, it's just too much model for me.

Making these choices isn't easy and I need to remind myself on a regular basis to select the most engaging model. After periodic, brief absences from the workbench I have a tendency to get back into the swing of things by selecting a model from the stash to "warm up" rather than one that truly excites me. And more often than not those models don't live up to my expectations. If a model doesn't have my complete commitment and enthusiasm, if my heart isn't in it, it's probably going to suck.

The advice I'm offering is simple. Build only those models that truly excite you. Anything else is a waste of your time.


  1. Great topic and excellent points...I have always had the same thoughts why one would ask another of what i should build. If i cannot find the motivation to go to the shelf and pick a model then it will either go back into the cupboard after a few attempts at starting it or the build will not be something i am pleased with....Great read and one i enjoyed.

  2. It is always something that perplexes me.
    But each to their own I guess. If someone can find motivation by building for social reasons and an audience, all power to them.

    As an aside, group builds are something I like to try and get involved in, except I rarely do knowing that my success rate percentile for completion is in single figures! lol