I think I can say that I do.
I’ve maintained a wish list in Dropbox for many years, which I’ve continually updated with the kits, aftermarket, decals, and books that I’m looking for. Dropbox has an app for the iPhone, so I can pull up that list when I visit hobby shops, browse the vendor rooms at IPMS contests, or search listings on eBay. Slowly, very slowly, I’ve removed items as I found them. When I looked at the list yesterday I realized there wasn’t anything left that is inherently hard to find left. I’m…done?
Not quite. There will always be models and related products that I want to buy. What’s left in my wish list are the items, some kits but mostly aftermarket, that I think I need for future projects. For example, I bought Valom’s new 1/72 RF-101C, but I have not yet picked up the F-101A and C variants. I have only one of Valom’s four Navions. I’m patiently waiting for the Hobby Boss SS-23 Spider to drop significant below the $95-111 price point that I see. And there are many Aires exhausts, Armory missiles and bombs, and Eduard sets for kits I already have. But in terms of “rare” models, I have everything I want.
It’s taken a long time to get to this point. I wanted an Airfix/MPC C-130 for a long time but was intent on finding one sealed (too many parts that could otherwise go missing); I finally found one at a hobby shop a couple of years ago. When I realized Sword’s P-80A had become difficult to find and that I didn’t have one (oh, the horror!) I saved a search on eBay and eventually won one. When I was more intensely engaged with figures years ago I longed for Kirin’s 120mm Highlander and happened to find one at an IPMS contest. I didn’t spend a fortune to acquire any of these. I tempered my eagerness with patience.
The internet and particularly eBay have leveled the playing field. Very few models are truly “rare” these days, despite the overuse of the word in eBay listings and the occasional IPMS vendor who proclaims everything on his table as such. Every time I was outbid on models that I sought over the years, I reminded myself that eventually — maybe not today, maybe not this year, but eventually — another one will show up.
I share my experience because I want those of you who are seeking your holy grail (and who doesn’t have one…or five) that this day will come for you, too. In the meantime, build and enjoy what you have, and remember, as I remind myself every day, that your happiness is not contingent upon acquiring or building any one particular model.