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Modeling in General: Advice on...
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Knowing When to Quit
retiredyank
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Arkansas, United States
Joined: June 29, 2009
KitMaker: 11,610 posts
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Posted: Tuesday, February 12, 2019 - 08:19 AM UTC
How far do you take building, painting and weathering? It seems that no matter how much effort I apply, my builds are never good enough for me. This may be why I have so many shelf-queens. Get's to be damned infuriating! Or is that the essence of the hobby?
gbrame
#488
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Colorado, United States
Joined: October 03, 2005
KitMaker: 14 posts
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Posted: Tuesday, February 12, 2019 - 08:27 AM UTC
Great Question... Is a model ever really done?

The way I see it is a model reflects my skill, dedication, drive, etc. at a point in time. The model is a canvas. I work on a model until I am satisfied with how it looks and it is good as my current skills allow, then put in on the shelf and move on. As there is only so much display space, I find that I dispose of older models from time to time. If I particularly liked the subject, I will get a newer version and make another, trying new techniques or processes.

Model making for me is more of a journey, as I know I can never produce anything as good as the masters I see on here. That doesn't mean I dont enjoy trying and I enjoy the trial and experimentation. It certainly doesnt alway work, and it becomes a test model.

So the journey ends when I feel I have done what I can and it looks nice enough to me.
Kevlar06
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Washington, United States
Joined: March 15, 2009
KitMaker: 2,777 posts
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Posted: Tuesday, February 12, 2019 - 08:45 AM UTC

Quoted Text

Great Question... Is a model ever really done?

The way I see it is a model reflects my skill, dedication, drive, etc. at a point in time. The model is a canvas. I work on a model until I am satisfied with how it looks and it is good as my current skills allow, then put in on the shelf and move on. As there is only so much display space, I find that I dispose of older models from time to time. If I particularly liked the subject, I will get a newer version and make another, trying new techniques or processes.

Model making for me is more of a journey, as I know I can never produce anything as good as the masters I see on here. That doesn't mean I dont enjoy trying and I enjoy the trial and experimentation. It certainly doesnt alway work, and it becomes a test model.

So the journey ends when I feel I have done what I can and it looks nice enough to me.




This is well said. You know, I often have the same problem. Here's what I've learned to do-- when the model is where I think it's about 90% done, I set it on the shelf for a few days, and go off and do non-modeling activities. I come back a week or so later and have a close look at my work. 60-70% of the time, I conclude that it's as finished as it needs to be. And usually, if it needs more work, it's in small details that can be optionally added-- usually for a vignette or diarama I have in mind. I think many of us reach a point were "where we can stick a fork in it and call it done" before we think it's actually done. I think we need to consider the time-work benefit here too-- is it worth it to spend more time on a subject than we need to? I for one have more models and ideas floating around in my head than I probably will have time left in my lifetime. Just food for thought.
VR, Russ
PanzerKarl
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England - North West, United Kingdom
Joined: April 20, 2004
KitMaker: 2,309 posts
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Posted: Tuesday, February 12, 2019 - 10:30 AM UTC
Think another problem is too many people have too many kits in their stash and that's why most kits never get finished.



Namabiiru
#399
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Rhode Island, United States
Joined: March 05, 2014
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Posted: Tuesday, February 12, 2019 - 10:45 AM UTC
Matt,
I have yet to produce a build I was completely satisfied with. It is frustrating that I never seem to hit the mark, but I also feel that most of the time I get a little better each time. I also have to bear in mind that I could probably produce much better results if I wanted to invest a lot more money than I do in this hobby. Let's face it: skill can only get one so far in this hobby--quality tools and supplies are essential if you want to get into the really rarified air.

SO to make a short story long: I share your frustration, but I try to look at each build as a step on the road to progress.

RobinNilsson
Staff MemberTOS Moderator
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Stockholm, Sweden
Joined: November 29, 2006
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Posted: Tuesday, February 12, 2019 - 11:06 AM UTC
I build a model to have a model of the real thing as it was intended to look. Weathering and "battle" damage doesn't interest me. I build them as they would/should have looked when they left the factory (even if it was a field modification).
In a way I am building a model museum. Straight paintjob, possibly with camouflage but no wear and tear. Simplifies life a lot even if many find this approach very boring

/ Robin
CReading
#001
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California, United States
Joined: February 09, 2002
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Posted: Tuesday, February 12, 2019 - 11:29 AM UTC
You have to draw the line somewhere. I agree with Russ in that you stop when you feel you can't do anymore without messing it up, step away. Then after a few days revisit with fresh eye. Another thing you can do is take photos of your project and study the photos. You'd be surprised what you can see in a photo that you don't see while staring at the model. I do this alot with dioramas and find a lot of deficient areas that might need attention.

Cheers,
C.
Kevlar06
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Washington, United States
Joined: March 15, 2009
KitMaker: 2,777 posts
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Posted: Tuesday, February 12, 2019 - 12:23 PM UTC

Quoted Text

... Let's face it: skill can only get one so far in this hobby--quality tools and supplies are essential if you want to get into the really rarified air.

SO to make a short story long: I share your frustration, but I try to look at each build as a step on the road to progress.




I think this is also a very good point. But you know, speaking of dollars, I think sometimes we are inclined to buy tools from "model suppliers" at a greatly increased cost to us, just because they are "model suppliers". It's true, sometimes "model suppliers" are the only game in town for quality tools suited to miniature building, but not always. Case in point-- I got a $100 gift certificate to Micro Mark from my better half for Xmas. So I used it to buy a battery powered slow speed screwdriver drill ( $34) collet ($24), a Fujiyama sprue cutters ($27) to replace my worn out Xuron, and some blades for my favorite scalpel set up. By the time I was done with shipping and tax, my $100 was gone. Imagine my chagrin when walking through my local Lowes, I found the very same low speed drill for $19! Then, while selecting items for some soldering I intended to do at my local Home Depot, I came across a combination "sprue cutter" and fine tipped pliers set for $8, in the electrical department, which is every bit as good at cutting as the Fujiyama, and better quality than Xuron, and I get a similar style pliers for free! So, making a long story short-- the right tools certainly do make a difference, but the right tools don't need to be way expensive either. And yes, the right tools do make easier work. Without the right tools, sometimes I've felt like I'm "fighting" a project-- when I do that, it seems like I'm never done, or it just doesn't meet my expectations. The right airbrush, the right paint, the right tools, the right lighting, even the right workspace can certainly contribute to "finishing" of a model. The best modelers I know have all this under control. We should also strive to get those things in order to meet our expectations better.
VR, Russ
drabslab
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European Union
Joined: September 28, 2004
KitMaker: 2,149 posts
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Posted: Tuesday, February 12, 2019 - 06:58 PM UTC
Building: mostly out of the box, I rarely scratch anything. The exception is my vac form B-52 in 1/48 scale where a lot is scratch.

I tend to go for the best kit on the market on any subject, I don't like working with kits that are not detailed. If the manufacturer can't be bothered to sell a decent kit, I can't be bothered spending my money on it.

Painting: I put a base coat and do a reasonable effort to have matching colors and camouflage patterns. Sometimes, for bare metal planes, a vary the color of the base coat to have a subtle change in color of the top metal layer.

weathering: very little. I don't really like todays fashion to wash, pre-shade, post-shade ... and otherwise make a plane look as if it spent a year in a muddy swamp.

timmyp
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Virginia, United States
Joined: May 18, 2008
KitMaker: 359 posts
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Posted: Tuesday, February 12, 2019 - 09:59 PM UTC
A lot of good points from everybody; here's my two cents:

about never good enough: well, we're all our own worst critic.

infuriating?: it's a hobby, so it shouldn't infuriate that much. If it does, maybe it's time for a new hobby.

"stick a fork in it and call it done"; consider the time-work benefit: that's the crux of this thread, isn't it - when to call it quits, and move on.

I'm with Robin #35: I like building things looking like they just came off the factory floor. My weathering skills aren't well-developed, and I am not inclined to try and start doing detailed weather effects.

So I guess the time to quit, is when you find that no matter what you do, it doesn't improve the finished project.

Tim
Bravo1102
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New Jersey, United States
Joined: December 08, 2003
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Posted: Tuesday, February 12, 2019 - 10:55 PM UTC
There's a saying: A work of art is never finished, merely abandoned.

Taking that to heart has made my life so much easier. It will never be perfect. Something I learned writing is that over polishing can ruin a project and suck all the life out of it.

I also use the "morning after" technique. I'll wrap something up then sleep on it. Come back and find what I missed or what can be tweaked. Then it's good enough and I move on to what's next.

I used to just do one weathering finish. But real vehicles are all over the place so I play with it. Some are motor pool fresh, others are in a road match or driving across country. Some are in the rain or drying off and one is in the snow.

And a few are waiting for me to make up my mind.

I spent ten years on the metal Beasts, I know a little about their life cycle and what they tend to look like. Only takes a ten minute drive on a trail to become covered in dust. One inexplicable mud pit can throw mud everywhere. So my models reflect that. And sometimes I'll leave odd gloss patches because people spill things and hidden corners don't dry out.

I keep the planes relatively clean because I am still amazed at how dirty they get, but ships -- I love rust and salt. Gives it character and texture. And leave it overnight to see if there's more I want to do or do I put it one the shelf.
barkingdigger
Staff MemberAssociate Editor
ARMORAMA
#013
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England - East Anglia, United Kingdom
Joined: June 20, 2008
KitMaker: 3,427 posts
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Posted: Wednesday, February 13, 2019 - 12:50 AM UTC
When is anything ever "finished"?

I find my motivation towards the end of a project comes from wanting to show it at some upcoming event, so I bust a gut on it until the day of the event, and put it away after. That kinda forces a "finished" cut-off on me to prevent endless dithering and tinkering. I always mean to revisit my builds and improve them afterwards, but never get around to it because by then there's something new on the bench!
retiredyank
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Arkansas, United States
Joined: June 29, 2009
KitMaker: 11,610 posts
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Posted: Wednesday, February 13, 2019 - 03:16 AM UTC
These are all very good insights. I will build, then work on figures. Then, build. Then, figures. Then, paint. etc. I'm hoping this will help me improve my figure painting skills and give me enough of a break to keep from getting bogged down. This should keep me from buying more kits, as well. I have at least a year's worth of work, ahead of me.
barron
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Virginia, United States
Joined: December 01, 2001
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Posted: Thursday, February 14, 2019 - 02:44 AM UTC
I got to the point that I was just building for the next show. Sucked all the relaxation out of it. You never really finish a scale model you just get to a point where you quit.
bat_213
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Canada
Joined: January 07, 2019
KitMaker: 34 posts
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Posted: Wednesday, February 20, 2019 - 11:07 AM UTC
I just build ootb paint them and what you is what you get .
JPTRR
Staff MemberManaging Editor
RAILROAD MODELING
#051
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Tennessee, United States
Joined: December 21, 2002
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Posted: Wednesday, February 20, 2019 - 05:49 PM UTC
All interesting and good comments. I have nothing to add except what I learned in art school.

"It takes two people to make a painting. The artist who paints, and someone to tell him when to quit."

Our late friend Russel [Siderius] was good about telling me when he thought a model was complete or needed more attention. I'd be building in the garage and he would be in my Lazy Boy, talking about whatever, and then he'd look at what I had and judge "enough" or "more." Sometimes I agreed, sometimes not. I think the forum topic Pre-Flight Check on Aeroscale is worthwhile. (Do the other sites have a similar forum?)