What inspires your builds? Think about what really gets your creative juices flowing, what is it that keeps you going on a build when it falls into that dreaded stage of tediousness that makes you want to throw it in a box and do something else? For me, it's car photos from the internet and car magazines. That's right I'm a car porn junkie. My wife kids me a lot about what is in my computer history, it's all car or model related. I also subscribe to several car magazines and heaven forbid I walk past the magazine rack at the store without browsing to see if there is a car mag I might be interested in. I take my old Ford to car shows and cruise-ins all summer where I enjoy looking at cars. Sometimes that isn't enough to keep a build on track, and that doesn't help with a figure build, because let's face it people are everywhere. What make us pick up a kit out of the huge pile we have or buy one at the hobby shop, and say, "you are the one!!"
One thing that also help is trying new things on my builds. I always like to try out a new skill on every build. I usually try a paint technique I have never done before, whether it's weathering, or a lace paint job, or true fire, or a fade job, or some other old school paint trick, it helps keep my builds fresh. When you do this you end up with varying degrees of success so sometimes you have to make several attempts to get it right. Sometimes you get it right and other guys don't think it's as cool as you do, oh well! I also try to scratchbuild at least one thing on each build. The last build I did I scratch built a gasser front end out of stainless steel tubing, I've built throttle linkage out of empty soda cans, and made fuel lines out of fishing line. Another thing I do to get me started and keep me going is to try to do some subtle modification or hide something in the paint to see if anyone notices. I've had mixed success, some things are just too subtle. I also build a "series" of cars. What I mean by that is I'll pick a driver or team and build all of the cars they drove in their careers. I've done most of Bill Elliott's cars, the Ramchargers cars, and the IMSA Mustangs from the '80s. It's cool to see you only have one or two more cars to build and then you'll have the complete set, IPMS even has a "Collections" category to show off your hard work. Another fun thing to do that helps a build along is to build a base to display your car on at a show, something built especially for that car. One finished project displayed really well leads to another.
We all have a ton of kits in our stash, some guys have over a thousand or two in their stash, and limited time to build. I always hear about "life getting in the way" of building either before or after I hear about how much time was wasted on the computer or watching television. As in all things it's about priorities. If you are really motivated to build, you will make or find the time. I realize we all go through slumps, I didn't build anything all summer, I didn't even look at a kit. One thing that fired me up was "Nerd Night" at the local hobby shop. Every Friday night we get together at the hobby shop to build for a couple of hours or so, shoot the bull, and share ideas. Being around other modelers inspires me to want to build, that's why a joined a club. Model clubs are a great way to be motivated and get new ideas, so go get involved with a local model car club or join the IPMS. Going to model shows is very inspirational, every time I get back from one I am fired up to build something. So don't just buy up those kits and store them in the basement, build 'em! Be inspired! Until next time.
"Rat Fink" Ron