Saturday, January 18, 2014

The Best Laid Plans...

I've been working on two projects for what seems like forever, and I'm kind of tired of them.  I'm not bored with them, I just want them to be done.  I still think they are great projects, but they are taking a long time to complete.  I'm at that point in the build where I'm down to the itty-bitty details that seem to make or break a build.  I want to be done so I begin to get in the mindset that I just want to get it done because it will be so cool when it's finished.  I start to rush and make mistakes which causes set backs.  I did some bodywork on my '68 Mustang and I was going to shave the door handles off and use some out of another kit to replace the molded in ones that are already on the body.  I shot the primer without shaving the handles off, more body work and more primer.  Instead of doing it once, I now have to do it twice.
At the same time, my 1957 Ford project has hit a snag, paint.  I finished the body work, primed it, and shot a gorgeous coat of light blue pearl paint on it, then cleared it.  It looked really good, even the wife was impressed.  I noticed some light orange peel in the paint so I wet sanded it and of course, I went through.  I guess I was a little heavy handed.  Well, back to square one.  Strip it , reprime it, and I planned to paint it today; except, I can't.  I have to repaint the underside of the body with enamel paint which takes forever to dry. So I guess I'm repainting it next week.
What makes these two event worse is, I have the local IPMS show coming up next month and the Mustang is kind of being built specifically for this show.  I'm not real sure it will be done.  The '57 Ford needs to be done by the end of March, I'm pretty sure it will make it.  The next project will be box stock, just to keep it simple!
"Rat Fink" Ron

Sunday, January 12, 2014

Come In Out of the Cold, We Have Hot Rods!

This weekend my wife and I went to the first car show of the year.  I know what you're thinking, "You lucky dog, you live someplace warm."  Yes I do; the very tropical Midwest, and in this tropical paradise I live in the best weather of all, Ohio.  Where as other states in the Midwest are much colder, have way more snow, and winter lasts longer, Ohio gets the prize for crappiness (like happiness, but it ain't).  Ohio warms up, then snows some, then has some freezing rain, then switches to some cold for a few days, then warms up and rains.  There is now pattern or reason to our weather, it may even do all of this in one day!  Enough about the weather.  The car show we went to was the Cavalcade of Customs in Cincinnati, an indoor show that I really enjoy.  Besides getting my automotive fix, there are some really cool cars there to see and they are super clean, and I get a chance to talk to other car guys.  To me, it's like a big cruise in, guys hanging out, bullshitting about cars, and checking out cool rides.  There are some over the top cars and trucks there that you know never get street driven, rare cars that get rolled out of the garage and into a trailer and never get driven anywhere, race cars, and regular guys cars that they can't wait for summer to get their car out.  As a matter of fact, all of these cars cleaned up, modified to the hilt, and with super trick custom paint, it reminds me of a full size model car show.
I find it to be a really great place to get ideas for my models because all the latest trends are represented and you can spend a lot of time looking them over.  They are also well displayed for the judges and the public to see everything on the car.  I typically take lots of detail photos as well as overall shots of cars.  There are also lots of old race cars at these events.  When a car is too old to be competitive, what do you do with it?  If you keep it long enough, you take it to shows so guys can see how it was "back in the day."  I have some really cool detail shots of Funny Cars, Dragsters, Salt Flat Cars, and Road Racers by going to indoor shows.  Guys are also more willing to spend some time talking about their car because there is really nothing else for them to do all day.  At an outdoor show there are usually lots of other activities and cars are coming and going constantly, not so at an indoor show.  You do have to fight the legion of sales folks, hey babies in short skirts and low cut tops trying to get you to try a product, and throngs of kiddies being drug around by dads who got the, "if you wanna go ya gotta take the kids" deal in order to get out of the house, but that's not terrible.
Like a big model car show, you see stuff that is well done, cars that are OK, and those WTF cars,  but that's what makes it fun.  You get to see all kinds of cars and some you may never see if you didn't go.  I've seen lots of magazine cars at these and to tell you the truth, lots of them look way better in person than in the magazines.  So if you get the opportunity, shake off the winter blahs and go to a car show.  I think you'll be glad you did!

"Rat Fink" Ron

Saturday, January 4, 2014

In It For the Long Haul

I've been working on two projects recently, a 57 Ford Custom 300 and a 68 Mustang, both of them are huge projects.  Lots of bodywork on both of them, one is a major conversion, lots of scratch building on both of them.  Both of them are really great and fun projects and I'm very excited to get them done.  I'm also getting sick of fooling with them.  It seems like everything is a problem, nothing just "fits" like I want it to.  It begins to wear on a person to point where I start to want to take short cuts just to be finished.  Not the best attitude to complete a project and have it turn out well.
How does a person get a project like this done without just putting it back in the box and giving up?  Perseverance. There's a line in the movie "The Outlaw Josey Wales" that fits this situation, "Endeavor to Persevere."  To try hard to continue in the face of difficulty, that what it says.  There's another quote I like that says, " Many of life's failures are people who did not realize how close they were to success when they gave up" Thomas Edison said that.  He made at least 1000 attempts at making a light bulb before he was successful.  If he can continue for 1000 times, I can get through this.  A buddy of mine spent a year building one car, 365 days on the same model.  I see guys on the internet doing amazing things and it takes them a long time to complete, they endeavor to persevere.  This happens to lots of us, we give up just before we are successful, the kit goes back in the box or gets sold at a swap meet or we compromise the level of detail just to get it done.  We think it will be OK and no one will notice.  Well, somebody will notice; you will.
I have had a few kits go back in the box to finish later and two I sold half done at swap meets and one I smashed against the wall in frustration.  After the "incident" with the wall I vowed to never let a kit get the best of me.  I decided to finish all the ones I start and do it in a reasonable amount of time.  I don't want a bunch of half done kits littering up my basement and I buy them to build, not to take up space.  It's my hobby, a way to pass time and enjoy myself, I enjoy building, competing, and I enjoy the finished product of my labors.  Sometimes, that involved working through a little slump, or "Endeavoring to Persevere."