Monday, January 12, 2015

In Retrospect

I just finished up a long term project (one of several) that I started last year and I was pretty happy to get it done.  I reveled in the joy that comes with a completed project, I worked very hard to get it just right.  During the build I made sure that every detail was as perfect as I could get them. I labored over scratchbuilding parts and correcting flaws in bodywork, this would be the one, the most perfect I could build with the coolest details.  I took it to our local club meeting where it was met with approval and got lots of recognition, I was pretty proud.  What more could a modeler ask than the approval of his peers, life was good; until.
Until what? What happened to turn this moment of bliss into tortured regret? Did said model fall from some height and become damaged? Was there a liquid glue spill that damaged the model beyond repair? Did a spray can of fuchsia paint explode nearby? Nope, none of those things happened. What did happen was that I looked at it and began critiquing it.  The headers are wrong, the front axle assembly could be better, the roll bar doesn't connect to the frame properly, and I should have scratchbuilt the rear springs out of brass.  Coulda, woulda, shoulda. I tend to do this all the time with my models, I always think that they are not that good.  I tend to focus on the negatives of the build instead of the positives and it comes across when I talk about my builds.  I rarely can just point out the positives, just the negatives.
The upside to this self-critiquing is that it helps me build better models the next time.  It challenges me to try new techniques and push the limits of my building, which leads to improved builds over time.  It can also lead to projects getting mired in a state of very slow progress which can lead to a loss of interest in the project.  The other problem is without progress it is very easy to get distracted with other things, especially in the summertime.  My big red Ford is too much fun to leave sit all summer, so stalled projects come to a complete standstill in the summer usually.  Well, back to the bench!
"Rat Fink" Ron

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