Once again fall has come and the setting in of winter will soon start. This time has very mixed feelings for me, especially this year.
In most years this is the time where I hunker down for a long winter of modeling. The buying, the building and the researching really feel natural with the first snow, when, at least here in Minnesota it’s just too darn cold to do much else.
This year is a bit different. As I have written about in the past, my wife and I raise and train hunting dogs and this year we have gotten a new pup. That has quite a nice upside to it, there is a lot of energy in the house, a puppy will tend to do that for you. It also leads to a lot of sleepless nights and a big bottle of odor-out lying around the house, but that is for another article.
We also have a 14 ½ year old dog in the house as well and his hunting seasons may now be behind him. He got a pheasant earlier in the year and still has a good time going out running, but frankly, he is breaking down and the winter this year will be very hard on him.
So this modeling season, while I’m excited to get into the plastic, I’m also a bit melancholy about the “other” prospects that we face for the winter.
Why am I writing about this? Does it have anything to do with modeling or am I just sharing a bit of the pain with all of you?
Well, I have to admit it’s been something that I’ve been revisiting more and more lately and have finally put it in perspective, and that is, this article is about keeping modeling in the proper perspective.
(in my best Jeff Foxworthy voice...) You might be losing perspective on modeling if ...
If you find yourself “sneaking” kits into the house like a Special Forces op so that your local Commanding General doesn’t yell at you, you have probably lost perspective on the hobby.
If there will have to be at least another 15 generations of your family to actually have a shot at finishing all the kits in your collection, you have probably lost perspective.
If it takes you more time to count all your kits, than to actually completely build one, you have lost perspective.
If you have “secret hiding places” that are so secret that you no longer remember where they are, you my have lost perspective.
If your reference books are in 10+ foreign languages and you barely speak English, you may have lost perspective.
If in the last six months, you have said “I didn’t know that I had that ¼ ” more than 5 times, you have probably lost perspective.
If your modeling budget is higher than your family food budget or you spend your modeling dollars before grocery shopping so that your check doesn’t bounce at the hobby story, you have probably lost perspective.
If your wife will have to liquidate your collection of books, kits and PE sets in order to be able to pay for your burial in case of some bizarre Xacto accident, you have probably lost perspective.
If you can identify a kit part laying on the ground, but you can’t remember the name of your second child, you probably have lost perspective.
I think you see my point here.
Modeling is a great hobby. It will keep you out of the bars or it may drive you to drink, depending on how good you are at it. It will give you hours and hours of enjoyment as well as hours and hours of pure unadulterated rage. It will give you the thrill of the hunt for that kit that you want to do and the disappointment of opening the box after a five year search.
The bottom line to all this is that while held in its proper perspective, modeling can be a wonderful pastime. When you let it get out of control, it can be a terrible addiction that can consume you and cause you to miss out on things that are way more important than the correct color of a Zero cockpit.
As for me, I spent my summer down at the farm with my 14 ½ year old dog (as well as my other three dogs) chasing birds and enjoying the sunsets. After all, his days may be waning and I sure didn’t want to miss out on anything.
So for this month, shut up and build, but make sure that you don’t do it at the expense of everything else in your life. Your models will still be there when you have the time.