Since the introduction of the concept of the shelf of doom I've received many cards and letters (ok actually they were emails but this just sounds a lot better) from people trying to minimize their commitment to their personal shelves of doom. These letters have ranged from hilarious to being quite troubling in their nature.
For instance, one reader form North Carolina didn't realize that he had over 3000 kits until he actually started counting them. Another reader from Michigan swore that he would finish all 1200 of his kits while he only built 2 or 3 per year (he must have had a good 400 years in him). I think you are getting the idea here.
So I'm here today to give you something of a measuring stick to see where you rank on our doom index. Score yourself, score your friends (count theirs twice ‘cuz you know they are lying) and then if you score well (that being low not high!), tell your wife that you aren't as crazy as the rest of the modeling world. If you send me your results I will publish them in a later article (without your name of course, unless you request otherwise).
I'm hoping that this will give you all something else to talk about at those slow summer meetings! Here goes…
Add one point for every “new” or “un-started” kit.
Add .5 for every set of photo-etch/resin that you have.
Add 2 points for every set of photo-etch/resin that you have that you no longer have kits for.
Add 5 points for every photo-etch/resin set that you bought in preparation of buying the actual kit.
Add 5 more points if you never bought the kit from the previous question.
Add 5 points for every set of photo-etch/resin that you have bought duplicates of for the same kit.
Add 5 points for every time while doing this exercise you say “I didn't know I had that” or something similar.
Subtract two points for every kit/detail set that you have no intention of building and are currently wondering why you have it on your shelf.
Subtract an additional 8 points for the kits in the previous question that you actually went to Ebay to check the value on “just in case you wanted to sell them”.
Add 20 points if you put the kits back on your shelf from the previous two questions.
Add 1 point for each reference book/drawing etc for every kit you have multiple references for. Remember my 28 Zero references from my article about Reference overload? Well that's 28 more points for me (actually it's thirty, I've bought more!)
Total this number and divide by your average kit output for the last three years and you have your Doom Index or DI.
So what's your DI? I'll bet it's probably a bit frightening to think about. So frightening in fact that you probably stopped the quiz at about the halfway point, thinking that it was silly.
Well, indeed it is a bit silly. But sometimes we all need to step back and take inventory of what we have on our shelves of doom. There's a lot of junk just sitting there that we really have no intention of building and worse yet, no desire of building. I'm guessing some of the questions above hit a bit too close to home for you; I know they did for me.
What's your REAL Doom Index? Your real DI would be quite simple. Take your number of kits and divide by your average kit output over the last three years. This is the number of years at your current pace that you need to complete things at your current pace. Consider that the average male lives to be 76 and figure out if you are going to make it. My DI ends up being 26.91 which means that I'll probably die as I finish my last kit so I'm holding off on that really cool resin Yorktown as long as possible as it may help me live another 10 years!
For those of you whose output in the last few years is the big zero, how can you determine what your DI is? Well, if you have to ask you should probably spend a bit of time working on your math skills rather than worrying about your DI.
How can you improve on your DI? You can “shut up and build something”. The formula is quite simple here folks, if you build, your DI will decrease.
I'd like to leave you with a thought. “Life is too short to build crappy kits.” So here's hoping that you'll get some of the crap out of your life in 2004 and that your DI will trend downward. Happy New Year!