Ham and Eggs
“It’s like ham and eggs. The chicken makes a contribution, but the pig, he makes a commitment.” – Fred Shero, Philadelphia Flyers Head Coach
Now there’s a quote you can sink your teeth into. When I ran across it I thought that it really had “Spraybooth Logic” written all over it.
Our modeling story is much like this quote. We buy a lot of kits; fill our shelves with bits and pieces as well as all the “extras” these would qualify as our “contribution” to the hobby. The commitment on the other hand needs to come from inside and this is where we all generally fall down.
Let’s see if this sounds familiar…
You purchase a new kit (of course it’s a “gotta have” kit). Before you start the engine in the car to go home, you break it open and start pawing over all the various parts and pieces. As you examine each tree closely you start to wonder what those internet guys where thinking when they said that this isn’t a great kit, “it will do just fine for you” you think as you attempt to put it back in the box that is slightly too small. You start your car and begin the venture home.
All the way home you are thinking about how you are going to paint the kit and hitting the mental rolodex about the various sources of information that you have in your vast library. Again that little creeping snippet of doubt sneaks into your thoughts as you sit at a stoplight with the kit calling to you from the seat next to you.
As you pull up to the next stoplight you once again liberate the kit from its eventual cardboard resting place and start to look in earnest for the “flaws” that everyone on the internet was talking about. Still you find nothing. As the light turns green you toss the parts onto the seat and begin rolling. Still the doubt remains, “there has to be something to what those guys were saying” you tell yourself.
Your trek home is almost complete as you make that final turn into the driveway. You scan the landscape and see that the lawn needs mowing and that there are a dozen other summertime things that just need to get done. You decide to bring the kit down into your “hall of doom” (this is better known as your hobby room and is a not so distant cousin of the shelf of doom). You once again break the kit out of its box and examine it more closely. You grab some books and compare the outlines and you spend an hour or so studying before your wife pops in and reminds you that the lawn “won’t get shorter by itself.” (by the way, it will actually get shorter by itself if you let it die off slowly, but that is for another article) Time passes… (ok really days and months pass) …
You finally sit down to build your kit. The anticipation has gotten you through a family vacation, several home improvement projects and coaching your kids little league baseball team, but now, at last the time has arrived!
You sit down to once again look at the kit, it still looks good, but your nagging doubt is still there about it. You begin with the cockpit, all goes well as you paint and weather it. You begin to assemble the fuselage and that goes without a hitch. “Nothin to it” you tell yourself. Those guys had it all wrong.
But wait, here it comes, you go to assemble the wings and sure enough, there is a (insert suspense trumpets here) GAP!! You knew it, you just knew it, it would have been too good to be true if the kit just went together, all the guys on the internet were right, this thing is a piece of S***.
Back into the box it goes and it gets a permanent address on your shelf of doom.
All I can say is “hello chicken” (see the opening quote for an explanation of this if you are completely confused by now).
You never committed to the kit, in fact you were looking and looking for a reason NOT to build it and when the going got tough, you quit. Why did you quit? Because someone else convinced you that there were problems with the kit, problems that they chose to be beaten by and they have now sucked you into their evil trap. What a shame.
Aren’t we supposed to be modelers? If you wanted something simpler you should really look into the die-cast stuff, its way simpler to put together and much less work.
The next kit you start, make a commitment, a commitment that this one won’t beat you and that no matter what, you’ll finish it. It may not be the best kit that you’ve built but you will learn a lot of things from building it.
It’s kind of like golf (for those that play). When you go to the driving range you always pull the driver out of the bag and whack the crap out of the ball. You spend almost no time hitting your wedge that will help you recover from errant tee shots (and if your game is like mine, the many other errant shots). Why do you do this? Because it feels good to hit a ball 300 yards and 25 yards further than the guy hitting next to you. You feel dumb hitting a ball 70 yards even though that is where you need the practice.
Modeling is exactly the same. Sometimes it hard to fix something that is messed up, it’s easier to just pull something new off the shelf that is still flawless. Rarely if ever does everything on a kit go together just right and you have to fight through the difficulties, why not just practice and get good at it after all the true art to the hobby is the recovery stroke, isn’t it?
So for now, be a pig, make the commitment and then shut up and build!