Spraybooth Logic
Sections in the Shelf of Doom
A few months back you were introduced to the “Shelf of Doom”.   For those that may have missed it, the “Shelf of Doom” or “SOD” is the place in your house where model kits go and never seem to come back from.  It’s kind of like the old Eskimo tradition that the old are put out on the ice flow and forgot about.  The SOD is your very own ice flow.
 Since then it has come to my attention (from the voices that live on my own shelf of doom, yes I hear voices, is there a problem with that?) that the “Shelf” is actually a small community or city if you will that is divided into neighborhoods and developments.  A large city planning commission couldn’t do as fine a job creating a master plan for this small city as you have done.  Kits get promoted in the minds of their boss (that would be you the modeler) and then they are demoted based on performance.  Let me take you on a bit of a guided tour of the “Shelf”.
“The Slums”.  In the slums section of your shelf live the kits that have either been a) started and you’ve lost interest in it or b) it’s from a topical area that really interests you, but kits are bad and you are praying that will be replaced soon by Hasegawa or Tamiya. 
The kits that you have lost interest in may be one day moved out of the slums and into the playground (your workbench).  This type of thing happens when a good war movie comes out or when hell freezes over, which seem to be in about the same timeframe these days.  Otherwise they remain here indefinitely.
The kits where the subject interests you but you have a really bad kit of it are some of the most intriguing.  I really really really want to build a 72nd scale Spitfire Mk VII, but at the moment the only real kit I can find of this is a Ventura kit.  Have you seen these?  These kits are for “experienced modelers, which means “not me”.  I figure I’ve got another 25 years before I’ll be ready to tackle a kit that looks like this out of the box.   But I really really want to build it.    My best bet at this point is to go to church and light a candle and simply keep praying because I just don’t have the will to beat this kit.
“The retail or mall area”.  This is the sections of kits that you are still buying “accessories” for.  Now the word “accessory” would imply that the items on this list are simply not needed, they are just an add-on.  Once again we must look back at our end-game in buying accessories.  This is to delay the inevitable, actually having to build a kit.   There is always a new decal set out there or a rumored resin set from Aires that can delay your project in the near-term and keep that kit anchored firmly on the “Shelf”.
“The burbs”.   The burbs are the area where most kits that leave the shelf of doom come from.  These are the easy builds.  A Hasegawa or Tamiya kit that just about everyone has good things to say about.  A kit that basically is a box-shaker (throw some glue in and shake the box and it falls out assembled) with decals for a subject that you actually may be interested in.
The burbs are basically the modeler’s beer or comfort food.  Kits from this part of the shelf can make you feel better when you are feeling down about your hobby.  They don’t need extras, they don’t require a lot of sanding and they sure aren’t over-engineered.  This section of kits is also called the modelers “happy place”.   There is a reason people love to live in the “burbs”.
“The rich folks neighborhood”.  As nice as this sounds, this is really a frightening neighborhood to be in.  These are the kits that you paid so much for that you are afraid to start them.  I have a resin ship model like this.  After paying a few hundred dollars for it, I’m absolutely terrified to actually touch the thing.  Oh I have grand plans for it, rebuilding the flight deck with actual wood, doing my own photoetch for the expansion joints and recasting all the planes in clear resin to make them easier to paint.  Yup, big plans.  Now the reality is that I will be over a hundred years old when I finish collecting the blueprints and parts to make this a reality, so there the kit sits.
There are others too.  A resin Claude that is gorgeous, but I have night sweats when I think about actually sanding and assembling the thing.  I mean I paid $80 for it over ten years ago, how can I build this!  This is really one neighborhood that I try to avoid on my shelf of doom.  I can’t even look these kits in the eye with a clear conscious and an overwhelming feeling of guilt.
“The historical society” neighborhood.  This is the section of town for out of production kits.  This section has been ruined by Ebay and the big prices that collectors are getting for kits there.  The thought always seems to run through your mind that you can get big dollars for this kit on Ebay, why would you build it?  Wouldn’t you feel stupid if you bought the kit for five dollars and you can now sell it for close to a hundred and you actually tried to build it?   You also still feel that you need to keep the kit around and not sell it, just in case you need (that’s such an ugly word) to build it.
“The old girlfriend” neighborhood.   This neighborhood is like when you were in high school and you kept your old girlfriend around, just in case the new one didn’t work out.  Many modelers have this same philosophy with regards to kits.  They have to buy two just to build one.  Just in case they “screw-up” the kit they are working on.  Many times residents of this neighborhood end up relegated to the “slums” once the first kit is completed.  Of course there is no need for a second kit after you have finished the first, but we’d better keep it around in the slums at least until we can find a second one so we can go back and work on it again.
“The cemetery”.  This area is for those bad/evil kits that just plain tick you off.  This section is also known as the garbage can, the trash bin, the county dump or the soon to be exploding area.  This is the fate of all “bad” kits.  These kits have been convicted of crimes against modeling and are sentenced by to “death”.  This area really isn’t on the shelf, but is the last resting place of many kits. 
One note about this section.  It is inappropriate to try to “compost” kits.  Even though the kits in this section are generally considered “crap”, they are still plastic and will still be plastic after we are dust.
I would strongly encourage all modelers to take a tour of their shelf of doom and pick something outside of their burbs neighborhood and build it.  Remember, it doesn’t have to be perfect, it just has to be finished.
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