Hi, my name is Dave and I’m an assembler. (Everyone: “Hi Dave, thanks for coming.”)
Have you said this to yourself recently? Have you thought this about yourself recently? Have you thought this about someone else recently? For myself, I say yes to all of the above.
Now, there was a day when I was a modeler. I would tackle somewhat difficult kits. Stuff like limited run or older kits were considered challenges in my mind. Now they are simply considered annoyances and permanent residents of the “shelf of doom”.
So what exactly is an assembler? An assembler is someone that really doesn’t want to mess around with a kit that takes more than simple fitting and maybe a little bit of filling. Say for instance a Classic Airframes or MPM kit. Not bad kits, but they sure aren’t Hasegawa or Tamiya.
Does an assembler use aftermarket kits? Well, yes and no. We buy a lot of them. We use a few of them (if they fall together) and we complain about all of them. We especially complain about the price of a resin or photoetch kit that we only use four parts out of because the other parts are simply too hard to use.
Does an assembler do conversions? You bet we do. We especially do conversions to guarantee that we will NEVER finish a model. You know how that goes, don’t you? Here’s a story see if this sounds familiar.
You buy one of the new Hasegawa Spitfire Mk IX’s. You know the ones that are two millimeters short. So, you decide that you will add that two millimeters to the kit. How hard can that be (and who the heck would notice?). So you cut the fuselage. It’s then that you realize that you don’t have any sheet stock. Well, you’ll be at the shop this weekend anyway. Five days later, you pick up that sheet stock you need. It’s two millimeters thick. You’re in! You bring it home, cut it to shape and glue things back together. What’s going on, your still one millimeter short? Darn it, I forgot that the cut of the saw was probably a millimeter.
About this time you say the heck with it and decide that you made a concerted effort to “do the right thing” and that you’d just tell everyone you did it (and complain loudly to anyone that would listen about how wrong Hasegawa got it and what a bunch of losers they are for being so stupid!). You did “try” to do it, didn’t you? So you decide that you CAN live with yourself and move on. You begin to assemble the wings and you realize that they just don’t fit right. You look at one of your seven hundred and forty-three references and realize that the tires for the kit are all wrong and that the paint that you bought for the kit just isn’t right. Then there is that fuselage that is one millimeter short, just starring back at you, taunting and mocking you. Your failure to be exactly accurate is there in that glaring white piece of sheet stock that has been inserted into that gray fuselage.
It’s now decision time. What to do, what to do. You can: a) put it back in the box and place it back on the shelf of doom, in the permanent doom section, b) put it back in the box and push it off on someone else at the club auction. Hey, that’s a good idea, the club gets some money and you get rid of that mean old kit. No, no no, you’re just rationalizing now. c) put it in the garbage can of gloom. The one that holds many of your recent projects that you just didn’t want to deal with. d) smash that sucker! e) go back to playing Red Baron or IL-2 Stormovik on the computer and forget about modeling.
I have to be honest at this point. I have a lot of kits that are in the A category. Stuff that I will get back to someday (we all know that someday rarely comes), stuff that frankly I simply lost interest in. What about you?
So what’s the point to all this? The point is simple. Build it, finish it and accept that every kit won’t be a contest winner. You will build a three-footer (model that looks great from three feet away, but no closer) occasionally. Frankly, there aren’t that many people that will notice the difference and most will be impressed that you actually finished something. But the bottom line to all this is to just build. You will really have a good time slapping something together and actually finishing it, good, bad or ugly and it’s also one less kit on the “shelf of doom”!
Now shutup and build something!