You could say that the hobby at the moment is better than its ever been, new companies and new products and techniques than we have seen before. We can pick and choose what we want, because there is so much out there. This is good but, and there’s always a but isn’t there?, there is a downside. I’d suggest that too much choice can lead people onto moving onto another project before completing the last. Sometimes this is fine, a break is as good as a rest, particularly if its a new technique or material, or a complex assembly of a kit. But does this availability mean there are many who just take the easy option and opt out, binning entire projects?
The volume of new products each month is well illustrated in magazines and the interweb, so choice is not an issue, but getting better at any process is more about learning from your mistakes, rather than abandoning a project part built. So is binning it restricting your ability to learn and improve? If we were happy with our skillset and didn’t want to develop then perhaps binning a project entirely could be valid, but if not, then not persevering with a problem is actually stopping us improving.
Costs can certainly be a factor, though comparison to other pastimes I feel shows ‘modelling’ as a reasonably affordable hobby. If working to a tight budget, then binning it when things start going wrong or getting really challenging, can’t be cost effective. Where the project come can in useful is as the learning tool, to use it to try the new techniques and processes. Often you hear of people who have had problems with a new technique/process/material where its been tried ‘live’ on a brand new project or model. If you’ve got a part built kit, or layout, old stock, then try the process on that, don’t risk the new ‘thing’! Reading an article or speaking to someone can make many tasks seem easy, particularly if they are proficient at the skillset in question. But they too will have almost certainly had that disaster and sweary, potty mouthed moment along their path too! Albion Yard has given me a few of those moments, but now it works as a layout I can set up and run, and also as a test piece. The two images on this posting show a recent change. The view below shows how it was, the yard was stone sets, they looked ok, but not quite right. The head of page image shows the new yard, its now an earth yard and looks so much better for it, and allowed me to get practise of changing an established piece of scenery for the better.
So next time you’re thinking about binning a project or model that you know you’ll never finish, ask maybe what can you learn from it, make use of that shelf queen, that old baseboard, as your starting point for improving your diversity and skillsets.