Where the Magic Happens


“I’m going to tackle that kit one day…I just want to build my skills up on some cheap kits first”

How many times have you heard this? Come across it in some forum or another?

How many times have you said it yourself?

It’s easy to fall into the “need more experience” trap. It’s a tantalizing justification. A thing that novelist Steven Pressfield calls “Resistance”. Yes, with a capital R. Resistance is the enemy of work, of creativity, of accomplishment. Caving to Resistance and falling back on needing more experience does one thing – keeps you firmly rooted in your comfort zone.

Want to build up your skills? Step out of that comfort zone and take on a project that intimidates you.¬†Maybe it’s the dollar signs attached to a certain kit, or the daunting task of rigging a biplane or doing a water base for a ship. Maybe it’s risking your pretty, shiny build to the vagaries of chipping or salt weathering.

It all comes down to fear. Fear of failure. Of not doing the kit justice, and so on.

But what’s the worst that could happen? You ruin the kit? Of all the things we do in life, modeling carries one of the lowest failure costs out there. Nobody gets hurt if you ruin a kit. Nobody gets fired. Maybe some money gets blown and some plastic winds up in the trash, at worst. And even if that happens, you have mistakes you can learn from.

But I also think you will be less likely to make those mistakes when you bust out of your comfort zone.

Being on edge makes you pay more attention and, in my experience, churn out better work than you otherwise would.


5 Comments Add yours

  1. Rick says:

    Well said Doogs’

    One thing I enjoy about stepping out of my comfort zone (on anything: my kids, my wife, sales, fitness, reading and soon scale models, etc) is I will learn a ton from my mistakes/failures/oops or gee that was pretty cool. This only makes me “kinda” smarter.

    Used to always be the guy who stays in comfort zone to “showboat”. Try something new when no one is watching and be “humbled”. And learn from it.

    Then I turned 40, then married and the kids. No longer “it’s about me.”

    I learned quite a few years ago to make it a point to surround myself with people much smarter than me. It’s the best way to learn.

    My re-entry into scale modeling (will start setting up the bench this weekend) will have me doing a about 3 or 4 repaints then I am going for it. Photo Etch and Resin scares the hell out of me. Weathering, pre-shading techniques much different approach from my earlier days. I know it will be a learning curve and challenge. I’ll be fine, just hope I do not turn an expensive kit into a “paint mule”.

    Wishing for some “epic” builds before year end.

  2. sgtrudz@charter.net says:

    Sage advice, Doogs.Presently guilty of that myself on a project I want to complete well.It’s an I.B.G. Einheits diesel 61 w/ a resin & P.E. upgrade .Done plenty of resin & P.E. , but this kit [ as well as the add-ons] have the Vaguest, most erroneous instructions I’ve ever seen.Maybe I got some miss-prints, but for some reason, this rarely seen at the shows kit has my attention.You are right, though, in the end even if it’s a mess, so what. Thanks, keith r.

  3. Francis Mercik says:

    You could have written that about me. I,ve got so many kits in my stash that I’m saving until I get better, but you’re right I’ll be putting them off forever. Thanks for writing this, maybe now I’ll have the courage to start one.

    1. Doogs says:

      As Nike says, “just do it”! You’ll be glad you did…

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