The Combat Workshop recently kicked off an interesting idea called “The Sprue Cutters Union”. Basically, the idea is akin to a group build, only with blog posts instead of builds. Every week, a new topic will be tossed out, and participating blogs will each write their own post on that topic.
This week’s topic:
What is your favorite model kit ever assembled?
That seems like an easy answer…until you try to answer it. Because ultimately, it’s not just the kit. It’s the circumstances around the kit…the build as moment of time, a bookmark in your life.
For me, my favorite build was one of those confluences of kit and circumstance. It began in July 2011.
“Maybe you’ll get laid off and you won’t have to stress about quitting…”
My wife said that, or something very much like it, to me early in July.
I’d switched jobs in May, and while I won’t go into details, it quickly became apparent that it just wasn’t a good fit. I didn’t mesh particularly well with the culture and didn’t find much satisfaction in the work.
It didn’t come as much of a surprise, then, when I got the “hey can we talk for a minute?” in mid-July. Oh, it still came as a gut punch. Being let go, laid off, whatever you want to call it, is always a blow, and a giant stress in the short term, even if it’s ultimately for the best.
In the weeks that followed, I hurled myself into networking and interviewing, deciding to just keep plowing ahead instead of stopping to let the crushing stress of being unemployed with a wife and two kids catch up with me.
And at night, I buried myself in Tamiya’s excellent 1/32 Spitfire Mk.VIII. To this day, it’s probably the finest kit I’ve yet built, from a straight-up engineering perspective (at least until I tackle their new Corsair!). And in the circumstances of being laid off and hunting for a job, well, it was a major factor in keeping me sane and level-headed. After all, here was something I could focus on to the exclusion of all else, something I could control and direct and not have to wait to get back to me in a week.
I can easily name a half dozen other kits that I really, really enjoyed, but ultimately, none of them stand out to me as much as the Spitfire. It’s a masterpiece of a kit, but ultimately, it’s the circumstances surrounding the build that set it apart.