Labor Day weekend. The family out of town. The house to myself. The heat of summer starting to (kind of) relinquish its grip.
The perfect time, in other words, to give the bench a good, deep cleaning. Because over the past few months, it’s become an absolute mess.
In the process of my cleaning, in between extracting spiderwebs and june bug carcasses, I started coming across what I can only call relics from my modeling past. Paints and tools and materials that I haven’t even touched in a year, two years, maybe more. Alclad’s nice but never-curing enamel-based clears. Anything made by Testors. White tack putty dried as hard as bone. Many different varieties of CA glue.
I was able to chuck a ton of it away, and as a result gained a lot of space for the stuff that I do rely on.
This got me thinking about how much my modeling has changed in the last five years. How many techniques and scales and paints and tools and such I have moved on from. So for kicks, a by no means exhaustive list:
Enamel paints – Staple of my childhood modeling, I now reach for enamel paints for exactly two reasons – I need to drybrush something, or I need to use Model Master Chrome Silver. That’s it. They take too long to cure, don’t spray as well as what Gunze and Tamiya have on offer, and don’t brush as well as Vallejo.
1/48 World War II aircraft – These got me back into the hobby, and sustained me…for a while. But prop jobs just have so much more presence in 1/32 – and aftermarket is there to support them in ways it’s just not for jets.
German armor – I’m sure it will rebound at some point, but I’ve gone completely off German armor. Zero desire to build it or even follow builds of others tackling it.
Superglue – I still love my Loctite ultra control gel CA, but the days of medium and ultra thin CA are behind me. Too much mess. I’ll probably sing a different tune next time I rig a biplane, but for all other work, I no longer see the need.
Water-based putties – They just don’t work. They don’t grip the plastic well enough to withstand sanding. Back to my trusty neverending tube of 3M Acryl Red.
My ancient magnifier lamp – A lamp I’d had since childhood. A lamp that today I realized I haven’t used in years, that was basically just acting as high ground for spiders. Amazing what fluorescent shop lights can do for lighting.
Mixing bottles – I still need a few of these around. Every now and then I need to mix up a specific color and keep it with me for the length of a build. Usually, though, I’ll just mix that one color as a base, then drop it into smaller mixing cups to lighten it, darken it, change up the tone slightly or so on. For everything else, small disposable cups or tattoo ink cups do the trick.
5,387 different clear glosses – My search for good gloss clears has at times felt futile, until I discovered the trick of misting a layer of Gunze lacquer thinner on top of Tamiya X-22 Clear. Oh my. Gloss problems solved. So why is that Gaia clear bottle still taking up space? Next to the Testors clear gloss?
Getting rid of the old (and the spiders and june bugs) I now once again have a nice, clean bench.
What old things have you gotten rid of in your modeling journey?