Stalling Out



The Combat Workshop asks an interesting question for the first Sprue Cutters’ Union of 2016:

At what point of the build do you tend to stall?

Well, shit. That’s not really an easy question for me to answer, since it tends to bounce around depending on what I’m building. So…I can potentially stall out at multiple points. Which is a huge part of why my completion rate was 25% last year.

Let’s walk through them:

Stall Point Alpha: Somewhere between opening the box and actually gluing anything. Sometimes this is due to a sudden evaporation of motivation. Other times, it’s a sinking feeling of realizing the kit isn’t actually all that great. This seems to strike me most often with aircraft whose manufacturer includes the letters K, I, N, E, T, I, and C.

Stall Point Bravo: Before closing the fuselage. This seems to mostly be a problem with jets, which have a lot more elements – intakes, engines and so on – that have to be tended to before I close things up. The work and the test-fitting becomes a grind, and I get distracted. Or resin doesn’t fit. Or spiders invade my workspace.

Stall Point Charlie: Filling and sanding. This one is just the worst. It’s where my 1/48 Intruder and 1/48 F-4G have stalled out. It tends to be the most tedious part of any aircraft build, but if I can get to this point and push through it, things seem to go alright.

Stall Point Delta: Mostly related to armor, this one involves that frustrating mix and match of which parts to install prior to painting, and which to paint separately. Sometimes I can overcome it. Sometimes, tanks just sit.

Typically, if I can get to a point where I’m actually throwing paint at the exterior surfaces of a kit, I’m in the clear.

This totally makes sense. Painting and weathering are my favorite parts of the hobby, so if I can get to them, there’s a good chance I’ll get through them.

The rest of the build is a huge means to that end.

I’ve long theorized this is at least, in part, why I tend to aim my sights toward “good” kits. They increase the odds I’ll get a build far enough to get it into paint.

10 Comments Add yours

  1. Bill says:

    Yes, I believe the “stall-point” happens to everyone from time to time. I can’t get through any build (anymore) where this does not happen. My big issue would be the length of time of the stall. Sometimes it could be just a day,,, other times a few days and so on. The quicker I get over the lull, the more apt I am to finish the build.
    If the stall lasts too long,, I am bound to box up the build and (hopefully) get back to it after the NEXT build.

  2. davergee says:

    For me it’s masking canopies. Doog how about a canopy tutorial?

    1. Doogs says:

      I can probably make that happen. The F-104’s already all masked up, and I’m afraid the Sea King might be too small to easily capture…will have to get the video going and see.

  3. Spalding Craft says:

    Ordnance, jamming pods, and the like, for me. The tedious assembly of the alphabet soup of bombs and missiles, with all of the prep work that needs to be done to make them look halfway presentable (high density of seams and such to sand away)…ugh. Then there’s the painting and fiddly decal work. That crap brings me to a screeching halt.

  4. pmoosh says:

    Hope to overcome Stall Point Delta right now with by Dirt Diggler build. There absolutely no information about painting the details and even the instructions win general sometimes make no sense.

  5. atcDave says:

    Good summation of the stall points!
    I would say my #1 is just getting started. Even on a very nice looking kit, deciding how to attack interior painting and take that first step can easily cause me to drag my feet.
    Second is major parts assembly. Similar to your sealing up a fuselage; I’d add attaching wings/tail or other major details. This is where fit and alignment are most critical; and of course, where filling and sanding can be the biggest issue. I hate filling and sanding…

  6. Ben says:

    Wow, I could have written some of this! Same here about painting being the most enjoyable aspect.

    Wheels and bombs are my usual stall point. Had a hb a10 and rev hawk on bench for a year now…..


  7. Carloa says:

    uffff… sanding and filling for me… defenetely!! I actually enjoy masking canopies, we’ll… if they are eduard mask sets that is! LOL

  8. Mark ostler says:

    Trumpeter kits! Lack of painting references during build. Just bought both razor and bubbletop, sink mark filling~ arrgghhh!!! Always nervous about paint jobs. Makes my hair silver lol.

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