Want to step up your modeling game?
Here’s an idea – slow the fuck down.
What’s brought this about?
Over the past few weeks, I’ve seen a spate of builds that have gone by in the blink of an eye. One of them began with the proud purchase of a rather marginal kit this past weekend, followed by pics of the completed build maybe a day or so ago. So…six days max from cracking the box to completion.
Now, it’s only the most extreme example I’ve seen lately, but it’s far from the only one. There have been kits – large kits, too, not just some five piece 1/72 thing – taken to completion in the span of 10 days, two weeks, that kind of timeframe. They come out the other side littered with shortcomings. Visible gaps in the leading edges of the wings. Shiny tires. Silvered decals. Sloppily brush-painted canopy frames. Weathering that looks like they were dunked in a bucket of dirty water.
“Some people like to build like that”
Well, I don’t. And not everyone does. And even some who do might – gasp – be interested in upping their game.
One of the things I found I had when I came back to this hobby that I lacked as a kid was patience. The willingness to take time to get something right. Or at least to get it further along the path to right.
When you race through a build like that, you miss things. You cut corners. You fall back on basic techniques.
And it shows.
The Benefits of Slow
When you go slow, you can focus more on intent.
Just what are you going for? What are you trying to do?
What’s the best way to pull it off?
And is there a better way than that way?
Going fast leads to technique lock. I’m convinced it’s why we see so many aircraft pre-shaded so they look like quilts. Or why every build from certain prolific builders looks more or less the same, even across wildly disparate subjects. Churn them out, and you’re, well, churning them out. It becomes an assembly line.
And for what? Outside of the occasional masochistic group build or article deadline, ours is not a timed hobby.
When you slow down, the build stops being just…boxes to check off. It becomes a journey. An exploration, even.
I’m going through this very thing right now with my 1/32 Dauntless build. I could whip out a tricolor camo scheme in the span of a night or two. But I’m going slow, taking my time, questioning my approaches and, where necessary, doing little side experiments to better understand how certain aspects work so I can incorporate them (or not) later on.
And I’m wholeheartedly convinced it’s making me a better modeler. Because even though I’m elitist, condescending and occasionally dickish, I don’t pretend that I have it all figured out – there’s always more to learn, with every build. If only you slow down enough to learn and apply it.