The Honda CB750F

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Just a quick progress report on my hobby of model making. I decided on not starting the Junyo aircraft carrier because I wasn’t sure what colour I should paint it.  Instead I decided to do a Tamiya motorcycle.  I have always enjoyed these builds.  I also appreciate that they supply some of the wiring for the engine.

I got the parts cleaned off and prepped for painting.  I also took a good look at the instructions.  I find it never hurts to look at all of the steps first.  I might save you a headache in the end.

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I am energized by the work I have done so far.  Hopefully, I can continue without becoming discouraged.

 

A Question of Paint

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So, I am going to build the Tamiya 1700 Junyo waterline aircraft carrier.  It’s a nice little kit and I am pretty excited about it.

One small, slightly worrying snag, though.  The kit art makes it seem like the ship is green.  When I consulted people online, they also claimed that it was green.  However, the instructions clearly call for the hull to be grey–I even checked the Japanese instructions and they agree that it should be grey.

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What should I do?

 

Hobby Rut

On Saturday, while walking the rainy streets of St. Catherines in search of a burrito, my friend asked me what I have been doing hobby-wise.  I was at a bit of a loss for an answer.  I seem to have taken a break from my hobbies.

I have spent a lot of time researching stamp collecting; both out of sheer interest and as a way of keeping myself from starting a new hobby.  Knowledge, and especially knowledge of both cost and how deep you can become involved in a hobby often seem to quench the fire the new hobbies burn at.  I can’t say I have quenched the fire yet, but I have come to realize that stamp collecting is a very large (deep?  consuming?)  hobby that perhaps only model trains can compare to.  Once you make that leap….

I could say that blogging is my hobby, but how many blogs would you want to read about blogging.

I am preparing for a trip, and the preparation for the trip is taking up a lot of my time (and if I am being honest, money).  I blame myself because I put off preparing for this trip because I was dealing with a medical issue. (see my other blog to find out more about my journey from Thailand to Vietnam via Cambodia by bicycle).

I visited a train store with a friend, and all it made me do was realize how backed up I am with my train hobby.  I’ve got so much to do that it all seems so daunting.

I would take up ballroom dancing, but I don’t have a partner.

It’s too cold to play tennis outdoors.

I played darts last weekend after a long hiatus.  The results were good, but it wasn’t exciting.

My friend gave some advice about building models.  Just see one through to completion and it will change your perspective on everything.  This is certainly sound advice.  It’s exactly the kind of advice I would have given him if he had told me that he was in a hobby rut.  It’s funny how we can give advice, but only to others.

For all the other model hobbyists about there, how do you get out of a hobby rut?

 

Hobby Progress

I just wanted to update people on my hobby progress.  Quite a long time ago I featured the painting of a train building I was working on.  It is finally finished and I thought you would like to take a look at it.

This was the only the second train building I have made, so it is not perfect, but I am happy with the results, and I will continue to make them, hopefully improving every time.  I haven’t added any roof details, but I purchased the kit, so perhaps sometime later today.

I am not sure this will go on my layout, because I am hoping to build better one–perhaps adding some window details or signs. 

The model featured is Design Preservation Model, Haye’s Hardware.  It was painted with Polly Scale paints, and the roof is done with Woodland Scenics coal.

Lindberg’s 1949 Tudor Coupe 1/32 scale

 
Usually shopping at Dollarama means looking for scratch building supplies or looking for some container that I need to organize my hobby stuff.  Today I came across a model kit for sale.  The price was a reasonable three bucks.  Hard to complain about that.  Of course, I once got a 1/24 Scale Ford Fairlane for $2 from Walmart, but since they don’t have models anymore, that was probably an unannounced clearance sale.

I really don’t need any more models.  I’ve got a shelf  full of unbuilt kits, and dozens of other hobbies to pursue–not to mention umpteen household chores that have been the victim of procrastination.  I guess curiosity got the better of me, and by writing this, hopefully it won’t get the better of you.  You will be armed with knowledge before scouring the Dollarama.

 
So, what came in the box?  Watch the YouTube video if you want to see the unboxing.  It will give you a good idea of what is inside.  Basically, this is a bare bones kit if I have ever seen one. No chrome, no rubber tires, the body comes in three pieces (and those other pieces are the sides, not the hood and truck lid) no engine and no decals of any kind.  The wheels are all plastic and need to be glued together.

Is this a good kit?  Well, for three dollars, I wasn’t expecting a Tamiya masterpiece.  I am pretty satisfied with the contents of the box.  The mould lines look good, and I don’t see any sink holes or injection marks….so I really shouldn’t complain.  With some good painting, and putty to fill up the gaps, this will turn into an acceptable model.  I will post pictures when I can.  I’ve got some bare metal foil to make the bumpers and grill, and I certainly have enough paint.  Mostly, I am probably worried more about what colour to paint it.  Red looks good, but I have never painted a red model that I have been satsified with.

The Dollarama in my neighbourhood had 3 different models:  two convertibles and this one.  If anyone finds different ones, please post here.  If anyone has completed one, feel free to send some pictures.

Too Much vs Not Enough

 
 
If I didn’t include the vast amount of “things Japanese” that I am interested in, I would have to say that building things (plastic models, nanoblocks, etc) is my hobby.  I built cars, motorcycles, trucks, military vehicles, planes, ships and even buildings.  I think model kits and the like are just fantastic.
I am wondering, though, what exactly is “enough”.  I have watched some great TV programs (plamo tsukuro–a Japanese model program that you should be able to find on YouTube if they don’t delete it, which is truly fantastic) and been to some shows to see the expert work of some people.  In the show I mentioned they labour for a long time over small details.  They spend vast sums of money on detail parts.  It is truly incredible.  As stated before, I have never completed a model I was truly satisfied with.  I have had one or two really good paint jobs, one or two good ideas, maybe even one or two of my decals has actually gone in the right place….. but never anything approaching expert level.

Is it because I am not enough of a perfectionist?  As already demonstrated, I get bored easily, and quickly change to other hobbies and interests.  I don’t really want to do the same thing for too long a period of time.  I have had a couple of models on my workbench, and I am thinking that I would rather just chuck them out, than complete them (though that won’t happen, they may have to go back in the box for a while).

One of my friends is a perfectionist.  He will spend a lot of time on one model.  He has been working on one warhammer figure for a long time now. (I won’t tell you how long, because in all fairness, I have no idea)  Needless to say, when he gets done, it will be fantastic–show worthy.  When I get done, I am not sure if it is even personal showcase worthy.  Sometimes, I just chalk them up to a “personal experiment.”  Which is probably a euphemism for mistake.

Spending a lot of time and money on a hobby isn’t really bad.  When you figure the dollar value versus the time you spent, there are certainly other interests that cost more.  An hour or two at the pub costs more than a model and paint.  Which one takes more time….well for me, the model will last months.

The question remains.  How far should you take it, and what are you willing to settle for?

What’s Next?

As a hobbyist with too many hobbies, I am most often juggling several at one time. Nothing wrong with that as it keeps me from getting bored.  I realize that I have not posted an update on my hobbies lately–mostly because I am not particularly satisfied with the results, partly because I am preoccupied with Christmas (and memories of Christmas’ past) and partly because having so many hobbies, work, obligations and a rather long commute, I haven’t completed that much.

lots of kits to build
I have managed to actually finish some things, and that means I have to look ahead.  That’s the topic of this blog: What lies ahead?  I am sure most hobbyists confront this question.  Mostly, they are confined within one hobby, but I am sure they ask it.  Train layout builders ponder if they should expand their layouts, or redo some part of it.  Video gamers wonder which game they want to beat next.  Puzzle makers consider which kit has the least amount of sky.  Music makers are looking for the next beat.  All of us are wondering what’s next.

What makes this question so difficult for me is that it has so many meanings.  Which kit should I build next?  Which Nanoblock kit should I buy and build next?  Which train building needs to get done next?  Which set of freight cars should I buy?  What layout project should I tackle next?  Which blog should I update next?  Should I start a new blog?  Which books should I get from the library?  Should I start a new hobby like remote control helicopters?  Should I get a pool table for my house? (The Hustler was on TV this weekend…. just so you understand how my mind works)  Should I get my motorcycle or pilot’s licence?  Should I join the gym?  Wouldn’t it be cool to make my own beer?  Baking seems like a good way to feed myself.



lots of model railroad buildings to make
Yes, not only do I wonder what is next in the hobby queue based on what I am doing (I finished one kit, what’s the next one?) but also on what new hobby I would like to take up.  Is this wise?  I can’t really say that it is, but that is just how things go.  That’s what makes the question, what’s next? so difficult.



The other wrinkle in all this is preparation.  I might want to do something, but that doesn’t mean I am ready to do it.  I might pick a model kit, or building kit and find I don’t have the paint or that my glue has dried into a rock solid mass that will never dislodge itself from the bottle.  There is nothing more of momentum killer than having to go out and get something.



and a nanoblock project awaiting
Sometimes a trip to the hobby store is good for getting oneself going again, but for someone like me, it just opens up too many avenues of exploration.  Going to the hobby store for glue might mean the beginning of an entirely new hobby.



So, what’s next?


Too Much, Too Many?

How much is too much?  How many is too many?  Either every hobbyist must answer these questions, or spend a lot of time avoiding answering these questions.  If they don’t ask themselves, then surely someone in their family, or circle of friends, or amongst their co-workers will ask this question.  At first, it will be polite, but that will change…. Given time.

Hobbyists (the part that becomes the collector) start out small.  A few model kits here, a stumble across a sale means a few more, a deal at a yard sale, a trip to a convention…. I used model kits as an example, but it might just as well have been trains, die cast cars, Lego kits, DVD series, tools, doilies, stamps, hockey cards….. really, I should have just left a blank and asked you to fill it in.

You know the kind of hobbyist I mean.  This person has way more stuff than they can ever tackle, and has no desire to part with any of it… at any price.  They’ve got some great stuff, some usual stuff, and hidden away, though not less valuable to them, some very mediocre stuff that they wouldn’t show their hobby friends.

In my case, it isn’t quite that bad.  I don’t have too much of any one thing.  I’ve got more than I need (don’t we all), but I won’t be featured on any hoarding television show.  However, I probably have too many hobbies, and therefore too much hobby stuff as opposed to too much of one thing.
I am pretty good at setting limits, but I am often swept away by new interests.  Something new is more interesting than something I have seen before.  Something different is better than something I already know about.  Of course, this is also limited by cost, but that will be the subject of another blog (the title will also be “How much is too much?” but with different implications)

Recent additions to the collection
So how much/many is too much/many?  It’s a tough question.  As for model kits, more than you can build in your lifetime would seem to be a good place to start….but that doesn’t take into account new things that come onto the market.  The same could be said for trains.  More than you can run in a weekend seems like a good number.  Lego…. when you can build your own house out of Lego, you should probably stop.  Comic books…. when the boxes can’t be stored in the guest room, that should be it.  Tools….if you haven’t even taken them out of the package in a few years, the message should be clear.  The list could go on, and I really want to hear from you people and how much you think is too much for the hobbyist in your life.

Hobbies on Television

Why aren’t there any hobby reality shows?  When you get right down to it, hobbies seem to be poorly represented on TV.  It seems to me that there is an opportunity for some kind of program on television.  Why isn’t there one?

The way I see it we certainly could have shows about making models.  There is such a diversity of models out there that every week could be quite different and reach quite a diverse audience.  One week on airplanes,  (both military and commercial) one week on cars, one week on military models, one week on science fiction, one week on trucks, ….you get the idea.  They could build dioramas, showcase different techniques and materials–and just like those annoying “flea market type shows” educate us with some history.  In Japan, they have a show like this.  It is called Plamotsukuro.  It is amazing to watch.

I would love a show about the hobby of trains.  At least, in this area, there are some programs devoted to real trains, but there isn’t enough about model trains.  I don’t think it would be difficult to come up with some good programs about building, collecting, and running model railroads.

Of course, there are so many other hobbies out there.  Rather than have a show of people buying stuff hoping to sell it for more, why can’t we see the passion of people who aren’t in it for the money.  Those shows are on the history channel, purporting to be real, and dishing out relevant historical information.  I think a show about hobbies could do that just as well.

I would think a show about different hobbies could easily find a sponsor.  With Christmas approaching, wouldn’t there be a demand for hobbies and toys?  Wouldn’t people like to see things that would occupy them on those dark winter nights?

If you’re visiting a television channel or network website, don’t hesitate to let them know that a program about hobbies would be appreciated.  I certainly will be doing that, as soon as I finish typing this.

A Day Out

the stuff I bought today….though I wasn’t going to buy anything.

Isn’t it amazing that when you go to a hobby shop, and have no intention of buying anything, you always come home with stuff.  I wish I could lie and say the stuff just followed me home, but that just wouldn’t be true.

Today I went to three different hobby shops.  Although I primarily went to look at train stuff, I managed to look at paint, car models, plane models, slot cars, magazines, science fiction models, tools, and lots of equipment.  All in all it was a good day.

If you need a day out, a trip to your local hobby shop would be a great idea.  You could go an just talk to people and share ideas on your hobby.  You don’t have to buy anything.  Really.  You don’t have to buy anything.  Of course, that is what I told myself before I left for the shops today.