I think as modelers, we all have a bit of the collector in us. We might collect documentation, or kits, or building supplies to use in the future. I, personally, collect and have collected many, many things in my life. I am a bit of a pack-rat (but not to the point of being a hoarder!), and I am sure these habits frustrate my wife.
This winter, I ventured 2 hours east to attend our monthly club meeting (my first one ever, given the time/distance). The reason I went was for the club’s annual auction. This is usually donated stuff from club members and this year was the same – except many of the donations were from deceased members’ estates. There were many kits and building supplies.
One of the things we all collect is “intentions” – most generally in the form of future build lists and such. Many modelers have a stash of kits, not so much as a true collector, but more like the build list. Scratch builders will collect plans for the same reason; I know I do, although I tend to design my own plans, so my collections are of documentation. Scratch builders also will gather wood for those future builds. At the auction there were stacks and stacks of very light sheet wood that our modeling friends had saved for those special models. These guys either over-estimated the wood they would need – or they thought their normal models unworthy of the good wood.
The other day, while building my latest model, I went to grab a sheet of 1/16″ balsa for filler. As I started to walk away from my wood supply with a regular sheet of wood, I asked myself why I wasn’t using the light stuff. I have a small supply of very light balsa, it’s not a large quantity – but what am I saving it for? “Someday” never comes and today’s plane which is real can benefit from the light stuff as much as, OR EVEN MORE THAN, a future plane that might never get built. So I grabbed a sheet of some very light 1/16″ and used it!
What if I run out? Well, I can always buy more – it’s not expensive. But – what if I run out of… TIME? What good will my light stuff do me then? I’ve been caught in that trap before. I used to run across such mundane things as quality pens. I would not use them, but save them. Then I would say “ok, I’ll use that nice pen” – and the ink had dried. What was left to do but throw away that which I had saved for that special sometime but was now useless? I have to learn to enjoy what I have. Enjoying it to the fullest includes using it, not just knowing you have it.
That’s the back story that was in my mind when I saw the stacks of wood at the auction – here was something my friends had saved and never got a chance to use. What was worse – they left the disposition of the same to someone else. This wood had great value to them, but no value to their non-modeling family members. We will better serve ourselves and those in our lives if we manage our supplies ourselves. Leave a pile of scraps instead of sheet wood. The special kits you want to build – build them sooner rather than later – they aren’t as special to others. Get your enjoyment out of them today. Use the good wood. Don’t wait for that special time because that special time is now. You have today, you might not have tomorrow.
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