Confessions of a Winter Modeler

Hi, my name is George and I might have a problem.  It has all the traits of an addiction.  Maybe combined with a touch of Seasonal Affected Disorder*

I sit here in a confused and anxious state, a few days out of completing my third build in three weeks.  After the Cloudbusters’ November Indoor meet, I built a Dime Scale B.A.T. Monoplane, a Cloud Dancer, and a Phantom Flash.  To me, building starts out as a necessary evil.  I like to design the plans, and I like to fly (more on this in a minute), but building – while not terrible – is not the most enjoyable of these three parts of the process of modeling.

The new Cloud Dancer, Phantom Flash, and B.A.T. Monoplane await the opportunity to fly.

Once upon a time, building the fuselage was the easy part and I had to force myself to do the wings first or I would delay them.  Since I now laser-cut everything, wings go together quickly and the fuselage takes more time.  On top of all of that, covering and finishing now takes more time than the structure-building of the wing, tail, and fuselage combined.  Some planes seem to take forever (yeah, I know – I just said 3 planes in 3 weeks).

Here is where the problems come in.  Once I am started on the model in earnest, I just keep building and covering until it is done.  I just put my building machine in gear and it is like the 4L gear on your 4WD – not super-fast, but lots of torque, and it gets the job done (ok, ok – 4H for you slow-pokes).  But, then…

The model is finished.  But the machine is not dis-engaged yet.  It feels like I am spinning my wheels and getting nowhere, since I have nothing to build.  And this time of the year just amplifies that, since here in Michigan, the weather is not the best for flying small, light models.  And with the ground frozen and leaves off the trees, there is even more hard surfaces to crash into should I actually venture outside.  I cannot fly until the monthly indoor contest rolls around.

So, when the model is done, I should fly it, but I can’t.  I feel like I need to build because that is what I have been doing in the immediate past.  I can neither build nor fly.  There is a definite let-down after I complete a model, especially if I cannot go fly it right away.  After a day or so, the building urge passes.  Then…I have to force myself to start on the next project (remember, it is my least enjoyable part).  Fortunately, in this dry spell between build sessions, I can work on plans.  I do like the drawing.

The three models above were built for Indoor.  I doubt I will be building any more for Indoor this year, unless something happens to my stable of aircraft and I need to replace something.  So the remainder of the winter building season will shift over to builds for next Outdoor season.  As always, I have a lengthy list of intended projects and now I will narrow that down and prioritize them so I can have a new fleet come spring.  There are ten on that list right now, with two additional completed (B.A.T. and the Bellanca T250).  Also, there are some duplicate events on the list – where I have to select which model to build for the event.

One additional issue with this building addiction combined with my “retirement” and focus on my hobby-business – I am getting Too Many Planes.  I am running out of room to store them.  They are everywhere – packed away, on shelves, on desk-tops, practically under foot.  I almost never throw any of my old soldiers (airmen?) away (is this hoarding?) – I just retire them to an ever-growing pile.  See what I mean?  I have problems.

only part of the Old Plane Repository

* – Note:  this was written mostly in jest.  I do not suffer from these issues (well, maybe the addiction to building … and the urge to fly – oh, and the hoarding of models) and I am not poking fun at those who do suffer.

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1 Response to Confessions of a Winter Modeler

  1. Ronnie Espolt says:

    You slipped back into the the river of denial at the end.

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