Time to Model, and Fixing Things when it all Goes South
tailfin lights to the Moebius Seaview
When you've modeled many years, and as you
get older as an adult, life can sometimes get in the way
of actually getting any real modelling done. It doesn't
seem to matter where you buld your models, or exactly how
you do it. Stuff gets in the way. Most of us are working
long hours during the week, so to come home and attempt
to wind down, even for a few moments to focus on modelling,
is not easy. If only I had more time.
Often we try squeezing model time in at any given chance.
Finishing up breakfast? Got a few moments before it's off
to the office? Maybe I'll just glue a few parts on and then
go. Or you find yourself trying to sit down after a 13 hour
day, trying to get your mind to focus long enough to figure
out where you are in the build, what needs to be done, and
should you glue or paint something before it's off to bed.
It's not that there's a rush to get the model done. After
all, it's a hobby, it's something you enjoy. But waiting
for glue or paint to dry isn't very exciting. So if you
can sneak in a moment to glue a few parts together, so they'll
be dry later when you're back to your projects, it always
seems to be a good idea.
But things can go wrong, and this happens to every modeler.
Especially when you're building something from scratch,
or trying out a new model idea, or making a modification
to the kit itself. In cases like that, you can't follow
the directions exactly. You have to plan, to map out your
course of action. What parts need to be assembled first?
What needs to be primed or painted first? Do you glue certain
parts after the modification, or before? Which parts of
the project will take longer to modify? Do you need special
accessories for the model kit, or special paint or supplies?
Do you need to order them ahead of time? It's a dance that
many modelers know well by now after building many years.
Take for instance what I'm working on now. This is a long
term project. It might take me a year to finish between
smaller model kits along the way. It's the Moebius
Voyage to the Bottom of the Sea Seaview submarine. First
off, it's an amazing kit. It's seriously 36 inches long.
And while I could easily glue it together in probably one
day, there are of course seams to fill, and a lot of modifications
I have planned. So it's going to be a long term build.
One day when I had a few minutes to spare, I thought I would
go ahead and glue a few parts together. The printed directions
are SMALL, and there's not much to them. Not like other
Moebius kits where you get a booklet of many pages and some
of them are in color. The tailfins seemed like easy parts
to glue together and they were. Badda bing boom - a little
glue, and they're done. I set them aside to dry. My few
minutes of time were over and I had to leave.
Now, I've built Moebius kits before. If you've built their
science fiction models, you know they usually mold in channels
and spaces for wiring. In case you decide you want to add
wiring and lights to the kit. It's an awesome idea (Round2
does it too on some of their kits as well). The only thing
is, they don't normally MENTION THIS IN THE DIRECTIONS.
If you're experienced enough to add
lighting to your model, you know enough to notice the
spaces left open for the wiring. (that's my guess why they
don't mention it).
Yeah, well, that's the theory. With my mind foggy and being
in a rush, I didn't notice the channels molded into the
rear fins. I didn't think much about it till a couple of
days later. I remember seeing the channels when I was gluing
the parts, and thinking, that's unusual. Oops. The glue
was quite dry in a couple of days, so now I had to back
pedal to add the wires for the lights (the end of the fins
have a light on them on the TV model).
If this was a $ 20.00 kit, I would have just bought another
one for the fins. But at $ 80.00+, I couldn't do that with
this model. I thought about it for a while, I even thought
about skipping adding the lights on the fins all together,
but hey, I really wanted those lights. And as DEVO once
said: "Are we not men?". I'm a modeler. That's
what I do. I build stuff! Nothing a power tool, some putty
and primer can't fix, right?
I marked the channel with a pencil (you can see it if you
hold the fins up to a light), and then took out my Dremel,
and used a burr to open the channel up. I had to pry open
the gap a bit to fit the wires through, but I got it to
work. Once the wires were in the channel, I used CA glue
to hold them in the fin (note: I did test the light to make
sure it would light up before making all this permanent).
Once the glue was dry, I used putty to fill the gaps, and
primered it. It came out fine. So I did the other side as
well, and I'm sure it will be ok once I primer it.
I'm telling this story because as modellers, we're all pressed
for time to build. It only takes a slight lack of focus
to turn that model project into a hand grenade. With work,
kids, and and everyday life, it's not always easy to get
some modelling time in. But always remember that you're
modelers. You're a PROBLEM SOLVER. Whatever has gone wrong
can probably be fixed, corrected, scratch built, or repainted.
It will just take a little longer than you thought. In repairing
these fins, I learned something new as far as a model building
technique, and I'm probably more proud of the work I've
put into it than I would have been before. It also makes
a great story to tell when discussing building the Seaview!
So keep modelling when you can. Don't be afraid to find
a solution and learn something new when building.