David Knights' Weblog

November 30, 2020

Finding the win

Filed under: Modeling — dknights @ 10:06 am
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I recently completed A-Model’s AS-1 Kennel.  I bought this kit at the Chattanooga Nationals and actually started it sitting in the hotel room at the show.  In retrospect, this might not have been a good idea.

I’ve built an A-Model kit before.  I built their AS-4 Kitchen a number of years ago.  In fact, that model won an award at the IPMS Nats in Norfolk. So, I thought I knew what I was getting into with the AS-1.  What I did not know at the time, and only later learned on Scalemates.com, is that the AS-1 kit isn’t an A-Model kit.  It was the one and only kit of a small manufacturer, the models to which, A-Model acquired.  This meant I wasn’t building an A-Model kit, I was building the one and only kit of a first time manufacturer.

I did not know this.  Thus I failed to look closely at the kit. (BTW, this is a general failing of mine, and I suspect many modelers.  We are so anxious to get started we don’t take our time to closely examine the model.)  If I had, I might have noticed the “poor” panel lines.  They were really bad.  It isn’t anything that couldn’t be fixed if you noticed it an determined to correct it prior to assembly. I did not.

By the time I realized the problems the kit had, I was far into the build.  I was at the priming stage.  I them attempted to correct the worst of the problems at a time way to far into the build.  Also, at this time, I realized that my rescribing skills had atrophied. (Who am I kidding, they suck)  Thus I was left with a model that I knew wasn’t going to be what I wanted.

Listeners to Plastic Model Mojo may note that the progress on the AS-1 stalled for several months.  At this point there was an internal debate in my head about what to do.  I could trash the project.  I couldn’t really go back to the point where I would have rescribed everything before assembly.  So, thanks to encouragement from Scott ” Skippy ” King and Jim “the X-acto ” Bates, I decided to make the best of a bad situation and press on, using the model as a way to learn.

When I build a model, I have two goals. First, I’d like each model I build to be better than the last.  By that standard, the AS-1 failed, rather badly.  Second, on each model I build, I want to try something new. A new technique, a new paint or weathering product, etc.  You get the point.  By that standard, I succeeded.  I used a white undercoat/primer instead of a black one on the theory that, for non-chrome finishes, white is a better base.  I think it worked out.  Also, the AS-1 was my first truly bare metal finish.  While far from perfect, it is now something I have attempted and have a baseline for improving.  Finally, I realize that I suck at scribing and I need to get better.

So, is this the AS-1 a great model? No. Did I do my best job on it? No.  Did I learn new stuff?  Yes. Did I have fun? Yes.  I am going to count that as a win.

4 Comments

  1. We are, indeed, our own worse critics. And you point out two important points, learning and having fun while model building. Thanks for the reminder. The old Monogram B-58 I’m working on is going to need them. 🙂

    Comment by Tim Cavileer — November 30, 2020 @ 11:22 am

  2. Yes. Have fun. With the age of the Monogram kit, you kind of have your expectations set for you up front. Always good to bring our expectations back to align with reality.

    Comment by dknights — November 30, 2020 @ 11:35 am

  3. Looks good David! May I suggest a Tu-4 as a display base?

    I find goal #2 often trumps goal #1, at least the first time.

    Comment by Jeff Groves — November 30, 2020 @ 12:17 pm

  4. Actually, a Tu-4 is a real possibility.

    Comment by dknights — November 30, 2020 @ 12:53 pm


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