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.

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