It’s only plastic…

“It’s only plastic”; a succinct quip that came from Ted Taylor, as we discussed modellers in general at a club we were both attending at the time and their reactions and responses to kit building. What he meant was, those folks who might, for a variety of reasons, regard themselves either as ‘serious modellers’, who strive for excellence or those recognised and applauded as ‘gifted’. Ted also had another segment of our community in mind – those who routinely fret over perceived inaccuracies, engineering issues and questions of fit.

Today, I’d add another category – anyone who expresses discouragement or finds demotivating, ‘modelling excellence’ when they see it. So, what does all this add up to? What is the casualty here, if any? I believe it’s ‘happiness’. If I return to Ted’s observation, the advice he intended to convey to everyone was ‘relax and enjoy it, whatever your ability, whatever your interest – it’s only plastic’. I support that. It doesn’t prevent anyone from still doing their best but instead emphasises what should be the bedrock of the hobby – fun, enjoyment and an absence of taking yourself and the plastic too seriously.

And what of those who jokingly or seriously express discouragement on sight of something they otherwise regard as special? I guess the problem boils down to a lack of awareness of the actual root of happiness – ‘acceptance’. I regard myself as a ‘mid-table obscurity’ modeller (to coin a footballing turn of phrase – that’s ‘soccer’ to our American friends). I’ll likely never be a blue riband, gold medal winning modeller but neither am I a beginner either. I sit in the ‘obscure’ middle somewhere and ‘accept’ that that’s likely to remain the case and in that, I’m totally happy. If I see something from another modeller that lights up my admiration and interest, I cheerfully accept that it’s beyond my current capabilities and at the same time feel profoundly inspired – inspired to be witness to what’s demonstrably possible with the right techniques and tools and that in turn spurs me on to push harder, while never forgetting ‘it’s only plastic’.

There can’t be too many modellers who’ve never heard the term the ‘shelf of doom’; that place where abandoned projects go to die. If ever there was an expression of a failure to understand ‘acceptance’ as the root of happiness, the shelf of doom is it. Does it matter if what you envisaged is different to how the kit has panned out? Do you only do ‘perfection’? Did ‘Advanced Modeller Syndrome’ burn you out? All indicate an absence of happiness in your hobby, a lack of acceptance of ability and a damaging presence of over ambition. Dial it down, wind it back. Have a beer, relax and chill. It’s only plastic. Pull that kit back off the shelf and finish it. Accept the result. Learn what you need to from it, then take another off the shelf and apply that learning. Keep building, keep enjoying, keep accepting, keep happy.

It’s only plastic.


Until next time.

Bad Wolf

Indications you really should lose weight

When you pop to the loo, park gracefully, with gossamer delicacy upon the plastic seat and contemplate the peaceful serenity of the cubicle, until a sharp crack akin to the report from a high powered hunting rifle is instantly followed by a sudden drop in altitude of a couple of inches as you’re punched violently sideways, as though propelled by a high speed ‘T’ bone at a lethally fast road junction collision…
The most natural fear is intimate laceration, followed by how this would translate into a work place accident report. Tentative self examination confirms no injuries sustained – hi res images to confirm to follow…

The Ballard of ‘Last Day Pants’

Torn Pants

Bad Wolf Productions #5
‘The Ballard Of Last Day Pants’ – We’ve all had them. Those pants that reach the end of a long, hard road; that have struggled against the odds, met every challenge one’s waistline and nether regions can throw at them and returned, after valiantly surviving hot washes and blustery days, to once again ‘hug that which polite society would rather go unmentioned’.
They are the unsung heroes of the garment universe, those that go where socks fear to tread. And now, for one pair of battle scarred black pants, ‘the last day’ had dawned. Huddled into the rearmost part of the drawer, they survived day after day, week after week, as lithe, youthful pants were pulled out ahead of them to joyously enter the fray. But ‘Last Day Pants’ knew things were not right. The new pants were not returning, to once again shield ‘Last Day Pants’ in the one cloak of velvety, secret darkness. Each day the drawer became brighter and brighter, until today, when the hand of fate reached in and a finger hooked over the loop of waistline elastic that had long since given up the uneven battle to hold onto the material below.
Bought at a time when there was less of him than existed this morning, ‘Last Day Pants’ groaned as they were inched ‘up and over’, with all the sadistic intent of ‘The Rack’ under the hand of the Spanish Inquisition. “Once more unto the breach, dear friends, once more…” whispered ‘Last Day Pants’, who knew that never again would they feel the refreshing rush of Persil or pivot and cavort like a spring lamb in the warmth of the tumble dryer, for they had become ‘Last Day Pants’; too scarred for any rag bank, only the ignominy of landfill remained.
Please bow your heads in silent, sad contemplation of ‘Last Day Pants’.
Cue ‘Taps’…