Sprue Cutters Union #4: My FML Moment

This hobby is not always what its cracked up to be. It can be quite a pain, actually, and any one who says differently is selling something. Yes, its relaxing. It's even fun and educational. But, if you let your guard down, it can burn you in the worst way. And nothing is worse than being let down by something you take pure joy in. Modelers understand each other, bound by interests, not only the hobby itself, but in the subjects fueling it, like history and the military. We share the passion, and feel each other's joy when a model is completed, and partake in the grief when a mishap occurs. We've all been there, at the top of the mountain, and down in the darkest valley when we felt for sure this pass time would lead us to severe alcoholism.
Some have had it worse than others, no question about that, which is why I thought it would be interesting to know what the worst experience you've had in this hobby? It shouldn't be a difficult question to answer at all, but before I hit the biggest disappointment I've experienced, I'm going to briefly mention some smaller ones that I'm sure we've all dealt with at some point. Lets see if you agree...

1. The carpet monster. Losing a part to this beast can be immensely frustrating, especially if the part is integral to the model. Nothing like having to scratch build a piece or shelf the model until a new replacement part arrives. I once lost the same part twice in one build...The true story here -> FML.

2. A poor mask job. I love painting with the airbrush and I will never go back to using regular brushes to paint a model again. But how frustrating is it when you've removed the mask only to find out that the seal wasn't tight enough and some paint slipped underneath. Or maybe worse, you didn't cover enough with the mask and spilled neutral gray all over your previously pristine Olive Drab finish. Don't be stingy with masking tape!...The true story here -> FML.

3. Broken equipment. This happened to me most recently and nothing quite raises my blood pressure like breaking something that costs money and time to replace. The tip on my Paasche VL broke, causing paint to exit the nozzle even though I wasn't pulling the trigger back. Not only did this pose a near hazardous risk to my PT Boat's finish but it meant I couldn't paint very finely at all. With the Paasche on the fritz, I had to pretty much take a break until the new tips came in which took about a week. Nothing kills momentum more than waiting.

But none of these scenarios compares to what I dealt with about five or so years ago.

I found myself working on two projects simultaneously. This is something I try to avoid now, but was something I did on a regular basis back when I was a young modeler, full of whiz and vinegar. At the time, my father had built that B-25J and passed it on to me for painting (its our father/son pact we carry on to this day) and I had a Matchbox A-7 Corsair II on the bench as well. Thinking I was the cleverest person on the planet, I thought it'd be a good idea to pre-shade both models using a Sharpie permanent ink marker.
I was wrong.
Though the process was sped up a great deal and I pre-shaded both aircraft in record time, I would find out that this was a fool's errand. I would find out the hard way. After using the Sharpie, I proceeded to put down the base coat on each model. No problem up to that point and the finish looked convincing, so I was a happy camper. But when I sprayed the final Testor's dull coat over the Tamiya Acrylic that covered my A-7, disaster struck.
You see, for some reason, after spraying the dull coat, a chemical reaction brought the Sharpie ink through the acrylic paint to the surface. In doing so, it looked as though I had drawn the panel lines over the top of the finish with a black marker!! I wish I could have seen my face. I remember simply staring at the model, like I had awoken from some drunken stupor and realized I just committed a murder. The victim was my model!!
When I recovered from the initial shock, then denial, then disappointment, then the guilt, and finally accepted what I had done, I spent the next session repainting it. Unfortunately, it killed my motivation to complete my father's B-25 for the next several years.
As frustrating as it was, it was a good learning experience. If anything, it encouraged me to research possible techniques before applying them. I don't have pictures of the mishap but there is a forum thread that exists regarding issues using Sharpies. The pics posted there are similar to what would have been seen on my A-7. Be warned, its quite graphic!
If I had seen this before hand, I never would have thought about using that stupid marker. Live and learn. That is what this week's post is all about.
Thanks for reading!


Part of being in the Union means you must include links to fellow contributors' posts within your own response. If you liked this post, then perhaps you'll enjoy what some other modelers have to say about this topic!

David Knight's Weblog - David couldn't think of one single example, so he listed a few!
Lt. Smash's Models - Lt. Smash is a bit warped!
A Scale Canadian - Jim. Hates. Canopies. Period.
Yet Another Plastic Modeller - Jeroen has his spirits crushed...and his models.
Mattblackgod's World - Danny's models can get a bit hairy!
Martin's Scale Models - Martin doesn't appreciate bad forums!
Doogs' Models - Matt hates on the absolutists!
Kermit's Bench - Rich is let down by an old kit!
The DogsChuffers Scale Model Workshop - Craig shows us several FML examples!
Eternal Wargamer - Frank gets daemonized by his cat!

Want to join the Sprue Cutters Union? Its simple. If you model and have a blog that is all you need to start. Just write a post in response to the weekly topic, copy the link in the comments section for that week's assignment and you're in! Check out more detail about joining the Sprue Cutters Union.


  1. Mine for this week!



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