Friday, January 3, 2014

Stale Stash: Time to Reevaluate

A current project has left me with a bad taste in my mouth...

The stash is a prized possession of most a scale modeler. Like our own personal hobby shop, it is the stockpile bearing years and years worth of kits from which most modelers retrieve their next project, and it is the cache in which we store our latest purchases. It is generally something to be proud of - an investment in our hobby's future.
But what happens when everything in your collection no longer holds its appeal? There lies a problem.
My stash was built upon a solid foundation of forty percent off coupons and inexpensive Revell kits. In those days, I was too busy scooping up every cheap kit I could fit on my shelf to realize that affordability doesn't necessarily translate into future interest. Hind sight has shown me that I was buying models simply for the fact that they were readily available, not because it was something I desired or a kit that I actually wanted to build. There was no consideration of quality. No thought was put into the fact that my interests and preferences would perhaps change over time.

So where has this left me?

Like a pantry full of expired goods, I have a collection of kits that I would rather not build. Its like opening the fridge and suddenly noticing the bologna has gone bad and then realizing you have another twelve packs of it. 
Though I am not one to be very resolute this time of year, I am determined to change my buying habits. The Mi-24 Hind that I am working on currently has forced me to reevaluate the kits I buy and how I manage my stash. While the kit had a promising start, the build has been hampered by Revell's typical shortcomings surrounding quality and buildability, to steal a word from Matt McDougall. It forced me to realize that my interests and my kits indeed have a shelf life. While these kits were inexpensive and easy to come by, many of them don't present themselves as an enjoyable project any longer. Instead, I can only think about the troubles that lay ahead.

So, it has left me with an investment I can no longer tolerate. It is time for a make over and a new strategy. From this point on, I have resolved to purchase models that I truly want to build rather than settling on a kit just because it is cheap. I used to pride myself on being a frugal modeler but it is time to stop using that as a crutch. There are ways to spend wisely and be a prolific modeler that do not involve molds that are older than I am.

So what happens to the old stash then? I have decided to give away or sell some of the kits I have on hand. Though I don't find them desirable any longer, I can guarantee some one out there will. (I can already see some of you drooling) That is the way of modeling. Their absence, along with maybe a few extra dollars, will contribute to the purchase of some newer kits that will be the basis for a new investment. 

One way or another, its a new year for The Combat Workshop and hopefully some exciting things to come!
I appreciate your support!


  1. Tough decision, good for you!
    (Bonus points for the clever use of "Hind sight" :-))

    1. I was wondering if some one would notice that!

  2. "Buildability" I do like that and may have to quote that myself in the future. I think we all have things in our pile that we wanted but will never build. Be it from a review you have read after your purchase and then think, Hmmmmm not sure i want to deal with these issues etc. It is big of you to stand up and say this out loud, almost like your boss saying he made a that will ever happen. Good for you Jon and i hope your sales go well and you buy something that makes you excited.

  3. I'll usually use a revell kit as a slump buster. When I pull one out, I don't care about anything but finishing it.

    1. Yes, I kept one or two that I thought were simple but decent enough for rainy days, slump busting, or experimentation.

  4. I can sympathise with your plight. I too had the 1/48 Monogram Mi-24 Hind with big ideas of an Iraqui helicopter as seen in photos at the time of the Gulf War, even have the Superscale decals for it still. This kit, like many others, have been traded in or sold at swap and sell events. By now I have traded far more kits than I have in the stash (or even finished). This is due to losing interest, finding a better detailed, modern kit or getting rid of the cheap kits I couldn't pass by. Purge the kits you can bare to part with, then spend the money on decals, photoetch and resin to detail the kits you care about.