Stess Free Modeling

What do I work on when I need a relaxing build?

One of the most common positive attributes given to our great hobby is that it is relaxing. It truly is, considering how we tend to work in solitude, perhaps listening to our favorite tunes or drift in and out of an interesting documentary on the television. No one bothers us. It is simply us versus the model.
But sometimes that model is a stronger opponent than we might have estimated. What started as just a regular build soon turns into an ugly cage match against an unrelenting heavy weight who throws a mean right hook in the form of poor engineering and your only defense is more filler and lots of sanding. Soon your balance is off, your breathing is labored and that documentary is looking more and more interesting. As much as the hobby can be relaxing, so it can also suck the life out of you. It is at this point I like to throw in the towel and give myself the chance to harness my chi. I'll take on a small project that I know will not be an issue and one that will boost my confidence to step back into the ring.
Like a boxer working a speed bag, I pick quick projects to get me back in the rhythm, but most importantly, they don't strike back. While not being completely devoid of a challenge, they generally don't involve much construction which eliminates having to fuss over seams and the inevitable filling and sanding to follow. They also do not involve complicated paint schemes so I can rule out masking as a source of stress. Finally, each one requires that I create some ground work - arguably my favorite aspect of modeling.
Here are some examples:

You can see, they are all small and do not include full kits. Quite often they can be made up of old kit parts, like the one with the T-34 turret, or a pre-assembled model such as the 1/144 T-55. Keeping them simple allows me to complete a project quickly, giving me a feeling of accomplishment thus filling a void left by the more frustrating build. Of course, it doesn't solve the problem of actually finishing the initial model that gave me such trouble in the first place, but it certainly does wonders to restore my motivation. 
What is your stress reliever?

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  1. Nice work as usual Jon and i always love looking at your small scenes, they tell a great story.


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