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Let’s be honest here. Who really looks at your models? Who comes into your display area and really digs into the details on any given build? I’m willing to bet no one does. The friends that I can coax into checking out my models usually just give them a look over. No one ever notices or asks if they represent specific subjects from specific times. The fact is they don’t care.
Contests, shows, club meetings and other events are a completely different crowd. These are people who share an appreciation for your craft and possibly even your subject. I’m sure you would agree that these are two totally different audiences. These people not only have interest in your subjects but there is a good chance you will run across someone who knows more about one or more of them than you do.
What does all this have to do with invisible detail? Nothing. No one, regardless of level of interest, will ever see invisible detail. By definition it is unseen, not visible. So what’s the point? Why do some of us include things unseen? Some do it for the practice it gives them thereby improving their skill set. Some do it because they insist on using every part possible in the kit. Some do it because they have that drive to detail every nook and cranny regardless of it ever being seen again.
I am not a methodical modeller. I do have some standard ways I do things but each model I build is done in a unique way. Each one includes detail and processes that I have never used before and may never use again. For me it keeps the hobby fresh. What drives me is the desire to try things I have never done before. To at least attempt things I never have. Besides, organization and methodology are for the workplace and have no business in my hobby room.
My Monogram B-29 build is a great example of my want to try new things and the inclusion of hidden detail. The build includes the use of the Eduard Big Ed PE set which includes every detail you can possibly imagine both inside and out. But this build isn’t about all that detail. It’s about the PE. My only experience with PE up until this project were the grenade screens on a Tamiya Sd.Kfz. 222 and some cockpit panels in a Dragon FW190. Only one piece of which required any need to bend or shape it. I got tired of seeing all the comments online by people about how they don’t have the skills to do PE. So, when I had the chance to get a review sample of a set for a kit I already had, I jumped right in. My intention is to show that even a PE newbie with a limited set of tools can not only do it but do it well. That’s my drive on this one, not the detail.
There are others in my collection like the Trumpeter FW200 with the fuselage full of unseen fuel tanks and countless others with painstakingly done instrument panels. That’s not really the norm anymore because I realized my goal is to get them done and on the display shelf not to get them perfect…
Besides, no one ever looks at them anyway.
Ah yes, “”The Stash””. The topic that never goes away. What is “”The Stash”” anyway? Why do they exist and why do they keep growing? They seem to take on life of their own. A living, breathing, growing stack of plastic you might say. I obviously can only speak for myself, but I’ll start off here with some generalities that I have seen in the community of “Stashers” I have had contact with.
Different people Stash for different reasons. Some people are just collectors and are not builders. Some people just can’t pass up a good deal no matter what it is. Some purchases are driven out of the fear that the kit will not be available in the future. Some additions are gifts. And of course there are the braggarts that just like to be able to say that they have more kits than you or I do. Some of these justifications may be more valid than others but they really are all just subjective justifications. There is no right or wrong. At best there is only the satisfaction that you have in your possession everything that you want.
I am actually living through my second Stash now. Having two Stashes was the result of taking a long day to break from the hobby which led to me selling the first one. Interestingly enough, those two Stashes have similarities and differences. My first Stash was accumulated during my mid to late twenties. It consisted of 250 to 300 1/72nd scale World War Two aircraft with a few pieces of armor thrown in for good measure. My goal at that time was to build at least one of every type of aircraft flown by all combatants of World War Two in Braille scale. A lot of the kits that I had at the time were not only out of production and hard to find but I had purchased them at a considerable discount from their original street price. I was finding things at extremely reasonable prices that fit my genre and we’re still sealed. It really was a perfect storm. My second Stash has been accumulated since my return to the hobby in 2010. It has fluctuated quite a bit over the years. Probably 2 to 3 years ago I realized it had gotten to 130 plus kits. Most of that growth was the result of finding a lot of unbelievable deals on quality to kits. A lot of them were of subjects I had no no interest in personally but I rationalized that I could trade them or sell them. Once I realize I was over 100 kits I sort of panicked and decided to do some reduction. I ended up down around 80 or so kits. Fast forward to today. Now here I sit with at least 140 kits. Since the initial reduction I myself only purchased at most 10 kits, probably around five to be honest. The rest of them have been gifted to me. As a result my current Stash is quite varied. I have pretty narrow interests as far as subjects are concerned nowadays. Quarter scale World War Two Mediterranean theater aircraft are what I mainly focus on anymore. That said I do have a fetish for the Republic P-47 Thunderbolt, the Monogram 1/48 scale multi engine bomber series, and World War 2 era night fighters.
As you can tell it’s time to do another reduction. That’s not always easy as it sounds. Actually I have a column on my inventory spreadsheet that specifies whether I’m willing to sell a it are not. Today not many of them are marked for sale and that needs to change. I do, however, have some rules when it comes to selling kits. First and foremost I do not sell gifts. Kits that have been gifted to me will be retained and built. That right there may be 30% of my Stash. Once you add to that just the kits that fit into my genre and fetishes I would guess we’re talking 60 to 70% of “”The Stash””. So the reality is that I probably have 40 to 50 individual kits that are in my Stash only because they were too inexpensive to pass up. Perhaps I should sell them but I always talk myself out of it by telling myself it will not be financially worth it. I mean, just exactly what is my time worth? If all I get at the end of a eBay sale is a few bucks profit I don’t see that as a good use of my time.
Stashes provide us with a couple of other positives. First and foremost it assures me that the subjects I wish to pursue are available to me a when I wish to tackle them. They can also provide trade fodder when you find a deal on something you really have no interest in. Then perhaps one of the best effects of “The Stash” for me personally is that I can usually aquire a subject that I am interested in for much less than its original street price. In a way those of you out there that feel the need to have the latest and greatest immediately are warehousing kits for those of us who don’t need them right away. Thanks for that!
So the question that comes to my mind after all of this is “Can “The Stash” exist without a goal?” I don’t think so. No matter what it is that we are stockpiling, collecting, or hoarding we have a reason. Perhaps illogical, and definitely subjective, but ultimately purposeful. That is why we Stash. To get us one step closer to that goal that only we can see in our minds eye.
Spent some time with my daughter this evening. A Dynamic Duo working on another Dynamic Duo.! So close to the finish on this one.