Are you a Modeling Hoarder?
"Confessions of a Model Addict"
September 5, 2001
Soooo, what's the deal with all of those unbuilt kits that you currently own? I make this statement based on the assumption that most of you fellow model builders are probably like me - you own more models than you can possibly build in your lifetime.
In addition, if you're like me, you probably continue to buy model kits, purchasing more in a year than you are actually building in a year, (right?)
I also bet that you really don't consider yourself to be a "modeling collector", (or someone who only purchases models to keep in an unbuilt state). Nawww! I bet every last model in your collection you plan to build, someday, somehow…eventually.
Well, do not fret. Come on in, pull up a chair and join us for another insightful, soul-cleansing session of "Modeler's Anonymous," (where we might not be able to help you solve your problem, but we sure as heck can make you feel good about it!) :~}
OK, how in the world did 'WE' ever acquire all of 'OUR' unbuilt kits? Again, if you all are anything like me, this is easy to determine.
I should probably start here by introducing myself, along with describing to you precisely how I came to develop my modeling, uhhh, peculiarity.
"Hi, my name is Tony and I hoard models.
I just turned 40 this year and I probably have over 1,300 UNBUILT model kits! What's worse is that I've only been building, uhhh…that is completing… around 2 or 3 models each year, for the past couple of years.
I have been (seriously) building models since my mid 20's. This is probably when my, uhhh condition began to develop. Even though my wife and I were just living in an apartment at the time, I slowly but surely began to acquire model kits.
They started out as a Batwing kit here and a Batmobile kit there. Then I discovered Revell Robotech Robot kits and quietly began snatching them up.
I then branched out into 1:72 scale Hasegawa military jets when I joined a local modeling club. From there, I expanded into larger, quarter scale jets, armor kits and a smattering of automobile kits as well. That was around 10 years ago.
Once I discovered that model kits actually get discontinued, then that changed the whole ball game. If I ran into a kit that I even remotely thought I'd like to build someday, I instantly purchased it.
Shortly afterwards, I discovered the sales of discontinued models, along with modeling shows like Modelfest. Koooool! Now not only could I obtain that very hard to find kit, but I could often get it at a price cheaper than when it was new! Oh Yeahhhhhh!
I often found myself falling into the 'What if Modeling Syndrome.' You don't know what the 'What if Modeling Syndrome' is, do you? The 'What if Modeling Syndrome' goes something like this: Even though I currently own one or two kits of a particular type, I sometimes would pick up an additional kit or two of the same type, just in case. After all, 'what if' one of these kits either has a damaged or missing piece?
Also, 'what if' I end up ruining a part of the kit while assembling it. Adding to this is the fact that often, with military aircraft kits (for example), you have multiple variations that many can be built into. 'What if' after I build my two kits, I decide that I'd like to build another variation of the first two? (Can't you just picture a squadron full of small, 1:48 scale F-16 models here?)
Along this same line of reasoning is that with sci-fi kits, one can often use parts from one kit to bash into another.
It is the ever existing 'Discontinued Kit Phobia' that drives the 'What if Modeling Syndrome.'
You know, my wife used to get angry with me when I would bring new models into our house. Now, she just looks at me, shakes her head from side to side and walks away.
I've been through the 'Stealth Mode of Model Acquisitions' - you know, when you ship kits to yourself at work, so you can get them into your house easier. By the way, your garage can be a most convenient way to accomplish this - (ours is located next to our attic). It's also helpful to wait until your wife has gone to bed before moving your new kits into the fold.
Although I've never met him, our UPS delivery guy knows me by name. He also recognizes my wife's signature.
Even my two sons, when they visit my 'Model-Haven Room,' have asked me: 'Daddy, why are you still buying models when you already have all of these?' - ('All of these' are probably around 800 - 900 kits that are conveniently situated along the walls - up to the ceiling - in my 7' by 9 & 1/2' modeling room).
When your 7 and 9-year-old children start questioning the logic (and sanity) of your modeling purchases, then you know you need help.
Part of the reason for my ever-increasing number of unbuilt kits is due to those everyday distractions that always seem to get in the way of my building. You know, things like eating, sleeping, working, spending time with the family and doing home chores and home repair work.
In addition, I have the added responsibility of being the web master of three web sites. When adding to the mix the many, numerous modeling related articles that I've been writing over the past 3 or 4 years - (like this one), you can quickly see why my model building output has gone waaaaay down.
Another reason for my ever-increasing stash of model kits is due to the different types of models that interest me. (Makes sense, right?)
As I previously mentioned, I like both 1:72 and 1:48 scale military aircraft, (props and jets). I like modern armor kits. I like automobile kits.
I also like resin and vinyl sci-fi, fantasy and comic book figure kits. In addition, I like resin and styrene spacecraft models. I love Robotech and Gundam plastic robot kits.
With such an all-encompassing view of our hobby, you can easily see why my collection of models is as extensive as it is.
One advantage to owning a healthy stock of unbuilt kits is that I have enough models to keep me busy for the rest of my life, (and several other lives as well). If the situation would occur in which the new plastic kit output would plummet, I probably would not miss a beat.
Recently I discovered model kits being sold at Ebay. It was like a second childhood for me. Two years and a WHOLE lot of additional (hard to come by) sci-fi model kits later and our attic is just about out of space…so is my modeling room.
I then decided to start selling some of my duplicate (and triplicate) models on Ebay. This started working out real well, with my model collection shrinking down a bit, along with me obtaining some additional cash.
The problem was that shortly afterwards, I discovered a Web Site called Hobby Link Japan. HLJ specializes in many, MANY sci-fi kits that previously had only been available in the Far East. ('Specializes' - that's a nice word).
Shortly after my discovery, what little dent I had made in my collection was quickly replaced, and then reinforced by new, large cardboard boxes, that once again started arriving by UPS, (this time from Japan). (The Internet, models and the credit card - ya just gotta love 'em).
Lately, I've actually cut down on the number of kits that I've been buying. You see I have now discovered the Garage Kit Industry. The GK Industry specializes in high quality, (mainly) resin kits, (many of which are unlicensed).
Yeah, the number of models I've been purchasing has gone down. Unfortunately, my spending has remained pretty much the same. In fact, it has probably gone up. This is because each resin kit that I've been buying has been running anywhere from $70 to $100 each.
I tried to explain this new modeling trend that I'm now in to my dear, understanding wife. You know, resin really is quite expensive. And, it takes quite a bit to make up a 1:6 scale figure.
Also, the sculptors who make the original masters really do pour themselves into their miniature modeling masterpieces. They put hours and hours into their sculpts, getting that last detail juuuust right.
Then, there's the creation of the rubber molds, (that have a limited life-span), along with the casting of each individual piece.
My wife rewarded me this time with her 'evil eye,' followed by again just turning around and walking away.
Lastly here, another factor to consider are my two sons. They have been building models on a pretty regular basis this year. Anthony, my eldest has probably built more this year than I. (Ahhh, the pure modeling joy of just throwing a kit together).
Guess what will more than likely happen to my model collection when I have passed beyond this realm and into the next? Anthony, Michael and possibly my little daughter Claire will inherit them. (Yes, in my own little way, I am helping to keep this hobby of ours alive?)
Anthony and Michael have already been salivating over many of my old, Robotech and Macross sci-fi kits, (that are no longer in production, by the way).
I figure that even if my children decide to just sell my collection off, the fact that many of my kits have gone up in price means that they should be worth a pretty penny. (That is, unless they get the bright idea to just have a yard sale and liquidate the collection for a couple of bucks each).
Well, that's my story, and I'm sticking with it.
…Thanks for listening."
Ok, did you see little fragments of yourself in my little confession here? C'mon, sure you did. Maybe, the picture that I painted for myself is actually a mirror of you.
Yeah, I'm probably not all that bad after all. All other model builders are just like me.
Yeah, juuuuuust like me!
Copyright © 2010 by Anthony I. Wootson. No material may be reproduced without permission. Unauthorized duplication is prohibited.