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From the opposite end of the workbench

…the twisted ramblings of a ship modeler.

Problems? Ask Doctor Jeff!!!

Fellow modelers, it happens to us all…the dreaded SLUMP. Hours of lamenting about whether or not to build, start a project, finish a project, or something along those lines…so I opened shop yesterday and decided to jot down some questions posed to me by readers. I hope you can find the answer to your slump here!

Dear Doctor Jeff:

I have about 10,000 kits in my basement, and I can’t decide which one to start. Can you help? 

Signed, PakRat in Pittsburgh.

Dear Pakrat,

How about getting off your lazy ass and simply picking one? Easy, huh? When I started building models, I never had 10,000 kits in my basement. Sometimes, I didn’t have a single kit! So you know what I’d do? I cut out the box art from an old kit and make the model from origami! And we didn’t have glue in those days, we used string, pine tar or duct tape!!! Quit complaining, you spineless wimp! There are modelers all over the world who are too poor to buy anything except old bagged Airfix kits of 1/72 WW1 airplanes.


Dear Doctor Jeff,

My wife says I spend too much time on my models and not enough time with her…can you help?

Signed, Confused In Cleveland


Dear Confused,

Well, I didn’t get much information here, so I’ll have to cover all bases. First off, do you like women?


Does your wife look like this?                                   Or like this?

                       blkhrt4.jpg (56839 bytes)                                              shanwall1.jpg (46224 bytes)          

It doesn’t take a rocket scientist to figure this one out, now does it??


Dear Doctor Jeff,

Sometimes I just sit for hours at my modeling table, with no motivation to build whatsoever. No matter what I do, I just don’t feel like building, can you help?


Restless in Reno


Dear Restless,

Sure, I can help…but it will take some effort on your part. Maybe modeling is not your true passion, but it can be helpful. Try airbrushing a model, then sit and WATCH the paint dry. If paint’s too quick for you, then maybe watching Squadron Green putty curing is more your thing. If that’s too fast paced, then I strongly suggest buying a new kit, and watching the dust build up on the box as it sits on the workbench. If that’s too intense for you, watching the mold spores growing on the cardboard boxes in your basement is sure to do the trick.

In the absolute worst case scenario, you can either become the editor for a modeling website, or you can try to pass yourself off as a modeling therapist and simply tick folks off!


Dear Doctor Jeff,

I’ve gone to several contests with my mop-painted BF-109 and it’s never won anything. Can you help?


Frustrated in Philly

Dear Frustrated,

Is your wife upset that you used her mop to paint your model? Does she own a handgun?

I’ve always said that modelers learn by seeing other modelers’ work. So….the next time you’re at a contest, take a camera with you (you may know it as a picture-takin’ box) and photograph some models that inspire you. Before you know it, you’ll be painting models with brushes and using real paint too!


Dear Doctor Jeff,

Trumpeter is coming out with yet another new kit that I really must have. Trouble is, I only have enough money to either buy the kit or get my kid’s dental work done. What should I do?


Broke in Boise 

Dear Broke,

It’s simple…take a look around your workshop. Got an X-acto knife? Got needle files? Got a Dremel tool? Got Squadron putty??

If you answered yes to these questions, then you’re already half way to do-it-yourself dentistry!!! Go to the local drugstore and buy 4 or 5 bottles of Anbesol. You are now equipped as well as half the dentists I’ve ever gone to!! Go buy that new kit!!!


Disclaimer: If your wife is the size of a house, is a hottie, or if you're too damn poor to afford a model kit, or too cheap, please don't call me to tell me I'm cruel or mean-hearted. I already know that I am, and it's your pain I'm making fun of, not mine. Furthermore, PLEASE don't perform dental procedures on your kids in order to buy a new kit, ok??