Friday, March 20, 2020

Keep Calm and Build Models

We live in "interesting times". In the same way that a flight where you think you might die is "interesting".

Like many people, I'm alternating between being scared and depressed. Sometimes I just want to curl up into a ball, shut my eyes and hope it all goes away. And occasionally I do just that.

Sadly, all the wishing in the world isn't going to fix this and we're just going to have to hide ourselves away and wait. All the shows and events for the foreseeable future have been postponed or cancelled. Even a trip to the pub is verboten according to the government.

Oddly, I ought to be really good at this. It's not like I'm short of things to amuse myself with, as you can see from the photo above. It's only a selection of the stash too, although in my defence, not all those kits are mine, and those that are were bought at a bargain price...

I'm not alone in planning to get some modelling done in between scavenging trips to see if I can buy any sort of food at all. Well, that and proper work. At least I can do that from home!

Anyway, I've heard from model shops who have enjoyed better sales than normal thanks to people stocking up for their incarceration. Not just model shops either, I know a wool shop that suddenly found customers queuing out of the door.

Show cancellations have blown a huge hole in many traders cash-flow. If we want them to survive, it's time to dips hands in pockets and buy those things you've been meaning to get for a while. Spend the money you can't take to the pub (and yes, I am concerned about pubs too) on modelling products.

Don't worry that delivery won't happen. I've received a couple of honking great orders for work this week, one in under 48 hours. Those in the trade who sell over a distance are set up to keep doing their thing. Give them the chance. Then spend time building - and then send me photos, I'd be really happy to put them up on this blog.

I'll do my best to keep you entertained, and myself distracted, with plenty of waffle. Keep yourselves safe in the meantime.


Huw Griffiths said...

Well said.

OK - as has already been pointed out on sites like RMweb, this is likely to be anything but a holiday for a number of people - some people will be facing financial uncertainty - some others will merely face never ending domestic job lists.

Unfortunately, some people will be going through far worse times - seriously ill and facing an existential threat, or caring for people in this situation.

I'm sure that all readers of this blog have sufficient fundamental decency to spare a thought for anyone being put through this.

Anyway, returning to those of us with loads of time on our hands, I hope we're able to make productive use of this time.

Somehow, I can imagine sites like RMweb soon filling up with things many of us get down to building over the coming weeks and months.

I know I'd been hoping to obtain some more stuff to add to my model stash, for this very reason. Yes - I know this sounds counter intuitive - but it's not, because I tend to go in for "proof of concept" modelmaking - so I prefer to allow for the probability of me making mistakes.

Oh well, it looks like my plans might need to change, yet again ... .

Anyway, assuming that most of us are not "otherwise occupied", a number of people should get a chance to work through stashes.

For some people, this might mean emptying cake boxes and building something to refill them. With Xmas cakes often keeping for months, this prospect might be quite credible. As for what to refill the boxes with, who says this needs to be scenery or dioramas - how about a complete model train that can be transported in one of these boxes? (Cue some homebrew railcars? I can think of some designs that would fit into a 200mm box, even in O gauge.)

Perhaps you might have some old locos or stock that don't come anywhere near modern standards - but which would never be worth much secondhand. Might we be about to read about some 30 year old Lima multiple units getting rebuilt?

I don't know what anyone might do over the coming weeks and months. Hopefully, though, at least some of us will use this time constructively.

All the best, everyone.

Andy in Germany said...

It is worrying: I'm supposed to move to a town near Freiburg next month and start a new job, but Freiburg is currently in lockdown...

I've got a stock of plastic card and components that I can't make myself, and 100 knife blades, so I won't get too bored if it doesn't work out as planned...

Phil Parker said...

Huw - We're working on some BRM ideas to get and support people modelling at the moment. Hopefully, there will be more on this next week. We can't help everyone, but those we can, we will.

Andy - Good luck with the new job, once they let you start!

Ian C said...

Hi Phil, please please build the hovercraft... is it the SRN4? Always wanted one of those. Would love to see the build...

Huw Griffiths said...

Andy - all the best with your new job - and home - when you're able to take them up.

Phil - that sounds like excellent news - many thanks. It'll be interesting to see what happens.

Graham Spicer said...

Now I don't feel so guilty!

Phil Parker said...

Ian - It's very much on the list. I wouldn't be surprised to see it re-appear in the range in the future too...