Tuesday, December 16, 2014

Test pieces

Test piecesOne of the great myths that I spend time trying to persuade newer modellers to stop believing in is that those of us who have been at it a while approach a task and simply get it right.

First time.

No messing.

It's not true. The main difference is that we know we're going to mess up so don't launch in to the final project without a little bit of preparation.

A little test piece can be a great way to try out a new material or technique. If it goes wrong, the piece heads to the bin and we try again.

I'm clearing up my work area at the moment and here are a couple of pieces that are now in the bin. As you can see, I've been testing different track weathering ideas. Not all have been successful, in fact my favourite is Wico brown emulsion. It's worth using doing the test just to find that out...

1 comment:

Huw Griffiths said...

You're right there.

I'm sure that, these days, you mess up less expensive kits than a beginner might - but this comes down to a mixture of experience (so you're aware of many of the pitfalls) and "proof of concept" type projects.

Another trap many beginners fall into is trying to be too clever - dreaming up some amazing "whizz-bang" way of doing something - a way which all the experienced guys have strangely missed.

Well, there might be a reason why the experienced guys have missed this new approach - perhaps some of them might have tried something very similar when they were beginners - perhaps they might have found that this dream quickly turned into a disheartening nightmare.

As some people might know, I'm also speaking from experience - albeit gained in a university, where (amongst other things) I set up experiments and demonstrated things.

Few (if any) of these things would interest most modelmakers - but that isn't the issue here.

I also encountered more than my fair share of people who thought they knew it all - I was ready to learn from the few who could actually teach me something new and useful.

Returning to the topic, I've sometimes wondered how many basic "beginner's" kits actually end up in the hands of beginners - how many of those suspiciously cheap YMRV "first part" work coaches actually ended up in the hands of people who were looking to build their first layout - and how many will actually end up, in pieces, in landfill, having been used as "bashing" fodder by experienced modellers.

I wonder - I've got my suspicions - but I guess I'll never find out.