I tend to be a ‘Jack of all trades, master of none‘. And while there is no reason that that should bother me, it does. I look at the work that some of the Master Craftsmen model builders do and I find I have a strong desire to build to their level of craftsmanship, yet I know that I am nowhere close in my skill set. And that really frustrates me.
The issue is that I have too many hobby interests! While they include the obvious one of model aviation, I also enjoy:
- HO model railroading and building Craftsman level railroad structure kits
- And building plastic model kits
- And building and flying model rockets
- And collecting and playing tactical and strategic level boardgames
- And I dabble in woodworking
- And I recently took up building and operating my own 3-D printer (the list of items I want to print is extensive!)
- And then there is this FlyBoyz Blog
- And running the FlyBoyz Store (while more of a business than an actual hobby, it is an interest that I’ve had for most of my life that I am now getting to realize).
When it comes to model aviation, there are many sub-sets of the hobby that one can venture into for enjoyment. I really enjoy the building aspects of the model plane hobby…even more so than the actual flying. However, when it come to model plane building, I am frustrated by my undeveloped skill set. I am really tired of building profile control line models (mostly stunters). I have found that they’ve become a boring repeat of the same building skills. I know there is still much I could do to improve those specific skills but the profile direction doesn’t appeal to me as to where I want to spend my time and energies.
I really enjoy watching videos of Tom Hallman and marvel at his level of expertise and craftsmanship in constructing and flying his stick and tissue planes. I also really enjoy watching ‘Windy’ videos of Windy Urtnowski and want to emulate his control line model building and especially his finishing skills. I know I’ll never reach the level of craftsmanship of either of these two craftsman but I want to progress towards them.
One of the issues that I’m up against is that both of these guys spent their whole lives focusing on their skill areas in order to reach their high levels of craftsmanship. In my case, I had over 30 years away from the hobby that I’m trying to make up. And I realize every day, that at my current age, I don’t have 30 years of time left. One could assume that being retired is supposed to help free up gobs of time to do what you want, but as those who are retired know, retirement brings its’ own set of ‘interruptions and distractions’ with it.
And so what can I do? The obvious answer is that I need to Focus. Focus on the area(s) that I really want to develop and enjoy the most. While I would really like to focus on stick and tissue, the smaller and more delicate stick and tissue builds don’t agree with my shaky hands and failing eyes. So I need to focus on a larger scale. That moves me more towards control line. However, while I enjoy the flying aspects of control line, stunt flying is not what most interests me. The building is.
I have found that the most enjoyable recent build I did was the Enterprise L’il Darlin’ 1/2A Control Line Build. It’s what I called my ‘Roger Ramjet Racer’ in an earlier FlyBoyz post. It was a small build and wasn’t truly scale but what I enjoyed was that I was able to take a few rough sheets and blocks of balsa and actually finish them into a halfway nice looking representation of a mid-1930’s racing plane. And along the way, I was able to work on developing a few of my model finishing skills.
And that goes along with what I’ve decided needs to be my focus going forward…full fuselage, scale, control line planes. As I look around my workshop at all the various projects and builds currently in progress, virtually all of them are full fuselage scale builds of one size or another. Also, due to my FlyBoyz Store activities, I’ve been been able to significantly build up my personal kit collection. When I scan what’s on those shelves, I see that the overwhelming preponderance of all those kits are full fuselage scale plane kits. They are pretty well evenly split between control line and larger stick and tissue kits. So I can see that my ‘focus’ has already started to zero in whether or not it was a conscience act on my part.
And this focus is one of the reasons I’ve found myself so excited about the recent start of my Martin B-10 Bomber build. It is a good sized, full fuselage, control line, scale build. One that I can focus some good attention on and start to hone some of my building skills.
But first I have to finish up that profile, control line stunt plane that I am currently restoring. <<Focus, Mike, FOCUS!!>>