Orangeville, ON (James Doan) The other night, as I sat patiently painting a 25mm Napoleonic Officer, a job which seemed to take hours, it occurred to me that instead of feeling frustrated at such a mind boring task, I was quite enjoying it.

With some music in the background and a cup of coffee nearby, I was able to let my hands do the work, whilst I thought of how the next stage in my model would proceed. Quite a relaxing process in fact, following on from a day at the shop, which was anything but relaxing. However, while I don’t mind doing something repetitive for a short time, I would hate to be doing the same thing eight hours a day at work.

The experience brought it home to me how important a hobby like modelling can be. Whether you work as I do, in an environment where the telephone is constantly ringing and people are asking for assistance, or whether you are on a factory floor or perhaps driving a truck and coping with the stresses of time schedules and traffic jams, the opportunity to wind down and relax when you get home is something to be treasured.

It’s all too easy to collapse in the chair in front of the television and let the electronic images do the entertaining, but it is much more rewarding to get out the glue and the craft knife and do something more creative.

It doesn’t matter if the project on the workbench is intended to be a potential show winner with all the skills you can muster lavished in it, or whether it is something you are kitbashing for your own pleasure which won’t even be seen by another modeller. In this respect, it is the process that counts, not the end result. What matters is that you are using your brain to plan your model, and your hands to build it. When it is finished you can scrap the model and still have derived something positive from the experience of making it. At the same time you are escaping the pressures of everyday life.

So the next time your partner or family complains about the amount of time and expense associated with your modelling, point out that you are doing something positive to improve your health and well-being. Don’t feel guilty about spending time doing what you enjoy. It’s time well spent.