For my 500th post to the forum, I thought I'd discuss some things I've learned. I'm certainly not very good yet, but I have learned a lot in the 2+ years I've been a member of this forum, which is excellent, IMO. When I first returned to the hobby, I was excited to build some of the cars I would have had during my lifetime, but for the lack of money, as well as some of the cars I had actually owned. That was mistake #1. I chose kits that required skills that I didn't possess yet. Things like two tone paint jobs, seams down the center of a kit, etc., weren't apparent obstacles but they sure made for problems with a novice like myself.
One of the things I learned was “thinking in scale”. Kits with small A pillars and body parts are a challenge. If you're heavy handed or aggressive or looking for a quick shortcut, you're probably going to mess up some plastic. I did. I had to keep thinking, “it's plastic, not metal”. I've got several models that I started and put on the back burner because I've got to get better to fix the mistakes I've made. Some may be beyond fixing.
If you're getting back into it or haven't refined your skills yet, I suggest starting with something very very simple and very very sturdy. You'll gain confidence when you finish one. I did. Also, select something that's cheap and easily replaced. Starting out with an expensive and/or rare kit is another mistake I made. Find something cheap and decent in design and have fun. If you mess up, it's no big deal. Work slow, think things through and you'll probably have some fun and success. When it's not going good, get up from the bench and go do something else. Make it fun!