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What's Your Achilles Heel?


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#1 Dr. Cranky

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Posted 11 October 2011 - 03:08 PM

I thought it'd be interesting to get a discussion started about what YOU think your weaknesses are as a builder. God knows we all have them, no matter how sound and practiced your techniques are . . .

I will speak for myself here, but I am entering my fourteenth year back in the hobby, and almost a hundred builds later, I find that no matter how hard I try I still hate to foil trim and windshields. I don't know what it is, I just don't enjoy it like other parts of the hobby. And I suck at it.

Another weakness I have (among many) is the fact that when it comes to engines, I know nothing about how they work, how they should be plumbed and wired. The ones I do I pretty much have been paying attention to what you guys do, and then follow along . . .

Math, another impediment for getting things right. Here in the Lab-RAT-ory we uses eyeball engineering . . . I have never been able to keep anything mathematical straight in my head.

Electricity . . . well, I have yet to add lights to any of my builds, and I regret not being able to do it . . .

The list goes on and on . . .

I hope you guys will chime in and enjoy the discussion . . .

#2 george 53

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Posted 11 October 2011 - 03:14 PM

My crux is paint! To me, the paint HAS to be right or it's all for naught! I'm TOO hard on myself about it, but that's the whole point of it for me. I WANT a nice looking model. It doesn't have to be all detailed out, just look good.I just gotta sit down an keep tryin at it. One of these days I'll get it. I know I will. :lol: :D :) :P

#3 Junkman

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Posted 11 October 2011 - 03:19 PM

Using filler or putty. I just can't get that stuff smooth, no matter what I do. Hence I do hardly any body mods. I once chopped a 49 Merc (Winfield method), got the lines and everything perfectly right, then didn't get the filled in parts smooth. I filled and sanded, filled and sanded, filled and sanded, for weeks and weeks and weeks and you could still see the seams. Then a friend came by, took the ruddy thing, and within minutes it was sanded to perfection.

#4 Lownslow

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Posted 11 October 2011 - 03:22 PM

general detailing i can do some but not all

#5 Darbo

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Posted 11 October 2011 - 03:22 PM

The good Doctor can feel my pain....!!!! . Foiling is my downfall, i have ruined many paint jobs by slicing through the paint, so back in the box they go never to see daylight again :(
Also i have problems with too much glue on a part causing the paint to mark.

#6 Evil Appetite

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Posted 11 October 2011 - 03:22 PM

Mine are engines as well..a distributor is nooo problem..battery as well..anything else is over my head. that's why I've spent a small fortune on engine reference books, text book, manuals, a ton of magazines and so much more. I also rely on the talent |I see here when it comes to wiring engines. Pro Stock/FunnyCar/Dragsters..I love those cars but know nothing about those engines. So when I see a nice build here I'll copy the images and save them for possible future builds. Painting is another one. Assembling can be a pain for me as well since \i have rheumatoid arthritis in my fingers..and everywhere else for that matter! So..that's, engines, painting, assembly....come to think of it....why do I even build!! :lol:

#7 RANDY L

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Posted 11 October 2011 - 03:24 PM

hi
I am my own worst critic,can not seem to finish a kit.Just been in a slump i guess.
Randy Ludi

#8 trogdor

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Posted 11 October 2011 - 03:27 PM

My weaknesses are mainly health related. My eyesight is terrible, and my hands don't move the way I want them to. I have plenty of ideas and can get creative, but I struggle getting things done.

I just started using BMF and it's really frustrating at times, but well worth it when it comes out good. Although having the knife slip and ruin a paint job isn't high on my list of things I like to do.

#9 Evil Appetite

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Posted 11 October 2011 - 03:27 PM

My crux is paint! To me, the paint HAS to be right or it's all for naught! I'm TOO hard on myself about it, but that's the whole point of it for me. I WANT a nice looking model. It doesn't have to be all detailed out, just look good.I just gotta sit down an keep tryin at it. One of these days I'll get it. I know I will. :lol: :D :) :P


I used to be the same way. when i got back into building, i came here, and SA..and tried to get my paint to lay down like the perfect jobs i see here. I expected to be able to do it since i was using techniques that were tried and true for others. I learned, painfully that it doesnt work that way. I was well into my second year and still hadnt had a finished body! pretty bad, but I learned that you can have all the info in the world, and it wont do you any good until you realise you have to progress to that level!

#10 brett

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Posted 11 October 2011 - 04:12 PM

My biggest nemesis is decals,once a kit gets to a couple of years old, they just wont work for me. Tried re-clearing them .miroscale decal film etc, no go :(. Other than that, well everything could stand up for some improvement. And Doc,I know exactly what you're saying about mathematics the four basics no problem enter an angle,I'm lost so eyeball engineering it is.

#11 Harry P.

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Posted 11 October 2011 - 04:15 PM

Paint. No doubt.

I have been building models my whole life (well... minus the obligatory 20-year break for girls/dating/marriage/kids ^_^ ).

I consider myself a very good builder. I can scratchbuild and I can detail well enough to go head to head with anyone. But when it comes to laying down a smooth, glossy, killer paint job, I'm still a long way from where I wish I was. :(

#12 Prostreet

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Posted 11 October 2011 - 04:21 PM

Mine is my Hands, Have shaky hands when trying to work with small parts, frustrating at times but i work through it.

2nd would be paint and decals.

#13 george 53

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Posted 11 October 2011 - 04:50 PM

Man Harry, I'm the SAME way! GLAD I'm not alone!!!! :lol: :lol: :lol: ;)

#14 Harry P.

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Posted 11 October 2011 - 04:51 PM

Man Harry, I'm the SAME way! GLAD I'm not alone!!!! :lol: :lol: :lol: ;)


Hey George... I keep telling myself I'll get it right one day... :lol:

#15 martinfan5

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Posted 11 October 2011 - 04:53 PM

I have a few,
One is painting, for me its hit or miss, I can get a decent paint job sometimes, then other times I have send the body to the purple bath several times. I know a lot has to with the paint be used as well. I have found that when I use lacquers I get much better results. But I have been having a hard time finding lacquers that are not metallic at my LHS. And at the same time, I know I am the reason I get not great paint jobs, I get to impatient so I dont wait long enough between drying times.

Going along with painting is doing the wet sand then polishing, I can get close to that smooth as glass look, but not there yet.

BMF, I am still trying to get better at it, I dont like doing it though, I dont enjoy it, but its worth it, it makes the model look that much better.

Overall finishing, Meaning I can get a nice build going , but when it comes time to putting it all together, I get glue marks here and there, I always seem to mess up the windows.

Engine wiring is still on of my weakness, Its something I want to get better at, I just need to do it more often to my builds.

I have been building for a long time (close 18 years or so), and I am still wanting to get better, my goal is to start doing contest worthy builds for next year.

So there are a few off the top of my head, I have been building a long time,( close to 17 years), I am trying to improve my skills and builds. My goal is to be able to show quality builds next year.

Edited by martinfan5, 11 October 2011 - 04:55 PM.


#16 1320wayne

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Posted 11 October 2011 - 04:59 PM

Patience!!!!!!! That is my general nemesis. I'm not the greatest painter but I am learning on each and every build. Not to sound too cocky but I think I can detail with the best of them. I can hold my own at scratchbuilding components. However, with all that said, my builds could always be just that much better if I could convince my mind to take more time at a certain process. My finishes could look so much better if I didn't rush the painting process. As well I wouldn't have so many rebuilds/repaints if I would simply allow the time a paint job/clear coat needed to fully "gas out" before handling or trying to rub out and make smooth. More patience would allow my detailing efforts to look so much cleaner and organized. And all of the best scratchbuilding in the world doesn't make any difference if what you created doesn't work, fit right or just simply looks out of place on the finished build.
I just get so excited sometimes at where the build is going I want it done that much faster and as a result end up possibly screwing something up that affects the overall outcome or adds more time to the build. As they say in Nascar, "sometimes you have to go slower to go faster".

That's my achilles heel.

#17 John Teresi

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Posted 11 October 2011 - 05:07 PM

My weakness ......I can`t seem to take my time......I get so into the build that I just keep going and going......I just want to get it done so I can start the next one........and my lack of knowledge when it comes to car engines.......I really don`t know that much about them......but,I can pretty much copy a picture of an engine if I have good photo`s.......I probably could read book`s and learn about engines but,again I guess it`s not that important to me.

#18 bad0210

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Posted 11 October 2011 - 05:11 PM

painting car bodies. i can paint details, engines, interiors. i just cant get that right painting technique down. one day. :rolleyes:

#19 Sixx

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Posted 11 October 2011 - 05:15 PM

Mine is when building a resin car , it's the darn windows! I can never get em to fit right or look good! I also don't really like decals. I also have problems in the finish stages of building, I get frustrated...and end up with goobers :angry: :blink: :huh:

#20 highway

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Posted 11 October 2011 - 05:58 PM


I have been building models my whole life (well... minus the obligatory 20-year break for girls/dating/marriage/kids ^_^ ).


Ok, I must have missed that memo!! :lol: :lol: I have not taken a break from the hobby since I started building over 25 years ago (27 to be exact) for anything. Girls, I got both my ex wife and my current fiancee models and told them to start building! Even the 1:1 car bug at 16 didn't phase me, after I'd finish working on the 1:1, which was quite often, I'd work on models! Heck, driving a truck around this country didn't stop me from building. When I would be waiting for the next load or had a few days of for truck breakdowns or no loads, the little trucks came out. I have a couple truck kits that have over a million scale miles on them, and they still aren't finished!! :blink:

Of course, that last sentence is also my biggest Achilles heel, actually FINISHING SOMETHING!! I'm usually a decent painter, no pro but good enough for me. If I detail something, I've been under the hood of a car since way before I could drive, so there isn't much I don't know about what should be where. I've been under almost everything, including big trucks, and drove heavy and light duty wreckers for a time, so I can even detail those good.

Decals are a slight problem sometimes, I usually goof one up, usually a small one like a gauge or a small engine detail decal.

One other thing that does serve as a stumbling block is that I'm my worst critic, and sometimes I make myself so mad that I might have something almost finished and it goes back on the shelf and is forgotten about until I find it and wonder when I'd started it!