I don't add it up. I'm pretty much building from my hoard, so my expenses are mainly supplies that get used over many kits. I don't think about the money as I'm building. A model doesn't become "red" because I have a can of paint handy. I will go out and buy several shades of a color to test before I agree upon the perfect one. The other cans wind up in my collection to be used later on.
My latest builds have been pretty darn economical. The Dodge van camper was pretty much free, being built from junk parts and bass wood and Evergreen plastic I already had. There are a few kitchen items from a photo etch sheet that has to be 20 years old. I even had all the right paints, due to spending $30 on Ollie's $1 a can Duplicolor sale a few years ago.
My '34 Ford rat rod started out as a $20 kit from the 'bay. Add in one Plymouth flatty six from a $5 '41 Plymouth kit. The wheels are off an old $5 builtup, and I'm sure I had all the rest of the supplies.
My biggest expense this year so far has been two hobby store runs. I spent $50 on BMF, decal paper and Testors Metalizer spray paints in NJ. Then I spent $75 splurging on buying up every pack of Evergreen I didn't have, as well as some bass wood for stock.That number also included a new set of drill bits and a pin vise. The last set of bits lasted me 10 years. I mostly buy my kits at shows, so I never pay retail, and I've always got my eyes out for cheap kits at those events.
Edited by Tom Geiger, 14 April 2013 - 08:23 AM.