Can we talk about stashes once again?

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  • Dmitry Stropalov said 2 months ago:

    And about the hobby itself. The reason I’ve decided to write about this is that I’ve started feeling myself uncomfortable watching my stash and having all of those kits on it. I don’t have a huge number of boxes – something around 35, but still… Last time I’ve bought a kit was in June, and it was really hard to make that purchase – because of “you already have enough” in my head.

    Yesterday I was staring at my stash again, asking myself what kits out of those I have I really want to build. And the answer is – five, maybe six. From the other hand, I watch reviews of new kits, like Tamiya’s Spitfire in 1/48, and I would like to put my hands on some of them. But stash. And that’s why I build only that kits I already have currently, and looks like instead of enjoying the build, I play some weird kind of “just remove the box from the stash” game with situations like “opened radiator flaps will add an additional two days to the build time, so let’s go with closed ones” or “that’s too many details”.

    I feel like I totally screwed the main purpose of this hobby. I can’t allow myself to buy new kits, and I need to build kits I don’t want to build. What kind of mental disease is it?

  • Carl Smoot said 2 months ago:

    Here’s one thought. If the kit you want to add to your stash is one of the mainstream kits (Tamiya, etc), it will likely be available for purchase for a long time. The new Spitfire is a good example. Just came out, and you should be able to buy it for years.

    If in your stash, there is a kit, you know you will never build, then sell it. If you are not sure you will build it, then evaluate why. If it’s because you are waiting for the newest version of this (i.e. The new Tamiya wunderkit of the F-104 Starfighter), and the likelihood of that wunderkit getting released is good, then sell it, otherwise keep it.

    If the kit is a bear to build, then ask yourself how badly you want that particular airplane, tank, etc. If it’s a passing interest, then sell it.

    Controlling a stash is very hard for modelers, especially given how some kits are only around for a few years and how we tend to look at models as miniature versions of the real thing instead of models to build.

    No easy answers here, but I am sure that many here are feeling the same angst!

  • Pedro L. Rocha said 2 months ago:

    Interesting thoughts you guys have. Been having the same dilemma since last year, and yet I succumb to the temptation of buying a new release once too often. With no accounting made I estimate to have what some call an average size stash, somewhere between 45 to 60 boxes closed and another 5-6 half built. It’s just too much for what I will likely build in my years to come. Hard part is that most of these are/were bought with the true intend to build but new kits popping up at a ever increasing pace, making this hard to achieve. Take for instance 2 of my fav planes, the 109 and the Fw190. Around 20% of my stash are different brands of these 2, and last year alone Eduard and Tamiya releases one or several boxes that proved hard to resist purchase. I guess Carl’s point about not buying new mainstream kits is very racional but all too often my purchases are nothing but irracional, or should I say emotional ones

  • Boris Rakic said 2 months ago:

    Dmitry,
    Let’s get the most important aspect out of the way: You are not the only one! I am pretty sure every modeler gets to a point sooner or later where they experience something similar to you. So don’t worry, that’s just a natural part of our hobby.

    If I take a look at my stash (actually a digital list, as I am a geek), I can see 51 unbuilt kits. About ten of those are “why did I buy this one?” cases, all the others I absolutely intend to build sooner or later. Then there’s my wishlist of kits – basically all the kits I am interested in because they would advance one of my topical collections. And this is where it gets absurd. The list currently consists of 257 kits – 1/35 vehicles, 1/48 planes, 1/350 ships – so given my age, my average yearly build rate, and the assumption that every year brings only four additional new releases I am interested in, this would mean I would complete the wishlist at the age of 89. Clearly my masterplan needs to be revised…

    What it comes down to is that we will never be able to build every single kit we would like to. Never. And once we accept that, we can start thinking about what we want to build “the most”, and get rid of everything that distracts us from enjoying the moment. Here’s two ways to do that:

    – Get your stash out of sight. If you find the tower of boxes looming over you, silently accusing you of not building “fast enough” or something like that, move the pile to your basement, garage etc. Basically you want to create a clean desk situation where nothing distracts you from your current project.

    – Sell your stash. You stated there’s only five or six kits you actually want to build. Why keep the others? If it is the thought of finacial loss (a valid thought), maybe think about it another way. Yes, you will lose money, but that’s still better than forcing yourself to do something within your hobby you don’t want to do. Basically the money you lose will buy you peace of mind.

    Cheers,
    Boris

  • Patrick Kastinger said 2 months ago:

    When i have to get out of my mancave last year (now it‘s my son‘s room) i also ask myself this question!
    Now i have only kits i absolutely want to build the next time (maybe about 10), and also only paints and tools which i defenitely need! I life in a flat with my family and i don‘t have the space anymore to have a big stash and workbench (to be honestly i work on the kitchentable and paint outside or in the bathroom), but i think i can be happy with the results i get, even with only a toolbox and a very very small stash ;)!
    The other thing is that i know myself and i know that i have always in mind: build it, build it, build it and I don‘t want that!

    And i think carl is right, the actuall kits should be available the next years!

  • Jim Harley said 2 months ago:

    Great thoughts…when I got back in to the hobby last summer I was overwhelmed by how the hobby had changed and the quality it has achieved. There are a few kits from my youth that I wanted to build properly, like the Williams Brothers kits, the old electric Goodyear Blimp, and the elusive Snoopy and the Red Baron. Out side of that I made a list of Mustangs (6) a list of FWs (2), 1 Corsair, and 2 Me 109s. I bought the kits, the PE, and some other parts, then I stopped looking at eBay and stopped taking money to IPMS shows. It is hard, really hard, to not look at this site and hyperscale and not want to build this and that. Time is an enemy, which I don’t have a lot of but, I made a mental note to finish 1 at a time, to the best of my ability and move on to the next. I have 2 builds going now but one is a commission so I’m not counting that 🙂 . It is a great hobby, it is one you should never feel guilty about indulging in…there are plenty of worse places for your money and time. There is a certain level of comfort in having kits, and it is a relaxing hobby. I don’t want to ramble, just remember there are no rules, enjoy life and what you have.

  • Greg Kittinger said 2 months ago:

    Well – I’m not going to reveal the actual number of kits in my stash – but it’s in the hundreds. Fortunately for me I only build 1/72 aircraft, so it’s more compact than it could be! In my earlier years, my objective was to “build one of everything from WWII to modern,” and for several years – back when prices were more reasonable on ebay – I would buy up “lots” of aircraft (used, older kits mostly). I no longer am under the allusion that I will build everything in my stash, and every few years I donate a few of them to our club’s annual contest raffle. However, inspiration for various “projects” hit me from time to time (like last year’s bug to build a sampling of South and Central American air forces), and I add to my collection specifically for that purpose (multiple A-37’s, for example). Also, I do have a few favorite aircraft – like the Phantom – and it’s hard to pass up another kit when I find it cheap at a vendor table. Just two weeks ago, I was doing research for my Normandy-themed Tempest, and ran across some images of a particular Tempest done in NMF, with an engine configuration I’d never seen before, and I had to find one! I know at some point I’ll start liquidating my stash – when eye-sight or arthritis cramp my ability to build – but until then, seeing the kits in the top of my closet or in the garage shelves gives me inspiration. I have come to the place where I only buy for a specific project or if the deal is just too amazing to pass up (those $5 vendor kits of a subject I really like…). It’s kinda like owning a nice library – you’ll probably never read them all, but when you want to read it – it’s there on the shelf! And sometimes it just jumps out and catches your eye, and you dive into it because you can resist any longer.

  • Michel Verschuere said 2 months ago:

    I admit: I do have a stash, but…
    1. I always carefully select a buy, always around a certain theme and I research a lot,
    2. My current builds are usually combinations of various kits in dios,
    3. I intend to build every single one of the kits I own one day,
    4. Thanks to my stash I can always continue dio’s adding new features of kits readily available,
    5. I imposed onto myself the working rule that I only work on one project at the time. I.e. no new kit is started until the current project is finished.

    Like Greg, I give away kits to kids so they can start the hobby.

    Stash is hence not the problem for me as I do have space to keep them, from sight if need be 🙂 Lately, my business has been so demanding I can not give this hobby the attention it deserves. I am still happy about finding the few minutes of activity here on imodeler.

  • Dmitry Stropalov said 2 months ago:

    Guys, I’ve read several times all of your comments. Now I have some action items, and thoughts you’ve shared made me think of many different things. Maybe it’s time to re-think where I’m and what I actually want. I was never building dioramas or ships, I was never painting figures. And there should be no struggling (struggling with a short run kit is allowed). Thank you!

  • Paul Barber said 2 months ago:

    Dmitry, thanks for starting this conversation – it is really interesting to see how others view their ‘stash’. It made me think. I have actually refused to use that term (stash) for my cupboard full of kits – perhaps I am in denial! My head works way faster than my hands, I’m afraid, true for all of us I am sure. When I have an idea and once I have done adequate initial research, I head for the internet and buy the kit(s) (from the postal sections of actual hobby shops whenever possible) that I need to complete the concept/project.

    However that produces a backlog of projects. Initially not a problem. In fact recently I have found this very useful. Having just been admin for the (very near to end) RAF100 group build, I don’t really want to look at anything with a roundel on it for at least a year! So I will try some jets; helicopters and even a tank, variety being the spice of life! I am trying to live by the almost impossible ‘build 3 before you buy 1’ rule too. Group builds derail me a little – because I enjoy the camaraderie as much as I enjoy the bench time. But I generally find something that fits the bill in my cupboard – so don’t usually have to buy too much.

    I have just looked into my cupboard. I haven’t counted – I imagine the number of kits falls between 40 and 50. The boxes are two deep. Physical space has been pushed as far as it can be, but my hobby exists in this cupboard and won’t extend beyond it!

    So, Dmitry, I can empathise! – I had a loss of mojo recently – but when the next projects start they will be suitably different to what went before; will be done in the company of friends on iM; and will cause to me to do a lot of reading and research! I looked at your iM blog and can conclude that you are a very talented ‘aviation’ guy who diverts to the odd vehicle from time to time. My solution? Build a boat!

    Good luck with whatever lands on your bench next, and thanks for making me think!

  • Craig Abrahamson said 2 months ago:

    Although I no longer build (long story), I never had more than 15-20 unbuilt kits at any one time – usually less than that. When I had a kit I wanted to build, I’d build it – one at a time – and move on. Didn’t have more than one project going on like many do. I’ve seen, as many of you undoubtedly have as well, folks with a “stash” numbering in the hundreds – I never saw the point in that. Why would you accumulate so many kits that were impossible to complete. I guess I just didn’t/don’t get it. 🙁

  • Jeff Carle said 2 months ago:

    Holy moly, do I have an addiction! I WISH I only had a hundred kits. It’s more than a little embarrassing, but I have found it almost easier to buy than to finish, although I have greatly improved the build to buy ratio. With the impact of many of you on this site, I have tried to improve my skills, and mostly my patience, which has caused me to take longer than when younger to complete a kit, but…..I also think we live in a wonderful age where kits that intrigue me are being produced at an incredible rate.
    I think it comes down to this. I truly enjoy looking through my collection from time time, and even building from the collection. If you have the space and time, and aren’t neglecting some other aspect of your life, enjoy!

  • Paul Barber said 2 months ago:

    Jeff, I think you are right – owning something can give you pleasure too! Intermittently I reorganise and list too – it is a nice pastime! But as Craig says people will do things differently, and see things differently. I came back to this hobby, with my 2 boys at approximately the age to begin their interest. If by the time I stop working I have some kits in the cupboard that’ll be fine too!

  • George R Blair Jr said 2 months ago:

    Log me in the category of embarrassingly large number of unbuilt kits. I have one entire side of a two-car garage full of kits, as well as 50+ moving boxes full of kits. All of the kits in the moving boxes are logged into a database (otherwise I would never be able to find a specific kit). It was surprisingly easy to gather these several thousand kits. After modeling in high school, plastic kits went by the wayside when I became a starving student working my way through college. I spent the next 20 years as an Air Force pilot with little modeling time, but I never lost the desire to build. It doesn’t take long to learn the basic truth in modeling: If you don’t buy a model when you see it, then later it will either be unavailable or much more expensive. So during the next 20 years I would buy models that I would build “someday”. My buying was facilitated by frequent flying trips to Japan, Korea, and Europe. In the 70s or 80s, you could pick up a kit overseas for a few bucks that now cost upwards of $50. I left all of these kits unbuilt because they were much easier to move during my frequent changes of station. After I retired from the Air Force, I spent 20 years teaching high school and junior college. Same story, no time to build, but I continued to buy kits. I now build about 4 kits per month. Three things changed to allow my modeling:
    First, I am completely retired. Second, my daughter is now married and lives in another city, so my wife and I turned her old room in a shared hobby room. And third, I changed my modeling philosophy. Instead of building for contests and buying all of the photoetch, masking, decals, and resin for a model, I now shoot for a decent build on a kit without all of the bells and whistles. I now find that I have a lot more fun with my plastic modeling, and I still have time for my HO scale railroad layout, scratch-building a radio control model boat, photography, and I still teach one college class each semester.

    Will I get rid of my kits, since there is no chance I can build even a small fraction of my kits before I kick the bucket? I do get rid of a few each month at a local hobby shop that does consignments. But I still keep most of them. I have to admit that it is cool to stand in the middle of my garage and see which kit calls out to me. And even if there is only a 1% chance that I might want to build a specific kit in the future, I might as well keep something I already have. I do still buy some of the really cool, modern kits, but my earnings from selling my consignments usually pays for them. I definitely agree with those of you who have commented on the fact that it is also kind of cool just having the unbuilt kits. Don’t worry about having too many kits, because we are all different & what works for one isn’t always right for others.

    1 attached image. Click to enlarge.

  • david leigh-smith said 2 months ago:

    Mr. Spock, apparently on the issue of model kit stashes…

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