Tuesday, April 23, 2019

Tuesday Tip: Just DO it!

Fifty minutes. That's 5-0. As in, five-zero, as in 10 minutes less than an hour.

That's all the time it took me to paint Stanley Chemical, the stand-in for the East Berlin station, and a chimney - something I've been putting off for, what?, almost two months?!

I know I've had a few other things going on, but That Is Just Crazy.

So, what finally got me motivated to pull the trigger (or press the nozzle)? Today's Tuesday Tip. . .

"Just Do It" is probably a bit overdone (not to mention trademarked), but it's often the best advice for self-motivation in a variety of areas, from exercise to painting 1/87th scale buildings (apparently). But it's so overused it's become a bit hollow. It did however make me think about things in a way that's a bit more helpful, at least when it comes to painting models:

The painting is just the first step in finishing. Yup - pretty self-evident when you give it half a thought - but I can't tell you how often I see a great looking, finished building and think "Man! That guy just painted it and it looks GREAT!" Forgetting, of course, that all that variety of color, not to mention weathering, etc., didn't just come out of the spray can or airbrush like that. Painting is just the first step in a process that includes going over it again (and again and again, if necessary) in order to get the effect you're after.

You ain't gonna accomplish that with a shot of paint - no matter how long you wait and obsess over it. Best just to pick some good base colors (anything will be better than the molded plastic colors) and shoot'em. LATER you'll go back and add variety of shade, weathering, and all the other little things that will make the building "finished."

And the sooner you start, the sooner you'll get it to that state.

8pm - I picked out 4 colors of spray paint I had on-hand (didn't want to risk getting bogged down with the airbrush - I think rattle cans are usually fine enough for structures. We'll see.). Flat Red Primer for all the brick, Camouflage Khaki for all the concrete, flat black for the roofs (probably should have used a grimy black - but hey, I'll just lighten as needed with weathering/chalks. #NoObsessing #SeewhatImean?), dark green for the windows/doors/trim. Later I also grabbed a light gray for the roof vents.

Next, I gathered together parts that would be painted the same color and put them on scraps of cardboard so I could easily move them out of the booth for drying and to get them out of the way.

I stuck smaller pieces to masking tape to keep them upright and keep them from blowing away.

8:50 pm - After spraying all the different colors & moving the groups of parts aside for drying (all the while listening to my favorite podcast), I was done! Just couldn't resist an overall photo showing all the parts together.
Of course, as one of my favorite Winston Churchill sayings goes: "This is not The End, this is not even The Beginning of the End, but it IS The End of the Beginning" I'd always thought of painting these parts and this Big Deal when, in fact, it is only a first step in a whole process of finishing. Seeing it in that light - as one small, dare I say "easy"? step in the kit building process - makes it a lot less intimidating. If I can just remember that, maybe next time I won't put it off so much and I'll

Just Do It!


  1. Great inspiration Chris. I have a couple projects like that myself. No more procrastination!

    1. Thanks for chiming in Ken - knowing that it's helping you & others is a real encouragement to keep going myself! Be sure to let us know what you're working on so we can egg you on - ahem - encourage you too! :^)

  2. Remember what David Allen of GTD fame says, "You never do a project - only the next step."

    1. Hey Galen - great to hear from you as always. And I love that quote! A bit like eating an elephant a bite at a time - but a bit more practical :^)