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Breakthrough Modeling Overcoming Barriers to Modeling Martin Sagara IPMS 44668 Rob Wolf Chapter, Denver, CO June 4, 2008.

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Presentation on theme: "Breakthrough Modeling Overcoming Barriers to Modeling Martin Sagara IPMS 44668 Rob Wolf Chapter, Denver, CO June 4, 2008."— Presentation transcript:

1 Breakthrough Modeling Overcoming Barriers to Modeling Martin Sagara IPMS Rob Wolf Chapter, Denver, CO June 4, 2008

2 Breakthrough Modeling Understanding perceived barriers that block productivity Methods of becoming more productive Practical tips to increasing your productivity The points presented may or may not be useful for your particular situation – your mileage may vary This presentation is partly based on Art & Fear: Observations On The Peril (and Rewards) of Artmaking by David Boyles & Ted ) All of the quotes in this presentation are paraphrased from this book. This presentation is partly based on Art & Fear: Observations On The Peril (and Rewards) of Artmaking by David Boyles & Ted Orland (ISBN ) All of the quotes in this presentation are paraphrased from this book.

3 Getting Started Frequently, the hardest part of a task is just starting it Just thinking about an unpleasant, tedious, or difficult task generates a reluctance to doing it The fear of messing up can also cause avoidance of the task So what do you do?

4 Getting Started JUST START!!! JUST START!!! 1) Dont think 2) Walk to your work area 3) Start with the next task that needs to be done STARTING - IS THE HARDEST PART OF THE JOB Once started, a momentum builds up that usually sustains the work on the task Use this method during any stage of assembly, not just the beginning. Its intended to help get your work session started.

5 Vision Starting a task can be hard because of lack of vision - the goal is obscured, the reason for working on this model is dubious, cant figure out how to do a task Example: Driving down an interstate highway at 75mph is almost effortless on a clear day when you can see the road ahead for a long distance along with all of the cars and obstacles around you

6 Vision BUT… Its hard to drive the speed limit on an interstate highway in a dense fog. The way isnt clear and there are hidden dangers so you (hopefully) slow down When you cant see a clear path to the completion of a model, the natural reaction is to slow down or stop The solution – figure out what is obscuring your vision – find out how to do a task that seems difficult, get the right tool, find the reference photo that shows the color you need, etc. In other words, identify and remove what is obscuring your vision

7 Perfection: Concept vs. Reality Perfection does not exist Excellence does exist Lesson for the day: vision is always ahead of execution – and it should be. Most modelers start with a mental picture of what the perfect finished model will look like. The problem usually starts when the model under construction (reality) starts to deviate from the (ideal) mental concept (this usually happens with the first brushstroke of paint).

8 Perfection: Concept vs. Reality Building the perfectly imagined model is tough because we can imagine perfection but rarely can attain it. Do not start with the mindset of building a perfect model, instead concentrate on applying your skills in the best way. Modelers tend to stop working on a kit at the first mistake or less than perfect result. Press on with construction – make a note of the mistake, figure out how to correct or avoid it, learn from the mistake. Mistakes are the best teachers because the lessons tend to be remembered.

9 Perfection: Concept vs. Reality The development of an imagined model into an actual model is a progression of decreasing possibilities, as each step in execution reduces future options by converting one – and only one – possibility into reality. Finally, at some point or another, the piece could not be other than it is, and it is done

10 Perfection: Concept vs. Reality You make good models by making lots of models that arent very good, and gradually weeding out the parts that arent good The seed for your next model lies embedded in the imperfections of your current model. Such imperfections, or mistakes, are you guides – valuable, reliable, objective, non-judgmental guides – to matters you need to reconsider or develop further.

11 Work The undeniable fact is that your model is not some residue left when you subtract all the things you havent done – it is the full payoff for all of the things you have done When you watch your work unfold day by day, piece by piece, theres no escaping cause and effect. Simply put, what you did got you here, and if you apply the same methods again you will likely get the same results again

12 The Work At Hand Your imagination is free to race a hundred works ahead, conceiving models you could and perhaps should and maybe one day will build – but not today, not in the model at hand. All you can work on today is directly in front of you. You are working on the model you are working on. Focus on it and give it your best effort.

13 Learning Model making involves skills that can be learned Models are made by ordinary people To all viewers but yourself, what matters is the product: the finished model. To you, and you alone, what matters is the process: the experience of shaping that work Modelers get better by sharpening their skills or by acquiring new ones; they get better by learning to work, and by learning from their work

14 Practice Practice makes excellence Practice provides the real-world test of the perfect ideas youve had running around in your head. Practice provides the unbiased feedback that you need to know your real skill level More practice More feedback More practice More feedback More improvement = Better Modeler More improvement = Better Modeler

15 Practice: Pots A ceramics teacher announced that the class would be divided into two groups. –Group A would be graded solely on the quantity of their work – 50 lbs for an A, 40 lbs for a B, etc. –Group B would be graded solely on the quality of their work – One perfect pot. Which group produced the highest quality work?

16 Practice: Pots Group A, the quantity grading, produced the highest quality work. Why? Work Feedback Improvement Group B, the quality grading, exhibited Paralysis by Analysis. They spent most of their time theorizing about the perfect pot and in the end, most failed to produce a single pot but provided a lot of written speculation about the subject of the perfect pot. The Moral: Build… Anything!

17 Your Work Is Your Work Model making can be a rather lonely, thankless affair. Virtually all modelers spend some of their time producing work that no one else much cares about The point is that you learn how to make your work by making your work, and the great many of the models you make along the way will never stand out as finished art. The best you can do is to make models you care about – and lots of them!

18 Your Work Is Your Work The viewers concerns are not your concerns… Your job is to learn to work on your work Fears about model making fall into two families: fears about yourself, and fears about your reception by others. In a general way, fears about yourself prevent you from doing your best work, while fears about reception by others prevent you from doing your own work

19 Your Work Is Your Work Build for yourself. Your hobby must satisfy your wants and needs – not anybody elses. But if the approval of others is important to you, then recognize that as part of what makes you happy and adjust your work accordingly.

20 Contests & Competition Competing in a contest is only a relative measure of your work against your competitors work The mindset for building a competition model will probably differ from building a regular model for yourself The IPMS contest handbook indicates what should be judged. Focus on satisfying these criteria first A winning model need not be fancy or extremely detailed. However, it must be well-built and this is well within the skills of mere mortal modelers

21 Flow Flow* is a state-of-mind where work becomes effortless due to focus & energy. Flow offers a highly productive mental state. Getting into a state of flow requires time on task. One must begin and work on a task for a period of time before flow kicks in. Once in a flow state-of-mind, press on with the work. * Flow: The Psychology of Optimal Experience by Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi (ISBN )

22 Energy Events can trigger a flood of modeling energy. Seeing a movie with a cool vehicle, seeing an exotic car on the road, or seeing a fascinating relic at a museum. This excitement energy is a terrific motivator. Go with the energy when it strikes, dont hesitate, act as soon as possible (or at least start the research on the subject).

23 Inspiration and The Muse Waiting for The Muse to strike can kill productivity… theres never a Muse around when you need one. Implement the Just Start rule instead. BUT… Sometimes The Muse does strike and you must act on the impulse! The Muse can be the source for incredible productivity, and enjoyment.

24 15 Minutes Commit to working on your craft for 15 minutes a day. A lot can be accomplished in 15 minutes. The intention to work just 15 minutes may put you in a position where, once you start working, you will end up working much longer than 15 minutes. You should be able to devote 15 minutes a day to something you truly love doing.

25 Trade Studies Most projects consist of three key elements: –1) Time –2) Labor, work, effort –3) Cost It is possible and recommended to trade these elements depending on the situation. Example: Pre-painted photoetch sets cost more than regular sets but eliminate painting time and possibly skill. In this case, elimination of painting time and getting a better appearance is traded for the additional cost Example: Fast setting super glue can be used instead of slower setting plastic cements if time is a factor Look for ways to trade on these three criteria if the situation requires it

26 Mini Models Lets face it – some modeling tasks are tedious and boring (e.g. painting road wheels for tanks) To overcome this boredom, take on the attitude of building mini-models where the individual parts or assemblies become an exercise in building a model of subcomponent of the overall model. Remember – a completed model is the sum of its components.

27 Organize Your Workspace Organizing your workspace reduces the time and frustration of looking for a needed item. Keep items you regularly use within close reach. Use a rotating multi-tier bin (lazy susan) to organize & store a number of items within easy reach. Use bins or trays to hold related items. Remove items that are not needed or not frequently used.

28 Make Instruction Notes Plan your assembly work. Determine where deviations from the instructions will be necessary but note steps that need to be performed as stated. Note additional painting instructions. Write down reminders - such as adding nose weight to aircraft.

29 Tools The model you produce tomorrow will be shaped, purely and simply, by the tools you hold in your hand today Simply put, certain tools make certain results possible Your tools do more than just influence the appearance of the resulting model – they basically set limits upon what you can accurately model Tools enable the things we can accomplish Bad tools prevent us from achieving our goals Good tools enable us to get superior results Search for the right tools for the job at hand Invest in good tools

30 Multitasking – Part 1 There is always idle time during the assembly of a model – time that you have to wait – for glue to set, for paint to dry Plan so that you can alternate the work on different assemblies of the same model Example: Work on the landing gear while the cockpit paint is drying

31 Multitasking – Part 2 Work on two or more models simultaneously While waiting for paint to dry or glue to set on one model, work on another model.

32 Multitasking – Part 3 Work on two or more kits simultaneously that will have the same color scheme This allows you to maximize the use of paint and airbrush preparation Example: Simultaneously assemble two cars that will be painted the same color and paint both car bodies during the same airbrushing session

33 Try It! Some skills seem beyond our reach But… these limits usually exist only in our mind Try a new technique or technology Do your research and then give it a try on a model that, you know in your mind, is an experimental subject (i.e. inexpensive, expendable) You will probably find that the technique is not as difficult as you originally thought

34 Explore New Territory Building different types of models or models of different subjects can be refreshing and illuminating. Different types of models require different techniques and different mind-sets. Start with an inexpensive kit, such as an auction kit. Start with a simple kit – a complex kit could set you up for failure. Dont worry about messing up – this a relaxed learning experience.

35 Conclusion Give some thought to your modeling habits, find those that dont work for you, and replace them with a new approach Identify things that hold you back and find ways to overcome them Dont be afraid to try something new – a different type of technique, tool, model, etc. Do what you really enjoy – this is after all supposed to be an enjoyable hobby – not work


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