Pillars of Delusion


This morning I walked into my garage to pull the car out and let it warm up outside the driveway. It’s been chilly for the past few days and I thought that it would be a great idea to run the heater for a few minutes before I took off. I was running late for work but I still had to feed the dogs. When I reached for the handle of the door that allowed access to the house, my eye caught the stack of kits that I’ve been hoarding for years. They’ve been sitting in the garage for as long as I can remember but this morning I “noticed” them again. I let go of the door and walked towards the neatly lined up rows of models.

I stood there and gazed at them for a while. It made me happy that I had acquired this pile of kits and I enjoyed looking at them. They each had their own buying story and the urge to build that particular model at some particular moment in time. All of them were once incorporated into their own ploy of grandeur and part of the greater good, which in our hobby, is plain satisfaction. Hundreds! They all shared the same passionate purchase and determination to build it right then and there. Yet every one of them ended up in my colony of obsolete relics.

I pressed my lips together and squinted my eyes to find one that I could yank from the stack and get inspired again to give it a second destiny as a finished masterpiece. As hard as I tried, I could not find any kit that triggered the yearning desire to remove the box and offset the pillar. I stepped back and looked at the bigger picture. Nope, nothing? No palpitations of the heart, no hankering for achievement. Not even one little sensation of hope that would put my conscience at ease and relieve me from buyer’s remorse. Not one kit in my immense collection generated a spark of interest that could eventually justify its procurement. They all looked monotonous.

Sadly, I stood there, leaning against the car when suddenly realization kicked in. I had bought an elephant! Over the years, I had accumulated and amassed a pile of vulcanized micro balloons wrapped in colorful boxes. Still, at one time, I “needed” them. I could not have “lived without them”. This is what I do and this is exactly what makes us modelers tick. Even if we do not build it, that precise model will give us gratification. A small price to pay for an ephemeral moment of self-indulgence.

I took a deep breath and got into the car, sunken in thoughts. Just as quickly as I pulled outside the garage, my mind focused on this new project I had planned. All I needed was the latest 1/48th Airfix Walrus. When I was driving off the premises and on my way, plans were reverberating inside my head to order the kit and all the other stuff I had to gather to put my envisage in motion.

Then halfway to work, I remembered; “Dang it… the dogs!”


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  • Larry Brown

    I’ve been telling myself that my stash is for when I retire. I won’t have the money, so the voice says, to buy kits when I retire, so I have to build up a stash! LOL

  • Martin Barr

    My heart still jumps when I look at my neatly piled model boxes. One of these days…

  • Rick Ewing

    This is my story, too.

  • Tyler Provick

    I only buy models when I am able to work on them immediately. Unbuilt models do nothing for me. The urge to buy is often a misplaced frustration at not being able to currently build and paint. The urge never comes when you’re sitting at your workbench working. I allow myself the fantasy of buying them but I’ve recognized that the thrill of planning to buy a model is as good as buying the model. Put it on a wish list and then go back to your current task. You will feel much better and can follow whims without worrying about a backlog.

    Or don’t, buy lots of things from companies so they can keep making lots of things.