Friday 27 September 2013

My Spending Habits

Any who is reading this and knows me personally will I am sure agree that I am a "cost efficient" person. I am aware that many call me tight fisted, however I do prefer the term cost efficient as it sounds much better.

Its not that I am deliberately miserly, I just hate being ripped off or having to pay through the nose for something that I know has been produced so much cheaper than the asking price. I refuse to pay for any item that has been inflated in cost because of a label and not because the quality of the product is better than its competitors. This is also reflected in my spending habits with models. I appreciate that manufacturers invest a great deal of time and money in the development and production of a kit and this is reflected in the asking price. I do however get a little annoyed when after buying a kit, I read a review that says the kit should be improved by an additional three etch brass sets, aluminium turned barrel, resin figure set and resin stowage option kits 1 & 2. Hmmm I think to myself, I wonder how much all of this will cost? A short internet search search reveals that if I want to add all of these things it will cost double what I have paid for the kit in the first place!! This happened to me a few times and after letting the red mist of anger drift away, I realised something, if I don't read the reviews and don't support the magazines that promote the practice of "a model is not a model unless you pay through the nose for after market stuff" then I will be a lot happier.

My spending habits now are very visual in nature. What I mean by this is that I trawl internet auction sites, pop along to a model shop and have a look at their sales and actively take part in modelling communities such as twitter, google blogs, etc to see what other people are making. If I spot a kit that is a bargain and really catches my eye then I tend to buy it and wait for it to turn up before I decide what I am going to do with it. A perfect example of this is my current project, a Vietnam era Mule vehicle (coming to this web site soon). This was a purchase from e-bay that took all of 2 minutes for me to decide to buy it. The challenge for me is to then think about how I am going to build this kit and in what setting or context will I put it in. I know keep a note book that has ideas and reference photos of diorama or vignette ideas as well as some written notes to formulate a plan for the kit. When it comes to making the model I will refer back to the note book and see if I have the resources to make it. If its things like paint or materials, then I will purchase them for the diorama, but if its something like a figure set or after market set that feel I need, then I will usually wait until I spot something in a sale or internet auction before I start that kit. This process alone is an enjoyable pursuit that only costs me my time and allows me free reign to let my imagination run riot in making sure that the kits attributes are highlighted and any detail that it is lacking is hidden away by the scene or setting of my diorama.

I have stated before that I love this hobby, but if you are not careful your bills can quite literally run into the thousands when your creative urges and desires overtake the need to remember that you have a mortgage and bills to pay for as well! I now view my frugal nature as a challenge to be enjoyed. Why spend a hundred pounds or so on a compressor when I built one myself for under £20. Why spend £40 or £50 on a "must have" kit that everyone has when you can spend £10 on a smaller, older kit and make a scene around it that compliments it, enhances it and makes people who view it say that they would never have thought that such a small kit would look so good. I suppose that what I am trying to say is that if you are happy to spend hundreds of pounds on a kit and that you derive enjoyment from building it then I am happy for you and would never judge you for doing this, but I spend very little on my kits these days and yet I still derive as much pleasure from the hobby that I always have. The old adage of money doesn't buy you happiness just a better class of misery is as far as I am concerned very true of this hobby. whether you are building a diorama that contains ten vehicles and fifty figures or one vehicle and a few figures, you are still making models using the same skills and deriving the same levels of enjoyment. To each their own but I'll stick to my current spending habits for the time being.

If you've enjoyed reading this then why not pop along to the sprue cutters home page and see what other peoples spending habits are:

The Sprue Cutters Union


  1. Nice work Craig, it seems most of us are inspired for our next project by what we see......Great read mate.

  2. Nice post Craig! Great idea about storing ideas in the notebook! I've started using Pinterest for that very purpose!

  3. A good read bud, I admire your attitude towards the hobby and refusal to let the industry dictate how you should go about collecting and building your kits. Did you see the Victory Show pics on my blog a few weeks back? Your field kitchen kit inspired me to take 'diorama' pics, maybe some ideas for you there?

    1. thanks Frank I have just had a look and lots of ideas for there! maybe you should have a go sometime? its good to step away from your little corner of the hobby and try something new as a change. i loved doing my dust tactics walker.