In the metal model building community, there is one axiom that holds very true, and maybe it’s just model building, or crafting in general. That axiom is that we are our own toughest critics. We see every mistake, and it grows exponentially in our minds, comparable to our successes, especially as time passes.
Case in point is my most recent post, my revisit of the Imperial Star Destroyer, where I was determined to redeem the horrifically sloppy job I had done with the cones of the engine. I remember being so frustrated with trying to shape those, and feeling like I had done a terrible job. I remembered it looking awful. And the little sensor balls, and the bridge section, and all sorts of jinky joins and crappy folds. I remembered it being awful, embarrassing even.
And yet, after having finished my new build, I decided that I needed to bring home the old build and get some comparison photos to post along with the new one, to show why I had revisited it. To show the pathetic job I had done before, and justify myself in rebuilding it. Except that’s not exactly how things went.
I did bring it home. But then I didn’t take any photos. Because when I sat down with the two models, I realized that it wasn’t that big of a difference. The old build wasn’t nearly as bad as I remembered it being. Yeah, it wasn’t perfect, but neither was the new build. It has some rough shaping to the cones, but it wasn’t anything to be embarrassed about. The sensor balls didn’t even really look that bad. There were some problems, but did I really need to redeem it? And so I decided to forget about taking comparison photos, and just take some photos of the new model and make it’s build post.
But the story kept niggling at the back of my mind. I remembered how I did the same thing to myself with my very first build, the silver Bumblebee, and the 200th build revisit with the gold version of Bumblebee. The original build didn’t actually look that bad, at least from the outside. Yes, there were some wobbly bits. Yes there was a lot of glue used to hold it together. But the silver one didn’t look nearly as bad as I remembered it being.
And so I decided I needed to turn this into a post about that idiom, that axiom, that can so easily affect us as builders. We are truly much harder on ourselves than we are on others. We make mistakes, but so do others. However it’s much easier to see our mistakes than it is to see the mistakes of others. And when we do see the mistakes others make, we forgive it much easier. So next time you get down on yourself for a build that you feel you didn’t do that great on… just remember to look back at it in a year, and you’ll see that you actually didn’t do that bad a job on it.
In case you didn’t notice, I never labelled which was which in any of the comparisons above. I let Google Photos auto-collage each pair, and didn’t decide personally where each old or new model photo went. Because I think it serves the point that it’s kinda hard to tell which is which in some of the photos.