Learning From Hobby Failures

16 thoughts on “Learning From Hobby Failures”

  1. An interesting read, Jeff! πŸ™‚ We all have little mishaps from time to time! One thing I do when using superglue is to always stick bare metal/plastic/resin/whatever surfaces together, never painted surfaces – I’m assuming that the glue bond is stronger than the paint bond in doing this!

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    1. Thanks, John! We learn more from failures than our successes I think πŸ™‚ I think that’s a great tip about gluing things unpainted as well. If I remember right, that’s also really true with plastics. If you use plastic glue on painted pieces, it won’t work as well because the glue basically melts the plastic together. Between the two of us, I bet we could put together a handy guide on gluing! πŸ˜€

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  2. “Make sure you really think through your diorama ideas to make sure they’re a good idea.” This, a thousand times this. I have had a lot of ideas that once I start them realize that they won’t work or won’t work the way I visualize them. That is why I have a box of failed projects/bits. It also matters where you are going to place the diorama – on a shelf with books behind them look different than on a shelf by themselves.

    Regarding Arwen, that is an awkward pose to begin with. You could always strip it and use it to try color combinations on.

    Sorry about the glue, I keep thinking I should keep a journal on what glue/paints/bases I use when I do figures/terrain. I usually get another figure in a range and can’t think what paints I used the first time for the rest of them.

    For your diorama in process, I hope you spend the time to try different settings on the rug before you glue them down. To tell you the truth, I am concerned about the addition of the chair. I don’t know what else you are having on the rug but I feel three solid pieces might be too much. I agree that it needs an odd number of pieces (something my wife has drilled into my head that odd numbers are better) but the solid piece might distract from the characters, maybe something smaller than the chair? Just my two cents worth. Again, I don’t know the proportions of the chair to the figures so I could just be way off on how it will look.

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    1. I don’t have a spot to display this diorama in my current apartment but I will definitely try and find a place in the next place I live. I doubt I will put it on a shelf because I know it will get dusty that way so I’ll hopefully have a case for it and other dioramas I work on in the future.

      I’ve been able to reglue the wooden parts to the base successfully so I think I just goofed up and used the wrong glue. I’ll stick with superglue from here on out on the dio!

      For the current dio, it will have four things on it which does break the rule of making things odd (unless the rug counts as 5!). It will have The Master and Alfrid and then the chair in the back and then a smaller item that is the main focus of the piece. When I get a little further along, I’ll post a picture of what I have planned even though it will probably make seeing the final result a bit less exciting. The shape of the diorama is going to be odd since it is so narrow but I tested it out with all of the items I intend to use for it and I think it looked pretty good with everything unpainted so I’m optimistic we’ll like the results when done!

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      1. Sounds like you have everything under control (of course you do), should have just kept quiet until you had finished everything – please no more spoilers – make us wait until you are ready to show off the final scene.

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      2. We’ll see how under control it is soon! All this talk about the diorama makes me want to get back to work on it so maybe I’ll do that this week once I get this super mutant done πŸ™‚

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  3. First I wanted to say I love the effect you’ve gotten on Galadriel’s hair, it looks amazing!

    I think with diorama’s and modelling in general there’s a ‘sometime you win, sometimes you learn’ theme to it where there’s always something you would do differently today. Terrain storage is an issue I’m facing too as I get through my collection, and I haven’t found a good permanent solution yet!

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    1. Thanks Dave! I tried to make her hair look as realistic as I could so I’m really glad to hear you like it πŸ™‚

      I couldn’t agree more about sometimes you win and sometimes you learn. It does make the wins really satisfying when you achieve them too. I’m sorry to hear you’re suffering from the same lack of storage problem as well. If I find any magic solutions to it, I’ll be sure and share πŸ™‚

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  4. Nice read. I do think it can b beneficial to discuss our mistakes and what we learn from them; if anything to help others along the way. I usually discuss my mistakes in a tongue in cheek way the RARE times that I make them. πŸ˜€

    The glue on the Dio pieces coming off is such a strange problem to have. It’s just hard to fathom how that came about. I’ve made some large terrain pieces using normal tacky glue that haven’t come apart like that. I don’t really have a solution to fix it, except maybe be more generous in your application.

    Again, I enjoyed reading the post. πŸ˜€

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    1. Haha, I would agree with the tongue in cheek part πŸ˜‰ That is part of the charm of your website!

      It really surprised me initially that the glue was that weak. I bet I used wood glue on everything and I should have known better than that. Resin always requires super glue and it wouldn’t have hurt at all to use superglue on the plastic and wood. I have the diorama mostly straightened out as we speak and I’ll superglue the rug back on and hopefully will be back in business πŸ™‚

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    1. Thank you as always! πŸ™‚ While I would love to have lots of space, even I will admit that the Lothlorien idea would have been pretty wasteful of space since I wouldn’t use that piece for gaming anytime soon. So in the case of that project, it definitely worked out for the best.

      That isn’t to say I don’t want more room for Hobbit Holes and lots of larger houses for Fallout though πŸ™‚

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  5. In the early days we would all marvel at our own stuff but as we improve we look back with nostalgia or horror at our past work. The higher the bar we set ourselves in the pursuit of perfection the more every minor error becomes unacceptable. The danger is frustration sets in and the hobby stops becoming fun. I guess what I am saying is don’t reach that point by getting to hard on yourself and stay focused on enjoying the hobby.

    Dioramas as you are learning are something else entirely. In time you will know what instinctively works for you. Photos and photography composition is a good place to start, for example the rule of thirds. As for space it is a problem for us all and magic really is the only solution!

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    1. I appreciate your perspective and advice as always, TIM! I think there is a danger that seeking perfection can ruin your enjoyment of the hobby. That is why I enjoy painting for gaming. I always try to paint things to my best ability but if it doesn’t turn out, I’m still going to use the mini on the tabletop so it is not a huge problem or disappointment. When you’re painting strictly for a diorama or competition though, things can get frustrating very quickly and I think I’ve learned how better to manage that but only time will tell!

      Those are good tips and I have a book by AK Interactive that talks about diorama composition that I should review. This one might break some rules but I think/hope it will be worth it in the end. We shall see!

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  6. Good luck getting everything glued back together, I’m sure it’s well within your abilities to get it sorted – but what a faff for you all the same! Good points regarding the hobby failures, they happen to us all and so long as we learn from them and don’t get discouraged it’s not the end of the world (the man who never made a mistake never made anything as they say). The one that always sticks in my mind is testing that you’ve got the right spray can before you point it at a miniature. Not one that happened to me but a mate’s brother – went to spray his entire army with what he thought was varnish, turned out to be white primer. Oops! Think my worst personal screw up was knackering the shoulder pad of my Chaos Knight but the real mistake wasn’t so much the damage to the model as much as allowing it to put me off from working on it again for years.

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    1. Regluing stuff is definitely a pain and humbling at the same time. Persistence is a good trait to have for the reasons you highlighted as well. I could be accused of lacking persistence because I gave up on all of the projects I wrote about in this article for various reasons except for the diorama. With that said, I think misadventures spraying are by far the worst thing that can happen to you. If you get frosting while varnishing, that is absolutely devastating too. It completely ruins paint jobs just like spraying primer did for your friend’s brother and then you have to start all over. I feel sorry for that guy and I wouldn’t blame him if we quit the hobby after that 😦 It had to have been so demoralizing!

      On a more positive note, I’m glad that you got the Chaos Knight done in spite of the adversity. In many ways, that makes it an even more impressive accomplishment! πŸ™‚

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