Scale Modelers Practice Today BYOB (Bring Your Own Brain)
By Reg Hardy


How do we learn new Modeling Techniques?
Who ever heard of practicing modeling, I’ll get my practice by working on my current project, the famous learn-by-doing model that results in many oops utterances until we reach the point of having to junk a pretty expensive kit.

So how do you learn a new technique?

#1 To learn something, we must Isolate, Concentrate, Exaggerate, and Repeat.

  • Isolate a particular problem, or new element you want to learn. Focus your practice time on these specifics.
  • Concentrate not only on these specifics but each individual modeling technique until you get it.
  • Exaggerate by slowing down your moves, to the point you can see every detail. Finishing it is not half as important as seeing everything that goes into your routine. For instance, how you hold a knife or brush, the way you apply masking.
  • Repeat---Once you have the details fixed in your mind, repeat the step 10-20 times keeping track of how many you make a mistake and analyze them to correct.
#2 Only Perfect Practice makes perfect
#3 Practice drills are most productive when they are progressive drills.
#4 "Our minds can only absorb what our butts can endure!"

The Three R’s of Practice
My practice sessions were on the verge of being boring. Worse, there was no apparent gain. I could have chalked it up to a lack of knowledge, but frankly, I have become quite knowledgeable about scale modeling, the same way I had become knowledgeable on a variety of subjects in the past, the three R’s – Reading, researching and writing. But that was the knowledge of a journalist; read an article, research and interview the subject and write something new, fresh and hopefully better. I have learned from reliving some of these past byline racks that my knowledge of the subject was superficial and lacked depth from having actually put it into practice. This fourth stint in modeling needs a fresh slant. I need to get beyond my comfort zone; I need to develop a plan, a set of goals projecting what I want to accomplish with this hobby. So, what’s a reasonable goal for my scale modeling at 68 years young. I am not planning to turn pro, I don’t see myself as collecting awards of any kind, so if it is not a money making endeavor. What do I want?

1. I want to enjoy this hobby to its fullest, to enjoy it I need a reasonable number of successes in my own mind. 2. I would like to contribute something so others can get more enjoyment from the game. 3. I want to create the best models I am capable of in projects that please me.



What I recall about setting goals from past seminars. Let’s see if it works here.

  • Goals should focus on only the 2-3 elements that are most important.
  • Goals need to be specific, not vague and fuzzy.
  • Goals should be attainable but still challenging.
  • Goals should be visualized, as you would a finished model.
  • Goals should be written down and read daily.

    I came up with two goals for both practice and an actual build.
    Attitude: I Am Here To Have Fun
    Objective: Complete The Step In Front Of Me

I can honestly say my practice sessions have not shown less than an “I’m here to have fun” attitude. They have shown a lack of concentration, consistency and yes even courage. In our day to day lives, the virtue of courage doesn't receive much attention. Courage is a quality reserved for soldiers, firefighters, and activists. Security is what matters most today. Perhaps you were taught to avoid being too bold or too brave. It's too dangerous. Don't take unnecessary risks. Don't draw attention to yourself in public. Follow family traditions. Don't talk to strangers. Keep an eye out for suspicious people. Stay safe.

As a result, embarking on a $500+ build of a period warship was pretty low on the totem pole in terms of gauging success.

It was more fun to think about rigging a plastic model, attempting Ready-To-Fly models and even dabbling (that is the right word) with interior construction I had seen the masters complete, yes, practiced, but nothing that would do my modeling any good.
What I lacked was a real solid plan for practicing. It needs to be a plan that is based on growing knowledge, therefore it needs to be flexible. It needs to provide an action strategy and though it needs certain risk to challenge me, it has a have a “Do It Now approach.

It is currently in action, you can follow along at my website.
Reg Hardy writes on recreational topics including scale model building and billiards. He is a Veteran and picked up both activities in the service He is currently working on scale models of the HMS Beagle and the HMS Victory. You can follow his work at He has 300 articles on billiards at A 7-day Trial Membership is $4.95 Get a handle on your “Pool Playing Basics” at

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