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How Long should building take?

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  • Member since
    December 2002
How Long should building take?
Posted by SNOOPY on Friday, January 10, 2003 4:26 PM
Here is one stupid question. How long should it take to build a striaght from the box kit? I will start a kit and work on it for weeks but it never seems like I am getting any where and end up putting it away and breaking out a new kit and doing the same thing. I now have nine models all started but not one completed. Here is the funny part, they all have been around for atleast three years. I talk to people at shows and they talk about turning a model out in about one to two weeks if they are not putting in any extra detail. I read articles where it takes may 20 hours for a simple small pieced kit to go together. What tricks am I missing. I have been trying to model for the past ten years or more and the only thing I completed was a snap together model of Big Foot Ford Truck and the submarine Seaquest. I think they both had like 10 parts to the whole model. I am getting fustrated with the whole building of model thing but I like to have these models to display on my mantle. Where am I going wrong.

  • Member since
    December 2002
Posted by ipms40049 on Friday, January 10, 2003 7:40 PM
Scott!! Im in the exact same boat you are. I have about 20 kits ive started, just seem to keep opening another up, and never finishing the damn thing, so goes another to put away, and out comes another one. Im absolutely tired of doing that, so> I m selling all my kits, and just going to stick to two(2) subjects, and that will be ships and helicopters. Instead of aircraft, armor and cars, etc etc.... But how long it actually takes me to finish one till its completely done, probably for a basic kit, say like a F4-U corsair, out of the box, it would take me a goooood 2 or 3 damn months before it was done. And thats like working on it 2 or more hours a night!! All week long!! Check out my modeling website and see the stuff im working on now, and please feel free to email me with any questions you might have or anything.

Pat Hensley Booneville, Ms "Thank you for being here and playing nice"...please do not drag sand outside the box ! CURRENT BUILD(s) Revell 1/72 U Boat VII C Tamiya Willys Jeep - for 2010 Nats Bronco's Staghound -for 2010 Nats Dragons M16 Multi gun carriage - for the 2020 Nats. LOL
  • Member since
    November 2005
Posted by Anonymous on Friday, January 10, 2003 9:28 PM
Take as long as you need!!! I'm a rather slow builder, working on average 2-3 hours on alternate days. At that rate, I finish a 1/48 plane (say, a P-47) in eight weeks. I remind myself that assembling and painting the model is most of the fun!
  • Member since
    November 2005
Posted by Anonymous on Saturday, January 11, 2003 2:07 AM
Hi - It took me a year to build the Minicraft 1/350 Titanic. Much time spent on drilling out all those portholes! Now that they've retooled the kit, I'm gonna build another one! Hopefully, experience gained with the first one will help shorten assembly time on the second. At the opposite end of the scale, I once built a Revell 1/32 scale F4U Corsair straight out of the box in two days and was quite satisfied with the results.


  • Member since
    November 2005
Posted by Anonymous on Saturday, January 11, 2003 10:51 AM
I too am going to throw my hat into the ring. It takes me forever to complete a project. My biggest problem is that I get too hung up with details. I have not found that fine line between well detailed and obsession. Now I try to remind myself that it's a model I'm buliding, not an exact replica going into a museum. I am finding it very difficult to convince myself of this.

I have tried switching to a subject that I don't have much interest in. This works for a little while, but then the old habits start creeping back in. A few years back I built a car and put a few extra details in to the engine. This made me quite happy for a while, but a couple of months ago I bought the same kit. I have plans for a much better model this time. The funny thing is I don't even like cars.

I think model shows, the big national ones, and magizines have some what fueled these thoughts. These people must be some kind of modeling savants. I don't know how they produce such unbelievable models. I try to produce a model like that and it never seems to happen. I'm trying to lower my expectations quite a bit.

Sorry for the endless rambling. I hope this made some sense.

  • Member since
    December 2002
  • From: USA
Posted by naplak on Saturday, January 11, 2003 12:27 PM
Well... Hmmm... it can take a long time. I have only about 7-8 models going right now, and I shift back and forth.... working on one more, then another. Some NEVER get finished, and some turn into experimenting models.

But you know what? I do this for FUN... so I DON"T CARE how long things take! ... a free site for modelers ... a nice Modeling Forum
  • Member since
    November 2005
Posted by Anonymous on Saturday, January 11, 2003 1:33 PM
As long as you build it or until you finish it.
I have the same problem too, I start a model, work on it, the get a new one, stop working on the old one, and then repeat.
On average when I do complete a model, it usually takes me about 3-5 weeks, depening on what I am building.
But the bottom line is who cares, It's your hobby.
  • Member since
    December 2002
  • From: USA
Posted by jcarlberg on Saturday, January 11, 2003 2:53 PM
What with work, family, and everyday life, as well as another hobby (target shooting), I can take a couple of months to complete a model, even longer if I get frustrated. I keep some swap meet kits around that only cost a few dollars, so if I'm getting impatient with something like the ICM Spitfire VIII, there's a kit I can finish in a few days to take the edge off.
  • Member since
    January 2003
Posted by shermanfreak on Thursday, January 16, 2003 10:12 PM
The simplest reply to your question "How long should building take?" is of course "when it's done." I have some projects that I started 10 years ago and they will have to wait until I'm in the mood to finish them. Factor into to that a 5 year lay off from the hobby and we can say that they've been only waiting 5 years to get completed. Other projects I've rattled off in 2 days. A lot depends on you and what you enjoy. Are you building show quality (for competition)....or are you building for your own pleasure. Do you use a lot of after market parts or do you build straight from the box. The key thing is that unless you are doing this for a living, you have to decide the level that you are going to build to that gives YOU the greatest enjoyment.

H.M. & G.B.
Happy Modelling and God Bless Robert
  • Member since
    November 2005
Posted by Anonymous on Friday, January 17, 2003 1:45 PM
it should take you one kalpa to do
  • Member since
    December 2002
  • From: Brisbane, Australia
Posted by ILuv3ggs on Friday, January 17, 2003 5:43 PM
Well...i must do it quick time then...

When i was real-a-youngin i bought a 1/48 B17G Flying Fortress. I started working on it at 5:00pm - finished that night at midnight.

Don't ask me just happened like that. But yeah, it was alright, until i had no where to put it, then i had to move the coboard, it never got put back on top...i might build another one some day, but take way more time...and actually add details :)

But on average it takes me about a week - week and a half, thats straight from the box, no weathering or nothing - i am trying my first real weathering subject when i get back from holidays.

So yeah...

Later Days
  • Member since
    December 2002
  • From: Canada / Czech Republic
Posted by upnorth on Saturday, January 18, 2003 1:18 PM
I don't personally recognize a "time limit" as such on the construction of model kits.

I've had Revell's 1/32 MiG-21 on the go, on and off, for the past four years, not because it isn't interesting and I'm getting bored with it; I'm still enthusiastic about it. That particular kit simply has some shortcomings that take some thought to properly rectify.

I don't think there can really be an average time frame for the completion of a model, because there's no such thing as an average model kit. Two different companies could produce kits of exactly the same thing, but theres no rule that says the kits have to be engineered the same way, or that their parts breakdown must fit a standard. The way a company breaks down its parts in a kit will often determine the ease or difficulty, and consequently the time involved in building it.

The time the kit was produced will also determine the time it takes to get it together right as molding technologies change and get better over time.

Case in point:

In the mid 1980s, I built Monogram's 1/72 EF-111 Raven. It was a good kit for the time, the parts breakdown made sense and I had it completed in about a week
and a half

In the early 1990s, I built AMT's 1/72 EF-111. It also was a good kit for the time. Its parts breakdown was a bit more detailed than the Monogram kit, so the increased number of parts led to a slightly longer building time, about two weeks total.

Two years ago, I found an old Airfix 1/72 F-111E on consignment at a local hobby shop and figured it would be an interesting challenge to build a kit with engineering from further back in time. What a challenge it was. It had fewer parts than either the later Monogram or AMT F-111s I had built, and about three months after starting it, and toiling over poor fit and rectifying shortcomings that I could do something about; I gave up.

There you go, Snoopy. Thats the sort of experience that my viewpoint on the matter comes from.

A lot, of course, also comes down to the modeler and what he or she has the attention span for. I can tell you this, if your'e an impatient sort who likes things to go easily without a lot of time involved, do your research before buying your kits, if theres a kit your looking at and its a fairly new release, there's a chance that some hobby magazine has written up a review of it, so you can get an idea of what you're getting into without really commiting to it.

For all those impatient modelers out there, if you're ever in a hobby shop and your'e fortunate enough to see Italeri's old 1/72 C-119 Flying boxcar, its not for you. Its a beautiful kit, even by todays standards and I've built it twice (took me the better part of a year both times) Its quite a complex kit, but well worth seeing through to completion if you start it. Just know that there are no short cuts with it, you're in it for the long haul with that kit. :-)
  • Member since
    November 2005
Posted by Anonymous on Thursday, January 30, 2003 10:35 PM
I'm late coming to the discussion, but here's my 2 cents...3, Canadian!

The most recent model that I completed as Revell's 1/48 P-51D. It took me about 3 or 3 1/2 months. I averaged probably 3 hours a week on it total, since that's what the missus and toddlers would let me have in relative peace!

Most of that time was spent detail painting...I decided to be different, I'd put it in an Israeli paint scheme from the early-mid 50's. This was before I'd discovered FSM and knew that things like aftermarket decals existed! That knowledge would have saved me a couple of weeks easily, instead of hand painting insignia, et al!

Currently, I'm working on a B-52D (1/72). This has been a LONG term project...I'm hoping to wrap it up in oh, April or May is a fair guess right now.

Guess the point of my ramble is however long it takes is what it takes. If you're happy with your work, that's the important thing!
  • Member since
    November 2005
Posted by Anonymous on Tuesday, February 4, 2003 5:55 PM
My last model, B17G took me about three years off and on and now it hangs in my office still awaiting a diorama for it. I am currently working on the USS Defiant complete with home made photo etched windows, adding lighting, etc. Currently I have not worked on it in two years and I am in the midst of building a vacuum former by Hobby Vac. Almost done and then I can resume the Defiant.

I am also working on a Saturn V that for the most part requires about 60 minutes of finish work, then paint and decal. Had that one going for a few years too!

I also own about 50 or a 100 unbuilt models that I have big plans for. Making my own resin parts, continuing to photo etch my own parts, etc. Ooops, forgot also working on an AH64 Apache and a modeling website.

All that combined with my other hobbies, and I may have to retire just to work on my hobbies. Darn!
  • Member since
    November 2005
Posted by Anonymous on Wednesday, February 5, 2003 8:48 AM
To help us answer your question:

What model are you working on (pick one for now)?
What stage are you at?
What about the kit is making you frustrated?

Maybe you have some block that a little friendly advice can get you passed. I think most modelers will agree that there is a point of the build for them where things slow to a crawl and it feels like you'll be working on this kit until you die.

For me, it's putting the little details on, where I'm thinking "Ok, I'm almost done" but then realize I still have work to do. Now, either I slow down and feel like it'll never be finished, or I'll start rushing because I want to finish, and get frustrated because I'm making mistakes. It's also around this time you notice the things you should have done before this stage, which are now really difficult to do/fix.

Up until that point I'm carefully and patiently sanding, enjoying the process. Also, the switch from build to painting is a bit of a hurdle.

One thing I found helped is making sure I have the right tool. Nothing can bog a project down like working with a tool that just doesn't do the job.

Don't feel bad about having more then one project on the go. It helps you not rush each project, so you wait the right amount of time before moving to the next step (like waiting for putty or paint to cure). It also helps you take a break and refresh yourself.
  • Member since
    February 2003
Posted by Jim Barton on Wednesday, February 5, 2003 7:29 PM
Don't worry about it! It took me 2 1/2 years to build a 1/48 scale MiG-21; partly because I did a lot of detailing (the cockpit alone took over a year!), and partly because I'm just a slow builder to begin with. A lot of my modeling was done after work, where I might have as little as a half hour for a bit of painting or gluing one or two parts into place before bedtime. I also do one project at a time, rather than jumping from one to another.

"Whaddya mean 'Who's flying the plane?!' Nobody's flying the plane!"

  • Member since
    November 2005
Posted by Anonymous on Saturday, February 8, 2003 6:54 AM
Right now i'm currently working on 2 models, one which i had started 5 yrs. ago, and set aside for another . The other one is a replica of my own car, and have been working steadily on it for 1 1/2 yrs. now !! I recently baught a new one, and getting the itch to start it, but i know if i do, the others will be tossed to the side and, will be another five years before i start up again on it. I feel that if you are getting bored of it, the best thing to do is set it aside for a while, when the intrest just isn't there, then you start slacking on the detail. Then one day you will pull that half finished model out of the closet and the wonder why you never finished it.
  • Member since
    January 2003
  • From: Netherlands
Posted by propfan on Wednesday, February 19, 2003 12:24 PM
We all must realize that we are all modelling for fun. So how long it's take is not the question. The question is, if you like your model to turn out the way you want it. If you are succeeding, than the time spend is worth it.

regards Bert

Happy modeling

Bert   IPMS SIG Airliners and Civil Aviation 90002

  • Member since
    February 2016
Posted by eaglecentral on Sunday, March 2, 2003 10:25 PM
Abraham Lincoln was once asked how long a man's legs should be. He answered that they should be long enough to reach the ground. A similar answer can be given to your question. How long should building take? Long enough to finish the model!
  • Member since
    November 2005
Posted by Anonymous on Monday, March 3, 2003 11:13 AM
Compaired to my friends that build, I finish them quick. I would guess on average it takes 15-25 hours. I am really trying to give better detail. I got to a point where I was making all my models 'perfect' to my standards. So I raised the bar. But unlike everyone else, I do one model at a time. So i can spit them out pretty quick.
  • Member since
    November 2005
Posted by Anonymous on Tuesday, March 4, 2003 12:49 PM
hi , to be honest it takes a different amount of time with eack project , if out of the box for display in local model shop about 4 weeks but if for myself then anything up to 1or 2 years depending on the , research / scratchbuilding involved , i find building for the models shop refeshing and stimulates me for my scracthbuilding , esp when you seam to be getting nowhere , cheers ian
  • Member since
    November 2005
Posted by Anonymous on Friday, March 14, 2003 8:32 PM
Hi, each of my projects takes varying amounts of time. I have had projects that I have finished in a day; others have been going since the early 70s. It all depends on how motivated you are in finishing a model and how complex the kit is.

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