Mistakes, Criticism, and Thursday Rambles

Greeting everyone!

There’s been a large amount of discourse, debates, and discussions in my local hobby circles, which has led to some food for thought, or Thursday rambles. Both on the ideas of mistakes, criticism, and a few other musings.

Mistakes are okay to make (and sometimes a little encouraging)

Mistakes are a dime a dozen in these hobbies, or anything in general. It could be breaking a piece and maybe messing up a paint job. That’s okay! Not every project that’s on your workbench will be perfect. It’s discouraging, yes, but not the end of the world.

Here are some options that could be done:

  • Try and fix it
  • Set it aside to be fixed later
  • Don’t fix it

Sometimes you can fix a mistake with the current skill you have now. Rad! Sometimes if you don’t have the current skill set to fix it, set it aside to work on later and move on to the next thing.

Or, hear me out, don’t fix it (if it’s not for a competition). Silvered decals? Gunked-up paint job? Keep it. Sometimes we can be perfectionists when it comes to what we love that we forget that it’s okay to make a mistake. What’s bad about keeping something imperfect? It helps to show us where we came from and how far we’ve improved.

I have several imperfect projects on my build shelves.

I take the same stride for other focuses in my life. In my possession, I have a poorly written 8th-grade English essay. C- written in bold red pen on the top, along with the words “good job this time” scribbled on the bottom. Seems like adding salt to a wound right? The opposite, it was my best essay of that year. A vast improvement from the F’s I used to get. Now being a writing-heavy college major, I can proudly say that I have improved on essays, a strong skill now. I look back on it from time to time when I get discouraged about writing not working out the way I want it to.

Don’t take mistakes to heart in these hobbies. Most can be fixed.

Most of this post can also be applied for other scale models and Warhammer

Constructive Criticism vs Destructive Criticism

That’s a lot to unpack in a header, right? Criticism is something interesting that I’ve witnessed in this hobby. It’s like a quarter flip. Fifty percent chance that it might be constructive or destructive. For a new builder, this could be really daunting. For an experienced builder, it might be flat-out annoying. (Some builders might not even want criticism altogether, be careful with this one)

What’s the difference?

Constructive criticism focuses on problem-solving and should have the main intention of helping someone improve. Offer tips or advice with a compassionate, friendly attitude. Start positive and end positively. When you offer constructive criticism you respect their feelings while communicating an issue.

Destructive criticism is usually with the intent to embarrass. It tears down the build or idea in a way that is vague to the creator. There is no friendly attitude and often kicks down the creator.

For example, I have a pink Sinanju Stein. I love it dearly, but it could use some improvements. (All feedback examples are one’s that I’ve received firsthand) 

I asked some trusted builders for feedback.

Constructive feedback is:

  • I like your idea and colors, but perhaps you could add another shade of pink on the solid color parts for better color separation?
  • I like your concept but I noticed some silvering on your decal, what topcoat did you use?

These are positive interactions that offered actual advice.

Destructive feedback is:

  • Why would you ruin something like this?
  • Ew.
  • Why would you ruin a good Gundam kit like that?
  • That looks like shit.

That is not constructive nor is it helpful. I see a lot of new builders or builders who try to explore artistic avenues get more of these comments. It’s a shame to see.

Other small thoughts and happenings

Mod podge really needs to sponsor me at some point this year. I found a fun little paint technique that I’ve been trying to figure out how to put on a zaku. It’s one part mod podge to one part paint. It gives a raised texture that I enjoy. I’ll be posting pictures when I do a post about mod podge.

I wish we could get an MG Hygogg. I love the HG and feel like there’s a lot of potential room to play with for an HG.

I’ve found that I’m not a huge fan of hobby rattle cans. I’ve used a few of tamiya’s rattle cans and found that they don’t hold the same consistency as normal spray paint cans. 

Well wishes and happy Thursday,

– J

(have a thought or opinion? drop it down bellow?)

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