Tamiya Mercedes 300SL

In these days of never ending meetings, increased workload, tight deadlines and domestic duties, it seems there are never enough hours in a day. Or more importantly, it’s increasingly difficult to budget the time to complete a task with the time necessary to do it properly. As I currently don’t take on commissions to build models for others, I practice this hobby strictly for me and want the experience to be as rewarding as possible, by making the time to do it however I please. So, I would have to answer yes. I do add that little bit of detail that no one will ever see. I don’t think I take it to an extreme level either, just to what I feel is satisfying and respects the build I am working on. 

One of my more recent builds is Tamiya’s new 300SL. Its a beautiful kit and comes with a full trellis race frame that the body sits over. Initially, my mind was set on building the frame quickly and moving on as much of it won’t be seen. But it’s such a beautifully rendered structure, and though being made up of twelve pieces, everything lined up perfectly. A part of me wondered what it must’ve been like to fabricate one of these back in the day, the attention paid to preparing the tubes, laying down the welds and such...

...in the end I used the Weld’n’Sand technique over a couple of night’s, which resulted in a seamless tubular space frame. Though it won’t ever be seen in its entirety, building it with care and taking the time necessary to clean up the seams was really rewarding. I will probably add ignition wires and lines to the engine bay, amp up the shock absorbers with scratch-built items and add a few PE bolt heads here and there. It’ll take some time and I know a lot of it won’t ever be seen but in the end i’ll have a build I am really proud of and when I look back at it, I’ll have the satisfaction of knowing where all that extra detail is.

And as much as I would love to have the real thing or a project car, my current budget, space and time won’t allow for it. But I can build it in scale and any added detail is also time I get to spend daydreaming about the real thing or think about the historical importance of the subject. 

I also like to think of the time spent has the added bonus of being good practice. Every time I work with those little PE bolt heads or making the seams flush using the Weld’n’Sand method, i get better at it and usually a bit quicker as I’m questioning the process less. In a sense, I treat my builds not only as quality downtime but as an opportunity to improve my craft.

Maybe I won’t (and don’t) get a gazillion models completed in a year, but the ones that do make it to the shelf, you can be damn sure that a lot of love went into them and were built with a great dedication to craft. 


Check out the SPRUE CUTTERS UNION webpage to read other takes on this subject.