How to avoid the stall?

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Don Gray
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How to avoid the stall?

Post by Don Gray » Tue Aug 25, 2020 1:53 am

I'm a new Armortek builder and owner.

I'm having a blast building the Jadgtiger with my dad but can imagine that maybe at some point or perhaps at more than one point the build might stall. I think having a build partner so we can push each other is a distinct advantage but still curious to hear the thoughts of others.

What have you seen are the causes of people not being able to go the distance and completing their model? Especially including option packs?

Anything to watch out for? I'm working on the wheels right now and they are repetitive! And a bit tedious, but so far we are soldiering through.

If no interest in this topic I can delete.

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Robert E Morey
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Re: How to avoid the stall?

Post by Robert E Morey » Tue Aug 25, 2020 5:05 am

Don,
This is an interesting topic. Perhaps it can lead to insights and helpful tips....like on-line therapy sessions. :D

I can't speak for others, but things that lead to stall on these projects (or any project) for me are;

1) Buying another before finishing the first. These models can be quite addictive. Whether its airplanes, tanks, cars or whatever. They are like crack for me. This is a big one for me -I tend to start many but finish few.
2) Wanting to modify and super detail everything. This makes a large project even bigger. Some builders on this forum are masters of detail and of staying on task - perhaps they can weigh in.
3) Life events - sickness, kids, school, elderly parents, financial, Covid, work - you name it can all lead to inadvertent project stall.

Things that help (no really);
1) Having friends building same model, or similar. This can be very motivating, as long as you can proceed if they get diverted or stall.
2) Sharing your work on line (in forum) such as this helps keep motivation and creative juices going.
3) Sometimes working on three or four things in same model at time can help. Diverts from task that's in a rut - but still makes overall progress.
4) Make a little progress each day. Finish one task or assembly per day.
5) Take a break from it, but give yourself a start back time.
6) Get help with things you're unsure about. Lets say electronics give you a hang up - find an RC club or Forum to help. This forum is great, and has many talented builders.
7) Sometimes its ok to build it "as is" or "out of the box" without modifying something. Its amazing what a really good paint and weathering job can do for these models without fancy detailing.
8) Learn a new skill which can enhance the experience of building. Like learning to machine, 3D printing, painting and weathering, electronics or whatever. This can sometimes spark interest back on a project.
9) Since you and your dad are working on the same project, perhaps you can divide up tasks or take turns working on the model. If one person gets diverted away the other can keep going.
10) Go to an event or show where these models are displayed (hopefully this returns to normal sometime) - its great to see other's work in person.
11) Build your model for a specific persons vehicle, or if not that then specific battle or time frame. This forces you too dig up details which keep you interested. Instead of just another Tiger, build it as Otto Carius' mount. In your case of the JT, there are some interesting battle accounts from Schw Pzj Abt 653, 3rd Company vehicles.

Make the most of working on the JT project with your dad - few people get that chance!

Not sure why my #8 turned into cool emoje with sunglasses,,,carma perhaps.

That's all I can think of for now.
Best regards,
Bob
Last edited by Robert E Morey on Tue Aug 25, 2020 11:57 pm, edited 1 time in total.

simon_manning
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Re: How to avoid the stall?

Post by simon_manning » Tue Aug 25, 2020 10:49 am

Bob has covered it all very well, these are the pitfalls of long term building, only ever have one model on the bench, and do a little all the time, it soon adds up, don't be over ambitious on your first, you can always improve afterwards, paint, details etc, get the vehicle in primer and then think of where you want to go, Do not be in a hurry to finish, but have a rough timeline of progress, i have stalled at the moment on my build but that is down to me wanting to add detail and work it out, enjoy your build regards simon manning.

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Chris Hall
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Re: How to avoid the stall?

Post by Chris Hall » Tue Aug 25, 2020 1:27 pm

Don -

Firstly, welcome to the Crazy Gang ! On the whole we're a friendly, helpful bunch, so never be afraid to ask a question. And, as for this one, it's an issue that we'll all face at one time or another, so it's well worth debating.

Robert has highlighted most of the issues very well. I'd particularly emphasise his point (3) - Real Life often gets in the way of having fun ! As for point (1), it's the "difficult second album" syndrome - you put so much effort into the first one that the second (and subsequent) one can tire you out ..... and, of course, you're still enjoying the first one.

To Robert's list of cures I would add Passion. I don't know why you bought the JagdTiger in particular - maybe because it's the current model, or perhaps you just like Big Things. But, to make a success of it, I think you have to have a reason to own it. In my case, I'd known of Armortek for years, but I only dived in when they produced a model I really wanted, and that was the WW1 Mark IV, which satisfied an interest of many years. For me, history is a key igniter of passion. I enjoy the research as much as the building (although not as much as the playing with the finished product ! :wink:) So get a few books, read a few battle accounts, and find a particular 'hook' that you want to bring to life. That doesn't mean you've got to super-detail things - a few simple changes, or a particular colour scheme (or markings) will help to breathe life into your pride and joy. And then, when you display it, you can proudly tell people that "this represents the Command Tank of xx Heavy Battalion that fought on the River xx in March 1945", rather than just "it's a JagdTiger". Believe me, you'll get a lot more out of it that way.

I mentioned this thread to my lovely wife :lol:, and she immediately mentioned another reason - Economics. You've spent a lot of money on buying your JagdTiger, and the worst thing would be for its half-finished shell to gather dust and rust in the corner of the garage , wouldn't it ? These things are expensive. They're worth it, of course, but only really to the original owner / builder. It's a sad fact that, unless they're increadibly rare or incredibly well built, they don't hold their value on the second hand market, especially if they're part-built.

So finish your JagdTiger to the best of your ability (remembering that, for the majority of we mortals, it's a marathon and not a sprint), and then enjoy playing with it and showing it off. And then think carefully about what else you would like in your Armortek collection.

All the best,

Chris
Mark IV (Liesel, Abteilung 14, France 1918)
Morris Quad, 25-pdr & 2 x limbers (45RA, Korea 1951)
M3 Lee (25th Dragoons, Burma 1944)
Rolls-Royce Armoured Car (10(RN)AMB, German E. Africa 1916)

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Stephen White
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Re: How to avoid the stall?

Post by Stephen White » Tue Aug 25, 2020 4:02 pm

Don, this is such a good idea for a thread. It's a subject which hasn't really been discussed before and one which touches most of us.

I've little to add to the wise words above, except to say that my Pz III took me three years and the Centurion five, so I know all about keeping up the interest over an extended build. Some things which sustained me:

- research. There is so much good info now online and in books that in parallel with building, there's a lot of satisfaction in getting familiar with the subject, whether as a general interest or in researching a specific vehicle. I always choose to do the latter, partly because it gives me a standard to aim for as a scale model and partly to try to discover stories which give the model a life of its own.

- community of interest. I've found, almost by accident, that once you start researching online, you begin to find others with the same interest. For my Stotten's Pz III, it was a community of people interested in the panzers in Tunisia but with my Centurion, it mushroomed into developing lifelong friendships in Australia, the US and Europe.

- enjoying doing something well. Bob mentioned new skills and I've a long list of things I've tried and enjoyed over the years, from basic machine shop skills to resistance soldering, to failed attempts at a stabiliser, to successful ventures into vaping and barrel smoke, to learning sound editing to use original sounds, to creating decals and markings - there are many more. (And in this context "well" means nothing more than to your own satisfaction.

This is such an interesting subject that I wonder whether I shouldn't suggest to Kian that I turn it into a Knowledge Base topic. Thoughts?

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John Clarke
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Re: How to avoid the stall?

Post by John Clarke » Tue Aug 25, 2020 8:25 pm

I must say all these guys are so right with all aspects they describe.

Individually you'll set the standard you'll want to achieve, even in "out of the box" these models look fantastic and can be so very addictive.

Although it should be a fun hobby, it can draw on a lot of emotions at times. Some times you just have to put it down, do something else totally different and come back refreshed.

Long winded boring jobs can be daunting, but I'll supplemented them by playing a few favorite albums, time fly's and the build progresses.

The forum is a fantastic place improve your knowledge and share exploits. I wish more would, advice on pit falls is always welcome.

So I say savor the time on the build if you can, add to your topic diary and watch your model grow.
Oh Man, I only ride em I don't know what makes them work,
Definatley an Anti-Social type

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Robert E Morey
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Re: How to avoid the stall?

Post by Robert E Morey » Tue Aug 25, 2020 11:44 pm

Some guys have hit on anther one for me, so I'm adding it as 11) to my list above. :wink:
B

Kevin Hunter
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Re: How to avoid the stall?

Post by Kevin Hunter » Wed Aug 26, 2020 12:12 pm

An interesting thread, highlighting an issue that I'm sure many of us suffer with from time to time. I definitely recognise myself in several of the comments above and it is good to know I'm not alone.

It is all too easy, when Armortek bring out a new model you like, to snap one up straight away. They are limited editions after all :D. Then, when those boxes arrive, it is nigh on impossible not to break them open and start assembling bits - regardless of what is already on the bench! I have several part builds, but when Chieftain arrived my Mrs finally put her foot down hard. Those boxes are under lock and key until the other models are finished. Hasn't stopped my buying add-on detail parts from Dave Dibb et al :oops:

Some models, though built and running, are never finished due to constant tinkering or adding new details. My Centurion (Mk11) is still without headlights and IR searchlight, I have countless photographs of both but just need to get around to making them. The latter I need to source some key measurements for, so maybe a trip to Bovington or Norfolk once this virus thing is all over. I can't visit the UK at the moment without going into quarantine on my return home.

My Mk IV has proven particularly difficult. I've no idea why but I have a form of writers block - I keep looking at what I've done so far but just cannot get going again. Maybe it's all those rivets making the task feel daunting, tinged with a little fear down to inexperience. Some Mk IV owners have had chain and wear issues - if I don't finish the model I wont have those issues? The human mind is a crazy thing!!

This year I returned to my Morris Quad. It's a smaller model and easier to see progress, which is both encouraging and generates enthusiasm. There will be a sense of achievement when it's finished and, hopefully, renewed confidence to move on with my other models.

Enough waffling. It seems that the issues raised by this thread are very real. To answer Stephen's question, there may well be a place for this within the knowledge base.

Kevin

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Chris Hall
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Re: How to avoid the stall?

Post by Chris Hall » Wed Aug 26, 2020 3:27 pm

I need to add something to my comments above about historical research and reproducing a particular tank.

If you look at the Forum lists for each of the models that Armortek has produced, you'll see a plethora of threads about which particular historical tank each owner intends to build (not everyone does, of course - some people just like to build a generic representation). That's both a courtesy to everyone else (to avoid duplication), and an invitation / request for any specific information. After all, most of us like to build something different, and no one wants to turn up at a show where there's an identical model to the one they've just finished (especially if the other one is better ! :lol:)

This is, of course, a lot easier where the historical production run was quite large (eg. Sherman's and T34's). It's more of a problem with the JagdTiger, where I think only a hundred or so were ever made, and relatively few ever saw action. I don't know the size of Armortek's production run, but it could be as high as 50% of the historical output. That, of course, makes it more difficult to be unique - it would be a bit boring if everyone produced the personal tank of Otto Carius, wouldn't it ?

This is not really an issue, of course, if you live somewhere where there is no established show scene, or where you have the only one of that particular model.

That's why I would encourage everyone to start their own build thread on the forum. Firstly it helps to sort out who's doing what. Secondly, people can identify particular issues that other people can learn from. And, thirdly, if you start to stall you can say so ! Other builders will doubtless express sympathy, and may suggest a quick way out of the problem / a more exciting part of the build for you to aim for.

All the best,

Chris
Mark IV (Liesel, Abteilung 14, France 1918)
Morris Quad, 25-pdr & 2 x limbers (45RA, Korea 1951)
M3 Lee (25th Dragoons, Burma 1944)
Rolls-Royce Armoured Car (10(RN)AMB, German E. Africa 1916)

Christoffer Ahlfors
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Re: How to avoid the stall?

Post by Christoffer Ahlfors » Wed Aug 26, 2020 8:15 pm

Chris Hall wrote:
Wed Aug 26, 2020 3:27 pm
it would be a bit boring if everyone produced the personal tank of Otto Carius, wouldn't it ?
Aw, sh..ute! :shock: There goes my prototype! :evil:
Klotzen, nicht kleckern (Guderian on panzer tactics, but the way I interpret it - it applies to a great many things in life)

Don Gray
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Re: How to avoid the stall?

Post by Don Gray » Tue Sep 01, 2020 5:11 pm

Wow! I thought this might be an interesting topic but never imagined the depth of response! Robert, Simon, Chris, Stephen, John and Kevin such great insights and advice!

On the "Lead to Stall" side, #1 I have experienced with my main passion... Firearms collecting. What's better than one anti-tank rifle? Well two of course. "The next great thing" means I stop thinking as much about the one before it. I think I've finally learned that lesson, but it doesn't mean I wouldn't be tempted to buy another kit before this one is done!!!!

A few of you mentioned community and making friends around the world. That's definitely something I've experienced in the gun community. I have friends that I chat with on a daily basis around the US that i've only met once or twice in person. I'm looking forward to it here as well.

#2 I definitely could see myself falling into. I've already done little things to better try and match the original.

And #3 can always become a thing. My mom passed away last year and doing a model like this would have been difficult to impossible due to the time I spent with her trying to help her get better.

When my mom passed away, it gave me an opportunity to realize I hadn't spent much time with my dad over the last few years. And when I was a kid some of the most fun things we did together involved building and racing go-karts. Just hanging out together and doing guy stuff!

So I saw my 50th birthday as a good reason to find a project that he and I could work on together. A car felt a little too big. He's built a Factory Five and a Lotus Seven replica so he's capable of it, but I wasn't sure if he had another one in him and was even less sure of my ability to see it through.

The Armortek tank seemed like it was just right. Not a trivial build that we would knock out in a month, and not something like building an airplane in scope.

So in the "Things that Help" side I got #1 and passion covered in spades!

#2 I'm going to make an effort at. I'm not super good at documenting, but I have set a goal of at least making a monthly update.

#3 & #4 & #5 I definitely can see how that would help. Dad and I are plowing through the wheels which although awesome can get BORING! Sitting down and working on a few at a time is the only way to bulldoze through them IMO.

#6 Already Peter Q and John from ECA have been SOOOO helpful. And the wonderful posts on this forum have been fantastic. So many talented people with years of building experience!

#8 is a big one for me. I bought a Harley Davidson motorcycle in 2010 and in 2012 I decided it was time to figure out how it worked and how to make it go faster. Tore it down to the cases, replaced and / or modified a bunch of parts. Now it not only leaks oil but breathes fire :-) Likely won't do it again but it was good to refine some of the skills dad taught me on the go-karts.

The extent of my painting experience / ability has been to be decent at doing prep and running a paint can. Paint sprayers and airbrushes are very foreign to me. In fact I'm right now just starting to try and use the sprayer to lay down some dunkelgelb on the wheel components. Wish me luck! But becoming proficient with a paint gun is definitely on the list of skills I'd like to acquire.

#9 we have been doing this. With the wheels he did the basic assembly, I've did loctite, final tightening, bending of locking tabs, and modification of the bolt ends. It's really been a good way for both of us to participate in that part of the build and gain throughput improvements on getting the work done.

#10 I would definitely be up for! I'm already planning to make a trip to see John from East Coast Armory. Does anyone have get togethers in the US? Or will I have to come across the pond?

#11 Good advice! I have gotten Andy Devey's books so I have a good amount of material to work with.

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