I wish I could say that every time I build a model kit, everything is joyous, fun, easy, and super rewarding. Usually it is. Last year, however, I finished a model kit that had occupied almost a year of my life and left me feeling extreme amounts of frustration. That kit was the Swedish Vasa made by Revell.
Occasionally, I branch out from Star Wars, and when I do, it usually is because of some personal connection to the build. Many years ago, my family visited Stockholm and the museum that houses the Vasa, a doomed and ill-constructed Swedish warship that sank in the harbor on its maiden voyage. In person, the ship is absolutely incredible. Preservationists were able to salvage almost the entire ship, and it is housed in its entirety in a beautiful museum in Stockholm.
With that personal experience in mind, I was excited about building my own version of the infamous ship and adding it to my collection. I should have recognized some warning signs. I have previously built two naval ship models, a Roman warship and a Viking longship. Both times after finishing those I vowed never to build a naval ship again. Rigging with tiny thread is a nightmare. Apparently, I am a glutton for punishment.
To make a long story short, I had so many issues with building this model kit. There were a lot of issues with parts not fitting well, and all of the tiny human figurine details that make up the elaborately carved decorations around the ship looked like a bunch of mushy blobs with legs. Needless to say, this made detail painting difficult.
For long stretches of time, I would just let this model sit because I had no desire to bang my head in frustration. Finally, however, I determined to finish it and put the specter of frustration to the side. I did minimal rigging so that I would not lose my mind over the extensive network of tiny threads, finished off the paint job, and dirtied up the sails a bit. The result is not terrible. Check out the slideshow and make a judgment for yourself, while I say good riddance to this model kit.
Model builder, board gamer, and all around lover of small scale stuff.