Tamiya Ducati 916 - An Exercise in Restrained Planning

- Restrained planning, it’s all about balance -

By balance, I mean being realistic about how much time and money can be put into a build as the ultimate goal is getting something finished and on the shelf. I usually plan out how many ‘must have’ details I want to include into the build and then when it comes to sub-assemblies I’ll make a call whether a certain area deserves any added attention. For example for some car kit builds, I’ll add PE bolt heads on the chassis, on other builds I’ll leave em out as the subject matter doesn’t captivate me as much as others. As for the must haves, if available, the disc brakes will get the PE treatment, include seat belts, and the wheels will be treated to machined air valves. Some of these details are minute but I feel the addition of them can really elevate the finished build. At time even to the same level as if I had added every nut and bolt. 

Also, because every build is a learning experience, it doesn’t mean that I can’t build the same kit twice and add that much more detail on the next one. An example of this would be the PL Refit. On the first build (which is currently on the bench) my goal is to focus on getting everything aligned, getting that translucent paint finish right and making a suitable stand for it. Having those main things down, I would consider adding lighting to a second build, which is a whole different monster. I find that this way, there’s less chance that I’ll reach that tipping point where I put the project on hold because it just became too big of an undertaking.

There’s also considering the budget. I’m not one to get every PE or resin set for a particular kit but if I have one of Tamiya’s Corsair kits in 1/32 on the bench then yeah, I’ll invest in some placard decals by Barracuda Studios or some aftermarket seat belts. But getting Eduard’s multi-sheet PE set would not be my go to as the detail supplied in the kit is pretty good as is, with any added detail required could be done via scratch-building. But I won’t spend the same amount as the kit on aftermarket accessories.

- If there is something I’m unsure of i’ll tackle it later on in the build -

Sometimes, I’ll be a little unsure of how to pursue or take on a certain aspect of a build. I’ve been on/off a Ducati 916 build for the last 9 years. One of the holds-ups was getting the mufflers to resemble a pair of Termignoni carbon units. When I first began building the kit I had zero skills with CF decals nor the know-how of re-chroming parts or where to get the Termignoni decals. Now, the skills and the supplies are within reach and I am hoping this will be my next completed build. 

- There are some things I like to tackle first -

When it comes to planning, there are some things that I like to tackle first. If the subject is automotive then the body pieces will get worked on first as the finish needs a good amount of time to cure properly. On other builds, I’ll concentrate of the larger sub-assemblies first, such as the wings of an aircraft or the saucer of a starship. Seeing either of these steps through helps me keep the momentum of the build strong. 

- Try something new -

It is also important for me to try something new with every build. For the Mercedes 300SL build, now that I have pretty good experience with laying down colour and getting the finish i want, my goal is to try metallic pigments on the engine block. I think this method will complement the era of the vehicle nicely and add a suitable level of patina to the engine bay. 

Happy building (and planning) folks :)


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