Wednesday, November 9, 2016

Murphy's Law

Hey everyone, I had a spectacularly unsuccessful round of plamo yesterday, and I've been getting some questions about what had happened, so I thought I'd write about it here instead - in annoyingly vivid detail. I find writing about shit that happens to me in this manner is kind of therapeutic...and yes, this is more relevant than the ongoing US elections.

Click on the Read More link for the rest of this post...

I was making steady progress on the Boros. Decals went on nicely, and with fairly decent weather I figured it was a good time to topcoat in preparation for weathering. As usual, I broke the kit down into sub assemblies - arms, legs, feet, torso, head - and mounted them onto painting sticks. 

I fished out an old can of Tamiya clear gloss from my tool box, gave it a good shake and tested it on a painted spoon to make sure it still does what it's supposed to. The spoon dried nice and glossy, so I grabbed the stick mounted torso and start spraying. I did the standard short, sweeping bursts - turning the stick around so the part got a nice even coat from every angle.  After a thorough inspection (actually 10% inspection, 90% admiring my own handiwork), I planted the stick securely into my DIY painting base to dry. I did the arms next, and was satisfied with how those turned out - So satisfied that I started having second thoughts about my plan to weather the kit, now that I've seen what a good clean finish it had..
"Maybe I should keep it glossy? like a red and white Ducati fresh out of the dealership.."
"Yeah, maybe some Ducati decals would be nice?"
"I mean I was going for a speedy looking mech..."
I forced myself to concentrate on the task at hand. I reach for the right leg this time, and almost have a premonition of what was to come, readjusting the painting clip to make sure it was securely in place. Holding the stick at about a 45 degree angle to the ground, I continue spraying... 


I twirl the stick around to get the leg from behind..


I twirl the stick again...


I twirl the stick...


It was the sound of Murphy's Law kicking in - It was the sound of inevitability - the sound of the clip's grip, surrendering to the combined efforts of gravity and the g-force I had supplied to the leg as I nonchalantly twirled it around. The events that followed, I experienced in horrific slow motion. 

Boros' leg was airborne, flying in a gracefully arched trajectory towards my 3 o'clock. Instinctively, I drop the painting stick and spray can, and both my arms shoot out to catch the precious projectile. It seemed like the part was suspended in mid air for about 1.2 seconds - which in Anime is enough time for a flashback of my plamo modeling career, and to ponder all my life choices leading up to the predicament I was in...
"Why did I decide to topcoat tonight?"...
"No No NO NO NO No no nO NO"...
"still need to detail up the backpack...
should have worked on that instead..."
"Stupid. this is stupid and I hate this hobby and I'm going to quit as soon as I finish this kit."
 "whoa whoa waitaminute is that a nub  mark?"
"Oh it's just the way the light is bouncing off of the gloss.."
As my flashback evaporated and reality faded back in, the leg landed with a gentle bounce in my cupped palms, saving it from any serious physical damage, and possibly saving myself from a heart-attack. But my relief was short lived. The gloss coat was still very wet, and wherever the leg got in contact with my skin, the paint smudged. I spent the next 15 minutes in an inconsolable rage, and it took all the self control I could muster to stop myself from hurling the ruined leg at a far wall and calling it quits. 

At last, when I had blurted out every profanity I knew and could invent on the spot,  I began to calm down. I remembered that despite the shitty situation it seemed I was in, I was still in control. I created this thing, I bent this kit to my will, and I can do it again. Shit like this happens to everyone. Like the comic above, life WILL beat you down with lemons and crap on you, but then you get up, wash yourself off and jump right back in.

"First I need to strip off this paint."

Until next time, keep building plamo!


  1. What do you use to strip? Are you using lacquer paints? I usually sand but that method can take a toll on the pieces...

    1. I use regular 70% Isopropyl alcohol for mr color lacquers and acrylics, the soaking step takes a bit longer but after an hour or so I can rub most of the paint away with my thumb, then scrub it with a soft toothbrush to get the hard to reach areas.