Sunday, 17 May 2015

It is hard to admit to yourself that you have not been performing as well as you should, whatever you do for a living.

What landed me the job as editor of Scale Aircraft Modelling was my modelling skill. Hopefully that does not come across as pretentious or arrogant, but it is a fact. I had no previous editing experience and all I knew about editing I learned primarily from Ken Jones whilst I worked for him at Military Modelling.

I learned a few things about photography from Spencer Pollard, I learned a fair bit about how to produce and article from Richard Franks and Tony Little, however this was more what I could glean from these fine chaps as opposed to what was volunteered as advice. It was Ken Jones who always took the time to speak to me on the phone and answer any and all of my questions about the craft on a regular basis. I owe Ken a great debt of gratitude for preparing me to advance my skill set.

One of the first, and most relevant, pieces of advice he gave me after I told him that I would be leaving Mil Mod to take on the role of editor at SAM was that my new role would cause me to resent building models. At the time I thought he was mistaken; that I would never lose interest in building. However, much like most of the advice my Dad had given me over the years, it would eventually prove correct and my teenage arrogance in ignoring sage advice would follow itself into my middle age. "Sure, that may be the case for everyone else, but I am invincible!", was what must have been rolling around at the back of my head...

The digression of my modelling was gradual. I never noticed it until it was too late. It was not until Les Venus said to me at Scalemodel World one year that my models used to be amazing and he was wondering what happened to me, that I realised he was correct and I was no longer producing models that I was as proud of as I used to be. Ken's advice was ringing true as it suddenly dawned on me that I was not enjoying building models for the sake of building, I was modelling to meet deadlines and had fallen prey to the trap of trying to beat the competition to producing articles of the hottest new release in the interest of selling more copies on the back of it.

It was at that point that I wished I had followed the path of Marcus Nicholls and not compromised my modelling integrity at any point and continued to take my time to build something I could be proud of, as opposed to pleasing the powers that be. Not that it is anyone's fault but mine though. I simply let myself fall into a world where modelling is secondary and "aviation journalism" is paramount.

Since my joining the Alclad 2 team, I have had the opportunity to go through all of my old articles and glean what I can from anything I produced that applies to my usage of Alclad products and I have realised that I used to be pretty decent at modelling. It is time now to get back to that.

Friday, 15 May 2015

So it has now been a few months since I was fired by Guideline Publications and while the first couple of months were a worrying time, I have now turned a corner and the future looks very bright indeed.

I did not realise how much of myself I sacrificed for Scale Aircraft Modelling magazine in my tenure as editor, although this is what probably made my bitterness as my atrocious treatment by Guideline Publications all that more acute.

I had reason to go over some of my older articles in the past week and realised that I used to be pretty decent at this modelling lark, so I have decided not to put myself in the position where I rush my builds in order to meet a deadline ever again.

With all due respect and much gratitude to Steve Elliot (who amazed me with his professionalism and wisdom) and Andy Evans, I decided that I would not take on a role as a staff modeller with Model Aircraft Monthly. As positive as the experience in working with Andy was, I found myself rushing to meet deadlines and my models suffered as a result. I did not want to put Andy in a position where he was waiting on articles from me, so I thought it better to go back to how I used to build models and submit them to editors when they are done.

The end result is that I am finding myself enjoying building models much more now and I am actually finding some time to do some pattern work for MasterCasters; something I have long neglected. Considering this has been a tidy little business for me for over ten years now, I should really pay better attention to it. MasterCasters has carried us through some tough times and to keep it a vibrant and relevant business, I need to continue to add new patterns to the range.

With Alclad II, thanks to Rob and Howard Bunn, both of whom have shown great faith in my abilities, I have the opportunity to further expand my business horizons and help these two fine chaps develop Alclad as well. This is a venture I am enthusiastically entering into as I know it has a great future and each of us will benefit from my input.