If you have followed me for any length of time, you may be aware that I struggle with running TMD. Personal and daily concerns aside, I have a love-hate relationship with this company. You see, when I started TMD, I had absolutely no idea what I was doing — none! Looking back on it, that was a good thing because, had I known then what I know now, I would not have bothered with this company. It’s not that it hasn’t been worth it in many ways, but it has cost me my hobby. You see, it is very difficult to run a model company and still be a modeler — at least, not a modeler who builds the subject your company produces. In my case, this has meant I have largely lost the joy of modeling, at least where my two great loves are concerned: aircraft and armor. Well, now that I’m older, and I’ve learned to see things in wiser ways, I find I value the relationships I’ve made through TMD more than ever, but I resent the things I’ve lost. This is the source of my struggle, but I think — finally — I may have found a way past it.
First, I would like to explain why it can be harmful to be an armor modeler trying to run a resin company that makes armor products. First, it tends to cause you to run in so many directions that you never get anything done. I love most all armor, so every new kit can potentially drag me away from whatever project I may be currently developing for release. Heck, it doesn’t even require a new kit. All I have to do is pick up one of my books and start looking through it to kill some time and I can find something that tears me away. So, the end result of this is fewer things get done because I have too many interests and want to make things for all of them.
The other problem — and this is the one that steals the joy of your hobby — is that I can’t build a kit without thinking about all the masters I could make from the build. This is when the businessman in me step sup and says, “You need sales, which requires new products, so make a master of that.” This means I can never just sit down and let myself build a tank. I can’t even build a kit for which I already make everything I could possibly want because I either look for what more I could make… or I’m just bored with it from having made too much for it. I’ve tried to get past this by building aircraft, but I have the same desire to make masters for planes, too. The two — too many interests and the need to make new products — create a vicious circle that has been making me hate TMD.
However, I think I have found a solution. At least, I hope I have. I know I sure am excited about it. And I know it will come as a little bit of a surprise for many. But I am starting to look at trying my hand building 1/350 scale ships! LOL, yes, I know: they are a long way from tanks and aircraft, but that’s the point. I have an interest, but not enough of one to start researching the kits to death, which is how I find ‘mistakes’ in a model that need to be corrected. And the need to ‘correct; is what leads to the compulsion to make resin masters. When it comes to ships, I care just enough to learn the basics and maybe get 1 or 2 modeling-only books on the ship, and only if the book is cheap. I am also happy to just buy the kit and other peoples’ after market products and just build the model. As I write, I am anxiously waiting my first kit and detail sets to arrive in the mail and I can tell you, for the first time since I started TMD, I feel like most of you do when you are waiting on your next kit. Man! This is fun!
But there has been an added benefit. It has helped me focus on TMD — as a business. I am looking at it as a job and a business. This has helped me keep things in their proper perspective. It has also helped me realize just how much I had been spending on things I know I’d never built. That was the armor modeler in me still wanting to build, but the businessman who should have known better was too weak to say no. I no longer have that struggle, at least, not right now, anyway. I just hope I can keep things this way. It will be better for TMD, which means it should be better for you. It should also be better for me, personally. heck, it may even help me get back to building an armor model again. At least, this is the hope.
So, my advice to any of you thinking about getting into this business is to give serious consideration to whether or not you want to give up the joys of modeling to live the life of a poor, starving artist, or would you prefer to keep your hobby and find another way to contribute to the industry. Because (and trust me on this one), I know enough people in this business to know that my story is not unique. I may be suffering from an extreme case, but this happens to all of us who go over to ‘the resin side.’ You have been warned! 🙂