Enlightened impatience

A discussion thread on Western Thunder about carrying on when things go wrong, had me wondering about impatience and comments made about 3 decades ago by Dave Rowe in the late, lamented “Model Railways” magazine.

Experience has taught me that as soon as I do something like break a drill bit due to rushing things, then it is time to stop. The reason is that I am getting impatient, and cutting corners. This kind of unenlightened impatience is a bad thing. Imagine you have spent 20 hours carefully crafting a model, and then rush a final cleaning up exercise intended to remove any remaining burrs by not using the right tool because it is somewhere in the tool box, and you can use the scalpel in your hand anyway. The result of this “short-cut” is that you gouge a big crevice right across the most relief-ridden face of the model. You now have two choices: repair the damage, or make it again. Either way, the “short-cut” from not spending 30 seconds looking for, say, your glass-fibre burnishing stick, has cost you several hours.

Enlightened impatience, however, is a good thing, and I use it all the time to make myself slow down just a little bit. Enlightened impatience means that in the above scenario, I will stop, put down the tool which will nearly do the job, and select the right tool. I spend 30 seconds, but gain several hours and really don’t miss the frustration I haven’t generated. Similarly, using a series of drills to progressively open up a hole rather than one final drill of the required size will produce a neater, cleaner and more accurate result. Backing-off when tapping holes, rather than forcing the tap, means it won’t snap – not only breaking the tool but also leaving part of it behind.

Enlightened impatience means reminding myself that if I slow down slightly, and take my time, I won’t end up remaking the piece, and I will get to my goal sooner.

Every really good modeller I know does not rush things, but works carefully and methodically, and gets the job done in a steady manner. Conversely, every time I see something which looks a bit “slap-dash”, conversation reveals the modeller to have been in a hurry to get things done.

Maybe the “secret” of finescale is simply an attitude of enlightened impatience? Or as the Latin motto has it:

Festina lente

If you are in a hurry, slow down…