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Omega1234

Is it normal to 'grieve' after finishing your model?

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Ok. Hear me out on this one. You've spent countless hours, months, perhaps years building your masterpiece. She has occupied and consumed your every awakened hour of every day and night. You go to bed thinking of the next step of construction. You dream of her and then you can't wait until you're able to get back to her....

 

And... Then, comes the day when you've finished her!!! Aargh!! All of a sudden your life is empty. It's like a sudden loss. You feel like grieving, right? Or, do you?

 

In my case, of all my models, the only one that I've seriously grieved for was my HMS Victory model (see photos below) which was completed about 7 yrs ago. She took me 3 years of sheer hard work. She's fully detailed inside with everything that could be put inside. She was my all consuming passion for so long...and then...nothing. She was finished. I had to move on. Such is life. Over time, she has been replaced by more models, but none of them have ever come close to moving me in such a way.

 

What about you? Have you ever experienced the same emotions? How about posting some pics of your beloved masterpiece which moved you in a similar way, so that we can share in the tragedy and triumph of this hobby of ours.

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This is probably a subject for Dr. Per,but, I'll attempt an answer. What your suffering from is project hangover. This is brought on by the ending of an important project resulting in a vacuum in your mind caused by the lack of constant problem solving. It will take a few days to a week for your thoughts to gradually fill in. Readers  often suffer this phenomenon following the end of a good book.Evidence of this is best exemplified By the Patrick O'brian series of novels in which both the author and reader attempted to alleviate "book hangover" by continuing the story as long as possible.   Bill

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I think what you describe as grieving is shared by us all when we put our creation into it's final resting place after so long on the bench.  Like an old friend, she's always just 'been there' waiting for you to stop by.  No longer is your mind working on that seemingly insoluble problem that needs to be resolved.  In fact, she's gone and the workshop seems empty and forlorn.   

 

There is only one solution.  Let time run it's course.....and then start anew.

 

A photo or two of my last 'best friend' :

 

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I think Dr Per might suggest this remedy – after a couple of days thinking about the wonderful model you have created, with perhaps a few thoughts on the things you might have done differently, fill your mind with visions of the next model (which will be even better). Do the latter in stages: 1- decide on the next ship to build (this can be fun too); 2- buy the kit, or the plans if its a scratch; 3 – er, get building (and keep a log of course)! ;)  

Edited by Stockholm tar

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My impression is the reverse. I build to learn a skill, how to use a tool, understand the design, or create an assembly method. I can't wait to get the bloody thing out the door, one way or another. it's the learning that counts for me, not the subject or object, as it were. 

 

I'm just as happy once it's finished, if someone wants to take it off my hands as quickly as possible. 

 

Anyone else with this perverse attitude? 

 

Cheers, 

 

Rick

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I get where you are coming from,  it is I think as others have described.  You have had a "goto" thing to occupy you for a long time. Even when away, you knew if you wanted something to do you always had that ship model waiting for attention. Now that it is done, it doesn't need you any longer.

 

You know how to avoid that?   Another ship lined up ready and waiting to go =)

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 A bit like how i felt when i finished watching Breaking BAD ,so then i moved on to Dexter ??? .I,m building Victory at present and know what you mean about all consuming , but i,m about 18 months in and am already finding myself thinking about what i will build next even though it will take at least another 18 months to finish ,so i don,t think i,ll have the same problem as you ,although time will tell ?? did you keep her or sell / give away ???

Edited by shihawk

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Good question. If this is a hobby, there will likely be 'completion regret', particularly if you've invested yourself deeply in the project. The best 'cure' will be to have a new project that you are keen on lined up, so that you can look ahead rather than backwards. A bit like relationships, really.

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Depression and a feeling of loss often comes after victorious battle and conquests.

It is a malady suffered by all the great Conquerors and Captains of industry.

Time for a greater conquest.

        Beautiful job by the way.

Edited by captain71

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Hi everyone

 

Thanks for all of your responses. Tis comforting to know that I'm not the only one who can feel this way. It makes perfect sense. We are human, after all. However, I can also empathise with Rick, who says that it's learning new skills that drives him towards completing a model. I guess it just shows how we're all different.

 

Thanks also for the photos of your models, Augie. The display cabinet looks especially nice.

 

Maybe, upon reflection, Yambo's probably right! Have two on the go and then you'll never have time to grieve!

 

All the best, everyone and all the best.

 

 

Patrick

Edited by Omega1234

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I'm not a believer in having more than one build on the go at once - too confusing for me - but I enjoy researching and collecting as much information on my next build as possible while working on the current one. This includes surfing the net, visiting libraries and museums and scouring this site. This way when a build is complete, in my mind I have already moved on to the next.

Edited by hornet

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Omega, the syndrom you are experiencing is called "WhatamItodonow" also called post-construction. This sensation will last a little while. Now it's cleansing time for your mind. Reseting and try to enjoy the final product. All the hours you put in has come to an end. With a beautiful piece on the shelf lean back, clean the work table, close your eyes and slowly open them again. On the clean table your mind has put the next project in place.

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you'll learn something new,  with every one you build..........it's the nature of the hobby.   it's funny,  because every build is different,  and it changes the technique in some small way.

 

I remember my first build............being a plastic sort of guy,  I built many plastic ships.  then one day,  I get a wood build thrown in my lap,  an old Billing's kit of the Nordkap.   the fella had most of the frame done.......it wasn't laser cut and he had misplaced the fittings.  in the search for the fittings,  an acquaintance was made with a gentleman from the company.  I've dealt with companies in the past.....you usually get a paragraph back.......and most of the time,  the word 'no'  is tucked in there somewhere.  this guy was concerned about the condition of the kit and that I wouldn't enjoy building it.   anyway.......through the exchange,  he asked for pictures.........I took to sending him build logs.  this went on until the last part was cemented in place.......I had never experienced this kind of participation before.  it made the entire build...special.   but I stood there,  looking at the ship......and I felt empty....the ride was over.  I learned a very important tool as well.......bash.  I had no idea what was right......but I felt that certain aspects of the model could be enhanced...just as well,  because some of the parts were impossible to cut out with the tools I had,  and I ended up scratching them out.   out of all this,  it made me enjoy the medium all the more.   I do agree with one of the comments made........with as many build I have in the works.....I'll never have to worry feeling that way again  ;)

 

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originally,  I was going to giver her back to the fella that gave it to me......that was 2010...........I still have 'er today.  never took me up on my offer  ;)

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I'm with Rick (rshousha).  Absolutely no sense of loss.  As soon as I have completed a model it is out the door as quickly as possible.  I'm sick and tired of seeing and working on it by then and it is time to move on to something new   To that end, I sometimes will find myself building at a much faster rate when getting close to the finishing point.  I am afraid to start something else until after what I am working on is completed because I fear I may never go back to finish it.   I rely on the building experience to keep my mind sharp and to maintain my physical dexterity, not to decorate my house.

 

If I get nostalgic for something I have built I have lots of photos I can look at.  That has not happened yet.

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I think what helps me is the realization that my excitement is fueled by the sum total of projects I wish to create.  If you think of your project as singular you will note it's absence when finished however at least for me I see it as a link in a much larger project encompassing many creations that are all connected, whether it's a fleet of ships, a gallery of paintings or a series of books I find that finishing one piece is bringing me closer to my ultimate goal. Now that said what happens when I've finished all of them (if I live that long) well I'll probably go mad by then lol ;) 

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I suppose my "sum of the parts" is the learning itself. One simply can't buy knowledge or insight. I'd rather know about design, manufacturing, and assembly techniques than have the stuff itself. 

 

As I get older I realize stuff just holds you back. Knowledge, on the other hand, allows you to move forward. OK, that was a bad lecture. Please forgive me.

 

Cheers, 

 

Rick 

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Knowledge is part of it too, especially if you're intent on a magnum opus somewhere down the line.  I eventually want to do big complex projects so the little ones that I do now while pleasing are part of getting me to where I want to be.  Time goes by so fast in this life I can only hope to strive forward and leave as much of an artistic footprint in this life as possible.

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Man do I know that let down and lost feeling. Last year I finished, that's right finished, a highly detailed

model railroad that I started in 1980. Thirty three years of work that included more that 100 structures,

several boats and water front scenes. Since I love building structures, I was down in the dumps for a few

weeks.

 

As luck would have it, I was invited to join the Connecticut Marine Model Society. What a life saver that

was. Got me back into the swing of things with both maritime dioramas and model boats. Looking forward

receiving more inspiration from MSW.

 

John Elwood

 

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I realized last night that I am probably a few weeks away from finishing my Connie. I have loved building this ship. I started the hull of this build in 1992. Then life got in the way and she was packed for 20 years. A year ago I retired and pulled her out. She became an all encompassing obsession to build her out. Fortunately (or unfortunately) I had some problems with my shoulder that negated me jumping into the rigging right away. So I had some down time to think about my next project. I drew up a list of what I would find exciting and started looking around for the next build. I found her and had the forced downtime to start working on drawing up the plans since she is going to be a POF scratch build. I actually have gotten the Professor who is the worlds leading expert on the ship to provide input on my drawings. So I probably have the most accurate drawings of her in existence. I am looking forward to that build.

 

So as others have said, I will be sad leaving Connie, but before I do, I will be building her a custom case with state of the art LED lighting. She will be displayed proudly in my foyer and I will pass her numerous times a day and no one will be able to come to the house with out seeing her. So she will not be far.

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I has always been the opposite for me. All through the build I am imagining how it will look when completed. I always have a strong sense of satisfaction when I'm done. I go through a period of admiring it for a while thinking about how all those months of labor has paid off. Maybe this is because I always have several other projects I want to get to so when one is done I begin planning the next one. Right now I have an old half-finished pre-owned Mayflower that was picked up at an antique store that I want to bash & I have several bottle builds floating around in my mind at night keeping me from sleeping. 

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I always feel euphoric after finishing a model. The sense of accomplishment I feel when looking at the finished model. The shape of the hull, complexity of the rigging, the colouring, and think back on the many happy hours creating it from a box of many, many parts. And putting it in a glass case is like framing picture. It gives it a "home".

 

I always have the next model (or two) waiting in the wings, but alway catch myself looking at past accomplishments.

 

Peter

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I always feel euphoric after finishing a model. The sense of accomplishment I feel when looking at the finished model. The shape of the hull, complexity of the rigging, the colouring, and think back on the many happy hours creating it from a box of many, many parts. And putting it in a glass case is like framing picture. It gives it a "home".

 

I always have the next model (or two) waiting in the wings, but alway catch myself looking at past accomplishments.

 

Peter

 

 

Hi Peter

 

Thanks for your comments.  I, also, am guilty of sneaking an admiring glance at my models at every chance that I get. Like you, I'm amazed at what can be done with just a pile of twigs and glue!

 

Thanks and all the best!

 

Patrick

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Grieving is understandable, it is like a beloved child leaving home.  We still have both, can enjoy both but we no longer have to invest long hours in their development.  We have to move on to other projects, or sit in a rocker and count the stars. 

 

However, for me, I avoid such 'down time' by crowding my mind with building something, and have a list of next builds, learning new methods, challenging myself with new techniques, getting involved in model clubs and charity work.  Isn't this how we stay sharp and interesting.......I hope so, or I am in trouble.

 

Keep builidng and have fun.

 

Duff

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I am with Hornet and Bogeygolpher. When I have finished a project is place again on the slipway for the next ship. Some of my modells are in my house, some are with friends. And the others? I dont know.

 

When I see one of my old ships again it is nice to remember the time when I have build she. One exampel. My eldest uncle had lived and worked in many countries round the world. And now, he is 94, he returns to Germany. And when I visited him he shows me my Mayflower. Yes, he said, she sailded all around the world. And now she and I are back in my hometown.

And I rembered the hot summer when Mayflower was finished. That was the summer my sun had been born.

 

Anyway- best is to move in the next project, with new challenges.

 

Hartmut

Edited by Angarfather

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Hi Hartmut.  What a great story about your Mayflower and your Uncle.  It just shows how our hobby can move people so much and how many memories are locked away in each model.

 

Thans for sharing your story with us.

 

Cheers

 

Patrick

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Hi,

I am just starting to wonder if that is why I have so many unfinished models sitting around. I may just not want to say goodbye your finished.

Unfortunately, I don't think that's the reason. I just have a hard time telling myself its good enough to call done. I find it very rare that I start a model that keeps me interested to the end and that I'm happy with all the way. Most of the time I make small mistakes that I am not happy with and the model gets put aside till I forget about them. I quite often find myself doing a project just so I can learn a certain skill, then when past the step learnt the project goes to the side as my enthusiasm wanes.

My current project is a combination of things I have wanted to make for years and I am determined to finish this one. So I may feel some of this grief thingy at the end of this one.

Then I will just find another project or skill to learn.

Cheers, Scott.

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Hmmm.

A project is much more than the object itself, for me at least. 

As I build, a sort of narrative around the object develops in my mind.

A kind of daydream made up of pure fantasies, facts about the object and things that go on during construction. This narrative goes on living even after the model/whatever is finished.

Looking at the fruit of my labours, I see what I suppose you can call an ongoing, mental journey.

The object still "lives" even after construction has ceased.

This all makes it so that, even though the thing itself may be complete, I'm not really sad to see it go because its journey isn't over.

 

 

Or maybe my brain just isn't getting enough oxygen ...

 

 

Anyway

 

My advice?

 

As others have pointed out, I think having many projects going at the same time is the answer.

You don't need to actually build many things at the same time, but having stuff in the pipeline gives you something to look forward to and to think about.

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