Dumbass Award

Disco 58 has shared with us his claim on the Dumbass Award. He seems to be somewhat embarrassed about his misadventure. However, I have to say that he's not alone. I don't think that anyone is every going to walk away with that Dumbass Award. There's always going to be stiff competition for it.

So what has been your modelling disaster that qualifies you for the Dumbass Award?

I tend to mask things in a mirror image of what they should be. The dark camouflage colour ends up where the light colour should be. I've done this numerous times and despite thinking that I've double checked... I've done it twice with 1/72 F-4 intake splitter plates. That isn't the end of the world and is fairly easily rectified - it's just annoying when I realise my own stupidity. However, I once did it with a 1/48 Spitfire!

But that's not the dumbest of dumbass things that I've done. Once I was building two 1/48 Bf109s in parallel, a G-6 and a G-10. The G-6 was in a standard 74/75/76 scheme, with the G-10 in a 75/82/76 scheme with a multicoloured tail band. I spent three days spraying these. I worked really hard on the mottling and was justifiably proud of the results. I varnished them and prepared to apply the decals. It was then that I noticed something slightly odd. Yep... The G-6 was wearing the G-10 scheme, and vice versa!


Reply to
Enzo Matrix
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Worst was fully detailing a 1/350 destroyer and rigging it with monofilament to be heat shrunk...........that's when I learned about using brass vs. plastic masts and yards.

Reply to
Ron Smith

When I did the Roden PKZ-2, the WWI Austro-Hungarian helicopter that Lynne refers to as a 1918 Cuisenart, I assembled the horsecollar fuel tanks backwards. It wasn't that difficult to correct, but it added sweat to an already difficult kit.

Not a kit, but many years ago I did a draw> Enzo Matrix wrote:

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Why just last night I was looking at an old 1/48 AMT Ju 88 I bought off ebay a year or two ago sizing it up for an upcoming build - only to discover of the four panels needed to make two wings, I've only got 3!!! I'm missing one of the main top panels. Apparently I either never bothered to check the kit out when I rec'd it or I blocked out the memory and am suffering from a Butterfly Effect thing. At least I don't recall noticing the missing panel until last night. I'm sure I gave the seller glowing feedback praise for delivering it on time too.

On the upshot I've already come up with some solutions

1) I now have a perfectly good reason to build my first severely crashed and dashed Ju 88 that I've almost always have never wanted to do. ;-)

2) Maybe I'll convert it to a Luft '46 swing-wing with some jet bashed wings.

3) Or maybe a dio - I wonder if the Luftwaffe or the occupation forces ever shipped these things by rail wingless?


Here's another minor brush with dumb from back in the day. When I was a teenager, I remember hurrying the assy of my prized Revel Corsair (I think I actually bought this one with my own coin - a first) along so that it could dry overnight - given the agonizingly slow drying time of Testors glue, known to all thirtysomethings plus. I glued the fuselage halves together and they mated like a charm. So I assembled the wings and attached them to. That was trickier. I spent the rest of the night balancing and setting everything so it was perfectly aligned, cambered, etc - years before I knew what the hell camber was. I went to bed a happy lad knowing final assy and painting would be my reward the following evening.

The next day, admiring my work, I decided to clean up the desk clutter a little before school. Imagine my joy when I happened to notice the painstakingly detailled (for me at the time) F4U cockpit laying on the shelf above the desk - in plain view (pun intended).



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I write: My problem is that I never make mistrakes. ;^)

Mike the modelhound.

That's a joke people, a joke. Sheesh.

Reply to
The Modelhound

My personal favorite isn't really screwing up a kit, but sitting on the floor, working on a kit at my coffee table, I put an X-acto knife down and concentrated on the parts I was gluing. The knife rolled off the table and landed in my leg, point down, about 1/2 an inch in my flesh. That hurt so bad, I never want to think about getting stabbed. Had a giant purple bruise, too.

Reply to
Jim Atkins

Well I don't consider these disasters of epic proportions... merely a ruined models...

Built the Supermodel Fiat Cr32 years ago, and had paint on it, etc, when I noticed that the lower wing had worked itself loose. I figured I could get in there with some glue to stabilize it. At that time, I was using Testor's tube glue (the orange tube).

To make a long story short, I flowed it in there somehow, and it seemed to stabilize the part. When I visited the kit the next day, however, a good portion of the forward fuselage was totally mushed in. It had melted overnight from excess glue in there.

Oh..another one... ever notice how Solvaset and thinner came in bottles the same size and shape? I was using painted decal strips for canopy framing on a subject (read as this project was 95% done) and was I using Solvaset to get the decal to lay down on the canopy framing. At one point in there, the paint on the decal ran, and the canopy fogged simultaneously... that was when I realized that I'd used paint thinner rather than Solvaset on the canopy.

Both these models got deep-sixed.. no point in trying to save them when they were that badly bruised.

-- Stephen

Reply to
Stephen Tontoni

I've got a couple of these trophies before.


I was building the 1:350 Tamiya ENTERPRISE, and was supergluing some brass strands onto the top of the island. I was using a toothpick to put them into place (not an easy task for a newbie as I was those 7 or so years ago), when said toothpick got caught up in the glue, becomming part of the island. I got so frustrated with that and all the trouble I had that day working on it, that I put it down and didn't do much work on that project for at least a year. I did finish it though.


My senior year of high school, I was scratch building something for a Star Trek model, and was using my hobby knife to cut some sheet plastic. Said knife was cutting more towards me then away, and my other hand was holding the piece of plastic in the knifes line of travel. When the knife slipped, it went directly into my left middle finger. Being sliced open, my finger needed stitches. So there I was, stitches and wrapped finger, sitting in German class the next day, which was also the day we had about a dozen visting foreign exchange students from Germany. The teacher, known as one of the strictest and impossible to get away with anything in the school, asked the class what we did the day before. I started laughing, and she called me up to the front for me to tell my story, despite my protests. I said something about my left signaling finger, and raised it to the class. Laughter erupted, and even the teacher got a kick out of it. I told the story, and that was that.

Sad thing, I don't think I finished that project.

-- BG

Reply to
Brandon Grasmick

I have two. First, back around 1965 I was attempting to spray a model car body with a can of Testors(?) white paint. I was having a bit of trouble getting the paint out and turned the can to see the nozzle. Yep, I painted my face white. So Disco, I did it first. Second: I built Heller's Dewoitine D.501 and 510 at the same time. Everything seemed to go well. Cut to a year ago when I'm looking them over to see what needs fixed before I try to sell them. Apparently I built them as each other. I think they'd been sitting on my shelves for

20-some years and I never realised my error. Oy!

Bill Banaszak, MFE Sr.

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I've done the masking error think a few times...I've also become so engrossed in marking the place I want to saw in the fuselage that I've put the saw onto the wrong side of the line... Then there's the idiotic thing of using the wrong solvent in the airbrush when alternating between laquer-based acrylics, water-based acrylic and enamels, and actually starting to spray it. Och....

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Gernot Hassenpflug

Although I make that kind of mistake too often for my peace of mind, usually through concentrating too hard on avoiding some other error, the example that really stands out in my memory happened when I was a schoolboy in the

1960's. Airfix had just introduced their Universal Carrier and 6pr Anti-Tank Gun kit. I bought one and was absolutely entranced by it! I was easily impressed in those days. I really loved the carrier and assembled it as quickly as I could.

As soon as I could scrape the two shillings together, I bought another kit and and then a third. One evening, after school, I lined the three carriers up on the window sill to admire them. This was the point at which I realised that I'd fitted the one-piece tracks of the first kit back to front. I used Airfix and Britfix tube glues in those days and, once they were set, they were immovable. I couldn't get the track units off to put them right. I could never feel the same about the carrier after that.

I did the same sort of thing with the Airfix Hawker Sea Hawk kit. This kit had the intake and exhaust as a separate unit from the fuselage and outer wings. Until I'd built the kit, I hadn't seen that it was possible to install this unit upside down. As a result, I had one wing noticeably higher than the other.

I suppose that's what we learn from.

Gordon McLaughlin

Reply to
Gordon McLaughlin

My nomination actually involves an accomplice; my daughter's cat. Several years ago, when the Tamiya 1/48 F-84G was just being released, I had one that I was building as a review project for a now defunct on-line modeling mag. It went together quite well and I had it about 90% when I put it down on my basement workbench on a Sunday evening. I took the peanut butter jar full of lacquer thinner down from the shelf above the workbench to clean out a couple paint brushes and then put everything away. Around about the next Thursday or Friday, I came back down to the basement workshop to glue on the final fiddly-bits and finish polishing the plastic in prep for the NMF.

As I stepped through the partially open door, I could smell lacquer thinner and thought that was odd as I was always careful to put the lid on tightly. When I turned on the light, I discovered that, at some point, my daughter's cat had gotten down in the workshop. As cats tend to do, he jumped up on the workbench, then on the shelf and apparently walked along it rubbing himself on whatever was up there. In the process, he knocked the jar of lacquer thinner down onto the workbench where it hit a large thick glass plate (salvaged from an old Xerox copier) that I use to build on and on which the model was sitting. The impact shattered the jar and the glass plate and thoroughly soaked the model in lacquer thinner, even puddling it in the cockpit. What was left of the aircraft was basically unusable as a replica of an F-84. From that point on I had two newly-developed SOPs:

  1. Never leave the lacquer thinner on the shelf above my modeling bench.
  2. Always completely close the door to the workshop when I leave.
Reply to
Bill Woodier

Doing dumb things while building a model is bad, but I think Disco wins the Dumbass Award hands down. His whole story was a comedy of errors which could have been avoided. The coup de gra was lighting up a cigarette. Some guys just live dangerously. Are there any loaded guns laying around the house? Good thing your insurance agent did not decide to make a social visit while all this was happening. Wish his wife had taken video, it would be a nice addition to a masters in modeling series as 'out takes'.


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Reading these posts really brings back not so fond memories.

Airfix Hawker Hunter. Tail sitter. Solution:glue lead weights into the nose. The gun pack was a seperate part, so I filled it wth lead and tube glue. It sat nicely on the gear, but the gun pack drooped to the ground as well. :-(

First model ever did by myself was a Revell artillery piece. Rubber cement, it turns out, isn't meant to be used with styrene plastic. :-(

I've mentoned it here before, but having the typewriter fall over on to the glider model that I had completed minutes before was probably the worst accident. Models get nowhere near it now.

A friend of mine brought his newly completed WWI biplane, I think it was a Camel, to the local IPMS meeting. He left it in the car while at work. Opened the box at the meeting. It really interesting what all of that rigging does under the right amount of heat. Wings, fuselage and tail were all going in different directions.


Hawkeye wrote:

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Worst for me was not taking top off display at an outdoor car show/model contest.

1949 Ford custom, sectioned 4 scale inches, chopped top, 57 chevy headlights, custom tail lights and all handmade tuck n roll interior. Totally screwed up the car!!!! Did I learn?....nope, rebuilt it, cut off top, built a removable Carson top for it....3 years later, did it again! Have those pictures of it to remind me....DON'T DO THAT AGAIN!


-- Do not meddle in the affairs of dragons, for thou art tasty and good with ketchup

Reply to
Mike G.

Doing dumb things while building a model is bad, but I think Disco wins the Dumbass Award hands down. His whole story was a comedy of errors which could have been avoided. The coup de gras was lighting up a cigarette. Some guys just live dangerously. Are there any loaded guns laying around the house? Good thing your insurance agent did not decide to make a social visit while all this was happening. Wish his wife had taken video, it would be a nice addition to a masters in modeling series as 'out takes'.


Actually, yes there are loaded guns in the house, but only I know where, I think.... And did I mention I work at a nuke plant? ;)

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Is your real name Homer? ;-)


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That would make for an interesting effect with the paint on the outside being backlit by the glow off your skin......;)

Bill Banaszak, MFE Sr.

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I did the reverse camo trick with the underside of an aircraft where one wing was blue and the other black.

However, my worst stunt was to put clear Future on my paint pallet alongside thin superglue. The Future was to go on a clear part and the superglue was to glue small parts. By now you've already guessed that I dipped my paint brush in the superglue and "painted" the clear part with it.


Reply to
Art Murray


You realize you have now effectively hijacked this thread and turned it into the forever popular thread about the damage that cats are notorious for doing in workshops?? This is why I have a dog!

Bill Shuey :-)

Reply to
William H. Shuey

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