Wingnut Wings Fokker Eindecker EI cockpit floor, controls, seat and obstinate, wonky photo etch belts. Crappy paint job, crude wood imitation and generally and basically an unsatisfying beginning to an excellent kit.

I’ve built this model before. Well, not exactly this model, but a Wingnut Wings Eindecker E-III, which is 92% the same kit. And I did a much better job of it and had a lot more fun. You can see that one on the IPMS USA reviews site. Here is a comparison photo of the cockpit seat and floor on the E-III and this E-I:

Seat belts look more like seat belts and the wood floor and overall painting is much better than the E-I.

It’s not really a question of skills comparison but of attitude I think. In general I like the Eindecker. Historically it is one of the most significant war aircraft since, in my estimation, it was the first purpose-built fighter. Aircraft had been home-built and jury-rigged to serve as fighters previously but they were in the end, failures. Fokker adapted a synchronization mechanism to his earlier Eindeckers to come up with an admittedly primitive but, for its day, highly effective fighter airplane.

Knowing this, however, hasn’t helped. My choices seem to be three:

Repair as many of the issues as I can given that a good deal of assembly has already gone forward. The “wood” floor and back panel might be enhanced a bit, but a complete re-do is not feasible now. The seat can be repainted. The metal hinges on the floor panels can be redone. And those belts… The best move would be to buy some decent cloth replacements, but at close to $20 with shipping they aren’t a feasible option either. Making belts from Tamiya tape would seem to be a good route.

Just slog on from here. Remove the belts’ paint and re-apply something more realistic and better. Continue with the idea of getting the entire cockpit buttoned up. Not such a good idea since it will be so readily visible in the finished model and if it isn’t basically acceptable it would negatively impact the entire model.

Put the entire thing away. Box it up, put it back on the shelf and wait for a possible attitude change.

This, I think is the best alternative now. Wingnut Wings makes really fine kits and I should build up to that standard or wait until I can. It is not that I am unable but that my attitude toward this particular kit, or, perhaps toward modeling in general has taken a turn for the worse. I am just not interested.

I know that everyone who has been at scale modeling for any appreciable time has run into this same wall. Interest, or lack thereof. Haste. Mistakes. Inattention to details or failure to follow basic modeling practices. The reasons vary I am sure, but it is still no comfort when that malaise strikes. I think in my case it is primarily due to my isolation from other modelers. Certainly there are many forums, modeling sites and virtual clubs which which I associate, but these are all less than satisfactory. I have remarked here and elsewhere the strange and almost unreal nature of most modeling discussions on line. They lack any sense of human interactions as we might experience them in face-to-face meetings at events, contests and even clubs.

In some ways online communities quickly fragment into specialized groups similar to the identity politics we are suffering from today. Real and fruitful communication across these identity bubbles is rare if not actually impossible and made worse by the fact that one usually does not know those individuals who disagree with you. They come across as egos pounding keyboards while in fact they are most likely average people who enjoy modeling, like you.

Virtual clubs are a bit different in that a person is usually invited to join, the membership is small and many of the members actually know one another and often meet face-to-face. But, if you haven’t been a member for long, and you know only a few others, its not easy to fit into the community.

There appears to be no satisfactory answer to changes in attitudes. Usually, after some time has passed, attitudes continue to change. Perhaps that will be the case with me. Time will tell. For now, the Eindecker will go back into its box and it will go on the shelf with my small stash.

The immediate question is, should I finish the few kits that have been started, make some final touches on the few that are almost done, or break out a new kit like a frustrated fisherman who bolts for a new hole and a fresh start?