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Nate

Logging and tracking a build's hours/parts/progress?

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I've noticed in the background of some in-progress posts that people have extensive notebooks with notes, dimensions, diagrams etc. and have also always wondered how reviewers keep track of the hours that went in to a build.  Do you, and how do you, you keep track of 712 hours and 1,433 scratchbuilt pieces that went in to your opus?  Chess timer?  Stopwatch? Made up numbers? Administrative assistant?

 

I'd be interested in ideas, since it seems to take me years to actually finish anything and half of that time is spent figuring out where I left off.....

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Hi Nate

 

I don't track hours working on kits, but been thinking lately I should keep a log of the specific colors I've been using in connection on what I've been painting.  Now that so many shades of dark greys, when I go back to touch-up, I cant remember which dark grey I used previously.

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This is an interesting topic for me. I've never understood the need to keep a "build log". The only time I've ever kept track of how long it took to build a model was to see how fast I could do it. For the record, it was a Tamiya 1/48 F-14 and I got it done in 17 hours and change. 😊 I'm genuinely curious as to why people keep track of time and fill out logs on what they do. Does it enhance the hobby for you, and why/how? Is it personal satisfaction? To me it seems to take time away from actually building. That's why I don't take in-progress pictures except when I'm writing an article. I'm looking forward to what others have to say on this.

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I keep notes mostly of paint colors used on the instruction page.  I do keep a notebook of tips and techniques that worked like paint thinning, airbrush PSI.  I'd be embarrassed to see how long it takes me to complete a project.  

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Some OCD modelers just need to do it so they can sleep at night.  I am not OCD, but sometimes I do take notes so I can remember certain details for future builds or repairs as Jonathan pointed out.

Edited by Dutch

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Never thought about tracking the hours but given that I started my current Corsair build in August, I’m actually curious how many hours I’ve spent on this beast.  Too late now.   

 

What I think I will log, simply for S&G’s, is every upgrade and modification I’ve incorporated into the build.   No reason other than to provide a handy reference to anyone interested in replicating this particular build.  

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Time spent logging hours is time NOT spent building.....  :cop:

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I didn't expect so many replies so quickly!  I'm also in the "never really understood it" camp except for being annoyed with my forgetting where I left off on a project.  I am impressed by the level of organization some people have, and am VERY thankful for all the WIP threads and photos, but it sounds like my level of disorganization remains with the majority 🙂 

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I honestly believe it started as a general measurement of a kit's buildability, or level of difficulty.  Like the skill level numbers on some kit's box tops.  Reviewers were just trying to help other modelers get an idea of a what to expect beyond "I had fit issues" or "smooth build".  Now, how well that translated to the "average" modeler is an entirely different thing, given the relationship between the reviewer's skills and the readers skills.  So it was just a tool for comparison.  Or sales, depending on how you look at it. 

 

What point there is in mentioning such info for a general posting of a build, eh not sure.  It might be slipping into the realm of chest thumping.  I have never tried to build faster, just better than the last time. 

 

Rick L.

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I used to track hours and log step by step what I did to fix parts, make enhancements etc, because of memory issues  (keep forgetting how I was able to do things) and to assess whether I should do it again next time.    But I keep forgetting where I wrote them down  : (      

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On 12/27/2018 at 11:30 AM, Darren Roberts said:

This is an interesting topic for me. I've never understood the need to keep a "build log". The only time I've ever kept track of how long it took to build a model was to see how fast I could do it. For the record, it was a Tamiya 1/48 F-14 and I got it done in 17 hours and change. 😊 I'm genuinely curious as to why people keep track of time and fill out logs on what they do. Does it enhance the hobby for you, and why/how? Is it personal satisfaction? To me it seems to take time away from actually building. That's why I don't take in-progress pictures except when I'm writing an article. I'm looking forward to what others have to say on this.

How long it took to build a kit is one of the things that needed to be included back when I was doing some reviews for FSM.  I think the idea is to give a rough gauge as to how involved a specific kit is.  My method of timing was more or less noting what time I sat down at the bench and what time I finished each session.  Nothing fancy, just rough clock time.

 

The only reason I can think of to record precise time spent on a model is is one happens to be building a commission, and a "per hour" price is specified for the labor.

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At least some of us have been diagnosed with something like ADHD, or would have been had it been a thing when we were younger.  We struggle to organize and stick to a plan on complicated projects.  Writing things down, especially checklists, is a tactic to overcome this personality feature.  (It's a good tactic for anyone, really, and is a tradition in many professions.)  This prevents us from suffering nuisances like painting and masking in the wrong order, or worse, gluing canopies on before control sticks or ejection seats are in place.  I've learned that if I at least jot down a checklist (well, in Evernote, anyway) I avoid bitter mistakes that really stall a build.  Writing is thinking, so I not only create a forget-proof list, I usually do a better job considering alternative ways to complete the build, too.

 

Similarly, logging work that I've done helps me remember how to do things successfully.  Just the other day I sprayed some Alclad primer onto a model, and it came out fuzzy.  Previously I figured out (probably air pressure change) how to get it to lay down smooth consistently, but I didn't write down how I did it.   So I now probably need to experiment with it again.  Of course, one needs to review such notes.  

 

Yes, it's more work.  But the alternative for us is more frustration.  

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