I just dropped about 200 bucks on 1/72 model aircraft kits and supplies. Not hard when when even cheap small kits are close to 20 bucks after shipping and glue is over 6 bucks a tube. But that's what I get for starting a new hobby while working on Beer #4. Still I don't think I did too bad I wound up with 6 planes. But I have a suspicion I'm going to be buying them quicker than I build them. There are several others I want. Can I keep myself down to 1 or 2 a month after the initial stock pile shows up? I've got stuff I never dreamed there could be, coming. like 2 special fluids related to placing decals.
I'm sort of starting from scratch. I Built some WWII Italian fighter back in 1992. Before that the last plastic model I built was probably 1970. That was when a 1/48 monogram or Revell was going for something like $2.00.
Yeah, you have to exercise discipline, if you want to avoid accumulating a stash of unbuilt kits. But it depends on what you want out of the hobby.
It's discretionary income that we're spending, first of all; that is, it's a hobby, it's not food, clothing, shelter. If you enjoy thinking about a kit, then buying it and thinking about building it, savoring that anticipation, then don't feel bad about it. It's a hobby.
If you want to balance this against getting the most for your money-satisfying your Dutchy sense, as we'd say around here-then you need to exercise discipline, as I said at the beginning of this reply, and perhaps establish some limits for yourself. You can decide that you'll buy only one kit at a time, for example, or that you won't buy a new one, till you finish whatever you're working on. You can decide to establish a budget for kits and supplies. For example, I don't buy a lot of new kits. I buy a lot of classic kits, like Monogram airplanes, for example, because that's what I grew up with and it's what I like. And I won't pay more than certain dollar amounts for them. Ten bucks for a single-engined airplane in 1/48 scale. Fifteen to twenty for the B-17 or B-24. It means I have to be patient and keep my eyes open, but I know that eventually I can find what I want for the price I want. I do the same with the metal figures I paint. I buy old figures from Stadden, for example, and I try to get them for no more than ten bucks for a foot figure, twenty for a mounted figure. Those are rules of thumb, of course, guidelines, and I have occasionally violated them, but far less than I honor them.
Same goes with supplies. I know what I want. I avoid picking up the Next Big Brand to come along, realizing that I have a pretty good stock of paint, glue, etc, and I want to use that up before I might start buying another brand's version of what I already have. I also economize-for water-based acrylic paints, for my purposes, the craft store brands are just as good as Andrea of Vallejo, are cheaper by volume, and have multiple uses.
I will spend more for my brushes, but that follows the advice of Jeff Smith, the Frugal Gourmet, from back in the day: "Frugal doesn't mean you're cheap, it means you don't waste anything." That means that if you buy a tool that costs three times as much as another brand, but will last ten times as long and serve you well that whole time, then it's a saving compared to having to replace a cheaper item more frequently.
That's why I don't complain about prices. Prices are what they are, and when we consider the costs of producing an item, from design, to collecting and processing the raw materials, to distributing the item, prices aren't too bad. And it's a hobby, so it's discretionary.
Also-and I think I said this in my first reply to this thread-I suspect that if we look past the price, to the amount of time we have work to earn the money to buy the kit, or the paint, or the tool, it's probably less than it took forty years ago, fifty years ago.
Finally, regarding looking at other's builds, online, or in the magazines, and at shows, you're right about building for yourself. It's easy to let those builds make us think we need to produce contest winners. But I always remember the motto of a fella who used to write for Internet Modeler, back in the day: "Build what you
like, the way you
Be careful of Hyperscale, too. It angries up the blood.