How much time do you spend on this hobby?

Hi Guys,

I don’t want to sound intrusive or nosy, but I’m curious to know how many hours/week do you get to spend on modeling?

I mean the time you spent actually building/painting the models, not counting the time browsing forums/buying stuff online or in store.

With work, groceries, food, running errands, life’s other commitments, I’m finding even 3 hrs a week is impossible. And I don’t even have kids!
At this rate I can only make one model a year, if I’m lucky.
I really envy those folks who post photos of their completed models every other week!

For me, I see problem as two fold: 1. If I spend more time on it I risk getting shamed and called “obsessive” by family members. 2. There’s a voice in my head telling me to do more “productive” things with my life, such as learning how to trade stocks, how to fix my car, etc. Ugh I HATE that voice!

So how do you guys balance things out? How do you find free time? I’m curious to know how many of you are retired or semi-retired? I’m in my 30’s and I’ve only built 3 models in my life. I wanted to build more but life keeps kicking me in the balls. I’m starting to doubt if I should quit and come back in 30 years, if I live that long…

Any thoughts?

not enough…

how much time is enough you ask? more…

ok, now seriously:
i think my recommendation based on what you’ve said is do some easier to build kits now as you can finish things with less time, when you have time. don’t superdetail and enjoy yourself…

1 Like

It varies depending on how much real life requires. I’ve went years without building when my time was focused else where.

Typically 2 hours building on a day off and an hour a work day. About ten hours a week.

When in the Zone and time allows double.

When Immersed in a rare project I really like triple.

Typically done when “family” is at work or watching TV or doing social media. I waste zero time on “social media” per say.

Not much time at all thru Thanksgiving. It’s deer season so tomorrow I’ll be in the woods from dawn to dusk, same next weekend. two nights I’m usually on the road for work per week also. Now December I’ll be at the desk way more since it’s usually dark by 5 up here so my modeling will pick up.

1 Like

I’m sure there’s a wide spectrum of equally valid answers to your question, it’s whatever works personally. But I can empathise with your situation, maybe if I say how I resolved the same issues you might be able to adapt them to suit. I’m now retired but when working (and apart from the times I needed to work in the evenings) I’d always had problems just sitting in front of the TV in the evenings – compulsive fidget. So my wife was delighted when I resumed my childhood hobby, because most of the time we could still be together without me driving her crazy, and I could work on sub-assemblies etc. during the week on a portable work-surface near her/the TV. Saturdays & Sundays (either morning or afternoon depending on other obligations) were reserved for solitary hobby-time like painting etc. This worked for us because (a) I knew at least some time was sacrosanct barring an unforeseen priority (b) she & our son knew when I was/wasn’t to be disturbed (c) I knew that outside those times, Life needed my full attention & I didn’t begrudge or feel robbed of hobby time.

Basically, unless one lives alone one absolutely signed up for eternal Compromise. If all parties are wiling to negotiate and abide by a compromise that kinda works for all, your problems are over :tumbler_glass:

. When I was your age a couple models a year was all I had time for given yard work, car repairs, time with my 4 kids etc. When I was able to, but hadn’t retired, I started getting called out of work to take my mother, or in-laws and or wife to the hospital, so I did retire to take care of them and consequently no modeling time either. My wife’s diabetes is now under control and the others are gone. I am now fully retired and can spend 20-24 hours a week building etc. I also can now spend time doing volunteer work which I really enjoy. Try not to listen to that “Voice” because you need the downtime from the stress everyone has

1 Like

Once my career took off - nothing for 35 years. Now that I am HAPPILY retired, I average about 20 hours per week. Some weeks much more, others I only get in my scheduled 16 hours of Zoom build sessions.

There is no answer that suits everyone. Life has so many mistresses.
I modeled on and off for years. Then got into the hobby business. Retail, wholesale and manufacturing. That killed the hobby for me. Then health got involved. Long story but a few years back I met god and he wasn’t ready for me. Doctors saved my life and life changed. I have real health issues that limit what I can do. But being retired I’m in control of time. On a good week 2 maybe 3 hours a day. Bad days health wise I do 0 hours a day. We also travel when we can. So 0 hours for a week or twon.

All I can tell you is that life’s a balance. You’re a long time dead. Get your priorities in order and do what suits you and not what you ‘think’ others think you should do.

When I was in my 30’s, I was full time and had 5 kids; I didn’t build at all. It just wasn’t practical. Any spare time I had, I slept. Now, I’m 58, retired, all the kids are grown, the wife and I are empty nesters, and we each have hobbies and clubs that we belong to. I have a dedicated hobby studio that I spend much of my time in, and get to model 20 - 40 hours a week, sometimes more. My wife and kids, and grandkids know that this is what I do and admire my work.
Nobody should be shaming you for pursuing a hobby that you enjoy, and that little voice should be saying “build better models”.


I probably get in a couple of hours a day . It sometimes depends on the kit - if it is a good one and I am enthusiastic more time is spent .
My main interest for years was 1/48 aircraft and a super detailed build probably takes me 6 months or so . I think the most I have completed in a year’s time is 6 .
I am currently building an ancient (1968) Tamiya 1/12 FI car and by today’s standards it is a terrible kit and so I am not as enthusiastic and spend less time .
I am 68 and mostly retired - I am self employed and now pick and choose small jobs here and there . I essentially work only when I want . Both of my daughters are married and out of the house . I have many hobbies in addition to modeling and a wonderful wife who never begrudges me time spent . I always make sure that family comes first because I am a very lucky guy.
It helps that my wife’s younger brother is an avid world class armor builder .

I have to balance family, university (which in and of itself is a full time job - I spend something like 50 hours a week on it) and working at a hobby store on the weekends, so getting any modelling done is an exercise in time management. I’ve started using non toxic cement to build 1/700 ships at my desk while in calculus or physics, taking advantage of the breaks in the lecture. The lion’s share of my work gets done on Friday night, as well on Saturday. It’s all a matter of getting various preparations done throughout the week so I can get as much done as possible. Best of luck increasing your modelling time!


Probably works out to a couple hours a day,some days more,some days less, some days not at all.

Similar story to the others - built a lot in my teens, then was way too busy in my 20s/30s (moving around a lot, work, travel, socialising, etc), then returned to more hobby time in my 40s. It’s a hobby after all - you have to go where life takes you and see what time is left over. There’s no “right” or “wrong” to it, so don’t worry if you don’t get a lot of time at the moment!

1 Like

Fully retired now…but my build time pretty much has not changed. Some days it might be a few hours, then again it might be quite a few days, if not weeks, touching nothing. As a local contest hits the calendar, that usually prompts the increase to time spent at the bench if I have a model that might see the contest table. Campaigns here are also motivators to build. Keep in mind, I don’t build FOR contest, or campaigns specifically, but for/to my own standards only, and if my timing matches the events, then that all the better for it. If I’m satisfied with what I’ve done, then ok, sign me up. Other than that I don’t pressure myself for contest or campaigns…it’s whenever the “zen” hits me! :grin:

1 Like

Just depends… When I get on a roll it’s quite usual for me to spend 2-4 hours a day, every day, for weeks at a time.

On the other hand, I can also get distracted by other hobbies or just the real, 1:1 scale world and not do any model building for weeks or months.

I do find that no matter how frequently I’m at the work bench, my single session duration is pretty much maxed out at 4 hours, and my average work session lasts about 3 hours. I even mentally break down what I’m planning to do in blocks of time that match this duration, so I’ll know that such and thus will take x number of build or painting sessions.


While I was working as a Professional Engineer I was like most of you, only able to dedicate 8-10 hours a week to modeling. But I made plans over the years to do more when I retired by building a 600 sqft model shop in the basement and putting away over 900 models for future builds in the stash (which is still growing by the way). Now fully retired, I spend 6-8 hours a day, every day, in the shop building. My wife of 43 years is very understanding – I’m not underfoot upstairs and she knows where to find me if she needs something. I know I’m not typical but after 50 years of working as an engineer you get into a daily routine and it feels natural to keep doing it. In the shop by 8:00, break around noon for lunch, back in the shop, then quit about 5:00. Some days a bit more, some a bit less. It keeps the mind and hands busy and is safer than chasing deer or women (not that I’m likely to catch either one).

1 Like

Yeah…there’s nothing more relaxing or entertaining than going out and shooting some harmless herbivores minding their own business :scream:… except for staying home and building some kits! :thinking:
:grinning: :canada:

I don’t want to derail this blog and have it degrade into a hunting/anti hunting argument so I won’t comment on the “ harmless herbivores “ bit . But if we want to start a new thread in the appropriate forum I’ll give my retort .

1 Like

I was just being my alter-ego: P. Rick! :wink:
:smiley: :canada:


I am flighty on this . I have about 5 hobbies, a full time teaching position, a family and a Mother in law with dementia. So by dividing my time it turns out a few hours here and there. If I work on only one hobby, I find I burn out. So everything in moderation.

1 Like