Sunday, 1 November 2015

Modeller's Thumb

Yesterday afternoon I sat down to do some modelling. I haven't done much model making recently, and I was really keen to get some done ... but within an hour I was suffering from a bad case of Modeller's Thumb and had to stop.

Now Modeller's Thumb is not a recognised medical condition, but I doubt if there is a regular blog reader of mine who hasn't suffered from it. It is - of course - that injury to the top part of your thumb that is caused by the blade of a modelling knife when it slips just enough to cut through the top layers of the skin but not enough to cause bleeding. It is like a paper cut; not a major injury but really annoying as you keep catching it every time you try to do something.

The cut will heal in a couple of days, and then I may well try doing some more modelling. In the meantime I am going to use my spare time to do some sorting out and - if time permits - I may even fight a wargame.

24 comments:

  1. A well known condition. Back in the days when I used to carve turrets, etc, out of balsa both of my thumbs were permanently criss crossed with faint black lines.

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  2. Suffer from it regularly. My old dad used to say " a model ain't been built proper if it ain't got a bit of blood on it!".

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  3. Ouch ! - a 'blood sacrifice' to the gods of wargaming ? , Tony

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  4. Xaltotun of Python,

    In my case this particular cut was caused whilst carving some basswood ... which is slightly harder than balsa.

    All the best,

    Bob

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  5. A recognised malady, along with figure painter's thumbnail, used as a palette when mixing paints.

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  6. Joppy,

    I suspect that your father was right. I can't think of a big modelling project when I haven't cut or bruised myself at some point in the process.

    All the best,

    Bob

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  7. A.W.Kitchen,

    It certainly was a 'blood sacrifice' ... even if it was only a small one!

    All the best,

    Bob

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  8. Springinsfeld,

    I must admit to have never suffered from Painter's Thumbnail ... but there is still time!

    All the best,

    Bob

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  9. I have a similar, slightly related injury. It is called cooks knuckle. It is a small burn on the knuckle of a left hand finger acquired when removing a hot tray from a very hot oven. I must remember to use oven gloves next time and not just a tea towel wrapped around some of my fingers.

    It has absolutely no impact on my ability to paint wargames models so that is a blessing in disguise.

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  10. About 40 years ago I was sawing some wood with an Exacto saw when it slipped and cut off the calloused skin on the end of my thumb. I turned to my wife and said, "I just cut off the end go my thumb." "Yeah, right", she replied. "No, I really did", I said, holding up my profusely bleeding thumb. "My god! My god", she screamed, "We need to get you to Emergency!" "No, let's not trouble them," I replied, and threw the callous down the garbage disposal. My wife almost fainted. A treasured memory.

    More recently (3 years ago) I was cleaning the flash off some figures with an Exacto blade (that company must have it in for me) when I slipped and almost buried it sideways into my left index figure. That time I did go to a doctor. He asked how I managed to do it. "I'm a hobbyist", I advised him. "Every scar like the one this is going to give me is a badge of honor." He cracked up. Another treasured memory.

    My wife's summarization of my record of accidents: "What a dingbat." I'm not sure whether this was a compliment...

    Best regards,

    Chris

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  11. Jim Duncan,

    Ah, the dangers of cooking!

    In the past I have done something similar ... but in my case the burn was between my thumb and first finger, and it did affect my ability to paint.

    All the best,

    Bob

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  12. Chris,

    My injury was also caused by an Exacto blade in an Exacto knife handle! Do you think that they are specially designed to inflict these sorts of injuries?

    It's a good job that you weren't interviewed by Sherlock Holmes as he would have needed your callouses to work out what you did for a living.

    All the best,

    Bob

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  13. The permanent mark of my hobby is the raised callous on the first finger of my right hand caused by tightening and loosening the nuts holding moulds together for my spincaster. One reason I tend to cast in batches these days - takes a while to toughen up so like to get a few days in rather than lots of painful single days casting.

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  14. Xaltotun of Python,

    So we can now add Spincaster's Callouses to the list of wargamer's medical conditions!

    Where will it end?

    All the best,

    Bob

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  15. I superglue small cuts like that to keep them shut, (Probably best to add the disclaimer that I am not nor ever have been a health proffessional) as it saves going inside from the shed to get a plaster.

    Cheers,

    Pete.

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  16. Pete,

    I know that some medical professionals have used superglue to close up cuts ... but my experience with superglue has not always been good, and I am likely to end up glueing the end of my finger to the cut!

    All the best,

    Bob

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  17. As I recall, superglue was originally developed for just that reason - as a temporary way of closing battlefield wounds in Vietnam.

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  18. Blood on the toys makes them more realistic! But given the frequent blood loss and lead poisoning we've done well to last this long...

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  19. Xaltotun of Python,

    I never knew that!

    All the best,

    Bob

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  20. Tim Gow,

    Very true! It's a good job that they have stopped using lead in paint as well, otherwise we'd all be dead or mad by now!

    All the best,

    Bob

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  21. Bob,
    One of my fingers still bears white scars from the days when I used to build Airfix or Revell WWI fighters.

    Fortunately for us hobbyists such wounds are rarely serious, whereas sealfinger - resulting from similar accidents whilst skinning seals with knives in the 18th/19th century - resulted in blood poisoning and was almost invariably fatal!

    Get well soon!
    Regards,
    Arthur

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  22. Arthur1815 (Arthur),

    Like Freemasons, modellers should be able to 'prove' themselves to each other ... by showing each other their modelling scars!

    Sealfinger sounds really unpleasant ... and brings a whole new set of dangers to those who like to go clubbing on a weekend! (A bad joke, I know, but ...)

    All the best,

    Bob

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  23. Jonathan Freitag,

    Its a dangerous hobby, modelling ... but someone has to do it.

    All the best,

    Bob

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