I remember my Pop building a balsa wood and tissue Piper Cub model kit when I was little. I remember him pinning all the parts to a scrap piece of lumber in our dining room and watching that airplane come to life night after night. I was hooked – I wanted to do that, too!
I am a child of the Sixties. I’ve always been fascinated by machines – planes, cars, rockets – and their history. I grew up mesmerized by the space race. It wasn’t long before my brother and I were trying our hands at the same types of models that we had watched our Pop build.
While we did have a local hobby shop nearby, my favorite place for models was a G.C.Murphy store in my Pop’s hometown. Visits to my grandparents’ house always started with a trip “up street” to see what was new in the tiny aisles of that Murphy’s store.
We built tanks and planes and cars and hot rods and ships! It was great! Trusty tubes of Testors glue and a small collection of Testors enamel paints (which were usually close to empty as we constantly knocked the bottles over) plus a clunky box cutter to trim, scrape, and otherwise hack parts into shape – we were in business!
We hung planes from the ceiling, filled shelves with various scales of cars, trucks, and motorcycles – there always seemed to be a project of some sort underway.
And then we grew up. Typical story… everything else in life came along and my interest in scale modeling was gone. Or so I thought…
In May 2016, I happened to see Le Mans (1971) and remembered watching it at a drive-in theater when it came out. Out of curiosity, I Google’d Steve McQueen’s Porsche 917K and found a model kit from Fujimi. I wanted to try my hand at it again. I ordered the kit.
Little did I realize how much the hobby had changed from what I remembered!
Of course, all I knew were Testors tubes of glue and their enamel paints. I’d seen airbrushing but that looked way too intimidating to me. But, I bought a compressor and some cheap airbrushes to try it out. Wow… this was crazy stuff!
The availability of kits and products and the number of unbelievably talented modelers and artists I found on the Internet drew me back into this amazing hobby. I was watching videos and reading everything that I could find! I was hooked again.
I enjoy the Zen-like, “in the moment” feeling that I get from scale modeling. To me, it is such a break from the daily grind of work and the more mundane tasks of day to day life. I like to research the subject of my project – to learn about the history and understand how it came to be. I like to listen to music and let my mind wander while I put paint on a tiny piece of plastic. There is something quite therapeutic about the time I spend at my workbench.
As I once read somewhere…
Sometimes the journey is more exciting than the destination and the creative process is no exception.
From the very first kit I built in May 2016, I started taking pictures with my phone. I found it helpful to be able to look at my progress and it has helped me to remember paints or techniques that I’ve tried. After a while, I realized that I have a lot of images from my projects and thought I’d like to share my attempts and adventures.
I hope you’ll take a look around.
Like life, it’s a constant work in progress…
Chuck | February 2018