Me and modeling

I have written about my primary hobby, model building, several times before. With this being a fresh start to my blog, I wanted to make sure it was here also. The thing is model building is a very important part of me. It is one of the things that has been part of my life for a very long time and more than likely, many more to come.

C&H01When I was seven or eight years old my Dad bought me my first kit, from the grocery store. I can tell you that it was a snap-tite kit and was more than likely a car. I am also quite sure I had it built before I went to bed that night. At some point in time I talked my Dad into getting me a membership to Young Model Builders Club. Where I would get a model kit once or twice a month, mostly cars or planes. This is also about the time that I got a book that would hook me on military aircraft forever. I would carry that book with me to school every day.

C&H02The next advancement in my modeling was marked by two things, using glue and brush painting. In a weird way I think every modeller has the same memory about our first modeling glue, Testor’s gel glue in the red and white tube. I am sure many a modelers got their first buzz off of just using it without proper ventilation. Maybe that explains a lot about model builders. At about the same time, I start brush painting kits using the little square bottles of Testor’s enamels and the white handled Testor’s paint brushes.

C&H03There would be a period of time, during the 7th and 12th grade that I stopped building. Not really sure what the catalyst was, but I am quite sure it involved the discovery of girls and computers. Not that I had much luck with girls. But I did really get into computer games and trying to learn to write my own programs. After high school, it would take a friend of my Dad’s to re-spark the modeling bug. We would try an out do each other with aviation trivia and it turned out that he was an avid model builder. After going out to his house, I had the bug and dived back into the hobby. With his guidance, I even upped my skill set. He gave me my first airbrush, a Badger 150, and encouraged me experiment with modifying kits. I also joined an IPMS (International Plastic Modelers Society) club. I quickly discovered the dark side of clubs, the guy who has to squash your ego for his personal enjoyment.

C&H04A few years later, I would become one of those guys that could easily spend all day at a hobby shop hanging out. In my case it was The Military Shop in Long Beach, Ca. I would get there at store opening and spend hours hanging watching war movies, going through the new kits, and even helping out with customers. This is also the point when my model stash started to grow. I had also become a regular on rec.model.scale, a model related newsgroup, and then Aircraft Resource Center’s discussion forums. I would also make some good friends, one of them who would be my best man.

C&H05After meeting the woman of my dreams, I would spend less and less time at The Military Shop. With a change of priorities, model building would slow down. When we moved in together, I was lucky to get the second bedroom as ‘my cave’ and would spend time working on projects again. But there was something missing. I did not have the drive that I had in the past. I would sit at my workbench and struggle to do anything.

model conclusionEarly this year, I went out of the box and purchased my first Gunpla kit, a Real-Grade Gundam Exia and I felt rejuvenated. In the past eight months I have built over 20 kits. For now, I am just ‘snapping’ them together. I am still making sure my seams are clean, even gluing parts together when needed and even painting some of the details.

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