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Kit Building Then, and Now


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#21 Fat Brian

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Posted 09 October 2012 - 12:04 PM

The first model I ever built was Mark Martins #6 Folgers Tbird, finished in a whirlwind two days with no paint, no decals, and almost a whole tube of red glue. When it was dry enough to pick up without parts falling off I took it into the hallway and reenacted all of those great old NASCAR wrecks, complete with the shower of dislodged parts. It's rare that I finish anything now, mostly due to lack of a permanent work space and nowhere to dispaly the finished product. I hope to change that soon as if I don't eventually finish something I will run out of room to buy new stuff.

Edited by Fat Brian, 09 October 2012 - 12:05 PM.


#22 Monty

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Posted 09 October 2012 - 12:18 PM

Pactra had paints that Testors didn't have, but I found them to be more watery and harder to apply in the bottle version. I don't miss them.


Different experiences, I guess. When the local shops replaced their Pactra racks, I remember seeing rows of Testors enamels in glass bottles & the majority of them had come unmixed so all the pigments etc were at the bottom. As you might suspect, that didn't exactly fill me with confidence. I still despise Testors' enamel spray cans/nozzles, so if I happen to need that color, I'll just decant it for airbrush use.

That said, Testors has made some great stuff since those days, and my paint collection is proof of that.

#23 Harry P.

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Posted 09 October 2012 - 01:36 PM

Here's a real "Then" story. I don't know why I remember this particular model, because I probably built hundreds of them as a kid, but for some reason I remember this particular one, which was inspired by the stuff I saw in Car Model magazine by Hank Borger and Jim Keeler.

Anyway, I remember making a "funny car" out of a JoHan (I think) Chrysler 300. Yeah, not exactly funny car material! I used the stock body (yes, with windshield wipers, door lines, etc. all intact). I kept the stock chassis with the molded in stock exhausts and real axle, added one of those all-chrome Allison aircraft engines and used index cards sprayed silver to make "aluminum" interior panels. I even hinged the body... but of course when you flipped it open, you saw the inside of the stock chassis plate with all the molded in detail in reverse! :lol: :lol: :lol: Man, what a dope I was! :lol:

I remember being pretty proud of that model at the time, but thinking back on how incredibly wrong it was in every way, I have to laugh...

#24 mikemodeler

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Posted 09 October 2012 - 01:53 PM

I too remember the Friday night to Saturday afternoon build marathons that I used to do as a youngster. All that mattered was whether or not I could get it built fast! The spray paints I had typically were whatever Dad had laying around in the shed or garage and the weather was rarely considered when painting unless it was raining! I didn't worry about dirt in the paint, I built for me and me only.

Today it takes me forever to finish a model, partly due to my hectic schedule but also due to my need to add details and everchanging ideas for the completed model. Now that cooler,less humid weather is here, I need to set up some paint time in order to get a couple of kits ready for the winter assembly season.

I think we all strive to build a nice, show winner quality model, in part due to the number of contests we are all aware of plus the online community and ability to post them for the whole world to see. While I have yet to post any of my builds here (laziness mostly), I build for me and not others and am my own worst critic of how they turn out.

Great topic and interesting responses!

#25 Junkman

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Posted 10 October 2012 - 01:07 PM

I have to say, I still use pretty much the same equipment I used 30+ years ago, plus BMF, a pair of glasses, and better lighting. However, my models now are a far cry of the ones I built 30 years ago. Since 20 years or so.

Edited by Junkman, 10 October 2012 - 01:08 PM.


#26 mikethepoormodeler

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Posted 11 October 2012 - 08:51 AM

Hey, Dodger, I would respectfully disagree with you. The aim and purpose of our hobby and any other is to have fun. For most of us that entails trying to get better with every build. However, for some people just the building itself is fun, and they have no desire to go beyond a certain point. You mentioned golf, and I have a good example for you. My cousin's wife decided she wanted to take up golf with him. She got some clubs, and he showed her the basics of the game. Now, he is a very good golfer, and she, naturally, was not. It didn't matter to her if she made an 8 on a par 4 or whatever. For her, the fun was hitting the ball around the course. After several rounds, her husband tried to adjust her swing and stance and all those other things, but she said "I'm having fun like this". He made some comment about if you're not going to get better why don't you quit? Guess what, she did, right there on the spot. Having to do the things to get better spoiled the fun for her, and I'm sure that is true of other hobbies. As has been stated several times, build for yourself and enjoy the hobby. I could never enjoy a build if I tried to go to the level of most of the folks on this board. So, I build to my level and have a ball doing it.

Slightly off topic, Dan, but thank you for what you did with Aoshima and the 'Cuda model. It's good to have modelers working with the model companies to help us get really good kits produced.

#27 Guest_Johnny_*

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Posted 11 October 2012 - 09:07 AM

Good point Mike. :)

I've come a long way from the beginnings of my model building. Am I a great builder, the answer is no. But if asked if I wanted to be a great builder the answer would also be no.
I have learned new things over the years and keep on learning new things. Some I use, some I feel are just not worth the effort to me.
I'm happy with my builds, even the old ones which will remain just as they were originally built long ago!
I personally don't feel the need to impress the world with my work. ;)