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MrObsessive

40 years!

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I just finished putting on the first primer coat on my '74 Corvette WIP and the thought occurred to me out of the blue that I've been putting these little cars together for 40 years now! As of last month I believe it was the first time 40 years ago that I would walk into a hobby shop (Allied Hobbies) and see a model kit that caught my eye at first glance.

I should tell you a story though of how getting to that hobby shop came to be. One of the first jobs I had getting out of school was working in a McDonalds. A rough job for anyone that's ever worked in fast food, but when you're 17 you take it in stride as it was work for me and I was a BIG believer in having my own money and not asking anyone for anything.

After working there for a couple months, my Dad had asked me something about going somewhere ( I don't remember where) but since it would have been on a Saturday, I told him I couldn't go as I had to work. Well, he was a little miffed and he said, "Bill, when are they going to give you a Saturday off?? SOMEBODY is getting Saturdays off!"

Well he was right for as long as I worked there, I could never seem to get a Saturday off! So the next time I went in, I asked the manager (her Dad ran the franchise) if I could have the next Saturday off. To my surprise she said yes and I was more than happy!

Next Saturday rolled around and wouldn't you know, it was pouring down rain! Needless to say I was more than irritated because that meant being in the house all day and it's no fun to go riding around in your car on a dreary, rainy day. So I decided to get in the car and go to our local shopping mall which here in the area was The Colonial Park Mall. I go inside and go walking around and I see Allied Hobbies. I had noticed them before when I went there, but had never given them a second look as for whatever reason,  models among other things they had didn't interest me.

I figured I've got nothing else to do, so why not see what they have and who knows------I might see something I like out of the blue.

I look around and I happen to see shelves and shelves of model cars! I knew all about models, but ever since a disappointing Christmas of 10 years earlier when someone gave me a couple model car kits for Christmas (1968), I was instantly turned off as what was inside didn't look all nice and pretty like the box art and it reminded me of a jigsaw puzzle which I HATED!

So, one of the models I had seen there was a Monogram '57 Corvette which I believe came out that year or the year before. I've always liked '57 'Vettes ever since I was a little kid and of course I knew that if I bought this, I'd be faced with a ton of pieces like years before. I went ahead and bought the kit ($2.00 back then?) along with a tube of Testors glue and I was all set.

I got the kit home, opened it up, looked at the parts and decided I was going to follow the instructions to the letter just to see how far I could go. Well, I finished the car I think the next day and the results let's say were less than stellar. Glue spots everywhere, I glued the hardtop onto the rear deck which I didn't know was optional and of course the windshield had glue smears on it.

Just the same, I was pretty proud of it as I was actually able to PUT IT TOGETHER and soon after I was back at the hobby shop for another kit. The next one was a bit better as someone recommended I use a toothpick to put the glue on and I had nowhere near the amount of glue spots and smears as the previous build.

Of course the rest is history as I would be permanently hooked and I kinda wish I had kept that first model. I remember giving it away to a cousin of mine who was about seven years younger, so he would have been about 12 or 13 at the time I gave it to him.

Looking around my build room in the house, I look at all the stuff I have to build with!

Endless amount of tools
A paint booth
Zoom-Boom Microscope

Two soldering irons
A lathe (haven't tried it-------yet)
Dremel Moto-Tool
A laptop and phone for quick reference in the room
TONS AND TONS of kits

I could go on! No way I would have thought about all this back in 1978 when I picked up that first model kit and it's interesting how time can change your perspective about how to do things. If someone would have jumped out of 2018 and told me I'd be doing what I do right now back then, I would have tossed them out of the house and said they were insane!

Just a little story I thought I'd share on this late Saturday morning while my paint is drying and before I take a nap as I'm still on a third shift schedule despite it being the weekend! :D

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Ya time goes by, I started building models when I was about 7, that was 1957. At ten though, I rode my bike to either the hardware store where they sold some kits and supplies or better, across the city to the hobby store. I also got a paper route and made my own purchases, dad wasn't fond of the cost of my habit, since he gave me a $.35 allowance and the cost of a kit was outside my weekly chore money and I seemed to want more than one a month plus paint and supplies( I think an AMT 32 or 40 Ford kit was $1.25 back then). My paper route kept me well supplied with money left over, even a small savings account and I didn't hurt dads beer money ever again, not even purchasing a new bicycle to get around on, since parents in those days just plain didn't cart you around where ever you wanted to go.. At least not mine anyway.

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I still remember my first kit... I turned into a glue bomb.. but I was a happy camper with it once it was done...

I did buy 2 more just recently and lucked out with both chassis nice and straight....

42100934_2201278133420633_5448552454658457600_n.jpg

SAM_8891.266144021_std.JPG

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The first models I can remember were oblong blocks of wood with a dip in the in the center to represent the interior. The kit included two thin pieces of soft wood to glue to the sides and then sand them smooth with the body that would represent the doors and narrowed toward the "front". This was supposed to be some sort of early street rod or something. There were two small pieces of wood to represent the axles and the hard rubber tires were attached with nails also provided. I used early air plane type paints to brush finish.  Let's just think of it as a good fireplace kindling. I think it was in 1953 that I got a plastic kit of a '53 or '54 Ford hardtop. This was pretty much a Promo with no interior and large screws thru the flat metal chassis to attach the chassis to the body. Again everything was brush painted. I don't recall it there was any spray paints at that time, and if there were I don't think I would have been allowed to use them. I recall getting a '55 Dodge hardtop and a '57 Olds. 4 door hardtop after that. This was about the time Revell started to offer the '56 Ford Sunliner convertible and a step side pick-up and a stake bed also. They later came out with a '56 Chrysler hardtop and a Cadillac. These were in 1/32nd as that was what they seemed to be promoting along with their Military models. I do remember doing a Jeep at that time that was molded in O.D. colored plastic.  The first kits that I really started to get interested in were the then new AMT offerings in 1/25th scale around the fall of 1957 I think. These were basic unassembled  promos but with interiors and many offerings of options, these were the first 3 in 1's that I recall. They offered most of the Ford and GM line and Jo-Han was also starting with the Chrysler products and American Motors. By this time the local hardware store started offering brush paints specifically for car models in addition to keeping a good supply of models on the shelf. Looking back at that time period and then looking around my work bench, an old converted roll top desk that I have had for 40 plus years, with all of the tools, air brushes and spray booths, Dremels, and paints of every color of the rainbow in brush and spray cans not to mention formulas for your air brush.  Till Bill brought this up I had just sort of taken this all for granted. I look around my "office" area and all of the kits and especially the quality  and verity of subjects we have to work with today I really am amazed by it all.          

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Bill, having followed your builds over the years, you should know that you've awed and inspired many. Hearing of your humble beginnings just gives hope to that many more. Thanks for sharing the story. Keep on building, my friend!

 

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Bill, I had always assumed that you started building as a kid. I had no idea that you were a late bloomer.

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Bill.... Very cool story thanks for the memories too...LOL..  I started around the age of 6 or 7 years old when my dad got me my first kit...was hooked instantly.   Now at 54 years old I find the memories are so much more important to me of those days building with my dad back then.   I wish I could find/afford some we had built together again to have that got lost over all the years.  I am lucky enough to have whats left of my dads old collection I have been trying to find stuff so I can restore them with since a tornado here in 2011 where many of his and mine were damaged or lost.  Got to hang on to those memories and dreams...its what keeps us going.

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I built my first kit at age 6 and it was the Revell Snap Together Volkswagen bug, and have been building since then. That was 44 years ago for me! 

Image result for revell snap together volkswagen bug

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I've been at it since age 8, in 1963. My aunt bought me a '62 Studebaker Lark kit, with the rubber band power plant!

The following is a pic of one I purchased on eBay in 2009:

100_0347-vi.jpg

I went ahead and built it in much the same manner as I did when I was 8. The only difference is I cleaned up a little flash with a #11 blade.

100_0356-vi.jpg

That one got me hooked, and I've been building ever since!

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40 years? What took you so long? JK.

I was 9 years old (66 years ago) when I built my first P-40 Tomahawk Flying Tiger.

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I haven't even been alive for 40 years!

Barely turning 39 in a couple of weeks.

Collectively, I've been at it for about 25 years. Had a break in there for real cars, girls and early - mid 20's debauchery.

B)

Edited by Dennis Lacy

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Am I the only one who did real cars, girls and early - mid 20's debauchery without interrupting model car building?
I ruined my first kit - an Airfix M3 Half Track, in 1973, so I'm into kit destroying for how long? 45 years?
I didn't even realise I am that old, let alone as old as I really am, thanks for reminding me, not.

I mustard mitt though that pretty much throughout the 90s until very recently I was one of those collectors.
Earlier this year I sold about 2,000 kits to a dealer and still can't believe what a burden this took off me.
I'm also down to only three real cars now. My life has changed. For the better.

Edited by Junkman

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On 11/17/2018 at 11:33 PM, Rodent said:

Bill, I had always assumed that you started building as a kid. I had no idea that you were a late bloomer.

Interesting enough, in my neighborhood (mid '60's into the early '70's) all the boys I knew built models. It didn't rub off on me though and I remember someone bought me a kit of a really wacky looking '57 Chevy which was more of a caricature of the car than the real thing. I guess I was around 10 at that point.

IIRC, I think Revell made it and it was molded in yellow-----had small wheels up front and super giant wheels in the back. Of course, I wouldn't put it together and a couple of the kids I knew BEGGED to build it. I gave it to a next door kid and within that afternoon he had it all built.

Whatever happened to it I don't know, but it would be another seven years before a model kit would cross my path again!

Edited by MrObsessive

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Great story Bill. This is what really makes our hobby come alive.;)

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My uncle built models and I would go visit and "play" with them.  He would get so mad because Grandma would let me.   And I usually broke them.   So my first kit was a 74 or 5 corvette MPC annual.   No paint, just a tube of glue.   So much glue used that the parts would be soft.   I'm glad it is no longer with me.  Over the years, my story goes like so many others.   Still fooling with "toy cars" whether they be plastic models or Diecasts.   1/64 up to 1/12.  And I actually have a few micromachines and a set of Monogram Exacts 1/87 HO models.  those were very nice other than they all had the same wheels.  I have no idea where they are now.  they are all stored in an HO scale building  - I was going to buld a dealership dio.  They will likely turn up someday as I go thru my stash of 30+ years.   

 

 

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3 hours ago, MrObsessive said:

Interesting enough, in my neighborhood (mid '60's into the early '70's) all the boys I knew built models. It didn't rub off on me though and I remember someone bought me a kit of a really wacky looking '57 Chevy which was more of a caricature of the car than the real thing. I guess I was around 10 at that point.

IIRC, I think Revell made it and it was molded in yellow-----had small wheels up front and super giant wheels in the back. Of course, I wouldn't put it together and a couple of the kids I knew BEGGED to build it. I gave it to a next door kid and within that afternoon he had it all built.

Whatever happened to it I don't know, but it would be another seven years before a model kit would cross my path again!

RMX-1737-2.jpg

 

???

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Christian, that was it!! Haven't seen that in MANY years! Dig that crazy box art!

Is that a reissue in recent years?? That's literally the first time I've seen it a looooong time!

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Appreciate your personal story about why you do this hobby!  I'm sure many of us have similar "Once upon a time..."

I should dig up an early picture, Deal Wheels with cardboard garage diorama displays.  I grew up in Tucson, there was a hobby shop on Speedway (if I recall correctly), the classic packed, stand alone building that wasn't a chain store.  I entered my first contest there.  That's where I discovered real model paint, Pactra had the correct Africa Korps color.  Many of the Bandai WW2 models I got at Kmart, for about $2-$3!  Attached is the big diorama I made, I still have the models packed in boxes.

I'm still a kid at heart.

757409314_624de93c44_o.jpg

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First one I built was when I was 7 back in '67; it was the '65 Chevelle funny car brush-painted black. I used the shock absorbers to decorate the grille...:rolleyes: Also tackled the "Unreal" Edsel funny car not long after.

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On 11/17/2018 at 12:05 PM, MrObsessive said:

I just finished putting on the first primer coat on my '74 Corvette WIP and the thought occurred to me out of the blue that I've been putting these little cars together for 40 years now! As of last month I believe it was the first time 40 years ago that I would walk into a hobby shop (Allied Hobbies) and see a model kit that caught my eye at first glance.

I should tell you a story though of how getting to that hobby shop came to be. One of the first jobs I had getting out of school was working in a McDonalds. A rough job for anyone that's ever worked in fast food, but when you're 17 you take it in stride as it was work for me and I was a BIG believer in having my own money and not asking anyone for anything.

After working there for a couple months, my Dad had asked me something about going somewhere ( I don't remember where) but since it would have been on a Saturday, I told him I couldn't go as I had to work. Well, he was a little miffed and he said, "Bill, when are they going to give you a Saturday off?? SOMEBODY is getting Saturdays off!"

Well he was right for as long as I worked there, I could never seem to get a Saturday off! So the next time I went in, I asked the manager (her Dad ran the franchise) if I could have the next Saturday off. To my surprise she said yes and I was more than happy!

Next Saturday rolled around and wouldn't you know, it was pouring down rain! Needless to say I was more than irritated because that meant being in the house all day and it's no fun to go riding around in your car on a dreary, rainy day. So I decided to get in the car and go to our local shopping mall which here in the area was The Colonial Park Mall. I go inside and go walking around and I see Allied Hobbies. I had noticed them before when I went there, but had never given them a second look as for whatever reason,  models among other things they had didn't interest me.

I figured I've got nothing else to do, so why not see what they have and who knows------I might see something I like out of the blue.

I look around and I happen to see shelves and shelves of model cars! I knew all about models, but ever since a disappointing Christmas of 10 years earlier when someone gave me a couple model car kits for Christmas (1968), I was instantly turned off as what was inside didn't look all nice and pretty like the box art and it reminded me of a jigsaw puzzle which I HATED!

So, one of the models I had seen there was a Monogram '57 Corvette which I believe came out that year or the year before. I've always liked '57 'Vettes ever since I was a little kid and of course I knew that if I bought this, I'd be faced with a ton of pieces like years before. I went ahead and bought the kit ($2.00 back then?) along with a tube of Testors glue and I was all set.

I got the kit home, opened it up, looked at the parts and decided I was going to follow the instructions to the letter just to see how far I could go. Well, I finished the car I think the next day and the results let's say were less than stellar. Glue spots everywhere, I glued the hardtop onto the rear deck which I didn't know was optional and of course the windshield had glue smears on it.

Just the same, I was pretty proud of it as I was actually able to PUT IT TOGETHER and soon after I was back at the hobby shop for another kit. The next one was a bit better as someone recommended I use a toothpick to put the glue on and I had nowhere near the amount of glue spots and smears as the previous build.

Of course the rest is history as I would be permanently hooked and I kinda wish I had kept that first model. I remember giving it away to a cousin of mine who was about seven years younger, so he would have been about 12 or 13 at the time I gave it to him.

Looking around my build room in the house, I look at all the stuff I have to build with!

Endless amount of tools
A paint booth
Zoom-Boom Microscope

Two soldering irons
A lathe (haven't tried it-------yet)
Dremel Moto-Tool
A laptop and phone for quick reference in the room
TONS AND TONS of kits

I could go on! No way I would have thought about all this back in 1978 when I picked up that first model kit and it's interesting how time can change your perspective about how to do things. If someone would have jumped out of 2018 and told me I'd be doing what I do right now back then, I would have tossed them out of the house and said they were insane!

Just a little story I thought I'd share on this late Saturday morning while my paint is drying and before I take a nap as I'm still on a third shift schedule despite it being the weekend! :D

I got you beat bill. Can you believe that I have been at it for 55 yrs.?  Never stopped either. I'm in a drought this year, as I didn't finish anything.

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17 hours ago, MrObsessive said:

Christian, that was it!! Haven't seen that in MANY years! Dig that crazy box art!

Is that a reissue in recent years?? That's literally the first time I've seen it a looooong time!

Most of the Deal's Wheels were reissued around five years ago IIRC, so you could rectify a mistake you made over forty years ago :)

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Nice story Bill, maybe by waiting you developed the excellent skills that you have shared with us!

Like you, it has been a long time for me in this hobby and like many others, there were periods of time where other things replaced model building but as those faded, I made it back. If I had to figure it out, it would probably be 45 years for me, maybe a few more.

Thanks for sharing your story.

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I started building model cars in 1958 when I was 10 years old.  Still building at 70.

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It's great to read about how people got into the hobby. The story of my first kit building experience is pretty similar to some of them. In 1959 or 1960 I received some kits* that were way beyond my abilities as a 6- or 7-year-old. I don't know who gave them to me -- my father nor anyone else around me was a model builder. I was a good reader and had lots of patience, though, so I finished building the Saratoga and Imperial kits -- probably with lots of glue and no paint. I didn't like the metal Hubley kit, though, and never went beyond looking at the parts. Filing away the flash to make them fit was something I had no concept of -- Mom probably threw it away because of the sharp metal edges. For a few years after that I'd receive a random plane or even a Patton tank kit along with a car (such as a red '56 or so Buick -- 1/32 scale?) that I would build unpainted. About 1963 my neighborhood buddies and I started to spend our own money to buy $1.49 to $2.00 AMT kits that we would paint and years later include details like sewing thread wiring.

*Saratoga aircraft carrier, late '50s Chrysler Imperial (had freestanding headlights and the taillights were on top of the rear fenders) and a Hubley metal Ford Model A.

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If the Imperial had freestanding headlights and taillights on top of the rear wings, it was a '62.

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