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What were the first models you can remember building?

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While perusing Ebay the other day, I got to remembering the first models I took an interest in. Then I contemplated the history of my earliest builds. Here's what I remember:

The first model cars I can remember were my dad's builds probably from the late 60s judging by the age of the kits. That would have made me about 3 or 4. I'll never forget how cool they were and that distinct smell of Testors Pla Enamel. He told me that the 63 Bonneville and 64 Grand Prix frictions were given to him as gifts because they looked like cars he owned. He built two of the 68 pickup trucks - one as a lime gold tow truck and the other stock very dark candy blue. 66 GTO dark candy red with Hurst wheels. 69 Grand Prix avocado green appliance paint. (Note - these are all online pics, most of mine don't exist anymore.)






They later were played with by me and sadly, some did not make it. I did manage to hang onto the GTO, the 64 Grand Prix and one of the 68 pickup trucks. 

Monogram Dog Catcher. First kit I had a hand in building with my grandfather. Well, he built it, I plucked the parts and handed them to him.


Bushwacker and Chevy Stepside. First model birthday presents.



BreDatsun 510. Dodge L700. Built with my dad.



First kits I built on my own.
Ranchero. Red Alert. California Cruiser. Rubber Duck. 





And then the addiction set in.
These are all before 1980.









And it snowballed from there.

What are yours?

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Monogram 1957 Corvette. Maybe about a year after the kit came out ('77)? I was a senior in high school and I wouldn't touch a model before that. A disappointing rainy Saturday had me in a hobby shop looking around, I saw the box art and was very impressed..........the rest is history! 😁 

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I started building model airplanes around 1958 or '59 but don't remember what the very first one was. In 1966 I started building cars. The first two were the AMT '66 Riviera and Corsair Corsa, but I don't remember which one of them was the very first. 

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I don't remember my first, but I remember some earlier ones. Johan Cadillac Eldorado (green car on box), AMT 88 Chevy Silverado, Monogram 57 Chevy, AMT 1/32 55 Chevy, 1/32 Chevy Malibu, 65 Lincoln Continental convertible, 80s Nissan pickup snap. I have my oldest surviving build, AMT 58 Impala. When I see the reissue I'm going to get two. One to build again and one to replace a piece that went missing. 20220918_180710.thumb.jpg.f53a2934a3aba84382e8917c2e31f6b6.jpg

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My dad & grandfather both built models so I got an early start in the hobby. The first kit I remember building on my own was the old Monogram '29 Roadster Pickup part of the Early Iron series. I was 7 or 8. I got the AMT Diamond in the Rough set that Christmas and that really got me hooked. The first photo is my model cabinet when I was 9, in 1987. Since we had several 1:1 Model A Fords in the family I built a few of the old Hubley kits too. The other photo is a couple years later when I gave the program on model cars for the local antique car club my dad & grandfather founded. Monogram '53 Corvette, Monogram '58 Thunderbird, Monogram '32 Ford Roadster, AMT 1940 Ford Coupe, 1949 Ford Coupe & Italeri Bugatti Royale were the newest additions. The Stutz Bearcat on the turntable was built by my grandfather.  I'd love to find another kit of that to replace this one. 





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As a little shaver, I built airplanes and ships. But then, one momentous day my parents gifted me with a Chrysler customizing kit. I had never seen the likes of a car kit!

(I had collected a handful of dealer promo cars but they were all pre-assembled.)

So, I hunkered down with that multi-piece Chrysler and had the best time ever!!


[Picture is of the re-issue from a few years ago, but the box art is the same as the original.]


Within a couple of months, the Rexall Drug Store behind my house stocked its model kit shelf with the brand-new AMT 1958 Chevrolet Impala convertible 3n1 kit. My allowance scored the first one off their shelf . . .  and I've been building cars - no planes or ships - ever since.




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MPC General Lee. I was maybe 10/11. My dad gave me an old, half a can of Hemi Orange engine enamel to spray the body. It ended up being a god-awful, shoddily painted glue bomb, but, boy was it fun! Since then, I’ve built that kit a few times and if I’m feeling so nostalgic I’ll unapologetically build a few more.

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First models were a bunch of Lindberg and Revell 1/32nd snap kits around 1975-1976.  First glue kit was the Revell '56 Chevy 'Bad Dream' in 1977, followed by the AMT 1/43 Peterbilt truck and Dannon yogurt trailer and Johan '60 Plymouth wagon, and several of the AMT Countdown Series kits for xmas 1978.   I still have them all, some a bit worse for the wear...this summer I boxed them up and have them in my basement after cleaning out my childhood home where they spent the last 40+ years. 

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The first model I remember completing was Monogram's Tom Daniel designed "Thunder Bug" in green. Then a few Hawk models like the Ferrari D50 and their oddball rubber band powered Bonneville cars. This is what a five to six year old could afford on a fifty cent weekly allowance. There were also some Aurora 1/32 cars mixed in as well. They all met some disaster and never made it out of Las Vegas before we moved to Virginia.

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The first one I built with my older brothers help was the AMT High Sierra GMC pickup. I still have the bed and chassis along with a replacement cab( I do not know how I lost the cab). Second was the AMT 55 Nomad. We bought that at the hardware store in Rockland , Maine , along with some paint and glue, while we were on vacation. I guess that was around 1973 or so....

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I remember a 3-pack of 1/32nd scale models that might've been Lindberg. '36 Ford, '40 Ford, something like that. Got them at a local variety store. The first real kit was the Revell '57 Chevy with the box art of the car and a flagman. Thought it was great with opening everything. Other early kit was the '66 Chevy 3 in 1 and I built it as a stock car. Always wanted to get that kit again just for old time memories; the one with the stock car racer on the front of the box.

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My first model was a 1/72 F4F wildcat. Then Dad signed me up for the Young Model Builder's club and my first car was a 1/32 65? Mustang (no idea who made the kit). The kit came in a brown box along with a 1/72 F-16 with a red, white and blue paint job.

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