The model kit that started it all out was a 1967 Mustang. I am pretty sure I will never get to own the real thing, so a model is the best thing I can ever hope for. At the time, die cast kits weren’t as popular as they are now, so I had to build my own
I believe it was the Revell kit, but it could have been AMT. You have to understand, the 1960’s mustangs are part of my top five cars ever (I lump them into one group because if I didn’t most of my top five would only be one car.) To this day, I have built the kit more than once. I still haven’t built it to my satisfaction, and I expect to build a few more of them before I shed this mortal coil. Back to that first kit. The art on the kit box depicted it in white with blue stripes. I bought a can of white spray paint, some black and blue Testor’s paint and I was off.
I’d love to tell you that I produced an award winning model right from the get go. sadly, that was not the case. I did a pretty good job on the muffler. The engine came out fairly well, and the seats were acceptable. The rest of it was pretty bad. I think the wheels stuck out too far, and fell off more than once. As for the paintjob….I wouldn’t recommend spray paint for anyone’s first time out.
The reason I decided to take up building plastic models can be traced to a friend I have had since junior high school. If he weren’t still a friend, I would probably use the word blame rather than reason.
I visited his house and upon entering his room discovered, on his desk, his work in progress. He was probably 60 percent done painting and building a plastic model kit of the DeLorean from Back To The Future. I was fascinated. When it was finished, it was truly a work of art.
My friend is a fantastic model builder. This is probably because he has incredible patience and an eye for detail. These qualities no doubt help in his job as a creator of computer animation and effects as well as that of father. He told me that he painted the tiny exposed cables of the DeLorean using a pinhead. I tried to replicate his technique, but became too frustrated to continue beyond a few minutes.
I watched him build many other models and was always in awe of his skills. His landspeeder from Return of the Jedi was fantastic. And amazingly, although he has never used an airbrush, his finished are always streak free. If only I had paid him to build my mustang, I probably wouldn’t have started this hobby.
My contribution to his development as a modeller is that I often forced him to rebuild his models. I knocked his Star Wars Imperial Shuttle from it’s hanging space in the ceiling not once, but twice. I can’t really go into details, but I can say it was the result of aggressive air guitar to Led Zepplin’s Whole Lotta Love, or air drumming to the same group’s When the Levee Breaks. Teenage exuberance is a remarkable thing.
It would be several years until I started building models myself but I never forgot his work, and sought out his advice. He gave me lots of useful advice, but he was most insistent on two points. Never hang my models from the ceiling and never put a stereo in the hobby room.