Model Building!

My messy workbench

Two years ago I started feeling nostalgic for something I loved doing as a little kid, model building! I have fond memories of going to the local K-mart and nagging my mom to buy my a kit, ripping the cellophane off on the car ride home, and spending an afternoon in front of the tv, inhaling the glue and paint fumes as I slapped it together. Back then it was cheap entertainment. Probably why my mom was willing to buy them, it got me out of her hair for the rest of the day and as long as she didn’t buy me any paint (which were pretty pricey back then) the mess wasn’t too bad. When paints where involved, I did make a big mess. I still remember when I decided to paint a model on the laundry chute door, 30+ years later, that paint is still there.

Our Polar Lights Mach5 kit

When my daughter, who was six at the time, came to me from out of the blue and said she wanted to build a model kit, how could I refuse? I strapped her into the car and made haste to the local hobby shop. But, model kits are expensive today! Most kits are in the $20 range, before paint and glue. Luckily, we found a cheap Polar Lights Speed Racer Mach 5 kit. At $13, it was a reasonable purchase for something that could be in the trash by the end of the day. Plus, I loved Speed Racer as a kid and always wanted a Mach 5 model. Despite ourselves, we actually made it all work! While it’s not a show piece, it came out clean, not gobs of glue marring the surface and we got a

Most of the kits I've collected

warm fuzzy out if it. I still fondly remember building a ’53 Ford F-100, metallic blue, kit with my dad when I was a preschooler. So, the day was a big bag of win, right?

Anyways… I was bitten by the bug to keep building, but I couldn’t justify the expense of $20-40 kits. Until I discovered you can buy old kits a flea markets for as little as a $1! Before I realized it, I was hitting Jake’s flea market every weekend and finding gold styrene. Even Michael’s Arts and Crafts had huge discounts on discontinued kits, plus they give out 40-60% off coupons constantly. Then there’s eBay and conventions… So, yeah I have gone a little crazy over the past couple years. I now have a shelf of unbuilt kits waiting for me. I do finish the kits, eventually, but I’m an ADD builder. I jump from project to project, depending on what I feel like doing at the moment. I will be featuring them, since I do have the need to show off and share with other builders. Plus I try to put a little more effort into each kit. Right now, my goals are simple, make it look as good as the picture on the box. That’s tough. Once I hit that, then I’ll expand my horizons.

Ok, enough for now. Here’s some pics of my work space, my stack of unbuilts and our Mach 5.

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