No, not the kind that involves clothing, or lack thereof. I’m prohibited by law from doing that. Nobody wants to see that. Instead, I’m talking about the art of Hobby Modeling.
Despite never being really good at it, I used to love putting together models as a kid. My favorite were the airplanes, but I tried my hand at all of it. My paint jobs were shoddy, I used too much glue, and I had approximately 4% of the patience needed to do them properly. As a result, my World War 2 fighter planes looked a bit like they had been hit with antiaircraft fire already, my cars all needed alignments and significant body work, and the handful of sailing ships I took a run at….well, they were all post-combat where they’d seen a number of devastating broad-sides.
A while back, I posted about the wooden pirate ship model that The Narrator and I did together, and that kicked off the old interest. For Christmas, he asked for his first model, and we picked up a snap-together P-51 mustang that turned out really nice.
I decided that we’d take a run at a proper model. Glue, Paint, Patience. Surely we could do it, right?
A trip to Amazon found a company that makes starter kits of all kinds. Airplanes, tanks, cars, ships, submarines…the works. To my surprise, The Narrator selected the Volkswagen Beetle. It came with the paint and glue it needed, so that was just fine.
When the kit came, it was clear why it was only $12 and a ‘starter set’ The quality was lousy. In spite of it being a ‘skill level 1- beginner’ there were still pieces that I needed tweezers to hold onto while they were glued to the car. The part-sheets were a mess, with the pieces being completely engulfed in that thin plastic garbage that needed to be cut away.
The Narrator did a lot of the parts painting on the sheets while I did most of the gluing. He glued some of the big parts, and nobody had their fingers stuck together even once.
The end result?
You’ll notice two things right away- the ‘unique’ racing stripe….that I wish I could tell you was the work of the 5 year old, but was mine. Completely mine. I tried a technique that I hadn’t used in nearly fifteen years without practicing first, and this was the result. Also, that there are no side windows. This is because we decided that it was going to be a summer-time car, and the windows would be rolled down. It had nothing at all to do with daddy getting glue on the inside of the ‘glass’ and smudging it so bad that it looked like the car was being hot-boxed by a couple of hippies from the side. Nope, not in the least.
From a modeler’s standpoint- the thing is a disaster.
From a parenting standpoint- absolute victory. The Narrator has the same level of patience I used to, so we rushed a bit, and as a result, the paint is sloppy, we used too much glue, and there are some pieces that ended up in the garbage. But he loves the thing and is already planning on more racing stripes.
The way I see it, we’ll screw up these little practice kits now, so that when he gets older we can sit down and do the 900+ piece Millennium Falcon I saw on Amazon for around $400 and get it perfectly right….or at least finish a B-17 bomber to the level of quality that isn’t an insult to an entire generation of war veterans.