Saturday, 2 January 2021
Lockdown and other circumstances have kept me more at home and I have rediscovered my enjoyment of model making - I did all kinds when I was a teenager but scorned plastic in those days rather shaping and crafting everything myself mainly from balsa wood.
The quality of present day injection moulded plastic kits and the development of highly compatible glues has revolutionised this hobby and it is now big business. You Tube abounds with videos showing how to do in every department in great detail.
I started with the Land Rover for nostalgic reasons but I have always had an affinity and fascination with WW2 aircraft. My second attempt was the De Havilland Mosquito (photos below.) My enjoyment comes from the making and striving to do my best. One of the video experts I watched for beginners told me "the first five models you make will be rubbish" and went on to advise against being tempted by more complicated and expensive kits at the start.
I am now well on the way to finishing a Mk1 Spitfire. When I look down into the now completed cockpit of the Spitfire it is abundantly clear how starkly functional were these aircraft, not a shred of comfort anywhere, and I am sure I can detect that mechanical smell: a mixture of oil, aviation fuel, and leather. With both the Mosquito and the Spitfire there is the added attraction of knowing these machines were powered by the legendary Rolls Royce Merlin engine. I am aware that it is not good to romanticise about war and I don't think I do - I have too much respect for all those guys and the horrific attrition rate of the bomber crews. I must do a Lancaster.
There is one particular frustration with plastic modelling. The parts are attached to a plastic framework called a sprue and they have to be severed with a scalpel. With the tiny pieces, if you don't take proper precautions the affect is akin to playing tiddlywinks - a quick click/snap and the piece flies off into orbit rarely to be seen again and much time can be spent searching far and wide possibly on hands and knees and with the aid of a torch so there is a certain amount of physical activity involved.
Photos look better if you click to enlarge especially to see the kind of detail that is now achieved in these kits and the intricacy of painting required