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Thread: Middle-aged kit building

  1. #1
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    Middle-aged kit building

    The target market demographic for plastic model kits moved from small boys to middle-aged men at the same time as I moved from small boy to middle-aged man, with inevitable results.
    I'm currently working on this elderly tooling (1980!) that I picked up very cheaply as a discontinued line. Some of you may recognize the aircraft. Because of its age there has been a lot of trimming, sanding and filling required to get the pieces to come together, plus a bit of scratch work around the tail, but it's just about ready for primer.

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    Anyone else doing this sort of thing?

    Grant Hutchison

  2. #2
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    I'm sometimes thought of it and often wander through the model plane section when we're shopping, but haven't built anything for a bunch of decades. I don't recognize that but it looks familiar. Is it fictional?
    As above, so below

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    Quote Originally Posted by Jens View Post
    I'm sometimes thought of it and often wander through the model plane section when we're shopping, but haven't built anything for a bunch of decades. I don't recognize that but it looks familiar. Is it fictional?
    Fictional, yes.
    It'll be more readily recognizable in its livery and with the canopy on.

    Grant Hutchison

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    I recognise it (had one when little (around 1978), given to me (assembled) by a kid in the neighbourhood. Can't recall where it ended up). Won't give "spoiler".

    I don't recognise the use of "tooling" in the OP. Does that mean you got the moulds for the parts? Or is that another term for the parts themselves?
    Measure once, cut twice. Practice makes perfect.
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  5. #5
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    I have several kits still shrink-wrapped, waiting for ... I guess retirement.



    Plan to do this Heinrich Dorfmann design:


    and this one, of my own design:

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    Quote Originally Posted by grant hutchison View Post
    Anyone else doing this sort of thing?
    Yes. Up to my early 20s I loved doing this sort of thing; I was particularly interested in model railroading. In my early 40s a friend bought me a model kit (a ST:OS bridge) as a gift; I think it was almost a joke for him. I realized how much I used to love this stuff and got back into it, again, mostly model railroading.

    I haven't done as much the last couple of years, because of time constraints and our move last year, but I'm getting back into it now. My train layout was disassembled for the move and I got to get back to work rebuilding it.
    At night the stars put on a show for free (Carole King)

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  7. #7
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    I deliberately quashed my interest in model railroading because I realized there are so many hobbies I like, and model railroading could overwhelm them all.

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    I love model trains. My family had one (long oval track); dad bought it. Usually I would set it up and get it going. I've tried getting husband interested in building models, to no avail.
    Dip me in ink and toss me to the Poets.

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    I would enjoy building models again - planes, ships, tanks, etc. - but I don't have any special urge to display them, nor do we really have the room. (And I don't have a man cave.)

    What I always enjoyed was the creation and seeing the finished form, but once done it was on to the next one.

    I had a number of airplanes, the Lunar Module, a Gemini capsule, and a 1:44 scale Saturn 5. Can't recall if I had the Apollo CSM and SM but I probably did. Oh, and Frankenstein's monster as portrayed by Boris Karlof, and The Mummy.

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    Quote Originally Posted by pzkpfw View Post
    I recognise it (had one when little (around 1978), given to me (assembled) by a kid in the neighbourhood. Can't recall where it ended up).
    Yes, there was a previous version of this kit in the 70s. The version I'm building is a "snap together" variant with "copyright 1980" embossed inside the fuselage. The snap-together design introduced a couple of little fins and lugs either side of the nose that I needed to remove, fill and sand.

    Quote Originally Posted by pzkpfw View Post
    I don't recognise the use of "tooling" in the OP. Does that mean you got the moulds for the parts? Or is that another term for the parts themselves?
    The "tooling" is the set of moulds used by the kit manufacturer. New toolings, with new technology, tend to be made to better tolerances with more accurate surface detail. Old toolings get worn with repeated use - losing surface detail, developing areas of "flash" (plastic that oozes into gaps between the moulding surfaces), and they never quite fit together properly.

    Grant Hutchison

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    I resumed model building a couple of decades ago - mostly plastic models and mostly Tamiya brand. But I now have a wood kit of Columbus's ship the La Pinta, which is a whole other level of effort.

    For me, the big problem with doing these intricate models when you're older is failing eyesight. While the various reading glasses I have scattered around the house are adequate for reading, they are quite a bit less so for detail work. I do have one of the lighted magnifying lens attached to my coffee/model-building table, but that's not as good as having young eyes.

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    Quote Originally Posted by schlaugh View Post
    and a 1:44 scale Saturn 5.
    That would be 8 feet 3 inches tall!!!

    Or maybe you meant 1:144...

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    Quote Originally Posted by grant hutchison View Post
    Fictional, yes.
    It'll be more readily recognizable in its livery and with the canopy on.
    Can I see it that way? I'd like to know what it is, but haven't been able to figure it out.
    As above, so below

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    Quote Originally Posted by DaveC426913 View Post
    Originally Posted by schlaugh
    and a 1:44 scale Saturn 5.
    That would be 8 feet 3 inches tall!!!

    Or maybe you meant 1:144...
    I made a Saturn 5 model as a kid. It wasn't 8 feet tall, but if I did things right, 1:144 would be about 2.5 feet (the real rocket was 363 feet tall), and it was taller than that. IIRC it was around 5 feet tall, which would be about 1:72, which is a pretty common scale.
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    Quote Originally Posted by DaveC426913 View Post
    That would be 8 feet 3 inches tall!!!

    Or maybe you meant 1:144...
    Dang fat fingers...harrumph.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Jens View Post
    Can I see it that way? I'd like to know what it is, but haven't been able to figure it out.
    Well, I need to spray it up first, and then do the detailing. A week or so? Or I could just tell you - I don't mind leaving it as a puzzle if people want it to be a puzzle, but that wasn't my intention.

    Grant Hutchison

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    Quote Originally Posted by Swift View Post
    I made a Saturn 5 model as a kid. It wasn't 8 feet tall, but if I did things right, 1:144 would be about 2.5 feet (the real rocket was 363 feet tall), and it was taller than that. IIRC it was around 5 feet tall, which would be about 1:72, which is a pretty common scale.
    Revell do a 1:96 Saturn V (I'm currently detailing that a stage at a time - give me a year or so). Dragon make a huge 1:72 Saturn V, but I think that's a relatively recent tooling - there was a lot of buzz about it a couple of years ago.
    Airfix and Revell/Monogram also do a 1:144.

    Grant Hutchison

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    I've been trying to think of what to say here since you posted this thread, Dr. Grant.

    I used to. One of my best friend's older brothers is an actual "modeler" since the early 70's who made an entire series of dioramas featuring WWII Russian and German armor. If the companies selling models didn't have a type of vehicle he needed he built one from scratch starting from flat sheets of that dark green model making plastic, I keep wanting to call it styrene but I don't think that's correct, and then kits of the vehicle the vehicle he's building was derived from, to get the bogies and suspension details right.

    Myself, from 5th grade through junior high school I built all the planes of the famous aces of WWI AND both the American and Japanese fleets of WWII. My friend's brother kept acquiring the progressively smaller classes of surface vessels

    In my other place that I lived in the last twenty years I didn't have the room. In my new townhouse I can play badminton on any one of three floors should I desire to, but I've been strongly advised by my neuro teams to no longer cook, except in the microwave, due to a small, inconvenient issue with tics. That isn't cooking, that's just heating stuff up. (Heck, nowadays I have a hell of a time simply using a mouse and keyboard.) So I think I'm going to put off modeling, at least for the time being.

    Somehow I feel that showing up in the ER with a 1/72 scale .50 cal Browning machinegun accidently shoved my nose isn't going to get me the usual sympathy I'm accustomed to from the medical staff.
    Time wasted having fun is not time wasted - Lennon
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  19. #19
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    I've thought about getting back into model building many, many times. I follow a Facebook group for the F-4 Phantom II fighter and some members are building spectacular models. I'd love to build a museum quality example of the F-4E I worked on for several years. But I have to admit the last thing I need right now is another time-consuming hobby.
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    Quote Originally Posted by geonuc View Post
    For me, the big problem with doing these intricate models when you're older is failing eyesight. While the various reading glasses I have scattered around the house are adequate for reading, they are quite a bit less so for detail work. I do have one of the lighted magnifying lens attached to my coffee/model-building table, but that's not as good as having young eyes.
    I have one of these:

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    It also meets all my home dentistry needs ...

    Grant Hutchison

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    Yes, I'd have to admit I'm doing a bit of this sort of thing.. :-)

    I'm currently working on this:
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    Originally built as a teenager, albeit not quite completed.
    Some rigging had been omitted, then it was sitting at my parents house for a couple of decades before if was de-rigged and taken to Australia as checked in baggage.
    After having spent over half a decade packed away in a closet, she's now getting fully rigged, finally after 30+ years! ;-)

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    A couple of years ago I did a couple of paper models like this one, which I quite liked. Free models are available on the internet. Just download and print.

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    (Build log: http://wingnutbuild.blogspot.com.au/)
    There are some really good plastic model kits around these days. I got this one from Wingnut Wings, Peter Jackson's model kit company.


    (And I have also done some more plastic kits, restarting building in my forties.. Build logs: http://jenssenmodels.blogspot.com.au/ and http://f1lotusbuild.blogspot.com.au/ for example )

    I'ts my evening meditation.. ;-)


    Cheers,
    Peter

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    Quote Originally Posted by baskerbosse View Post
    Yes, I'd have to admit I'm doing a bit of this sort of thing.. :-)

    I'm currently working on this:
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    Nice. Cutty Sark?
    I built a smaller (Airfix) version when I was a kid. Wanted to rig it properly (there was a book about the rigging of clipper ships in my local public library), but the pinrails were simply embossed shapes inside the bulwarks, so there was no way to belay proper running rigging, and scratch building realistic pinrails was beyond me.

    Quote Originally Posted by baskerbosse View Post
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    (Build log: http://wingnutbuild.blogspot.com.au/)
    There are some really good plastic model kits around these days. I got this one from Wingnut Wings, Peter Jackson's model kit company.
    That's very nice. How are you doing the lozenge camouflage?

    Grant Hutchison

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    I bought my daughter an erector set that I was hoping to give her in a few years, still in the box. Instead, she will be getting a well-used erector set because I had forgotten how much fun those were.

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    Quote Originally Posted by grant hutchison View Post
    Nice. Cutty Sark?
    I built a smaller (Airfix) version when I was a kid. Wanted to rig it properly (there was a book about the rigging of clipper ships in my local public library), but the pinrails were simply embossed shapes inside the bulwarks, so there was no way to belay proper running rigging, and scratch building realistic pinrails was beyond me.
    Yes, that's Cutty Sark. 1/75 scale.
    I'm having some trouble belaying too, through no fault of the model, mostly because my eyesight is not what it used to be.
    I can see ok up close without glasses and far away with glasses, but I'm developing a mid distance range where neither helps.
    Unfortunately just the distance I need to be able to see the belaying points properly.. :-( (Bifocal time?)
    Your magnifying glass looks like a good idea for me. :-) Where do you find those?

    Quote Originally Posted by grant hutchison View Post
    That's very nice. How are you doing the lozenge camouflage?

    Grant Hutchison
    The Wingnut Wings kits come with quite good lozenge decals. Printed by Cartograf, -works really well.

    Do we get any more clues to your model?
    Are there more pictures coming soon?


    Cheers!
    /Peter

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    Quote Originally Posted by Jens View Post
    Can I see it that way? I'd like to know what it is, but haven't been able to figure it out.
    Hint: Some angels come with strings attached.

    Too subtle?
    Last edited by DaveC426913; 2015-Sep-25 at 12:56 PM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by baskerbosse View Post
    Yes, that's Cutty Sark. 1/75 scale.
    I'm having some trouble belaying too, through no fault of the model, mostly because my eyesight is not what it used to be.
    I can see ok up close without glasses and far away with glasses, but I'm developing a mid distance range where neither helps.
    Unfortunately just the distance I need to be able to see the belaying points properly.. :-( (Bifocal time?)
    Varifocals are good if you can get used to them - you can get any distance into focus at some point in your field of view.

    Quote Originally Posted by baskerbosse View Post
    Your magnifying glass looks like a good idea for me. :-) Where do you find those?
    Mine is by Draper. It's an expensive bit of kit, but it's been in regular use for years so the cost-per-use is now very low. I still haven't had to replace the fluorescent tube.

    Quote Originally Posted by baskerbosse View Post
    The Wingnut Wings kits come with quite good lozenge decals. Printed by Cartograf, -works really well.
    Ah, thanks. this guy has a Cunning Plan for printing on to tissue paper, which is then draped on to the model. As if building biplanes wasn't fiddly enough.

    Quote Originally Posted by baskerbosse View Post
    Do we get any more clues to your model?
    Children's TV.

    Quote Originally Posted by baskerbosse View Post
    Are there more pictures coming soon?
    Maybe a week or two. First layer of priming showed up some more surface flaws and seams. As it does. Sigh.

    Grant Hutchison

  27. #27
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    Quote Originally Posted by baskerbosse View Post
    Your magnifying glass looks like a good idea for me. :-) Where do you find those?
    MicroMark in the US carries a bunch of items like this
    At night the stars put on a show for free (Carole King)

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    Quote Originally Posted by baskerbosse View Post
    I've just moved to a machine from which I can access your build log. That's a beautiful kit, beautifully built.

    Grant Hutchison

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    Quote Originally Posted by grant hutchison View Post
    I've just moved to a machine from which I can access your build log. That's a beautiful kit, beautifully built.
    Echoed. Although not my primary interest, I love the aircraft of that era and the "old world" craftsmanship many displayed. You've captured that craftsmanship with exquisite detail, baskerbosse.

    I built a few ships, too, including the Cutty Sark. My best though was the Thermopylae...The Revell 1/70th, I think.
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    I was very chuffed a Xmas or two ago to be given one of those model Internal Combustion Engines.
    Working parts that go up and down, and even little LEDs in the spark plugs!
    All running off a hidden electric motor, and see through too!
    It's JUST like the full sized engines I build for fun, and educational.
    John

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