Model Making, Damn It

I ran across this post about  life-size Spitfire model airplane (and am subsequently downloading the BBC series, but you can also see it bit by bit on Youtube). From time to time when I was a kid, my dad would give me a plastic model kit to put together. I don’t remember if they were gifts or assignments, but they were simultaneously immensely frustrating and satisfying. I made a red Dodge Viper, a maroon Plymouth Prowler, and a space shuttle. My older brother made various ships from Star Trek: The Next Generation.

To quote BBC presenter James May, “When I was a bit older I had discovered beer and ladies.” Suffice to say, I hadn’t touched a model kit in years. However, I happen to be at a production meeting for a short film that I co-wrote, and they needed some props to set-dress the bedroom of the young boy. Writers have no earthly reason to be at production meetings, but I jumped at the opportunity to furnish the set with model airplanes.

After a night of browsing model plane websites with a healthy glass of scotch in my hand, I chose a Red Baron biplane, an old Spitfire-like Russian MiG, and a Geebee racer. The character in the movie was supposed to be preoccupied with World War II era images, but I took some liberties. I wrote the dang movie, after all. I almost bought a beautiful P-38 Lightning just for myself, but then I remembered that I am an adult.

Anyway, it was pretty tedious and frustrating to assemble them. I had a bit of fun, but that might have been the fumes. It seemed a lot easier to apply the decals now than when I was a kid. And I didn’t have any paint, so I smeared some black ink on the Geebee to make it look like it had been in a bastard of a fight.

A little tedium is good for you, I think.

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