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« "Vell, He's Just Zis Guy, You Know?" | Main | Showmanship! »

March 07, 2007


J.R. Stoodley

I never was much into model building as a kid either. I think it is only fun for a certain kind of person, and probably on average more fun for adults than most kids. Though once they are done they are cool to have in your room.

I wonder if my generation and this new one are less into the whole space hero thing though. Sure they often want to be astronauts, but they will rarely know the names of any except Neil Armstrong.

It seems back in the day they were seen as real modernday explorers and heros, but today with nothing but the dieing shuttle program and the fact that rockets to the moon bring up images of the past rather than the future it has lost a lot of glamour. Perhaps the fading of the whole progressive, technology ushering in a new better age idea affects it as well.


I think that part of the reason that space travel has lost so much of its glamor is that, well, we have gotten so good at it. I remember back in about 1980 or '81 (wow...26 years ago!!)when the first Space Shuttle missions went up. Both the liftoff and landings were televised live and it was really a big deal. Now, after umpteen missions, it has become ho-hum. That is too bad. Most folks now care more about Paris Hilton, the Academy Awards, and new ringtones for their cell phones. I guess the woefully inadequate education doled out in the public schools makes these things more easily understood than the intricacies of space flight. Perhaps if more parents introduced their kids to model-building, rather than sitting them down in front of the TV to keep them quiet, they would have a greater appreciation.
God gave us wonderful imaginations and creative hands. In the Bible we see things like Noah's Ark, the Ark of the Covenant, and the Temple. All of these things were models of a sort. God handed down the instructions and the gifted hands did the rest. You don't need to design something to be creative, and it certainly doesn't take away any of the accomplishment or the pride one should feel in completing something just because the design was given to you. It still requires a lot of work and a lot of talent. To tell you the truth, I would have trouble creating a puddle if I had a bucket full of water with the instructions printed on the bottom...that is how UN-talented I am. But my son and I are already starting down this road together. He is just a year-and-a-half old, but already the drive to create and build is making itself evident. Just stacking up his big foam blocks puts a smile on his face and a twinkle in his eye. His hands...making order and creation out of random objects.
It is yet another example of our being created in God's image...creating something out of nothing.

Jim Janknegt

I loved building models as a kid. For an introverted, creative type it was just the ticket. I mainly built cars and monster models but did some ships and airplanes. I eventually got into customizing car models, cutting and glueing plastic, running thread carburetor wires, and gluing fabric onto seats for upholstery. But the most fun for me was the painting, picking out wacky colors and spraying away. My hero was Ed "Big Daddy" Roth who customized real cars. A couple of years ago I was stuck in a conference in Reno Nevada and discovered they have an automobile museum. To my amazement they had several original Ed "Big Daddy" Roth cars in their museum. That was a real treat and brought back a lot of childhood memories. I only have one daughter and models aren't of interest to her so I envy all you Dads who get to re-live the joys of model building. Enjoy every minute of it!!

Tim J.

What's cool is, now that my nephew got into these models, my son has become interested again. He really wants us to finish the Saturn V rocket.

I know what you mean about the space program being un-glamourous, nowadays. Truth is, it became un-glamourous in the early seventies. Once we went to the moon, the national attention-span fizzled out very quickly. As the movie Apollo XIII showed, they couldn't even get footage of their mission on the nightly news, until things went haywire. Too bad.

Boat Guy

Aaaah - but model *SHIPBUILDING* (to quote Mark Shea) is the source and summit of all things perfect and noble and the ultimate of all human achievements. Acres and acres of photetched brass, resin casting, the smell of glue fumes, the air brush poised in your hand, massively expensive after market upgrade kits, endless sometimes violent arguments over the exact color of the turrets of battleships on the 7th of December 1941.

That my friends, is heaven on earth. Have a look at www.steelnavy.com and you too will see why. Be warned, a massive hit to your credit card will follow shortly thereafter!

Boat Guy! (now you know why my handle is my handle!)


I know what you mean about the space program being un-glamourous, nowadays. Truth is, it became un-glamourous in the early seventies.

Actually, I remember a time back in my youth when every space shuttle launch was such a special event.

So different nowadays...


I just wish I could get a stick of Beemans more often

Jim Whall

_The Right Stuff_ was one of my absolute favorite movies. The book was great as well. I went to see the movie with my Da; its one of my fonder memories.

When I was in college I worked for GM, and a lady I worked with had gotten to know Chuck Yeager during his AC Delco commercial days. She said he was one of the nicest guys around. I have both of his books. I was given a jolt when I went to the page and saw Glamorous Glennis there. :-)

As to the space program, it has to do something more. The Shuttle was great, but went nowhere. Maybe if they can get Project Orion working. Look at the crew module. Kind of back to the future:


elena maria vidal

Do doll houses count? My brother built model airplanes and I meticulously furnished dwellings for all my dolls. It took a lot of planning and patience. I think that such projects are excellent for children, building creativity. (I only wish my own house was as tidy as the miniature ones!)


_The Right Stuff_ was one of my absolute favorite movies.

That was an AWESOME movie!!!

Tim J.

Sure, doll houses count!

Why? Because I say so!

In fact, that makes me wonder about building a model Cathedral...

Boat Guy, I actually would like to build a REAL boat (just a small one), as well as a wood canoe.

I do remember building some boat models (very badly) as well as some hot rod and funny car kits. And, of course, we cannibalized old kits and made our own fantasy models... crazy stuff. I think we blew up some of them.

Jim Whall

Tim J.

For boats, how about a Kayak?
There are all sorts of kits out there. I opted to build a Chesepeake 16 Kayak from Chesepeake Light Craft (clcboats.com, I think).

I bought plans for $90 & bought the equipment and supplies for probably about $550 when you add it all up.

Though I became a master of 'Measure twice, cut once, use the piece you just cut as a template to learn how to properly cut...' It came out well. And if an all thumbs guy like me can do it, I firmly believe anyone can.


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