Wednesday, March 5, 2014

Discuss: Model Kits

Karen: How many of us were into building models (maybe still are)? There were sure a lot of cool model kits to select from in the Bronze Age. Re-issues of the great Aurora super-hero and monster kits, the Star Trek kits, and new stuff like the Planet of the Apes kits -all of these were great ways for a geek kid to have fun and decorate their room! Just watch out for those paint fumes!


Anonymous said...

I had Planet Of The Apes moulds into which you poured plaster of paris and then painted when dry, I don't know if that's the same thing as the Apes kits featured here. I thought about pouring melted chocolate into mine and having edible POTA characters but never did it. I also had models of R2 D2,an X-Fighter and a TIE fighter. And from real life the 1976 Mars Viking lander.

Doug said...

I would fully support the chocolate idea, Colin!

I had the Spider-Man kit from Aurora, and maybe another one -- can't recall. A bit later I had the Colonial Viper and Cylon Raider fighters from Battlestar Galactica. Those were cool!

I was a terrible painter, and had no patience for decals. So my modeling experience usually ended up in frustration. However, could I have just taken the models out of the box finished and painted, I'd have been happy!

But shopping for those little bottles of Testors model paints was always fun. So many colors!


mr. oyola said...

I never had model kits. My older brother was really into them though and I remember he had some Universal Movie Monster kits - I think he had Wolfman and Phantom of the Opera, among others.

He also had various model planes and a battleship.

This would have been in like 74 to 77 or so.

He also had a R2-D2 one that I inherited at some point when he got older and lost interest in that stuff and still have in storage somewhere despite not being in great shape. One day I will have to break that out again - except for a watch and a tie-clip it is all I have of my brother's who passed away 4 years ago.

Garett said...

Hey I had that Star Trek Exploration Kit! It was awesome! I wasn't much for models otherwise as I hated gluing the stuff together. I think I had one plane that was mostly snap-together.

Redartz said...

Doug- I also had that Spider-Man kit. The accompanying instruction comic with Romita art was very cool. Painting the webbing on the costume was a real chore, though!

Also from Aurora, I had the Caveman from your illustration above . He didn't need glue; less mess. Otherwise, my shelf held several Monogram car models. Particularly memorable was the Ice-T (which I proudly displayed beside the Hot Wheels version).

david_b said...

I was a HUGE modeler.. You name it, comic or sci-fi..? I built it.

In class for next few weeks (lots of studying..), so just a few thoughts.

I had a literal MELTDOWN when a month after first watching Space:1999, I found the Eagle model in a dimestore.. I got a mego Green Arrow and AMT Enterprise Bridge set that Christmas, but the Eagle STOLE the show...

How many of you all bought 2nd (or 3rd) kits of the same ship..?

I'd buy 'em to improve on the first sophmoric attempt, especially if I love the ship or subject matter. My 2nd's include BG's Viper, 1999's Eagle, TOS Enterprise, Galileo and the Spock models. They turned out pretty awesome.

The Falcon..? By the time SW came out, I had very advanced weathering skills as a teen. My Falcon is pretty outstanding.. I even had some HO scaled figs to put inside the lit ship. Loved it.

I could NEVER find my 'holy grail', the Captain America model, but I'm kinda happy I didn't because I would have been so anal in building it perfectly and I'm sure I would have messed it up.

Loved the old Snoopy models.

Doc Savage said...

I have 7 or 8 Enterprise models from the TV show. Cut up letters and numbers to make other ships: Defiant, Exeter, Lexington, and so on. My goal was to make all 13 Constitution-class ships from the original show. Then they raised the model price so I stopped about halfway thru.

Edo Bosnar said...

Never really into models, except for a few sets of dinosaurs and one with a Neanderthal man (because I was into dinosaurs and all things prehistoric for quite a while when I was a kid).

Osvaldo, sorry to hear about your brother.

Anonymous said...

I did planes. I started with a P51 Mustang, then a P40 Flying Tiger. I hung them from the ceiling. To give them something to do, I made a Zero and a Stuka dive bomber. When Black Sheep became popular, I made a Corsair. I also had a Flying Fortress up in the "sky". My modeling career ended with an attempt at the Cutty Sark. A three masted Clipper. That thing was A BEAR. It was a glorious mess.

The Prowler (can still smell that lemon fragrance they added to model glue).

Karen said...

There was a span of years where I enjoyed modeling. My mother hated the smell of the paint and glue and I had to do it in the garage. I recall building the Spider-Man, Hulk, and Batman kits, several Planet of the Apes kits, and a ton of Star Trek models. Garrett, I had the exploration kit too, and I really liked it, especially the tricorder. But what bugged me about it was that it was just a bit smaller than life-sized! It was as if it was designed for 4 foot tall crew men. Frustrating when you wanted to take the stuff out for a landing party!

I also had a couple of those prehistoric times kits. Snap-together kits became popular in the 70s presumably because they didn't want the kids sniffing glue. And like Doug, I enjoyed going to the store and looking at all those pretty Testors paints. but it really stunk if you got one home and it was old and wouldn't get back in solution.

Garett said...

Karen I wish I still had the tricorder, phaser, communicator. Seems to me the tricorder opened and closed, and you can just see on the box here that it had the image of the alien you see at the end of the Star Trek tv credits...can't quite remember which episode that's from. The communicator opened up, and I don't think the phaser had moving parts but you could pretend to change the settings on it...stun, etc. I must have given all that away to a younger cousin. Loved that stuff! I once had a dream as a kid that I owned a real phaser...made of candy!! : )

david_b said...

Actually, all you 'landing party' folks, a toy company took the AMT model molds and made the same set of phaser, communicator and tricorder as a toyset. My best buddy had the toyset; I had the model. I believe the alien was from 'Corbomite Maneuver'.

Yeah, they were all a tad small, but who cared, they were awesome. Another buddy of mine and I ordered the TOS insignias and braid from Lincoln Enterprises and his mom made us both bridge outfits to go as Kirk (him) and Spock in a local July 4th parade in my town; my mom even made my ears pointy with masking tape. The set was great for that. What memories.

I've been looking at vintage Galactica toys lately to grab another Viper and battlestar off eBay. Geez, they're expensive these days.

Another friend gave me his Zaius model from POTA, but other than that I just had some of the Hollywood monster kits (with the glow-in-the-dark features). Frankenstein was the best.

As for the Aurora Spiderman, I was quite lucky to paint the chest spider and eye pieces quite well. I didn't even attempt the webbing.

Anonymous said...

Never owned one myself but my older brother had a Star Wars X-wing fighter kit many years ago, complete with a miniature Luke Skywalker figure in the cockpit. I don't think he ever got around to painting it. He lost some parts, e.g. Luke's left arm went missing, and eventually he lost interest in the darn thing!

- Mike 'yeah I hate the smell of glue too' from Trinidad & Tobago.

Garett said...

Right, that was the episode David.

Graham said...

Cool! I had the Superman and Batman models from Aurora. I was still young, so my dad helped me with the glue and painting. I also remember the prehistoric sets, too. I had the Cro-Magnon and Neanderthal Man kits. Later on, I remember having the Cornelius kit of the Planet of the Apes series.

While I did like to do those models, my favorites were the World War I model airplanes. I loved doing them, but like you, Doug, absolutely no patience for decals at all.

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