Oh, what a fool I have been! If only I had known! If only I had taken the time! I could be sitting on a pile of old cardboard that would be worth $ 45 dollars today!
Well, I can only be depressed as I see eBay sales of empty boxes that once contained plastic model kits. Relics of the 1950’s found in the back of the chicken run and now offered to the nostalgia market. Things we once threw out as rubbish…but now can be sold as rubbish.
I blame my parents. They were cruel and hard and fed me regularly and let me sleep in a warm bed and wear good clothing…and moved regularly to continue work within the construction industry. They never stayed long enough in one place to build a dedicated, air-conditioned storage warehouse to let me keep my plastic model kits and the empty boxes. They deprived me of a career as an empty-box mogul.
I should have seen it at the time. I should have taken firm steps to compel them to my will. If only I had thought to go to a lawyer and take out injunctions…
At least I should have carefully cut the front box art off every kit I ever had and pressed it into an album. All the rest could have gone, but it would have left me with a wonderful souvenir of the times…and a valuable reminder of the kits. As it is, I think I can go to the collector’s books and Google right now and assemble a series of images of the box art as far as I can remember what I had. Some of the colours were a bit bright and glaring, but that was the 50’s for you – the world was made of different dyes then.
Love Canal still is…
The business of decision in the Little World is a great deal more difficult than it used to be. I do not envy a beginner in the various hobbies; diecast collecting, plastic model building, miniature houses, or r/c hobbies.
What a crock… I envy them prodigiously and wish I was starting out again in half a dozen different fields. With half a dozen separate sources of hobby money, I hasten to add…
The peep at the plastic modellers show was reminiscent of what I have seen in lots of other places; literally hundreds of kits available in any division of endeavour. The days of half a dozen Airfix plastic baggies and one model of the Bismark at the local toy store plus two tins of gloss Humbrol are well surpassed. I was staggered at the number of kits of things I would be delighted to build, and equally at the number that left me cold. The limiting factor would be money and time…no other technical restriction seems to exist.
The scale problem always exists, of course, and is nowhere more painfully evident than on the display tables for general modelling societies. There are wonderful models of all scales jumbled cheek to jowl and they all suffer from it – you can’t really appreciate any one thing unless you see it it concert with others that match it in scale and period. This is not what the exhibitors want, or can achieve, so it is no good me grousing about it. I noted that a society dedicated to a particular scale like the 1/72 ship modellers or to one era like the WWI airplane people do have a much better chance of a coherent show.
But the choices seem to be far more than I as a child would have been able to cope with. I had Airfix, Revell, Monogram, Hawk, and AMT to choose from – now there have to be a couple of dozen major makers to add to that and who knows how many specialist, garage, or wildcat makers. Of course some of them have priced themselves past what a child or sensible adult could ever afford to purchase…but then there are any number of foolish adults ( bless them ) wandering the aisles of the hobby show and some of them are seriously cashed-up. They are the golden hope that buoys the retailers and wholesalers and makes it possible for the lesser fish to have food as well.
How DO you decide what to do? I’ll explore the mindset of this in a future post…in the meantime grab whichever kit is nearest to you on the counter, pay for it, go home, and start cutting into the tips of your fingers.