Rebooting my old hobby

I’m a new newbee (Oh My !!!)

As I was building models some odd 30 years ago, I was pretty good at it for that time. Due to some private and work-related issues, I was forced to abandon the hobby for at least some part. The building itself. But I was always drawn to the hobby in some way or the other. Like a virus, it kept on coming. Not the best comparison these days, but it just felt that way. The building of these models always got my attention. I kept on buying books and magazines related to my hobby, which resulted in a large stash of information, not all of which can be found on the Internet. I also collected model kits during the years that passed away, as you can see on my stash page. My stash is quite big and I think I’m forced to shrink it. How in this world am I capable (timewise) to build all to the standards of today. In the starting years, I was first introduced to resin and photo-etch, still in its starting days, by Francois Verlinden in Lier Belgium. I visited his hobby shop there frequently. Amazed by his modeling skills. I also bought vacu-form kits from some manufacturers in Germany like those from Hobbymodellbau F. Schmit in Mutterstadt. But these by far were not up to the standards of today in 2020 as I am writing this article. If you see them you will know what I mean. But in those days these were often the only source for those difficult models. One of them being the 1/35th scale Mörser Karl which is now available as a plastic injection molded kit from Dragon. In the last 30 years, the techniques for producing good model kits have been improved far beyond what we could have dreamt of in the past. New paints, painting techniques, glues, and other things like tools help us, but also make the choice more difficult. As of now that I am rebooting my hobby so to speak, I call myself a newbie or noob however you like to name it in this hobby. And I would love to take you with me step by step on my journey into a new and exciting world of model building. I hope you will enjoy my predicaments and solutions and maybe you can use some of them yourself in the future. 

My first model in 30 years.

The BIG question was, what to choose as a subject for my first model in 30 years. Obviously, I need to get some “Fingerspitzengefühl” back to building scale models. Certainly, because I want them to look good. What would be a good kit to start with? Not too big and not too small. While I was browsing the Internet I came across a nice subject, the so-called “Popski Jeep”. This is a conversion of a normal 4x4 WW II Jeep to a flamethrower Vehicle. They put the WASP flamethrower from the Universal Carrier onto the Jeep. Giving it a nice “punch”. This would be a nice first project because MENG brought us the WASP flamethrower Jeep.

Of course, there are lots of other subjects to choose from, but this one wasn’t too big and it was a vehicle that somehow appealed to me being a “hothead” myself sometimes. Not the best quality for a model builder, but the hobby tends to get me relaxed. Hmmm, wondering what the future brings, tanks with movable tracks, individual track links. Sounds like fun? Now I have my first subject. But what do I need to know next? In the past 30 years, there was a revolution in glues. This kit has different materials that have to come together in one way or another. In the old days, I used normal plastic cement like the stuff from Revell and the first cyanoacrylate glues. Also some white glue for wood and that kind of stuff. That was all we had then. Now we have all sorts of this stuff. 30 years ago, the Internet was a far cry from what is now. I now always say when I’m looking for something “Google is your best friend”. For us, this is still the case, albeit there are some privacy issues involved, but that's a completely different discussion. I’m here for the hobby and not to judge on privacy issues. First, let us look inside the box of the MENG kit.

All plastic parts. Great! The only strange object is the vinyl pipe. So how to glue normal plastic kit and how to glue the vinyl pipe. For the plastic parts, I chose "normal" extra thin cement from Tamiya because I read in some articles from modelers who were more experienced than me, that this was the glue to use. Not specifically Tamiya but also similar glues. This is because it flows very easily between plastic parts and it gives a good steady bond, quickly drying too. Let's see how it works out for me.

Good old Youtube comes to the resque ! As I was searching the Internet I came across a little video that explains the different glues that are on the market today. Its called Introduction to model glues. If you want to know more, pls click on the link.