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Josh's Model Adventures

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Josh1971
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Josh's Model Adventures

#1

Post by Josh1971 »

Greetings, my fellow modelers!

I wasn't sure where to post this, but after consulting with Smeg, a forum about modelers and their stories seemed like a good place.

My modeling is about half models, and half fictional wargame which took a fun dramatic turn along the way. Since tonight I'm thumb typing on my phone, this will merely be "Episode One" for those who care to read.

EPISODE ONE: TWO IDIOTS AND THEIR PLASTIC PLANES

Back in the mid 90s, while attending college, a friend and I used to fill our winter afternoons and weekends with copious amounts of model building and watching movies. 1/48 and 1/72 were all the rage for us. We had our favorites - he was a Tomcat guy, and I love the Eagle.

We were hilariously bad at some of the model building. I can remember many a big, gluey thumbprint on canopies, ugly seams, and creative decisions about colors and details. Some of the stripes on missiles were... Interesting.

We had meager stashes, but them were crazy days. Multiple local hobby shops- crazy! And the kits were cheap, too. I used to buy things like Monogram 1/48 F-15s and A-10s for $7-8. Nutty. I'd bet my stash back then was 20 kits or so.

Lots of fun during that time, especially teaching my infant daughter about where the 30mm gun on the Apache is, or what planes were Russian. My first ex hated that, but is there anything cuter than a one year old little girl who's speaking her first words, and one of them is "Cobra"?

So we were building the big kits, and it aas fun, but it was about to change, in many ways....
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Josh1971
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Re: Josh's Model Adventures

#2

Post by Josh1971 »

A word about the nostalgia....

I really do miss the old dusty hobby shops. In my area, at one time, I can remember when there were about 4-5 of them to go make the rounds on, and that doesn't even include the bigger stores that carried models like Hobby Lobby or Michael's. One thing that I just loved about them was that many of them in my area would not only carry the new stuff from manufacturers and importers, but also would buy collections from people. I hadn't quite gotten into 1/144 in the beginning, and so I would look through all these 1/72 and especially 1/48 kits. So much stuff, and it was always fun to crack them open and look at them in the box.

I miss that.

There's a certain kind of fun in the online thing, but there is also a delay- sometimes weeks or months- when you order stuff, as opposed to just walking out of a store with a bunch.

And then in about 1995, I was bored and it was a cold winter day with some snow falling, and I was in one of the local shops and I saw this DML "Libyan Raiders" kit in 1/144, with an A-6E and an F/A-18A. Hmmm.... So I bought it, and after getting it home, I absolutely loved the level of detail and the ease of building them. Thus... in the snow, headed back out to that shop and bought his Revell F-15 and Su-27 in 1/144. And these things were also CHEAP! I think each of the Revells was $3, and the DML 2-plane set was $6.

So.... I went on a massive spree locally over the next month or so, snapping up modern 1/144 stuff where I found it. I got a lot of cool old DML kits in that time, During that time, I started moving over to working on more of the 1/144, and less of the bigger scales to the point where right now, most of my bigger stuff is for sale or trade. It also was a function of space- can't store nearly as many built 1/48 B-1Bs :mrgreen:

Next up- models get ready to go to war!

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smeg1959
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Re: Josh's Model Adventures

#3

Post by smeg1959 »

I knew I'd enjoy reading this, Josh, and I hope we get more of the clan telling their tales. :D

And yes, old buggers like myself are constantly delving into the nostalgia of modelling in our youth. True, most of it wasn't 1/144, but boy, what fun it was! Every shopping centre had at least one toy shop and, unlike the vast majority of the few toy shops left nowadays, almost all sold model kits. Recall buying Airfix Series 1 kits for 55 cents and Frog Black Series kits for 48 cents ... real pocket money purchases. You could also wander into supermarkets and there, between the toys and the stationery items, you'd find more kits, often early Crown ones.

"Dad, I'll mow the lawn." A couple of hours later and you've added a Airfix Bf109G or a Frog Hurricane Mk II to your growing collection. And you couldn't wait to tell your mates at school the following Monday. Nowadays, most kids wouldn't know a model kit if it jumped up and bit them on the backside. :roll:
OTB ...
GB18 - B-25B Mitchell (F-Toys), Beaufighter Mk VIc (Mark I)
GB20 - AW.650-222 Argosy (MikroMir)
Other - Arado Ar196A-1 (F-Toys)

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Josh1971
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Re: Josh's Model Adventures

#4

Post by Josh1971 »

Yes, and while things have definitely changed for me, and likely for a lot of us, I remember that "the hunt" was often times as fun as buying them. I wanted a rich and diverse air force on my shelves then like I do now- it's just that it's bigger now, with WAY more stuff including armor and ships. But back then, I didn't know much at first beyond the big Monogram 1/48 kits, and some mighty sketchy Revell kits. I can remember the excitement of going into a BIG toy store called Children's Palace, and they had a bunch of models, and one of my first I drooled over was "Confrontation at Mach II"- a big 1/48 box that had both an F-15 Eagle and a MiG-25. :o

They had another one I picked up which was an Israeli F-16 vs a MiG-21 that was probably Syrian. Fun stuff in terms of modeling. Later, I'd get this kind of thing again with DML's "Bekaa Valley- 82:0" set with the Israeli F-16B and a Syrian MiG-23ML.

But the more I hunted- I'd read aircraft books all the time and decide that the Mirage F.1 looked mighty sweet, so I needed one of those in 1/48 (Thanks, Esci!). and I had a friend who was always amazed I could dig this stuff up. :mrgreen: A lot of those kits were... uh.... not state of the art (Looking at you, Lindbergh MiG-31)

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Josh1971
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Re: Josh's Model Adventures

#5

Post by Josh1971 »

These!
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Josh1971
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Re: Josh's Model Adventures

#6

Post by Josh1971 »

As soon as I'm done with this hell week at work, the next episode....


TO WAR!
(simulation)

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Josh1971
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Re: Josh's Model Adventures

#7

Post by Josh1971 »

So what happened was that a group of us, some modelers, some not, engaged in a pretty extensive WWIII simulation, using a sort of modern board game, video games, and lots of sleepless weekends 😁

There were video games for more specific air and sea battles (I'm sure more modern games are vastly superior). The air war was conducted using Jane's ATF, which was pretty customizable and included a lot of downloadable add ons, including really early F-22 and F-35, as well as the PAK-FA and others.

World War III started, oddly enough, with-surprise!- Russia invading Ukraine, Latvia, Georgia, and Lithuania. China invading Taiwan, and a whole lot of brushfire wars in South America, Africa and the Middle East. Europe got drawn into the war because of the Russian invasions, and pretty soon, it was the whole world.

Military deals were the name of the game early on, as countries afraid of being overrun wanted help. So... That gave rise to a lot of what I either have or will do as what ifs. Mexico was given US jets, Canada received planes from the UK, Chile got help from the US, etc. Shady deals also ended up resulting in things like the Syrians seizing an Indian cargo ship, giving them a dozen FRS.1 Sea Harriers. It was pretty wild and extensive.

I flew in the middle east, cruising around in my F-15E. 😁 This simulation game went on for about a year until I think some guys got bored, others just wanted to do other things. Then, as I'll explain in the next post, things got weird.....

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