someone who is just beginning this hobby I certainly do not fit
the usual criteria. Most
plastic model enthusiasts begin at some tender young age of
eight or ten years of age.
In the ensuing years will fill their rooms with all sorts
and sizes of models as they vent their passion for the hobby.
Even more important is the fact that they will become
more skillful in the art of modeling.
This fact can certainly be seen when we consider those
persons who have become the outstanding modelers in this hobby.
modelers begin their careers as kids.
They may or may not take time off during their teen years
and then seem to begin to return to the hobby while in college
or some time shortly after college.
I even know a few persons that fit into this category.
Then there is that rare individual such as myself.
I began my adventure in the plastic model world at the
ripe old age of fifty-nine years and one month.
It was at this time that I attended my first meeting of
the Eastern Carolina Plastic Modelers Club in New Bern, North
Carolina, on the third Saturday of September in 2001.
I did not even own a model at that point and was not so
sure that I even wanted to own a kit.
were about a dozen and a half people at this meeting and their
response to me ranged from cordial to super-friendly.
There were a number of persons who tried to help me to
feel that I was wanted there.
Obviously, the business part of the meeting had little
meaning to me. It
reminded me of what it is like when someone goes to church for
the first time and hears a language or words that they have
never experienced before. I
was a little lost but was intrigued enough to want to
understand. I sat
quietly while the business session was conducted but I have to
confess that I was glad when it was over and the “show and
tell” time began. While
the business session of the club meeting is still not my most
favorite part of our own meetings, they have become more
enjoyable to me as I have begun to participate in them.
really excited me was the “show and tell” portion of the
meeting. It was
both fascinating and enjoyable to watch as the different
individuals took there turns and described their models in
detail. Here again,
I did not understand all the terms that were used to give an
explanation of how their kit moved from the box to the finished
model. I did not
have the slightest idea of what “sprue” was (or if it were
eatable) or why anyone would prefer Hasegawa to Tamiya (talk
they talked about scales (I am a singer) I felt a little better
until they said, 1/72, 1/48, 1/35, etc.
I had absolutely no idea how to equate that into a
plastic model and to bring a picture into mind of what that
meant in size. I
did not realize it at the moment but I was being drawn into the
fascinating world of plastic modeling.
first impressions of this world was that I would never live long
enough to develop the skills that would enable me to build first
class models. I
thought to myself, “these guys are good, they might not want a
beginner like me!” In
some ways it is very difficult for an individual just beginning
in this hobby to go amongst the “aces.”
How will I ever learn to hide seam lines?
Are there any books that will help me?
Are any of these guys willing to share their secrets in
model building? I
had a host of questions that was going through my mind and
wondered how I was going to get any answers.
Not too many of the questions were answered that day but
as time has gone by and as I have begun to build relationships
with various members of my club, the answers have come.
Some have come directly from the members, some have come
by being pointed in the right direction and others have come as
I begin to read and study about the hobby.
meeting drew to a close with an auction for a kit. I did not win but it was suggested that I go by the local
hobby shop and get one to start building on right away while the
excitement was still there.
I took their advice and purchased my first kit (of many)
and thus began my adventure into modeling.