Author Topic: Memories of a kit builder...  (Read 7272 times)

long live kong

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Memories of a kit builder...
« on: April 22, 2010, 02:26:39 PM »
How did my fellow kit lovers discover this hobby?
I am 28 years old, live in England and have always loved horror movies and monsters. My father used to tell me about 'kits' he would glue together as a kid, he had Frankenstein, the Wolfman, the Mummy. Alas his younger brother was plagued with nightmares of these 'kits' crawling down from the shelf so my grandfather ceremoniously threw them over a nearby bridge.
 One day i came across a small shop that had opened in the town where i live that had a 5 feet tall alien creature standing in the window. I peered through the glass and staring back at me was a Predator, Face-hugger, ED-209, Robocop, and a host of other creatures!
 I spent every spare minute I had staring at these fantastic objects I couldn't afford and pestering the man in the shop. Aware of my new obsession my parents bought me an Alien 3 creature for Christmas and I crudely stuck it together with glue. I had no idea how to paint it and ended up using a black felt-tip pen to 'draw in' all the details. Obviously the results didn't match the artwork on the box so off to the shop I went and the shop keeper kindly told me about 'dry brushing'. I spent an hour or so quietly watching him paint a model of 'the Rocketeer' and went home and repainted my Alien with miraculous results.
 From that moment I was well and truly hooked. The shop did not stay in business for long (apparently there wasn't many people in my small town who shared my enthusiasm) and the day he closed he gave me a poster of all the Screamin kits; Freddy, Leatherface etc which I would spend hours examining. This was before the days of Ebay so for a while my beloved model kits were out of reach. I remember pausing my VHS copy of Salems Lot and squinting at the kits on 'Danny Glicks' bedroom table. In any event my love for the hobby was born and eventually I could afford to venture out to nearby towns and cities in search of monsters.
« Last Edit: April 22, 2010, 02:36:56 PM by long live kong »
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Opera Ghost

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Re: Memories of a kit builder...
« Reply #1 on: April 22, 2010, 03:36:46 PM »
I believe that I was about 7, when my parents bought me my first, an Aurora Dracula, knowing that I loved FMOL magazine, and staying up on occaision to watch these films.

From there, Man from Uncle-Napoleon Solo, Robot from Lost in Space, then The Frankenstein Monster...and on and on....


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FACTO2

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Re: Memories of a kit builder...
« Reply #2 on: April 27, 2010, 04:42:55 AM »
I can't remember how old I was, but basically I sarted off in the 60's with the Aurora kits (like most others in my age range).  Then, in the late 80's I walked into Kit Kraft and discovered the new kits from Billiken, Horizon and garage guys like Yagher.  That was it.  I was hooked.
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JuliaAdamsIsSoHot

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Re: Memories of a kit builder...
« Reply #3 on: April 30, 2010, 07:23:21 PM »
The first aurora model I bought was the Dr. Jeckyll/Mr. Hyde with glow in the dark pieces. I had gone with my mom to a fundraiser they were having at my school, (I think I was in grade two) and there was the box nestled in amoung some other assorted stuff.  I remember the box art is what drew me to it. A year or so later I got the Dracula model. But after that I was mostly about the monogram dinosaur kits ( I even had the two foot tall T. rex). But now I'm getting back into the monster kits. Just started modeling again over the last month, and am really enjoying it.

Hepcat

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Re: Memories of a kit builder...
« Reply #4 on: November 25, 2013, 10:46:09 PM »
My father used to tell me about 'kits' he would glue together as a kid, he had Frankenstein, the Wolfman, the Mummy. Alas his younger brother was plagued with nightmares of these 'kits' crawling down from the shelf so my grandfather ceremoniously threw them over a nearby bridge.

Agggghhhhh!!!!

How did my fellow kit lovers discover this hobby?

I believe I first laid eyes on Aurora monster model kits in 1962 or 1963 at the downtown Kresge store in London, Ontario. I was also transfixed by the ads for the Aurora monsters that ran on the back covers of DC comics beginning in the late summer of 1963. The three I ended up buying and building were the Mummy, Bride of Frankenstein and Frankenstein's Flivver. I also bought and built Revell "Big Daddy" Roth Rat Fink and Angel Fink kits.

That was about it for figure kits but I also built a plethora of Aurora, Revell and Hawk warships and warplanes. I didn't apply my meager talents to very many autos, but a Revell "Big Daddy" Roth Mysterion and Monogram Li'l Coffin were among the few I built.

 cl:)
« Last Edit: November 26, 2013, 09:20:41 AM by Hepcat »
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BANE

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Re: Memories of a kit builder...
« Reply #5 on: November 26, 2013, 12:14:45 AM »
Probably 1976.  My father brought me along to one of his friends houses.  His kids had the Aurora Tarpit and monster masks.  I was 4 or 5.  I starred at those things for the longest time!  Had the lincoln and Remco monsters as a kid.  8 years old then.  Then I got into other things.  FINALLY when I am 26 or so I find the re-released Revell kits of Dracula and Frankenstein at Toys R Us.  I thought...How hard could it be?  They were on sale for $3 a piece.  I glued and painted them and felt so much nostalgia.  10 years later I turn that nostalgia into Monster Cafe Saltillo.  Been operating 5 years now. 

Universal Steve

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Re: Memories of a kit builder...
« Reply #6 on: November 26, 2013, 01:05:33 AM »
I am a military brat so when I was in 1st grade I was in Texas. I had made 3 fast friends and one day one of them came up to me and asked me if I wanted a free model all built because he had 2 of them. The price was right so I said yes. I was an Aurora Mummy. I took it home and stared at it for a long time thinking how cool it was. This was the 60's so my father was not pleased and my mother wasn't exactly thrilled about it either. I  then discovered there were other monsters so i went on my quest to the PX and found some of the others. The ones they didn't have I could get in downtown Dennison. On base the models were 33 cents and downtown they were 99 cents.  My collection grew but I didn't know how to paint back them so my brother built a couple of them for me unpainted but I still thought they were cool.  When I did learn how to paint I went and bought the Aurora reissues and also the Glow kits and painted them. Somehow I managed to hold on to the original 13 as we traveled around the world. I also did the Aurora hero models also and wasn't able to hold on to them but I have the Comic Scenes versions in my attic.  There was a dry spell of no monster models for a long time but then came the Luminators so I got those. Then I discovered Horizon vinyl monster models. I had to learn a whole different way of painting using acrylics and dry brushing techniques and washes. A far cry from Testors  and Pactra enamals. The when we got the internet I discovered the resin garage kits. Very expensive but I had to have them and then had to learn how to build resin models. Everything from pinning to using a Dramel tool on it. They are great and Yeager is my favorite sculpter. That Mummy model that my friend gave me got me into monster models and started me on the road to Universal collecting. It has been my lifelong hobby and there are no signs of me slowing down. I am a hopeless Universal collector, fan, and hobbyiest.
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jimm

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Re: Memories of a kit builder...
« Reply #7 on: November 26, 2013, 01:13:05 AM »
 5 years in any small business is very good..congrats and keep it up.
 As for myself I was a model nut as a kid. I was the kid who wanted them for gifts and made sure I gave them as gifts if I was invited to a birthday party. The other kids NEVER complained! I recall walking into long defunct Uncle Ed's Toy Circus downtown and being awed by the Monster Scenes store display and box art. Even had one of those running away keep falling down nightmares trying to escape Frankenstein's Monster that night LOL Didn't keep me away long.
 Around this time a friend showed up for school, must a been third grade or so, wearing a Revell Master Modelers Club jacket. Intrigued I went over after school and was floored by his older brother's wall of kits. All the prehistoric scenes, monsters, cars, planes, pirates and haunted mansions, you name it. Jaw dropping, I ended up getting glow kits of Dracula, the Phantom, and probably a few more I have lost track of. I need to build more now when and if time permits as I find myself more of a collector these days, but I want to do both...

O0O0O0

Hepcat

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Re: Memories of a kit builder...
« Reply #8 on: November 26, 2013, 09:24:03 AM »
This was the 60's so my father was not pleased and my mother wasn't exactly thrilled about it either.

Ahhhh parents, the bane of every young boy!

Around this time a friend showed up for school, must a been third grade or so, wearing a Revell Master Modelers Club jacket.

Wow! That would be so cool to have one of those jackets now.

 :o

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Cerebus

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Re: Memories of a kit builder...
« Reply #9 on: November 26, 2013, 05:10:24 PM »
When I was about 7 or 8 and was able to ride my bike to the local stores, I discovered Famous Monsters. In the very first issue I had purchased, I saw ads for Aurora Model Kits. I raked leaves and helped old ladies home from the local A&P with their packages, to earn enough money for a kit. The first one I bought was Frankenstein. Soon after I bought Dracula, The Creature, The Wolfman The Forgotten Prisoner and The Mummy. They were only like $1.25 each! When I saw Godzilla and King Kong I was estatic and bought several of each beacause I would actually play with them, re-enacting King Kong vs Godzilla. Then a few issues later I saw the Aurora Prehistoric scenes and I eventually collected them all. I would build kits and enter them into contests at the local hobby shop. When I got older and all those kits went to the great toy heaven in the sky.

In the early 90s I saw the 'Gigantics' kits in a close out store for $1 each. I bought them and socked them away for any years. It wasn't until last year, when I had back surgery and was going crazy in the house doing nothing that my wife suggested I build the kits. I started building and haven't stopped since.

Now its fun to find kits, purchase them, develop ideas for diorama's and learn new things. I'm realizing I missed a whole bunch of great kits that have come out and I am trying to find my faves. I recently purchased the Ymir on ebay for about $50. I also purchased some of the original Aurora Prehistoric Scenes like, Cro-magnon man, Neaderthal man, Sabertooth Tiger and some of the Revell, Polar Lights and Mobius re-issues.

It gives me a great sense of accomplishment when I finish a kit  ;D  :D
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Haunted hearse

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Re: Memories of a kit builder...
« Reply #10 on: November 26, 2013, 05:34:22 PM »
I guess it was seeing the box art for the "Forgotten Prisoner of Castle Mare" that hooked me in the 1960's.
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Illoman

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Re: Memories of a kit builder...
« Reply #11 on: November 26, 2013, 09:30:44 PM »
I remember my dad helping us build and then paint the Superman and Robin Auroras. Man I wish I still had those!! Then I also recall my mom helping us build the Bat Plane! As i got older I started building the Aurora Monsters, and the Barnabus Collins model kits. Most of my Aurora monsters have survived through life with me, but some have not. A friend gave me the Batman reissued model in the 80's, and it proudly sat on a shelf at the Bookie Parlor comic book shop for years. I believe that was the last model kit I ever built.

Cerebus

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Re: Memories of a kit builder...
« Reply #12 on: November 26, 2013, 11:46:05 PM »
I guess it was seeing the box art for the "Forgotten Prisoner of Castle Mare" that hooked me in the 1960's.

One of my faves! And one of the first I built when revisiting my kit hobby as an adult :)
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The Batman

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Re: Memories of a kit builder...
« Reply #13 on: November 27, 2013, 12:03:44 AM »
During the 60's-early 70's I built the
Prisoner of Castle Mare
The Creature
The Mummy
Frankenstein
The Phantom of the Opera

I love each of those kits and so spent several weeks

When I did not live (*at*) home for over 4 yrs my Dad decided to discard those kits
into the trash. He decided he is tired of dusting those kits on my top shelf (*at*) home while I was away in college.
What can a kid say when his Dad discards his monster kits while
paying for 4 yrs of college???








Hepcat

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Re: Memories of a kit builder...
« Reply #14 on: November 27, 2013, 08:54:51 AM »
I guess it was seeing the box art for the "Forgotten Prisoner of Castle Mare" that hooked me in the 1960's.


One of my faves! And one of the first I built when revisiting my kit hobby as an adult :)


That was the only monster model kit my card collecting buddy who also loved everything monster (including my Creepy and Eerie mags of course!) built. I still have his build-up in my closet but it needs to be painted.

 :)
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