Author Topic: Memories of a kit builder...  (Read 7273 times)

Herr Hussmann

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Re: Memories of a kit builder...
« Reply #30 on: December 27, 2014, 02:15:18 AM »
My first kit was Aurora's Hunchback Of Notre Dame. I used the glow pieces, with the rest of the kit in brown plastic- although I had no paint for it yet, it was still such a kick to have the model. Coincidently, the 1939 version starring Charles Laughton was on TV later that day (or was it the next?) and I wondered why my kit didn't look like Laughton.

Hepcat

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Re: Memories of a kit builder...
« Reply #31 on: December 27, 2014, 10:01:35 AM »
I might also add that now I assemble and paint all of my models myself which is a good thing seeing that my brother is 72 and my mom is 94!

Congratulations!

 8)
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Hepcat

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Re: Memories of a kit builder...
« Reply #32 on: December 27, 2014, 10:05:44 AM »
Coincidently, the 1939 version starring Charles Laughton was on TV later that day (or was it the next?) and I wondered why my kit didn't look like Laughton.

And your Glo kit would not have looked like Anthony Quinn either.

 ;D
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Herr Hussmann

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Re: Memories of a kit builder...
« Reply #33 on: December 29, 2014, 01:53:49 PM »
Certainly not the box. The cover (the box was the square-shaped glow box, not the rectangular "frightening lightning" one) featured Quasimodo as a shaggy, permed hair creature like Chaney, as opposed to the kit itself which had a combed-back coif, which looked like no version of the character that I know of.

The contours of its face vaguely resembled that of Glenn Strange.

Hepcat

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Re: Memories of a kit builder...
« Reply #34 on: May 18, 2020, 10:18:18 AM »
My first kit was the Aurora Frankenstein (which was my first Universal monster toy) followed by Dracula, then the Wolfman, then all the others as they were released.

Wow! You were in from the ground floor.

At first my brother would assemble and paint the kits, but eventually he handed the painting job off to my mom.  I've been very fortunate in that I've kept all of my original Aurora monsters and superheroes. They've all been repaired, refurbished, and repainted.

You're lucky! The models most of us built as kids are long gone.

 :)
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scarey1scd

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Re: Memories of a kit builder...
« Reply #35 on: May 18, 2020, 05:46:51 PM »
Hello all! I will try not to be long winded here!. I was somewhat of a regular here abt 2-3 yrs ago, this is my 1st post since I went thru my hard times/bad times, sold off most of my collection to take care of things...I know many of you have been in the same position...thats a story for a different post lol. Anywho, this one caught my attention today and I wanted to share about the models.

Ive always collected "halloween" related items, but I went thru many phases in my younger years. Comic books, trading cards, etc.You name it I probably wanted to collect it at one time. My passion for the last 20+ years has been halloween and horror related collecting. Which brings me to my story...

Picture the early to mid 90s... I was all about Hot Wheels cars. I put an ad out in the paper about them and had an older gentleman contact me letting me know he had some "red lines" from when he was a kid. I went to his house, bought a couple cars, and we started casual conversation. I told him that I was into horror movies and he said "Hold on a second". He went into another room and came back with Aurora Frankenstein, Dracula, Werewolf, and Mummy models. Built, and unpainted. He said his parents got them for him when he was a kid. He built them but chose not to paint them, and he didnt know why but he always felt the need to hold onto them thru his life. I saw them and I was just blown away...they just seemed like something out of my reach at the time. He must have seen my eyes light up when I saw them because after a few minutes he just said "Here, take them with you". I asked him how much and he said " They are yours..."

I cant remember his name...but I remember him. I remember that day, and how it made me feel.  I still have those 4 models. Ive bought other original boxed versions of the same thing, but I still have those 4 models. They are on the highest shelf in my living room. They brought me to where I am today. I never want to sell them. Im hoping someday ( when Im old of course lol) I will find another generation that I can pass them onto and keep the love for collecting and horror moving forward...
Pass the marmalade

Hepcat

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Re: Memories of a kit builder...
« Reply #36 on: May 19, 2020, 09:35:04 AM »
We didn't have any idea what we had when we were young. I thought the toys and kits that were out when I was a kid would always be available.

Precisely correct! We thought that whatever was around when we were kids not only had been around forever, but would continue to be around forever. Yes, yes, we knew different comics came out every month and different baseball and hockey cards came out every year, but that was different!

 ;)
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Hepcat

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Re: Memories of a kit builder...
« Reply #37 on: July 04, 2020, 04:27:26 PM »
The first model kit I built was one I received in 1961 or 1962 at the John Labatt Limited employees' kids Xmas party at the old London Arena (whose main use by then was for roller skating, roller derbies and NWA wrestling):



While we waited for Santa to make his appearance, we got cake, cookies and ice cream and were entertained by a wonderful magician.  Every child's name was then called and we each received a wrapped present such as a model kit together with a boodle bag full of candy treats including a box of Cracker Jack and package of Mackintosh Toffee from Santa. It couldn't get any better than that for a kid at the time.

The kit I received was definitely an AMT 3-in-1 car model but I'm not sure exactly which. It may have been this Chevy Nova:





Or this Chevy II:



I got glue marks/stains over the body and it only looked good from a distance. A few months later I purchased a tiny Revell model kit of a warship for $0.29-$0.39 from my local Les' Variety store. The box graphics to a certain extent resembled those of this much bigger Revell battleship below:



But the model I bought came in a box that was only about six inches long and I think it was one of the British ships that fought in the Battle of the River Plate because I have a vague memory of reading about this battle on a model instruction sheet. I had bought it for the birthday party of Dave H. down the street but ended up building it myself when his party was cancelled. It was such a simple kit that I did a good job on it.

So emboldened was I by my success that I then stepped up to this model kit of an Aurora P-38 Lightning:



Mine may have been molded in a white, grey or cream coloured plastic though. Nonetheless I built it nicely but then painted the whole thing other than the canopy with blue Testors glossy enamel paint to better mimic the picture on the box. I did a wretched job on the paint though with very obvious brush marks all over the plane. One of my buddies even commented that it looked lousy which had me concluding that since I couldn't paint very well, I wouldn't paint any more kits. This was perhaps a premature assessment since I was only eleven or so years of age at the time.

 :-\

NEXT: How I got into figure kits!

 :)
« Last Edit: August 12, 2020, 09:08:09 AM by Hepcat »
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skully

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Re: Memories of a kit builder...
« Reply #38 on: July 05, 2020, 01:23:57 AM »
I built so many kits that I probably lost count,  car kits, planes, military, ships, space, but of course the favorite ones were always the monsters.  Aurora kits ruled the scene, nothing at the time could top them.  Of course I had the first one,  thin box slightly heavier type cello wrap Frank.  It went together like a charm,  painted it the best I could,  I remember my dad just looking at it probably just trying to understand my excitement.  I think my mom liked it though.  I placed it on top of the clothes cabinet with the empty box behind it where my brother and I shared our bedroom.  Didn't last long there because it scared my younger brother to where he couldn't sleep,  I always had to open the top drawer to put it in there,  then later take it out to display until bedtime again.  With all the other type kits I would build,  I would always put them back in the box for safe keeping and store them away,  but the monsters I always displayed,  with the boxes behind them,  I never tired of the artwork for them.  With the models, movies, magazines, toys, I could never get enough of "monsters", it was really amazing to see almost on a daily, weekly, monthly basis something new coming out in those great early sixties. 

BigShadow

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Re: Memories of a kit builder...
« Reply #39 on: July 05, 2020, 07:08:01 AM »
One kit I've been wanting to build for a couple years now is a pirate ship.  Maybe after my giant Godzilla is finished.  My local hobby shop has been closed and recently opened with weird hours, so its tough to get the base spray paint I need to start.   I've checked Hobby Lobby and Michaels, but they don't have the color I need.  So I guess I'm kind of on hold, lol.
I became insane, with long intervals of horrible sanity...

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Hepcat

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Re: Memories of a kit builder...
« Reply #40 on: July 05, 2020, 10:35:11 AM »
One kit I've been wanting to build for a couple years now is a pirate ship.


Which pirate ship? Revell released several fabulous model kits of frigates including the U.S.S. Constitution and the U.S.S. United States:









 ???
« Last Edit: July 05, 2020, 01:04:49 PM by Hepcat »
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Hepcat

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Re: Memories of a kit builder...
« Reply #41 on: July 14, 2020, 12:34:52 PM »
It was the Aurora monster models that played a pivotal role in sparking what's ended up being a lifelong interest in model kits for me.

i would often accompany my mother to the Kresge store on Dundas Street in downtown London:



I didn't mind. While mom shopped for boring stuff, there were many other things to keep me occupied - goldfish, budgies, little turtles, bulk candies and of course the toy department! It must have been sometime in 1962 when I first saw the Aurora Wolf Man model kit. Here's the one from my present day collection:



I was captivated! When the Creature kit turned up with the others sometime in 1963, I was really knocked out: 



But I couldn't imagine my mother buying me one of these kits so I didn't even ask. I rather suspected that I wasn't yet ready for kits as wild and complex as these anyway unlike the two very sophisticated slightly older boys down the street, Fred and Mike, whose Dracula build-up had left me in awe:



But DC then stoked my longing for these kits with these two ads on the back covers of their comics hitting the newsstands in September 1963 and January 1964 respectively:





As it turned out, before getting one of these kits I managed to score a super cool Creature-Wolf Man wallet by meeting my sales quota of Globe and Mail newspapers one Saturday morning in the spring of 1964:



Since a lot of the other successful paper boys wanted the wallet featuring the Mummy, I was in 1965 influenced to make the Mummy the first of the original six Aurora monster model kits I bought and built:



I even painted it, the first model kit I'd tried my hand at painting since the Aurora P-38 Lightning more than two years previously! I used a glossy Testors grey paint on the Mummy himself and metallic green on the snake. I endowed both with red eyes. It actually looked really cool!

At almost the same time as the Mummy kit I acquired the Bride of Frankenstein kit because the box art really beckoned me and I had the money that day to buy a kit:



The third in the late spring of 1966 was a Frankenstein's Flivver:



That served to put me off the Aurora monster model kits though since it was rather hokey and shoddy (with plastic as opposed to rubber tires!) compared to the other models I'd built. Moreover it was molded in black plastic which I found less amenable to painting and thus less interesting. Besides by this time in 1966 I was in high school and other pursuits were drawing my interest.

My best buddy Anthony L. though bought and built a Forgotten Prisoner of Castel-Maré kit in 1967:



With respect to painting he got as far as applying some Testors metallic gold enamel to the chains. Painting was a challenge to most of us monster kids back in the day.

 :-\
« Last Edit: August 04, 2020, 03:05:34 PM by Hepcat »
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Hepcat

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Re: Memories of a kit builder...
« Reply #42 on: July 28, 2020, 02:40:35 PM »
The Revell "Big Daddy" Roth custom car and fink kits were also key in turning me into a lifelong model kit fan. I simply don't remember when and where I first learned about "Big Daddy" Roth though. It may have been from an ad for one of his Revell custom car kits or fink kits in Boy's Life magazine in 1963 or so:



Or it may have been from one of his T-shirt ads that ran in some hot rod magazine such as this one from Drag Cartoons in 1964:



But I do clearly remember looking at the Revell Beatnik Bandit model kit at the Tuckey Hardware store two blocks from my house sometime in early 1964:



Later in 1964 I bought this even wilder Revell Roth Mysterion kit at Tuckey's:



A few months afterward I was completely knocked out when I saw the Revell Rat Fink model kit at the Coles bookstore on Dundas Street in downtown London. I bought it almost immediately, built it nicely but left it unpainted:



My desire for all things Roth was then further stoked by this ad for Testor's paints which appeared in DC comic mags as well as on the back cover of Big Daddy Roth magazine #3 from early 1965:



Even though I saw such a stand at the hobby shop above Cowan's Hardware in downtown London, I knew these paints were for more sophisticated cooler kids who could actually paint. And who could of course afford relatively more expensive spray paint cans!

I also remember gazing with wonder at this ad which also appeared on the back cover of some DC comics as well as on the back cover of Big Daddy Roth 4:



Wow! Winning "Big Daddy" Roth's company as a house guest for a week! How cool would that be? A girl in her early teens from New Jersey actually won the contest with her "Scuz-Fink" submission.

I then bought a Revell Brother Rat Fink T-Shirt Iron-On Transfer at the Seven Mile Hobby Shop just west of the Southfield Expressway in Detroit in the early summer of 1965 and successfully applied it to one of my T-shirts:





My very old-school father though took one look at it, confiscated it and used it for a rag in the garage. Very sad. The same fate befell the Rat Fink sweatshirt I ordered up and received from "Big Daddy" Roth's shop in the winter of 1965-66.

I had noticed an absolutely wild Angel Fink kit in the window of Steve's Variety & Gift Shop in Wortley Road Village just over a block from my house sometime after building the Rat Fink but I hadn't bought it at the time:



I did so in the fall of 1965 though at a hobby shop in Wells, Maine when I was attending a boarding school in Kennebunkport, Maine. It became the first non-Aurora model kit I painted and I actually did a pretty good job.

I also clearly remember being tempted by the Revell Surfink kit when I saw it at Coles Books later in 1966 but passed on buying it because I was in high school by then....



Whenever that first exposure of mine to "Big Daddy" Roth's designs was, I was absolutely captivated from the get-go. This stuff I knew was absolutely outta sight wild cool (and something my parents just couldn't understand of course)!

By 1983 I was buying up whatever MIB Revell Roth kits I could find. At the time they were surprisingly cheap in comparison to the Aurora monster model kits. I now have almost all the ones I really want with the exception of Scuz-Fink and Rat Fink in Lotus Racer (to what I'm sure would have been the absolute disgust of my parents).  And to this very day I still remain a wild-eyed drooling fan of "Big Daddy" Roth and his custom rods and finks!



Don't you just love those happy endings?

 8)
« Last Edit: August 11, 2020, 06:00:48 PM by Hepcat »
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Hepcat

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Re: Memories of a kit builder...
« Reply #43 on: July 31, 2020, 01:31:45 PM »
I was also well aware of the Hawk Weird-Ohs model kits as a kid. I don't remember how and where I first learned of them, but it would not have been long after Hawk first started releasing them in 1963 because they were very widely sold. Here's a picture of the poster that went out to retailers in conjunction with the release of the first three Weird-Ohs:



And here's a poster from 1964 displaying them all:



I particularly remember gazing upon a Huey's Hut Rod kit in the downtown Coles bookstore. Here's the one from my present day collection:



I also have a vague memory of looking over an Endsville Eddie kit at Coles:



Moreover Steve's Variety & Gift Shop seemed to have one of the two smaller Weird-Oh kits that had a retail price of $0.50, Sling Rave Curvette or Wade A. Minut, on display in their front window for several years. These of course caught my eye every time I passed (as did the chocolate cream puffs priced at $0.15 in the window of the Bell Noll Bakery next door):



I also still remember Mike M. just down the block from me proudly showing me the Francis the Foul kit he'd built but left unpainted:



For Mike and his older brother Fred to beat me to the punch when it came to getting things though was par for the course. They were a lot more sophisticated and cooler than I was since even Mike was a year older than me.

I never bought and built any of the Weird-Ohs though. Quite simply I didn't have the spending money to indulge my every whim and I could see that the Weird-Oh kits simply weren't as good as the Revell Roth finks or the Aurora Universal monsters when it came to quality. But I have them all in my present day collection because they're plenty cool enough for me these days!

Here's a close-up shot of a few more from my collection:



 ;)



« Last Edit: August 25, 2020, 12:37:12 PM by Hepcat »
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skully

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Re: Memories of a kit builder...
« Reply #44 on: August 01, 2020, 02:17:35 AM »
I remember building those Lindberg Loonies kits, they were fun, little 49 cent kits, I also liked the early Pyro dinosaur kits, the early ones with the cavemen included.  I also remember trying my hand at the ITC dinosaur skeleton kits, but they were tough to get together only because I had to hold in place the pieces that were glued together from the size and weight of them.  Also really liked the Renwall visible man kit and the human skull by them too,actually tried to install pea lights in the visible man.