Plastic time

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Since I was rummaging through my “stash,” I came across some of my plastic scale model kits. These are miniature representation of full-sized subjects. Subjects such as aircraft, military vehicles, cars, personalities or ships. These subjects in miniature are small enough to be placed on a shelf or a display cabinet, and details on these can rival the full-sized ones. Now, why would someone want to collect such things??? Well, as kids we, I for one, were fascinated with fast cars, fighter jets and tanks. At some point, most of us wanted to be behind the wheel of a sports car, flying an airplane or commanding a tank battalion. As reality set in while growing up, only a few chosen ones would be able to fulfill their childhood dreams. For me, since I took a different path but with the same fascination for such mechanical marvels, owning a miniature of the real thing was good enough for me.

For example, when I was into the VW scene in the early 1990s, I collected parts for my VW Beetle. Any item with a VW logo on it, I would find a good reason to get it. But in the mid 1990’s, I sold my VW but I still had a lot of VW related stuff. I shifted to collecting toys, brochures, books and scale models. Like collecting die-cast cars, you collect subjects that you find interesting or more to your liking. I had a lot of Brekina cars that depicted the rare VWs. These were made of plastic and for their size had really good detail. But with the urge to tinker around with something, collecting die-cast cars wasn’t enough. So with plastic scale models, one main difference was you had to build it to make it look like the real thing. You had to make sure that the detail for the specific year model car you were trying to recreate was correct – the color, the stance… it was just like working on the real thing.

Another good thing about building a plastic kit is you could build your dream car… you could choose what color you want, what kind of tires and rims you wanted, the interior, you could let your imagination fly. For me, owning a 1956 oval window or an early Karman Ghia would be out of my reach… having them in miniature was the next best thing. How bad was my hoarding? When the Tamiya 1966 Beetle first came out, I had around eight boxes in my stash. Then they had the 1966 Karman Ghia… I think I had six boxes. Hasegawa released the pre-1967 bus ”Kombi” series. And the 1967 Beetle was also released. Let’s just say that my mom at that time didn’t agree with all those kits sitting in my room. Then there was the Gunze release of the 1956 Beetle and early Karman Ghia. Revell also had reissues and I had a couple of those also. By then, would I have the time to build all of those kits???

Hmmm… I think not. But it did put a big smile on my face when I had all those. I ended up selling most of them years later. Reality check as they say. Priorities were changing. But hey, I still have a few left here with me. I am sharing this with you to reassure you that its OK to be like a kid again. If you were dreaming before of a car that tickled your imagination as a kid but didn’t have the resources to own one, dabbling into scale plastic cars is the next best thing. The cost is a fraction of owning or restoring the real thing, and you wouldn’t have a problem with garage space to keep them. But as your skills develop and your collection grows, this will give you a better insight on just how much work and dediction would have to go into proper restoration of a full-sized classic car. If you are into this kind of car collecting… let us know. We would want to here from you.

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