When I was a kid, you could buy plastic models at the local hobby shop (two things that modern kids don’t ever hear about!) and take them home to assemble. There were model airplanes, cars, ships, tanks, animals and my favorite, monsters and weird creatures. Each model cost around a dollar, so it wasn’t hard to save up allowance money to buy one.
Each model came in a cardboard box and consisted of little white pieces you had to glue together, kind of like a puzzle. Then, with special model paint and tiny brushes, you could paint the model so that if you were really careful and really lucky, it might look as good as the picture on the box. Each model also had a detailed sheet of instructions, and if you followed the instructions to the letter, you couldn’t go wrong. When I was nine or ten my dad always helped me put my models together…but by the time I was twelve I was proud to do it all myself.
What would one do with a little plastic model when it was built and painted? Models were fragile, and you couldn’t really play with them. But you could put your model on a shelf in your bedroom with all of the other models you had made, and admire it. That’s what I did with mine, and the top of my bookshelf in my studio is still decorated with all of the models I made when I was just a kid.
The picture above is of two of my favorite models, and they are a character called “Rat Fink”. I have a few more Rat Finks and some of his finky friends, too! I think I really learned how to paint and to be an artist by making models when I was young. Do you have any hobbies that give you a chance to be creative, while following guidelines to help you? Making models was a great hobby for me and helped me build skills I still use to this day.