Model Airplane Maker on Hesitation…and Bucket Lists

Originally this post was going to be called “Bucket List Builds”. I did not want to be so dramatic with that title, but the intent was to list off …


I enjoyed reading Chris Wallace’s post on his bucket list of dream projects and attendant skill-building strategies. One of his bucket list items, the splinter-camouflaged Viggen, turns out to be one of my pet future projects. I even have most of the components of that Viggen project, including the 1/72 Tarangus kit and the DN masking set.

Most of my unbuilt, aspirational projects remain unbuilt and aspirational for want of time—particularly those in my customary wheelhouse of armor.

A few bucket list projects I can think of would require acquisition of rare or exorbitantly expensive kits—but I suspect that 3D printing might moot the rare or hard-to-find obstacle. The old Halcyon Aliens APC and Drop Ship are a couple of such examples, as is the Intermountain International Space Station. Rare, large scale resin garage kits from the old Japanese anime series Gasaraki are another holy grail for acquisition.

But there are a few future projects that would require, as Chris describes, mastery of new (to me) technique, or at least making peace with a new threshold of project size.

I’ve always wanted to build a model of the Bismarck, for example. The movie “Sink The Bismarck” is a treasured childhood memory, and my older brother was part the team that discovered its wreck 30 or so years ago. Meng’s or Flyhawk’s state-of-the-art 1/700 versions appeal to me particularly for their manageable size and price. But a 1/700 battleship build would require some serious commitment to very small photoetch.

A few families of subjects appeal to me, and many of the kits are already in the stash. One such family in particular entails mastery of metallic finishes, which I haven’t tinkered with since the days of Floquil Old Silver: 1/144 Cold War nuclear bombers. The B-36, B-58, and B-47 were only ever liveried in bare metal, as were B-52s in the pre-Vietnam era.

My current project, the Volkswagen T2, is practice for eventual builds of other classic VWs of my youth: the T1 bus, Beetle, and Karmann Ghia. Gloss automotive finishes, not altogether unlike the glossy racing planes Chris aspires to in his post, are the key element of these automotive builds.

Another category of kit I am drawn to are those that are nearly impossible to display. Revell’s North Cormorant oil rig and Bucket Wheel Excavator kits have long been on my wish list of kits—though I have no idea how or where the finished products might be displayed. Pocher’s old 1/8 Volvo Intercooler tractor is another impractically large kit I have long wanted—we had one on display at Don’s Hobby World back in the early 90s. Its builder was a loyal customer who bought and built it in secret from his spouse, and the massive model was hidden in plain sight in our main display case.

Time—and luck—will ultimately tell if I ever get around to all of these dream projects. Meanwhile, the stash is embarrassingly large, and I’m enthused about all of it. I’m not in any danger of running out of exciting modeling projects.


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