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MODELS AND MODEL KITS:

I have built or acquired a lot of plastic model kits since they were introduced. My brother Ted used to make the solid wood models, but I never could make two pieces the same or both sides of a fuselage look the same. I totally embraced the Plastic Model.
    I do not remember my first plastic model. I do remember building the balsa strip and Tissue Paper planes of the '40's and later. Megow, Comet, ? Those were a few of the old brands. I startd building with Le Pages  glue, waxed paper, double sided razor blades (my dads), a perfume atomizer (guess whose) to shrink the paper, Stinky dope paint and   Bananna oil. Times change and methods with them. First to fall was the glue. Du Pont brought out DUCO, a clear plastic glue in a green tube. It was stinky and messy but it stuck the parts together faster than 14 hours and you could build a plane before you lost interest. I did that a lot.

    Or before you bled to death from the use of razor blades to cut the balsa and Bass wood. The major problem was the blades had two edges and only sissys put tape over the top edge. Since flesh is softer than wood...There were single edged blades, but my dad was a Gillette Blue Blade man and I had to go with the flow. I can probably recite the history of the razor blade, ticking each kind off by a scar on my hand. I don't know what we would have done with a disposable razor?
     That brings up the next great advancement in model making,  the Exacto knife. A shiny aluminum handle with a sharp replaceable blade on the end. The handles came in three sizes and the big one had a red wood handle. There were about 30 different blades. Each was a different shape and advertized to be superior for the specific purpose they were designed for. They all were expensive and not as sharp as a razor blade. I whined until I had every one of those suckers. I had a special wood box with about 20 of them, and a bunch of paper packs with the blades wrapped in wax paper. I went out of my way to use something I had a blade for.  I did figure out wood burning but was stumped at using the final blade. There is no way you can justify Linoleum block printing when building a model.
    I guess the greatest changes came with Glues. Super Glues and accelerator sprays. You can now put a drop of super glue on a model and spritz it with something smelling like fly spray. It will harden in seconds. I  built a whole wing in one afternoon, and learned you do not bite the end of the super glue nozzle when it clogs. It is an effective way to get another drop, but it is hard to call for help with your tougue stuck to your teeth. I have a lot of  fond memories of super glue, but never had the problems taking my finger tips loose from each other or other things I may have spilt glue on. Experience  taught me to pull hard and never mind the pain. Real men don't cry. Funny thing was I finally went back to Wood Glue. Elmers carpenter's wood glue makes great joints and , disolved 1/2 and 1/2 in water, stiffens the paper coverrings and shrinks them. Sure beats mom's atomizer or dad's fly sprayer, and the plane doesn't stink after.
      I have a lot of the tools for the new plane building, Air brushes, powered Jig saws, Hot wire cutters for making foam wings,
    The first airplanes were not ment to be scale models. They were ugtly and would really fly if you built them just right, and tied the rubber strips together and wound the propeller in the right direction and did a whole lot more things right. It was 47 years later, with my grandson Chris, When I finally had one fly in a complete circle and land and taxi to my feet. I knew the thrill of flight at last. Of course it was a Ruber band powered Comet balsa wood plane we bought and took to the park. I have never had one of mine fly that well. In fact, I remembering deciding to build scale model planes after the 12th consequetive crash of my model and subsequent rebuilds. I had put on so much glue and patches the thing crashed on take-off.