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The Model Citizen: Air Models

American Government Special Collections Reference Desk

Hobbies

The Model Citizen: Air Models

We've enjoyed ourselves through model cars. Isn't this what it's all about?

Tom Geiger
TSSMCC News/JSMCC News
August 1993

I like getting together with John Slivoski. We do share a distorted sense of reality when it comes to cars and models, especially when we get on the subject of models we intend to build someday.

Whether it's our usual hour plus phone calls or the long drive to a distant model show, we rarely run out of things to say or modeling subjects we intend to commit to plastic sometime in the not too distant future.

Often, a conversation will start with a general reference to a real car. I'll say, "I've had my '73 Scamp ten years now."

John will reply, "That would make an interesting model. Nobody's done that one yet."

I come back, "Yes, I do have a John Heyer resin pop of the '71 Dart with the altered front fenders. If I cut them off and add the Duster nose off a body Dave gave me with melted quarters, that oughta make a Scamp."

"Might work," adds John, "But that body's gonna need new drip rails and wipers. What would you do for a chassis?"

"I have the remains of the 'Dodge Duster" kit that Bart gave me on Swap Day a few years ago. I'll take a slant six from one of my Deora kits, scratch build the exhaust from Autoworld bendable tube and steal the front end from the 1968 Roadrunner kit. I saved an old article that shows you how to make the front end steerable, so I'll try it out on this one".

John Tempts me, "If the front end steers, you'll have to open the doors too."

I jump in, "I'll do the trunk too, it'll be easy since I have the reference material in my driveway!"

We both close our eyes, we have mentally put all the parts in one box, and step by step have built the model in our minds. We both say "AHH!" and as far as we are concerned, the model is built and on the shelf. We move on to the next subject.

John starts, "I've been meaning to build an Anglia...."

I cut him off, "I still have the one I bit the ass off for my '32 Ford. I bet no one's ever done a woody wagon..."

And we're off again, adding the V-6 drivetrain from the Tamiya German Ford Sierra, building it right hand drive and adding Australian license plates that I'll do on the computer. A model that only John and I can appreciate is added to our air model shelf.

No plastic's been wacked, no putty spread, no paint sprayed and nobody's gotten rich off the dozen kits and tons of detail parts we put into our air models.

No show awards, no magazine photo spreads and no kudos from our peers. Then again, no 100 plus hour projects, no politics or frustrations from bad judging or other social ills we face, or imagine, in this hobby / obsession of ours.

But then again, we have met our goals. We have found a kinship, shared our creative energies and found relaxation in our common interest. We've enjoyed ourselves through model cars. Isn't this what it's all about?

I bait John, "I have a Dalphene body that's not doing nothing..."

And we're off once again.

(This column originally appeared in the TSSMCC NEWS, Aug. 1993 and the JSMCC NEWS, July 1993)

Copyright 1993 by Tom Geiger, All Rights Reserved, Used with permission.



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