Other Hobbies

Vintage Tin Lizzie

I continue to progress in clearing my decades-long backlog of hobby projects. My latest completion was another wargaming sub-hobby — scale modeling.

I acquired a 1:16 Lindberg Model T around the same time I bought the war-game-sized contemporary rides. I’ve long wanted to own a Ford Model T, and thought that building a model would help familiarize me with it. Well … it remained on the shelf for almost 20 years. The scratches on the box were inflicted by a beloved feline who passed away 12 years ago!

Working on the model brought back a flood of childhood memories … OF JUST WHY I HATED BUILDING SCALE MODELS! My good-golly-gracious, they are an inexcusable botheration. Oh, well … here it is in all its wabi-sabi glory:

The parts are fiddly and often don’t fit together neatly. If you glue plastic to plastic, you can use model glue, which slightly melts the plastic for a solid bond. When one tries to be proactive and paint beforehand, he either has to scrape paint off the fiddly, delicate joining bits, or else use super glue, which musses the paint, it turns out.

The instructions are not always completely clear — I managed to commit only one profound blunder, by glueing the firewall to the cab before I installed the steering column and wheel. I ended up having to sever and rejoin the column. Had I done it correctly, one would have been able to turn the steering wheel and the front wheels would turn. As it is, I can gingerly turn the wheels, cringing with fear that the column will snap.

I used PVA on the windshield, but still managed to smudge it all up. A little part of me wants to track down another kit and try it again to redeem myself, but I doubt that shall happen.

I did check the web for actual Model Ts for sale, and, with the stable financial position that has come to me with maturity, they are not entirely out of reach. However, I did not inherit the “car” gene from my father, so I doubt I’ll be able to successfully convince my wife to support such an expensive hobby. Plus also the all-important consideration of where to store it.

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