Author Topic: Nostalgia Treasure Hunts...  (Read 2473 times)

Online Brad Cancian

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Nostalgia Treasure Hunts...
« on: March 22, 2023, 12:39:21 PM »
I admit I have a guilty pleasure of chasing down kits that I built as a kid. You know, back in those simpler times where slapping glue and paint on a model and calling it done was a weekly occurrence, before getting obsessed with details, colour schemes, and construction techniques. Though the models themselves are long gone, I still have memories and some terrible old photographs of many of my old childhood builds.

A year or so back I stumbled upon an old photo of myself as a kid:



It was Christmas at my Grandparent's house, either 1991 or 1992, judging by the outstanding happy pants and converse LA Lakers basketball shoes being sported by yours truly. I would have been around 10 or 11 years old at the time, and building models for 3 or 4 years. In my hot little hands are kits I received as a present from my uncle (on advice from my parents, no doubt); an Idea 1/48 Mustang and an Idea 1/48 F-16. I am clearly in deep contemplation about the builds to come (or I was simply camera shy)...!

I remember building both, and I even have a very blurry picture of the Mustang once built:



The Mustang would have been in a fictitious scheme, without a doubt! I believe this specific model would have been lost in the "great backyard turkey shoot" circa 1993 / 1994, when my mother told me to "get rid of all of those airplanes around the house" (which I did... quite creatively... but that's another story for another day). I remember painting the F-16 grey, but no idea what happened to it (I have vague recollections of repeated undercarriage breakages leading to a binning at some point).

When I found the photos, naturally I started hunting for the specific boxings of the kits. The F-16 boxing is clearly identifiable, but was still quite tricky to track down, though I have now done so. The Mustang boxing was (and remains) a bit more of a mystery; all I had was the instructions and glimpse of the side of the box to tell me which boxing it was. There are several Idea boxings of this kit, but only one version that I have found with the side art in question. I now have that boxing as well, but... I am not entirely sure as I still spy some very minor differences (font colour in the yellow box is the one that's gotten me)... but I have not found another Idea boxing to match the side panel art... so the one I have will do for now :)





These kits are not expensive, nor are they up to today's quality standards, but I don't intend on building them.

Going on these little 'treasure hunts' can be fun, and can be often deeply personal. I've gone on other nostalgia treasure hunts before (eg. 1/24 Airfix Bf-109E, 1/32 Hasegawa Spitfire VI and Fw-190A, 1/48 Arii Spitfire VIII, Matchbox 1/72 FW-190A, Hasegawa Bf-109Fs, amongst many many others).

Does anyone else have any childhood treasures that they have hunted down?

Cheers!

Brad

Online macsporran

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Re: Nostalgia Treasure Hunts...
« Reply #1 on: March 22, 2023, 08:14:52 PM »
Ah, young man...

When you were having your turkey shoot in the 90s, I was, even then, busy on my own nostalgia treasure hunt - tracking down all the old Aurora WWI kits I'd built in the 50/60s!

Born in 1953, when I was 5 or 6, I started on the new kids' craze - Airfix kits - but with useless glue and paints. I remember the RE8 struts keeping falling to bits as the crappy LePages glue failed to set. Then I got an Aurora (well, Playcraft in the UK) Sopwith Camel and my brother got a Fokker Triplane.

Mirabile dictu!  Appropriate coloured plastic and a black sprue for wheels and guns. Chunky strut locators that meant top wings stayed in place, but best of all,  a ground base with wheel chocks, pilot and mechanic figures and little black medallion name plate. OK they were 3 shilling while Airfix were 2 shillings but so what these kits were the Wingnuts of the day and I scoured the local toy shops looking for the other models listed.

For some reason in Scotland we had lots of the Pfalz kits (I know Ray Rimmell said he could never find that kit in London) but   never a SPAD to be found. Likewise, the boxed kits I could never find a Brisfit or, whisper it softly, a Gotha! These kits are what started the WWI obsession for me and while loving Spitfires etc, I'll always have an SE5a closest to my heart.

Move on to the 70s, I'm at University, girls have long displaced plastic kits - and I pop into a Woolworths to see a whole display of KB boxes of re-issued Aurora kits - including Gothas!!!!! At 99p!!!!! I come out with an armful, then go back next day for another armful.
Flatmate - "coming to the pub?"
Me - "No, I just want to finish this Sopwith Triplane"

Move on to 90s. No modelling for me, I'm married with kids, but thinking I'll need to show the boys how to build something. I look on the new-fangled eBay and my eyes alight on ..... Aurora kits by the dozen. All sealed in boxes and cheap as chips. I buy one, then another, then another. Soon I've got the entire range, including the Gotha (see pic). What hit me was opening the boxes and getting that distinctive Aurora plastic smell that took me right back to short pants days.

2000s. Divorce. Kits all sold off. Boys stay with me though and enjoy their kit building. Then, new woman on scene and one day we go to a model show where these brand new Wingnut Wings kits are on display. Can't hurt to try one and an SE5a (be still my beating heart) follows me home. I'm hooked again and now it's 2023 and there are 46 WNWs in the pile waiting to be built.

But still, mention of Aurora makes me think of that lovely metallic red Gotha, or dark blue in its KB box...

I wonder if there is one on eBay that hasn't risen to a daft price?
Sandy
(possibly starting my fourth time Aurora treasure hunt)
« Last Edit: March 23, 2023, 12:26:14 AM by macsporran »

Offline KiwiZac

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Re: Nostalgia Treasure Hunts...
« Reply #2 on: March 23, 2023, 06:41:14 AM »
This is going to be a fantastic thread. I love it already!

I have a target and an idea. The first Spitfire kit I ever built was a particular boxing of the Airfix 1/72 Mk.Vb and I want to "build" it in a picture frame: with the box art at the top and the sprues all painted and decalled but unassembled. I've seen it done before and I reckon it looks very cool.
Zac in NZ

Offline gary2seater

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Re: Nostalgia Treasure Hunts...
« Reply #3 on: March 23, 2023, 03:45:10 PM »
This is going to be a fantastic thread. I love it already!

I have a target and an idea. The first Spitfire kit I ever built was a particular boxing of the Airfix 1/72 Mk.Vb and I want to "build" it in a picture frame: with the box art at the top and the sprues all painted and decalled but unassembled. I've seen it done before and I reckon it looks very cool.

... with a 1:1 model of a cherry bomb perhaps with flairs of mica film for the fuse?  All my childhood plastic models were eventually destroyed in the backyard wars.  Even the NASCAR kits!

Offline Gisbod

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Re: Nostalgia Treasure Hunts...
« Reply #4 on: March 23, 2023, 04:27:35 PM »
Nice post Brad,

But who colourised the photos for you?  ;D

Guy
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Put out my hand, and touched the face of God.”

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Offline KiwiZac

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Re: Nostalgia Treasure Hunts...
« Reply #5 on: March 25, 2023, 07:46:50 AM »
All my childhood plastic models were eventually destroyed in the backyard wars.  Even the NASCAR kits!
;D ;D That sort of firework had been phased out in New Zealand around when I started building, and they were so precious to me that when I learned of the US style of play I was horrified!
Zac in NZ

Online Brad Cancian

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Re: Nostalgia Treasure Hunts...
« Reply #6 on: March 25, 2023, 08:07:24 AM »
But who colourised the photos for you?  ;D

I don't think colourising could do my get-up any justice... besides, it was the '90s. They weren't that long ago.... right?.... right??  Ok, so we're as close to 1993 now as we are to 2053.... food for thought!

To elaborate on the fireworks story, here in Oz we're also not allowed fireworks. When I was about 10 or 11, my mother said to me one day "you've got too many of those plastic model planes, get rid of some of them, I don't care how!". She changed her tune when she saw me running around the back yard with two plastic model planes, one in each hand, literally on fire, making 'taka taka taka' noises, the dog gleefully nipping at my feet...!  ;D : :)

Cheers,

BC