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First Models

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Richard Simpson10/07/2021 09:21:04
648 forum posts
302 photos

Seeing some of the reminiscing going on in Ashley's "Today's boating" thread made me think that the wealth of modelling experience and expertise we have on here must all go back quite a way. I thought it might be interesting to hear what members can remember of their first models.

Mine was an Airfix HMS Suffolk. I was given it for Christmas when I was around five or six years old and my Mother wanted me to wait for my Father to return home from his trip at sea to help me build it. I wanted to build it myself! I was so pleased with myself when I managed to get the guns to rotate. It never saw a spot of paint but I was very proud of it when I finished it and couldn't wait for him to return home to show him.

Tim Rowe10/07/2021 11:43:37
570 forum posts
577 photos

Mine was a catamaran with the "hulls" made from a piece of pine ogee door frame material. The cross beams were the same and a dowel mast holding up something vaguely resembling sails.

The waterline ended up being about halfway up the cross beams and it was a complete failure (except that Dad later said it made great kindling).

I learned a lot however and have always liked model yachts. As an adult and yacht surveyor I have never liked catamarans and suppose there could be some connection.

Not long after I made a land yacht with the same materials and that did work - sort of.

Tim R

redpmg10/07/2021 11:53:33
170 forum posts
12 photos

First boat was a home design yacht of balsa aged about 8 or 9 - from pictures of my fathers old yacht in Capetown - using formers and stringers - (had been building aircraft up to then). it was covered with an old handkerchief instead of being planked - had the idea from seeing my grandfathers canoe . Doped & painted for waterproofing it was fitted with another handkerchief for a sail - thick skewer for the mast and a lead sinker for the keel weight. Parents drove us out to the famous Leopard Rock Hotel where it had its first sail in the then swimming pool. All went well until the centre of the very large pool (really an old circular dam) when it succumbed to water intake and was never seen again................

Next boat was planked needless to say............


Edited By redpmg on 10/07/2021 11:56:33

Richard Simpson10/07/2021 12:21:09
648 forum posts
302 photos

I remember going into a large RC model shop in Stockport in my 30s and asking for a tin of dope. The place went quiet and the lad behind the counter was obviously trying to stifle a smile.

"I'm sorry but we no longer stock dope but we do have a large selection of Solafilm"

I felt pretty out of touch I must admit. I used to love the smell of dope!

Tim Cooper10/07/2021 12:56:57
440 forum posts
212 photos

I can remember building plastic warships in the late 1950's and early 1960's. Been trying to remember the Airfix ships I built but can only remember HMS Tiger (I think). Must have built more aeroplanes ?

My older brother used to buy the Model Maker and remember building a couple of balsa warships. One was a model of the Graf Spee from plans in the MM, my memory says that they were by Philip Connolly.

I built a couple of the Eezebilt kits, Terrier and Triton, then a Veron Trident Trawler when I was about 14.


picture 002.jpg

neil howard-pritchard10/07/2021 15:02:28
1921 forum posts
1747 photos

mine at about 7 years old was a couple of flat pieces of fish box i found on the dock side where we used to roam inhibited, glued together,cut with an old saw that was in the cellar into the shape of a morecambe bay prawner with an old wooden match box sat on the deck as a cabin, and a piece of dowel stuck though it as a mast that was tied to the deck in slits i had cut with the saw as rigging.........and off i and a mate went to the local paddling pool in fleetwood to sail it..........unpainted and rough as a bears bum..............

it sailed with a paper sail remarkably well..............and that was me on the rocky road to ruin, as a model boat maker for life..........

apart from owning mg's and old bsa's when they were just cars and bikes, not is the only hobby i have ever had...........

i'll master the art one day, lol.

ashley needham11/07/2021 07:56:29
7323 forum posts
156 photos

Airfix models, planes and tanks mostly, although I think I did do a few boats, but they always seemed to be tricky with the tiny gun barrels and so on.

Still have some planes in a box, and the tanks reside in my tank collection (as I Collect such stuff).

Toy soldiers were what I really liked as a lad, and remember painting The little ho/oo napoleonic troops and Romans, AWI sets and so on, and the larger 54mm Timpo ones. Painting...I use the word loosely!

Still have the soldiers, but unfortunately a lot of them have become brittle over the years and are becoming a bit unplayable with now.


Edited By ashley needham on 11/07/2021 07:57:08

Richard Simpson11/07/2021 09:08:58
648 forum posts
302 photos

Strangely when I was a youngster I had a friend who was into his wargaming and used to buy and paint Hinchcliffe white metal Napoleonic figures.

It was manny, manny, manny years later that I bought a kit from Mountfleet Models, from a guy called Frank Hinchcliffe, who was the very same guy that used to produce the figures.

Small world.

Ray Wood 211/07/2021 09:22:07
2485 forum posts
862 photos

Hi All,

The normal 2/- Airfix kits in the plastic bag from Woolworth's , my first proper model boat was Vic Smeed's Bustler tug made from balsa in 1967, wish I'd kept it may have to make another one !

I was very lucky that all the male members of my family were into boats, planes & trains

Regards Ray

redpmg11/07/2021 14:13:46
170 forum posts
12 photos

Believe it or not still have two of the Airfix plastic bag kits Ray - bags have long since time expired as did the labels from fish moths - both are aircraft. Also have a couple of Matchbox aircraft kits used by the RRAF.- later RhodAF.

Perhaps you should re-visit the Bustler as an A3 plan Ray - will look forward to that

Very first model kit was a small vintage car in a plastic bag - cant remember the label but must have been Airfix - bought from the shop on board the Braemar Castle when aged about seven - came with its own gummy bottle of glue - after building it was commandeered by elder brother and ended up going overboard.

Unfortunately nobody imported Model Maker so lost out on a lot of models at the time - Only found out about Hobbies of Dereham when a penfriend sent one of their publications - after that thought I had found a gold mine - imported an Anglian trawler kit with fittings & motor at the total coat of a fiver - goodbye savings !. Eagle published a few exploded drawings but that was about it for anyone interested in boats.

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