I have always liked to create things. I like to draw. I like to paint. I write things. It is no wonder that I came to like the idea of assembling model planes. I believe I realized this first after watching Top Gun in cinema sometime in late 80s. Until then, I did not pay too much attention to airplanes. My collection of toys did include a very crude model of an unarmed MiG-21 fighter, but I never played with it until after the movie. Inspired by the highly unrealistic dogfights, I would fly my MiG around, blasting enemy jets. But it always bothered me that my MiG did not have any weapons. So, I used to make my own missiles, from plasteline, cardboard and toothpicks. Still, they were ugly and not very detailed.
I mustered enough courage a few years later. I built my first kit in 1992. I had no proper tools, no adequate paints and definitely no patience. I glued the 100+ parts together in less than an hour. The result was ... disappointing. Parts did not fit properly, some having been left out altogether. Tears of cement were smeared all over. I used blunted scissors to cut down the edges off the pieces, leaving them scarred. And worst of all, only after assembling the module did I realize that I should have painted the hard-to-reach pieces first.
After that, my models became prettier. I was still very much short of professional tools, but I managed to improvise rather fairly. I made precision brushes out of big oil-paint brushes by trimming off their hairs save only a few whiskers. I used thin strips of adhesive tape as casts for painting. I would even sand off bits of plastic off landing gear tires to make them look as if they sagged under the weight of the planes. I also used highly thinned copper paint to trace out corrosion lines on naval and marine planes. Oh yes, I painted the parts before assembling them.
My planes never came close to being the uber-perfect examples you could see in magazines. Then again, they were never meant to be. I did not have a garage with a special ventilation system and 34 types of airbrushes. I did not have an oven, a laser drill or tens of thousands of dollars needed to make my planes look like fashion models.
I built my best and last ones from 1998 till 2001. Since, I have not made any models. I have dedicated my passion to other things. Nevertheless, I think I have made a few very nice examples. You will be able to read about each one of them in their individual galleries.
A word of caution for 56K dial-up users: For enhanced experience, I thought it would be best if I did not use small-size thumbnails to link to enlarged images, but rather to display them in their full glory within the gallery pages. This might cause a bit of a delay in the loading.
You can click these fine little previews to jump into each gallery ... Some of the galleries have extras, like more realistic painting, grit, dirt, wear, rust, and other fancy details, so make sure to check them all! The more artistically inclined among you will surely appreciate the extra touch of color and realism. I hope you'll enjoy them!
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