It wasn’t so long ago that Saturday mornings were all about getting up early to watch cartoons on the TV, trying to figure out whether Coco Pops or Weetabix were best for breakfast(Coco Pops always won). I used to love seeing the adverts pop up on TV that would highlight magical items I just HAD to see when venturing into town later on.
I’m talking about the likes of The Dandy & Beano, whatever the new toys coming out were, and the peculiar sight of magazines with those big bits of a model on the side for just 99p; magazines that would see you building anything from the Millennium Falcon to a Spitfire to a Disney castle. They were delightful things to buy, but as with most things when you’re a young kid, interests quickly go elsewhere, and you forget all about keeping up the other issues to help complete your replica model in all its glory.
Now that must of us have been stuck indoors for weeks on end, you’ll probably be like me and are trying out a whole host of hobbies you always promised yourself you’d get into but have put off for the silliest of reasons. Making models has been one such activity worth trying my hand at again, and I realised they’re much more sophisticated than those odds and ends from the magazines years ago.
If you’re looking for a fun little hobby to do at the kitchen table, and are thinking model making is ideal, I want to share some tips on how to get started and what you need to get model making. These tips will hopefully avoid you making simple mistakes that turn a fun activity into what feels like work.
Tip 1: You will need a model tool kit
If you think the end of a butter knife and some masking tape is going to cut the mustard, you’re grossly underestimating what you need to build a model. You will need some essential tools starting out, which include:
- Hobby Knife
- File Set
- White glue
I do recommend looking on the likes of Amazon as they have beginner kits, and most of the reviews for the cheapest options are incredibly honest.
Tip 2: Buy a full kit if you can
While this is an activity which requires patience that can help you relax, if you find yourself in the mindset of model making like doing work when you’re waiting on a new piece to be delivered every few weeks, you’ll quickly have all the fun sucked out of the experience.
If you can, I do recommend buying a full kit which gives you a clear idea of all the parts you’ll be using and lets you build it in whichever order you like. There are some companies online which deliver full kits in one go. For example, ModelSpace has replica scale cars, boats, planes and tanks as well as some Star Wars vehicles in the mix too. But you can also check out the models available at model railroad buildings for some more inspiration.
Tip 3: Build what you want to build
Again, one way to turn this fun hobby into a chore is by choosing the wrong thing to build. You’ll want to give yourself a challenge, but if you start buying parts for a model train when you have zero interest in trains, you’re not going to have any fun.
I recommend searching online for models from famous movies as a starting point, as it’s a lot of fun building a replica of something like the Ghostbusters car or the Back To The Future DeLorean. You’ll be surprised how familiar you quickly get with assembling parts of models you’ll be familiar with just from memory.
Before you know it, you’ll have assembled the likes of a Batmobile, without so much as glancing at the instructions.