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Saturday, August 30, 2008

Model Dad

John built his first model when he was seven-years-old. Or maybe it was six ... Anyhoo, model building and hoarding collecting have been his hobby and passion ever since -- though the building part has ebbed and flowed depending on the age of little fingers in the home, and whether the home itself had the space to accommodate it.

This home can accomodate it. And then some, luckily, because over the years, even if John wasn't able to build models (or maybe because he wasn't?), he never stopped collecting them. For his retirement, is what he says.

He must be planning to live a long time.

This is the first time I unpacked them all, and put them in one place. This is actually our furnace room, but these shelves fit in here quite nicely, I thought. And John can stand in the midst of them and gaze around ... wistfully? Or whatever it is you do when looking at a hoard of models. Three hundred and five six models, to be exact -- not that I'm counting. As you can see, I had a bit of trouble fitting them all into one picture...
...But wait -- what is that in here? (Look closely. They are not the same.)

Conner's English teacher assigned her students reading to do over the summer, yes, but also a project of their choosing to do on a book of their choosing.

John looked around and thought, Hey, I think I could spare one of these! The two of them went to the library and found an age-appropriate (seventh grader) book on WWII -- Earle Rice Jr.'s The Attack on Pearl Harbor. John pulled down a 1/48 scale Tamiya kit of the A6M2 Type 21 Zero Fighter he just happened to have, and the two of them sat down to build. John built his, Conner watched him, then turned around and worked on his.










Modeling is an art form, let there be no doubt. Suffice to say, Conner's first attempt is quite remarkable. Not that I have any idea of what I'm talking about. But you don't have to take my word for it; you can read what John had to say about it, as well as a bunch of other model geeks John's talked model-speak with on the internet since long before blogging was a rage, to be sure. Like father, like son. Maybe there's hope for those retirement models, after all.

14 comments:

Jerilyn said...

Conner - SUCH a good job!. An John, what a great blog(?), whatever you call your site. I'm so anxious to hear what his teacher and fellow students say.

Jolyn said...

"Jerilyn" - he already got 100% on his project. The kids' projects are still all on display at school. I think the other kids thought it was pretty cool, too. The only thing is that we thought the project entailed a class presentation...Conner's weakest grade in english last year. I was curious to see how he w/do with something of his choosing he could be so passionate about.

judy said...

Conner, I am impressed! ( Not that I know anything about airplane models.) It looks like you'd have plenty to choose from if you ever want to do another one.

Therapy Mom said...

Wow! Way to go Conner! And you won't have to worry about retirement! You've paid for the models and will have a busy hubby! I'd be happy to go on exotic vacations with you...girls week in Tahiti! LOL!
Happy Labor Day!

Jolyn said...

therapy mom,
You have that right more than you know -- I'll see you in Tahiti!

jewels said...

Oh my.....he really does have a passion for models, doesn't he?? And what a great experience for Conner to have with his dad!

Anonymous said...

Excuse me, but I laughed. Jolyn, you are a hoot! I can really read between the lines and I empathize.
That aside, I think Conner did an outstanding job and I know he must feel very proud. Plus it is really great that it was a father/ son project.

I think the image of all those models might just be difficult to erase from my mind.

Carolyn said...

That is alot of Models!

Carmen said...

The model looks great! But I sure think Conner looks so cute himself!

John G. said...

As a fellow modeler, or shall I say "hoarder", John's collection is actually very average compared to some of the stashes/collections I've seen. I would think a hobby that teaches history and most definitely challenges one's skills would be preferred over some other "hobbies" a man could have. Plus, in my not so humble opinion, there's no better way for a father to bond with his son in a fun and educational way.

John G.

JP said...

Actually, you've got a point there, JG. When I was in the modeling club in Italy, it was funny to me how modelers are all the same the world over. German, Italian, French, Russian - we are like brothers. I took a 1/72 scale Ar234C into a club meet in Italy, and they must have spent at least an hour examining it and asking how I did it. (This was the one that got published way back in the day.) Then someone gave me a kit because they thought I'd do a better job with it. When it came to kit stashes, I told them how my wife thought I had too many kits. When I mentioned how many I had, they looked concerned and none of them would then admit the number of kits they had collected. The best I could get out of my good friend Massimo was that his collection was somewhere over 700.

Massimo published the first monograph on the MiG-3 with a Polish publisher based on our interest in modeling, aviation history, and historical photograph analysis. Inside the cover you will find my name listed as a contributor. This strange interest also led me to escort Bud Anderson for four days here in Dayton. There's clearly a lot more to it than some guy with a lot of models. ;)

I couldn't be more proud of Conner. His focus and desire for excellence will serve him well. I wonder what he'll want to build next!

KP said...

There is nothing wrong with collecting ("hoarding") models, stamps, cars, ect... As long as it doesn't cause monetary hardship on, or take excessive time away from one's family. It seems to me, the models may actually bring a father and his oldest son closer together. Speaking from personal experience, I know I wish I had had a father interested in models. It would have been a gift to have someone there who was able to teach me techniques to build them along with the history associated with them.

Seriously, I wouldn't complain about a few shelves loaded with models. After all, there are a lot worse things he could be spending his time and money on...be thankful that he stays home and builds/collects models with the family.

Tam said...

LOVED this POST!!! I sort of HAVE BARBIES like that!!! LOL LOL

Just stalked over for a free moment now that we can breath a little better with Hanna Moving away from the GA coast.

Jolyn said...

john g. and kp,
Yes, this is a very good father-son bonding thing. And since this is the first time John's hobby has bled into any semblance of family time, I am very thankful.

As for "monetary hardship" or "excessive time away from one's family", I gave up trying to discuss concerns such as those years ago. The "modelers unite" commenting has reminded me why.