The devil is in the details: spending time building models
Because so many of us have a need to stay-at-home for the next few weeks, many of us are looking for a project the children, including adult children, busy.
Many of us remember the simple plastic kit models we built as a kid.
I would watch my dad’s friends building more sophisticated wooden or metal models with a little envy.
Many of us might have built powered models and tethered them to string.
Then they made a lot of noise and flew fast as we got dizzy flying them.
Then, radio-controlled flying developed and a whole new world awoke.
There always seems be someone building a tougher model than the next guy.
It is a friendly competition and offers a great way to learn how to advance our abilities with the help of someone more experienced or with a deeper passion.
Check out Dr. Park’s model building. He may be the ultimate model builder.
Young C. Park had built models all through his life. He was a retired dentist who started building models as a youngster.
Born in Hawaii 10 years before World War II, he saw many fighter aircraft whose speed and loud engines left a lasting impression.
A more experienced friend was also a modeler and taught him to be patient and to do the best he could at each step.
Park remembered his friend’s guidance in detail, saying, “Wait for the solder to turn dull,” or stopping me and saying, “Flat washers and nuts have a ‘face’.”
Park remembered a long-forgotten dream of building an all-aluminum airplane model several years ago.
He decided to try to build a Corsair’s tail fin and rudder with moveable trim tabs and rudder planning to use it as a decorative piece.
The project was difficult and took a month to complete but it stirred a deep interest in creating a full Corsair from scratch, in aluminum.
He built two. The second more complete Corsair actually assembles and disassembles as the original aircraft does.
For an encore, Park decided to build a P-51 Mustang, a smaller aircraft than the Corsair which proved even more difficult.
“This model reproduces every detail inside and out down to the rivets,” Park said.
The engine looks like it could run since it’s fully plumbed and all the cockpit controls are connected to the appropriate functions on the engine and control surfaces.
“I have been asked many times what motivated me to build this unusual model, … I now realize that it is the pleasure that I get from the aluminum material and the interaction of these parts that has kept me motivated day and night for the last five years, and I hope it will keep me going for another five years at least,” he said.
If you are inclined to modeling of any sort, spend some time viewing “The Craftsmanship Museum” site, or better yet, visit it when we are free to travel again.
Until then, the site represents an amazing collection of all types of replicas and is open 24 hours a day.
The museum hosts clocks, race cars, engines of all sorts and stories about the craftsmen that built them.
Visit the museum at https://www.craftsmanshipmuseum.com/ to learn much more about the modeling Park and many others have completed.
“A person who works with his hands is a laborer, a person who works with his hands and his brain is a craftsman, a person who works with his hands, his brain and his heart is an artist,” said Louis Nizer.
What are you building with the extra time most of us have these days?
John Cilio of Sherman has authored several books.