The photo you see above is not a toy. It is a seriously detailed project, and it’s my third model car. I started making model cars when I was eleven years old. This was when my dad first introduced me to the hobby. He used to make model cars during the summer as a young boy and thought I may like to try it. I loved it. I completed two cars: a silver Ford Shelby, and a black 1967 Ford Mustang. Life has been pretty busy since then and I never got around to doing any more. However, I told myself this summer that I would complete a red model car. So, I headed out to the local crafts store and bought some extra paint, brushes and a kit. The result was a red 1969 Chevy Camaro Z/28, the street version of the popular racing car.
It took one week to complete the car. For anyone who hasn’t tried this yet, I’ll fill you in on the details. Inside the box are all of the pieces needed to complete the kit. The body of the car is one piece and everything else (the seats, steering wheel, engine parts, tires, etc) are in separate pieces. Most of them are white plastic. The rest of the pieces are either clear (like the windows) or chrome (the lights and mirrors for example). The paint, brushes, glue, and sandpaper (if you choose to wet sand) must be bought separately. The entire project can cost around fifty dollars. There are usually different levels of kits you can buy that determine the difficulty of the kit (or, how many pieces you have to put together). The directions tell you which pieces to put together and what color to paint them.
Model cars take precision and patience. The parts are very small and it takes time to let the paint and glue dry. You will most definitely run into some trouble during the process: a part won’t fit, the paint is scuffed, or the glue won’t cure. Most of the time there is a way around it. You just have to find it.
For example. Everything was going well on my Camaro. This was the best engine I ever made by far. I even painted the pieces ahead of time. My troubles arrived when I spray painted the body. After gluing the front windshield on, I noticed that some glue was stuck to the shield. No problem! I used an adhesive remover to take it off, but as luck would have it, the solution got on the roof of the car. Since the windows were already affixed to the vehicle, I couldn’t just spray paint the entire car again. Following some (bad) internet advice, I used masking tape to block off the rest of the car while I sprayed it again. Good as new right? Not so fast. The tape left marks. I attempted to wet sand some of them down and use a cotton swab to re-paint it, but my beautiful body was never the same.
Sometimes life hands you lemons. Sometimes model cars hand you screws. That means it’s time to make bolts. Or, something like that. Anyway, I had a ton of fun marking off another item on my Summer To-Do List. The next car will be even better!