[WWI] Thinking of time gone bye; - First kits

John Ratzenberger JohnRatzenberger at yahoo.com
Fri Jan 28 18:56:58 EST 2005

My first kit was a wooden stage coach, gotten I think from Quaker Oats with 
some number of box tops.  I was somewhere in the 5-7 year old range 
(1950-52), don't remember exactly, just by what house we were living in. 
The parts were punch-out & Dad helped a little with glue & stuff. I can 
remember sitting at my little table, in my little chair, in the kitchen, but 
not much else other than that I "finished" it.

But I was hooked.  And because of where we lived & the times, I saw plenty 
of aircraft -- I still remember B36, Globemasters, RB-50's, etc, by the 
squadron & other wonderful sights.

So, it was aircraft -- box scale, 1/72, 1/48 -- Revell, Aurora, Hawk, 
Monogram, Airfix, Frog -- and flying, rubber & powered, free-flight & 
control-line, with a short excursion into RC -- Guillows, Berkeley, 
Monogram -- and things and manufacturers I probably will never remember. 
With this, I collected books, magazines, etc, etc -- anything about aircraft 
I could get my hands on (& afford).  I did some military vehicle kits (I 
remember Renwal, not much else), a some ships (including a scratchbuilt 
4-piper from plans).  Paint was brushed on; markings maybe also.

College slowed me up, real life slowed me up more, work stopped me dead a 
more than once.  A couple moves cost me some very valuable collections of 
3-view drawings from Aeromodeller, Model Airplane News, etc -- maybe 20 
years worth !!!  Along the way, my interests shifted such that military 
vehicles, aircraft, and ships are now maybe 50%, 35%, 15%.

I'm retired now & restarting.  I enjoy softskin military vehicles more than 
armor itself & I like to modify/convert/scratch more than build OOB.  I have 
a (small) bunch of 1/48 WW2 aircraft, but can't bring myself to build them, 
maybe sell off in the next year or maybe donate to our club raffle.  So I'm 
shifting my aircraft building back to WW1 & maybe the Golden Age.  The 
larger aircraft will be in 1/72, the single-seaters will be 1/48 -- it's an 
eye-strain, stubby fingers thing.

Sorry, wandering ....

John Ratzenberger

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