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The Adult Model Collector

Article By: Greg Nabors

When an adult enjoys a child's hobby, things can get embarassing

Submitted:Jan 27, 2011    Reads: 36    Comments: 0    Likes: 1   

© 2001 Greg Nabors
I'm still very much interested in model cars, even at fifty-four years old. Though my particular interest now is NASCAR, that wasn't always the case. There were no NASCAR models in the early days so I was limited to assembling the more common models of the era--the 50's and 60's cars. These models were almost entirely white. With the exception of the windows, tires and bumpers, all other parts were white--even the engine.
As a child it excited me to go shopping for a new kit. Studying the available kits, I ruled out cars I already had and ones that appeared too complicated until I found just the right one. Then I would see it--up there--on the top shelf, a 1955 Nash Metropolitan. Anxious to begin, I purchased the model and glue and headed for home.
After long hours of painstaking work, I finished. Peering through the models windows, I admired my work studying the white seats, dash, and floor of the interior. Then, lifting the white hood, I admired the white engine.
Later, as my proficiency increased, I began customizing the cars and displaying them like a car show in my room. I used small pieces of aluminum for mirrors; little plastic stands to hold the white cord used for ropes to keep the plastic people away from the plastic cars.
People say you have to grow up sometime and while my body grew, my heart never outgrew the love of modeling. As an adult, I would wander around toy departments but was a little embarrassed unless I took the neighbors kid as a decoy. Then one day, as I was buying three models, the darling child asked,
"Are you gonna put those with all your other models?"
As the blood rushed to my face and the cashier smirked, I waited for the expected announcement over the P.A. system,
"There is a grown up at register three buying models for himself."
Thank goodness it never came.
Because of that embarrassment, I let many great NASCAR models get by. About 1988, when the NASCAR model craze was gaining momentum, I told my wife that I was going to start collecting NASCAR models.
"I thought you outgrew that." She said.
Biting my tongue, I headed for the store.
The first kit I bought was a 2-car set. It had the #3 Goodwrench car and the #30 Pennzoil car.
Finally, I regained my lost childhood as I began painting the detail and carefully gluing the pieces in their proper places--the wheel bone connected to the axle bone. I was in modeler's heaven.
When it was done, I held the model up and scrutinized the detail. All the decals were in the correct place, the color was right, and all the wheels turned. I still had the knack.
I jumped up and ran into the living room with my model and shouted to my wife,
"Looky, looky what I did!"
"Yes Dear. Mommy's so proud of you." She said as she rolled her eyes.
I believe I could still enjoy the hobby of modeling, but age has unsteadied my hands and blurred my site that I must now collect the pre-assembled die cast cars. But that's fine with me because now I can go to any toy department or hobby store and buy without embarrassment. Now folks think I'm buying for my grandson.


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