Tuesday, 31 May 2016

Musings. Part 3. Memory lane.

I was going to begin this with the first time I started modelling. As that's the point of this post. A brief account of my experiences with modelling so far. I think Lego deserves a quick mention though. 
I distinctly remember that being the building material where I first really learnt to develop patience. To allow myself to fail until I didn't. The most important skill when making anything I think. 

I was at least nine when I made my first Airfix kit. I know that because I remember making a model helicopter on my tenth birthday, and that that definitely wasn't my first. No idea what the first was though, but it was definitely either my mother or her parents that bought it for me.
My mother is hands down the most creative person I know, and I'm lucky that she introduced me to a wealth of different types of art as a child. It was her that first taught me how to paint, along with many other things. Her parents would routinely buy me Airfix kits too, having bought many for their own son's back in the day. 

Some year after my introduction to Airfix, my grandparents bought down an enormous collection of lead toy soldiers that their sons used to play with and paint. Classic old school lead miniatures, with entire companies worth of soldiers from all periods of history. 
That was a huge game changer for me having only made vehicles up to that point. I painted a lot of those!

Then came the inevitable Games Workshop. First randomly noticed by my mother, during a walk around the Metro shopping center in Newcastle, on a school trip with me. I can confidently say that that was the greatest thing twelve year old me could have stumbled upon at the time. (Girls were still pretty icky to me back then!) 

I distinctly remember one staff member's Dark Angels army in a cabinet, and deciding their and then that I wanted them as my first army. I went home with the second edition boxed game, a paint set and a dark angels dreadnought. Happier than I've probably ever been!  

So from that point on that became my world with regard to modelling. And my world in general to a large degree. Which was an important thing to have for a young nerd, who was beginning to realise that his interests were different than those embraced by the majority of society.

The icing on the cake to me though was that you could actually pit your finely painted army against others. Not that young me understood those convoluted second ed rules very well. But kitchen tables definitely took on a whole new meaning! 

White Dwarf deserves a mention at this time as well for the impact it had in keeping me in this hobby. The quality of it during the Paul Saywer era was astounding compared to what it is today! Regardless of what game/army I was interested in at the time, it was always impossible not to read in its entirety. Its a real shame that it fell so far from grace imo. 

Another magazine that I think is also a shadow of its former self, was Military Modelling. I was hugely fortunate to get all of my uncles old copies of this during its heyday in the late 70's to 80's. This gave me such a wide scope of every different type of modelling, and countless tips and tutorials on things games workshop didn't cover. Especially great for scratch building and sculpting. Nowadays it seems to solely focus on AFV's unfortunately, and very little else. 

So the final chapter in my little story here ends with me working at Games Workshop. I'm being in no way hyperbolic when I say that working for GW was literally my dream job all throughout school. Which I'm sure it is for others too. I remember not even opening a college prospectus though, since I knew so firmly what I was going to do! Oh, youth.

The problem sometimes with dreams though of course is that they're imagined. And as much as I did enjoy working there in a number of ways, it ultimately wasn't for me.
For all the many things that I painted for the shop though, the feeling of putting my own work into those cabinets was always priceless. The little kid in me that used to stare longingly into cabinets himself, wishing he could paint what he saw would always delight at that! 
That was second only to seeing a kid come in with their own face beaming.

And now here we are. Around ten years since I stopped modelling. Or in fact creating anything with my hands. This blog is documenting the first time I've done so.
I always planned to return to modelling again though in the back of my mind. Just to be able to own one army, made to the best of my ability. Which is the point of this project. I just always saw myself as old and retired when doing so :). 

Then during one of the Battlestar Galactica scenes where Adama is tinkering on his model ship, I turned to my Girlfriend and said: "That'l be me when I'm retired". To which she says: "What's stopping you now?"

Part 1 | Part 2 Part 3 | Part 4

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