login   |    register
Armor/AFV: Early Armor
WWI and other early tanks and armored cars.
Hosted by Darren Baker
What got you started building models?
Alabama, United States
Joined: August 07, 2003
KitMaker: 60 posts
AeroScale: 0 posts
Posted: Thursday, September 21, 2017 - 10:50 PM UTC

You know I can remember the very first model I put together with the help of my dad a Lindberg kit of a King Tiger that we picked up at the local pharmacy. From there I caught the fever with the help of Shep Paine's Diorama sheets that came in Monogram's armor kits. To me Shep was like Rembrandt, and then I found some magazines that threw me deeper into the abyss of model building. I enjoyed my time growing up building kits and imagining what it would have been like to see them really in action. The few pic's here are from some of the things that pushed me to try harder with my effort in a time when the kits weren't so high tech. That enjoyment still fills me today when I'm able to finish a kit.
North Carolina, United States
Joined: June 06, 2006
KitMaker: 4,688 posts
AeroScale: 238 posts
Posted: Thursday, September 21, 2017 - 11:11 PM UTC
As a kid,I really couldnt say,but when I started up again as an adult,it was my love of military history.The models helping that come alive for me.
Vermont, United States
Joined: July 21, 2002
KitMaker: 3,569 posts
AeroScale: 419 posts
Posted: Thursday, September 21, 2017 - 11:13 PM UTC
Reading a book about the Flying Tigers and going to the Air Force Museum in Dayton on a family vacation, then finding the ancient Monogram kit in the gift shop. Dad and I at the kitchen table with tube glue and if I remember right poster paints to 'finish'.

I built off and on for the next 10 years. I lost interest when D&D came around.

Much later I stumbled into a hobby shop in NYC (76th and Lex?) when the DML Lurps and Seals were just out. Boom! I was hooked again.
Florida, United States
Joined: October 21, 2013
KitMaker: 751 posts
AeroScale: 0 posts
Posted: Thursday, September 21, 2017 - 11:20 PM UTC
Well I had a couple of uncles who were modelers years earlier. But I have to say I "got bitten" this one day in the Spring of 1990 when I was in the local pharmacy and they had these old Lindberg and Revell ship models.After that,I started my modeling life every since.
Alabama, United States
Joined: March 20, 2009
KitMaker: 33 posts
AeroScale: 4 posts
Posted: Thursday, September 21, 2017 - 11:25 PM UTC
I was about 5 or 6 years old. My mother knew I was crazy about airplanes (my father had been a B-17 gunner in the European theater) and needed a hobby to keep me busy during the long, cold Detroit winters. She and I sat down and built Aurora's bilious red ME 109. I have been hooked for 62 years.
Nordjylland, Denmark
Joined: January 30, 2006
KitMaker: 613 posts
AeroScale: 0 posts
Posted: Thursday, September 21, 2017 - 11:27 PM UTC
I think I must have 10 or 11 years old when I visited a new boy from my class. When I entered his room there were many model aero planes hanging from the ceiling.
I was flappergasted!
I've never even thought that this was possible - building your own models? And you even get to paint 'em afterwards!

The following week I collected as many bottles as I could (I even skipped school one afternoon ), and by Friday I had enough for an Airfix F35 Draken kit. My friend's father, a modeler himself, told me, he would give me Danish decals for it if I made an effort about it.

And so I did. I had never tried so hard befor, but in the end I had my first build ready. I showed it to my father, and he was so proud of my work.

2 weeks later my younger brother crashed it

But I was hooked, and stile am 45 years later
Oklahoma, United States
Joined: February 11, 2013
KitMaker: 294 posts
AeroScale: 74 posts
Posted: Thursday, September 21, 2017 - 11:38 PM UTC
As long as I can remember my brother was a modeler, so I started with a snap-tite Huey when I was 7 or 8. Built until I went off to the Army. Started up again after a 25 years.

Strangely enough my brother quit after high school.
Massachusetts, United States
Joined: December 02, 2014
KitMaker: 109 posts
AeroScale: 4 posts
Posted: Thursday, September 21, 2017 - 11:42 PM UTC
As a kid of 5 or 6 years old, I was absolutely mesmerized by a wooden model of the U.S.S. Constitution that my father was building. All the rigging, the lifeboats, the cannons--just the enormous amount of detail that was contained on something so small--and I knew that I wanted to do that, too. So I started with the usual suspects: Aurora tanks; horror movie models like Frankenstein, the Wolfman, the Mummy, etc.; car models. I then moved on to building kits from a new Japanese company called Tamiya(!) and later expanded my range into Heller planes and a ship or two. I was away from it for several years when life and career took up all of my time, but I've been back with a vengeance for several years now. Don't know what I'll do when my eyeballs fall out...
Georgia, United States
Joined: July 26, 2013
KitMaker: 2,272 posts
AeroScale: 158 posts
Posted: Friday, September 22, 2017 - 12:08 AM UTC

Quoted Text

Much later I stumbled into a hobby shop in NYC (76th and Lex?) when the DML Lurps and Seals were just out. Boom! I was hooked again.

If you meant 96th and Lex, you probably are talking about Jan's Hobby. That was my neighborhood store, but I wasn't back in the hobby yet.

I don't recall what started me modelling originally, but my rebirth was initiated by the demise of 21st Century Toys and their line of prebuilt armor and aircraft. I started building to keep my collection growing.
Northern Ireland, United Kingdom
Joined: September 21, 2003
KitMaker: 588 posts
AeroScale: 18 posts
Posted: Friday, September 22, 2017 - 12:36 AM UTC
As a young lad back in the late 60s I got a Christmas gift of an Airfix model. Back then they came in a clear plastic bag with a folded card top to seal the bag. The card top included basic instructions Inside. Think the model was a train engine. In the seventies Verlinden & Shep Paine got me hooked on military vehicles with Tamiya models mostly back then.
Texas, United States
Joined: April 07, 2009
KitMaker: 1,063 posts
AeroScale: 0 posts
Posted: Friday, September 22, 2017 - 02:39 AM UTC
As a kid, I built ships/cars/planes/sci-fi, etc., then dropped out during junior high school. While stationed in Japan in the mid-70's, I walked into a hobby shop & found the new line of Tamiya armor kits. Bought all of them & mailed them home. Once back in the U.S., I found Military Modeler magazine and the works by Shep Paine & Verlinden and was hooked for sure. Been building ever since.
Antwerpen, Belgium
Joined: August 07, 2016
KitMaker: 191 posts
AeroScale: 24 posts
Posted: Friday, September 22, 2017 - 02:54 AM UTC
When I was a little kid my dad told me some nostalgic stories about his childhood, building small model kits with his pocket money...

That Christmas I asked Santa an F-16 fighter, I got a Fouga Magister (he's an old man right... )

My first 1/35 tank a year later was a panzer IV from italeri, that one did it for me

Kind regards
Iowa, United States
Joined: May 12, 2014
KitMaker: 542 posts
AeroScale: 2 posts
Posted: Friday, September 22, 2017 - 02:57 AM UTC
The TV show Black Sheep Squadron got me started; watched it with my dad when I was a kid; saw the 1/32 model kit in a toy store in Merle Hay Mall, Des Moines, IA. Dad bought it for me and helped me put it together; he did a lot of the work . I was 8 or 9 @ the time.
Quebec, Canada
Joined: January 01, 2004
KitMaker: 7,600 posts
AeroScale: 121 posts
Posted: Friday, September 22, 2017 - 04:01 AM UTC
When I was maybe 6 yrs old I got a Revell 190-something, taxi - think it was in 1/32 scale, as a present. Glued it together with some industrial silver colored glue. That brown and silver colored mess sat on my shelf for many years. Then came Revell and Lindbergh ships, aircraft, tanks, then figures, back to armor when Dragon started making good kits, and now 1/350 and 1/700 ships.
Staff MemberNews Reporter
Metro Manila, Philippines
Joined: May 06, 2007
KitMaker: 2,713 posts
AeroScale: 65 posts
Posted: Friday, September 22, 2017 - 04:14 AM UTC
I've been interested in military stuff for as long as I can remember -- books, magazines -- eagerly browsing thru The History of the Second World War at the grocery store. I have fond memories of watching the TV series Combat as well. Been a lurker at hobby shops, admiring Esci, Tamiya box arts. Yeah there were Monogram, Revell, and some Airfix as well. However I wasn't that fortunate of being given a kit to build as my folks saw it more a luxury. Saving lunch money, I was able to buy a Matchbox Ju 87, and with a tube of super glue built my first kit with the help of my uncle. Built wingy things throughout high school. Thought of moving to figures but I turned out to be more a collector of kits. Got back into the hobby with WWII German armor ten years ago and still at it.
Washington, United States
Joined: August 03, 2008
KitMaker: 436 posts
AeroScale: 69 posts
Posted: Friday, September 22, 2017 - 04:25 AM UTC
Being passed on the road by an 256mm Atomic Cannon in Germany, and then finding one in the K-Town ( Kaiserslautern ) PX. My dad told me I had to build 2 kits before he would buy it for me.... I built an
Aurora model of the S-55 on floats (the memories are still painful) and a Jungmeister. Long, long time ago.... as the Renwal Atomic Cannon was a fairly new kit at the time....

Oklahoma, United States
Joined: September 30, 2015
KitMaker: 2,493 posts
AeroScale: 2 posts
Posted: Friday, September 22, 2017 - 04:45 AM UTC
My Dad got me into building models when I was little. We lived in Germany when he was in the military and we would go to the Sight &a Sound on base and pick up a few models every month. Good memories.
Nevada, United States
Joined: August 23, 2005
KitMaker: 1,426 posts
AeroScale: 18 posts
Posted: Friday, September 22, 2017 - 05:10 AM UTC
Man, cant remember that far back, but it has to have started with Legos, I had a million of them, then the Monogram 1/48 scale stuff, and Monogram armored vehicles. I remember the corner store selling all the Monogram half-tracks, Weasels and stuff like that. At some point I was in a club where Revell mailed me a model every month or so. And lets not forget the Shep Paine diorama inserts, I'm sure that set a lot of us all off on this mental health issue we all call a hobby!
United Kingdom
Joined: October 14, 2007
KitMaker: 464 posts
AeroScale: 15 posts
Posted: Friday, September 22, 2017 - 05:18 AM UTC
I remember it well ... back in the early 1960s ... Airfix 1/72-scale aircraft. I would build the kit, and without painting, add the decal markings. This would then be added to my collection, hung by thread from the bedroom ceiling. Not surprisingly, veritable dust magnets! Two that immediately spring to mind: Boulton Paul Defiant and Avro Anson ... happy days.
California, United States
Joined: February 01, 2010
KitMaker: 551 posts
AeroScale: 0 posts
Posted: Friday, September 22, 2017 - 06:14 AM UTC
The very first start I 'blame' on two influences - Fireball XL5 and Mum, who showed me I really could build it using cereal box cardboard, some tubes - coffee cans I believe - and lots of clear tape! It was large and I was hooked!

First plastic model was the Airfix HMS Victorious I received as a gift.

Tanks came when my 'little men' - Airfix HO figures - needed armour support. Airfix Churchill it was and yes, I really messed up those little wheels! Luckily they were all hidden under the tracks so I wasn't too bothered and went on from there.

I built ships, planes, cars, buildings, rockets, trains too back then decided that Armour (and guns and trucks) was the way to go because you could build factory fresh or muddy, regulation or pile on anything, buttoned up or crawling with soldiers! And for inspiration, Bovington Camp was a 17 mile bike ride away!
Indiana, United States
Joined: June 22, 2006
KitMaker: 471 posts
AeroScale: 3 posts
Posted: Friday, September 22, 2017 - 06:17 AM UTC
I was a fat little kid with a speech issue without many friends and I sucked at sports. My dad thought it would give me something to do.
Washington, United States
Joined: March 11, 2016
KitMaker: 1,791 posts
AeroScale: 28 posts
Posted: Friday, September 22, 2017 - 07:47 AM UTC
When I was 4 I built my first model with my dad, a snap together sherman where the tracks and suspension were molded together as single pieces. Don't even know if it had a scale. He was terminally ill with cancer and one day shortly after my 4th b-day he came home from work with two models, a car for him and the tank for me. We spent a few nights building them and having a good time. My older brother had died from cancer two weeks after I turned 3 so it being the anniversary of his passing and my dad's own imminent he was spending as much time with me and my sister as possible. I have an affinity for the Sherman that I'm sure is just the nostalgia of those memories.
Spain / España
Joined: November 18, 2004
KitMaker: 456 posts
AeroScale: 13 posts
Posted: Friday, September 22, 2017 - 12:47 PM UTC
Hi David,

What got me started was when my father took me to a hobby shop at Bandung (Indonesia) (it was around 1986). I still remember how big it was and how full of Tamiya's kits it was. I was around 9 years old at that time. He bought me Tamiya's 1/35 Harley Davidson and BMW75 with sidecar. He also bought me Tamiya's pencil glue. I remember putting it all together (no painting) and later playing with them and my playmobils (kind of lego toys). The next kit was Tamiya's floating zero at 1/48 scale (again with no paints).

After we returned to Spain it was difficult to have my father buy me any kit until I had a project at school for which he bought me a P51D mustang at 1/72 scale. This time I painted it and got an A at school for that project. From there on I got the kits as birthday and christmas gifts and bought them with the little pocket money I received from my parents.

England - East Anglia, United Kingdom
Joined: June 09, 2009
KitMaker: 670 posts
AeroScale: 175 posts
Posted: Friday, September 22, 2017 - 01:00 PM UTC
Hi Gang, What got me interested in modelling was watching my dad build a Frog (yes, Frog !) 1/72nd Heinkel He219 for my cousin. I still remember feeling incredibly jealous when he got it.
The earliest kits I can remember being bought for me where two Matchbox kits, a P-40 and a Mitsubishi Zero, for my Ninth birthday.
United Kingdom
Joined: May 03, 2017
KitMaker: 148 posts
AeroScale: 0 posts
Posted: Friday, September 22, 2017 - 11:03 PM UTC
I can remember my first kit (well alright it was only half a dozen years ago) an airfix spitfire V.b for christmas. I built it the very same morning and painted it the next day. A couple years later my grandparents got me a tamiya universal carrier and shortly after I stopped building the wingy things and am solely on armour, with most of it being 1/35 tamiya.