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Personifying A Model Kit: Academy’s 1/100 MiG-29

I’ve never really had the urge to build anything in 1/100 scale.ย  Not that I really have anything against that size, mind you. It’s mainly because I like to actually be able to see what it is I’m working on. ๐Ÿ˜‰

But I also have an odd quirk. Well…. let me restate that… among the many odd quirks I have, one is the weird predilection to personify random objects. Not every object, mind you, just some.

In my regular visits to the local Hobby Lobby, I’d noticed a particular Academy 1/100 scale MiG-29 kit. There were a few other types, and over time, they all sold. But the little MiG just sat there.

Because my wife and daughter are “crafty” people, we visit the store nearly every week. And every week I’d journey over to the model aisle, look at the same kits, and notice this little MiG. For some reason, I developed a fondness for the kit. Not enough to buy it- but in an odd way, it became almost like aย little character you’d see in Toy Story. (“Please, sir, would you buy me?” “No, little MiG, you’re too small.”)

If you’re thinking I’m crazy, you’re probably right. ๐Ÿ™‚

At some point, as do all model kits that aren’t purchased at Hobby Lobby, the little MiG moved to the clearance shelf, with a large stack of other kits. Each week, the stack would get smaller. But the little MiG was still there.

I noticed a tear in its wrapping one visit, and the next visit the tear had become fully opened. I checked inside- all the parts were there. “There’s hope, little MiG. Perhaps someone will take you home one day.” I actually began to feel sorry for the little fellow. It wasn’t his fault no one wanted to build him.

This past Saturday night, I walked past the clearance aisle, and there he was. The last kit left on the shelf. Cellophane wrap barely hanging on, box a little worse for the wear, and the price marked down to $1.50.

I knew that if it didn’t sell, the next stop was the trash bin. And as silly and crazy as it sounds, I thought “someone needs to build this kit”, so I picked it up and headed to the checkout.

Now, I had no intent on building the kit anytime soon. In a weird way, I figured he’d be happy to just sit in my stash with the other kits. ๐Ÿ™‚

Yet when I got up Sunday morning- I’m an early riser- I pulled it out of the Hobby Lobby bag and decided to examine it. Just take a look.

Not more than 45 minutes later the fuselage was fully assembled. I realized that the little MiG was my project for the day.

I decided to just build it without worry for accuracy, corrections, or most of the fuss modelers tend to put into a build. The color call outs were not very precise, but I didn’t worry. I just grabbed something that sounded close. Dark gray, light gray, and something grayish green. A coat of Future, eight decals, some enamel wash, and a coat of flat.

It was done.

It’s not accurate. It’s not my best work. But in this weird place that is my mind, I felt like the little MiG was happy. Yes, I know it’s just plastic.

The real point is I was happy with it. It made me smile. Not because it was detailed, corrected, accurate or even really all that good.

I had fun. A brief respite from the things that we all deal with every day.

And that was enough.

I brought the little MiG with me to work today, to sit on my desk. As I sit here, doing the mind-numbingly boring work that I do (but yet I am thankful for it!), I can look over at my little MiG, and smile, and recall the fun I had building it. And it makes my day a little better.

And if I look really, really close, with a bit of imagination, I swear I can see him smiling back.


4 thoughts on “Personifying A Model Kit: Academy’s 1/100 MiG-29”

  1. What a great and touching little post about a nice little model. I have the same problem with things, especially old books. I imbue them with life and can’t stand to get rid of them and thus, a bit too much clutter.
    BTW – really enjoy your efforts.

    1. Agreed. I have the same attitude about some inanimate objects. There is a familiarity and comfort in flipping the dog-eared pages of books I have read and re-read for decades.

  2. Jon, I get the same attachment to some of the kits I have bought or traded for over the years. Especially ‘started’ kits…the forlorn and forgotten projects of my fellow modelers. This was a terrific post to the blog. I believe far more modelers have this exact attitude…they just rarely admit it to others. Thanks for the smiles and heart-warming post.

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