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  Ethics of assembling vintage space model kits

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Author Topic:   Ethics of assembling vintage space model kits
MattJL
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Posts: 57
From: New Jersey, US
Registered: May 2012

posted 07-07-2012 12:51 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for MattJL     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Is it okay to assemble vintage models (such as ones that have all the parts, but aren't quite mint in box)?

Recently, I was hunting around eBay for the re-release of Revell's 1/48 Apollo stack (finally found one on Amazon) and saw a lot of the original release of the kit. I was tempted to spring for these instead, but that begs the aforementioned question.

I've just gotten into the world of modeling, so I'd love to hear some thoughts on this from far more experienced people.

apolloprojeckt
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Posts: 756
From: arnhem netherlands
Registered: Feb 2009

posted 07-07-2012 01:02 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for apolloprojeckt   Click Here to Email apolloprojeckt     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Maybe you can look also here, builder Pete Malaguti's, he had done a lot of Apollo spacecraft and LM in different size and types.

He is now also busy with the Apollo 1/48 stack.

X-Plane Fan
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Posts: 125
From: CA, USA
Registered: Jul 2007

posted 07-07-2012 01:04 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for X-Plane Fan     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Personally I think it's the choice of each modeler to build or 'collect' a vintage kit. Many vintage kits have later releases so their collectible value remains fairly low. Others never get released again, so their value remains at a premium. If you want it, build it.

I've assembled many vintage kits in my day, but also have others that will remain mint-in-box since the molds no longer exist. As for the 1/48 Apollo stack, unless it's a pristine example in mint condition, my opinion would be to build whichever release you want.

GACspaceguy
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Posts: 1394
From: Guyton, GA
Registered: Jan 2006

posted 07-07-2012 02:32 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for GACspaceguy   Click Here to Email GACspaceguy     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
For me I try and get two kits. Then have Steve build one and keep the other as a collectable.

GoesTo11
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Posts: 1025
From: Denver, CO USA
Registered: Jun 2004

posted 07-07-2012 03:39 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for GoesTo11   Click Here to Email GoesTo11     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
My truly detached opinion, as I'm neither a collector of unbuilt kits nor a modeler myself: It seems to me that a model enthusiast would either stash a complete kit for collectible value, or just build what you want to, or both. I confess that the, uh, "ethics" of anything in between are rather deeper than I care to go.

divemaster
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Posts: 1341
From: ridgefield, ct
Registered: May 2002

posted 07-07-2012 07:41 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for divemaster   Click Here to Email divemaster     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
This is an excellent question. The 1/48 stack was the holy grail for quite some time... I think they last released it in 1994. Sealed kits from that time were bringing in big money. However, as long as the molds exist, a new one can always be produced. Keeping those old boxed kits takes up a LOT of room.

However, I was surprised at one of the auctions a couple of years ago when someone let go their collection of early rocket models from the 50's. Mostly Revell kits dealing with the Air Force. They brought in decent dollars. But they were also over 50 years old.

I don't think that they are collectible as they once were. Scale modeling has become a very niche market regardless of the subject. Kids are too busy playing video games today to build car models or space models or whatever.

GoesTo11
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Posts: 1025
From: Denver, CO USA
Registered: Jun 2004

posted 07-07-2012 09:55 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for GoesTo11   Click Here to Email GoesTo11     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
quote:
Originally posted by divemaster:
Scale modeling has become a very niche market regardless of the subject. Kids are too busy playing video games today to build car models or space models or whatever.

Sadly, I get the same impression. The tradition of growing up actually building physical things, with your hands, seems to be generationally lost.

Jay Chladek
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Posts: 2211
From: Bellevue, NE, USA
Registered: Aug 2007

posted 07-07-2012 11:06 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Jay Chladek   Click Here to Email Jay Chladek     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
In short, yes it is okay. It is your model kit, your property. Do with it what you feel like and don't worry about what others necessarily think.

Besides, from a kit standpoint when it is a subject that has been reissued several times over the years, the vintage kit sometimes builds the best since the molds are in the best shape.

divemaster
Member

Posts: 1341
From: ridgefield, ct
Registered: May 2002

posted 07-08-2012 04:39 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for divemaster   Click Here to Email divemaster     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
I've been away from scale modeling for several years due to arthritic hands. I've recently starting building again but without the fine accuracy that I used to have. But it still gives me a great thrill to see the finished product. It just takes me five times as long as it used to, that's all. There's still at thrill about building those old balsa wood airplanes for a buck and watching them fly.

I never thought I'd see the day where I'd say build, don't collect. However, there's also buy and save for a rainy day when the kit is out of production. I picked up a couple of the 1/48 stack kits because it's one of my favorites. I know I'll mess up the first one, so I have the second one in reserve. But get back into scale modeling and encourage your kids to do so. There's nothing more satisfying than seeing something that you built with your own two hands. There's always that thrill when you're finished, too.

The 1/24 Gemini will always be my favorite kit. I think it's currently out of production, but I think it will come back. There's just less and less of a demand for them. It's a real pity.

I'd like to take the 1/12 Atomic City Mercury kit and build the launch vehicle to go along with it. It should be too hard to build a Redstone in that scale...and would look awesome, too.

ea757grrl
Member

Posts: 555
From: South Carolina
Registered: Jul 2006

posted 07-08-2012 06:49 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for ea757grrl   Click Here to Email ea757grrl     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
As others have said, it'll depend on the rarity of the kit, the condition it's in/if it's already been worked on, the availability of reissues, and other factors. If the kit's been reissued, I'll keep the vintage one as a memento and build the reissue. Other times, I'll do as I did with my Otaki L-1011 (sort of the holy grail of out-of-production airliner kits) and build the thing and enjoy it.

That said, if I do build a vintage kit, there's an obligation I feel to pull out the stops. My philosophy is something like, "This kit has been untouched for decades, and I owe it to this kit to build it the best I know how." So I'll take a little extra care with it. Sometimes I would rather build an older issue because the molds were in better condition then, or because I like the grade of plastic better in the older issues. I much prefer the older Monogram issues of kits, for instance, because the plastic was harder then and easier to scribe; more modern Revell-Monogram boxings have plastic that's a little softer, and the molds have aged, meaning more work on cleanup and assembly.

With vintage kits that are still in the original shrink-wrap, it becomes sort of a Catch-22 anyway. You have an immaculate kit still sealed as it left the factory, but more often than not the shrink-wrap will start to contract and it slowly crushes the box. To save the box you have to remove the shrink-wrap, but if you remove the shrink-wrap...you get the idea.

All times are CT (US)

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