I frittered away an appreciable chunk of my earnings from cutting grass or bagging groceries during my teenage years on plastic scale models. Military aircraft, naval vessels and tanks were my subjects of choice. An aspect of this hobby I particularly enjoyed – even though I was anything but adept at it – was customizing a standard kit to represent a different model of the vehicle in question from what came in the box.
The passing years saw a shift in my interests; decades went by before I even thought about assembling anything else. The 1/72nd scale diorama pictured above was the only project I tackled in recent history. Its subject is an Italian motor pool in North Africa during the Second World War. There’s a broken-down Italian armored car and a captured British truck. The Italian colors are being painted on the latter’s tarp, in hopes that Axis fighters won’t strafe its new operators. The caption “Lo desiderate quando?” is the traditional mechanic’s lament: “You want it when?”
For reasons I cannot specify I recently decided to dip my toes (fingers?) back into the world of modeling. Right away I found that so much had changed! Now there were kits of far rarer vehicles than those I built in my salad days. Not only that, there’s an aftermarket of kits one can use to “hyperdetail” standard kits. (I won’t get into how much more expensive everything involved in modeling is nowadays.)
As the basis for another diorama I decided to invest in a 1/35th scale Volkswagen Typ 83 “Kastenwagen” van used by the German Reichpost during World War II to transport letters and packages. The diorama will depict a squad of American G.I.s rifling the contents of a derelict Kastenwagen in a surrendered German village. I’m going to call it “Special Delivery.”
Next I had to purchase a kit of G.I.s.
Putting everything together requires a selection of paints, glue and new blades for my trusty X-Acto knife.
I don’t have a timetable for this project. All I can say is, I intend to work on it in a leisurely manner. By this means I will enjoy the process – hopefully not making too many mistakes along the way.
Regardless whether or not you are a modeler I invite you to follow along as I embark on this adventure!