Real Black Widow brings back memories of model building

Some folks get older and just extend their hobbies. Instead of making models, they hire somebody to make the real thing.

At the annual World of Wheels car show this weekend, they brought in a hot rod builder from Hollywood Hot Rods by the name of Troy Ladd. Troy brought along one of his fine roadster creations, and exact full-size replica of a model car we all built many years ago, The Black Widow.

This was a switch because usually model cars were scaled-down replicas of popular hot rods or muscle cars. It seems as some folks get older and have a bit more money they just extend their hobbies and instead of making models, they hire somebody to make the real thing.

As a bunch of us stood around reminiscing, (we do a lot of that at car shows), we traded stories about making model cars or airplanes when we were kids. We laughed about the mishaps with glue and how we all felt this full size replica should have a big glue thumb print on the windshield to make it look like a real model.

We never had any patience and even though the instructions said to let the glue dry for 24 hours or let the paint dry overnight, we had to pick it up to put it on display and sure enough there was a palm print or a finger smudge on the finished product.

You could join model clubs. I was a Revell Master Modeller, and they would send tips like using pieces of  thread to make spark plug wires or pieces of fabric to make actual upholstery. There was even a model category at the Langley Fall Fair, and you could win a blue ribbon.

We had an old china cabinet at home that had no glass in the front and even though it has been fully restored and is now in my Mom’s living room, it once sat in my bedroom.

The shelves were full of airplanes and cars and trucks. I was told to look after it, as it was a very old family heirloom.

One day I was painting a model truck in my room ignoring the rule “All painting was to be done on the porch.” I got called away to finish chores, and forgot to clear the nozzle on the paint can. When I came back, the orange paint wouldn’t come out so I got a pin to clear the nozzle but it was the tube in the can that was blocked, I poked a needle in there and the paint came out in force.

I had orange paint in my hair, on the left side of my face and my left eye was stuck shut. Certain I had been blinded, I ran downstairs yelling.

My Mom stopped me, took me by the shoulders and said “I hope you didn’t get any paint on that china cabinet.” No concern about my possible disfigurement or blindness. Well, she had six kids, but only one antique china cabinet.

But hobbies were educational and I learned model car paint takes days to remove from skin and hair.

About a year before retirement, I went to a seminar to prepare us financially and mentally for the changes of not going to work every day. The secret was to find what really energized us in our leisure hours, find our hobbies and passions and pursue them in retirement.

Some people travel, fish or hunt. Some just enjoy standing around telling stories. At least that’s what McGregor says.

Pop-up banner image ×