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Readers’ Gallery: Lee and Thomas Fogel’s 1/75 Nichimo P-51D

If this doesn’t give you a warm fuzzy feeling…. well, I don’t know what will. Thanks for sharing this Lee. It brings back great memories I have of building models with my dad, and my son. 

Last night I came inside from playing in the yard with my son, Thomas, who will be three years old in November.  We messed around with his Hot Wheels a few minutes and then I want into my model room to put a book away.  Thomas followed me and says to me ‘Build model with daddy.’ and I looked at him and said ‘Do you want to build a model with daddy?’ and he proceeds to tell me ‘Build plane with daddy’.

I scramble to get him set up in my room.  I get a spare chair from my wife’s craft room and I pull out one of the desk leaves from my model desk and set him next to me.

Now what to build?  I wasn’t about to sacrifice one of my Trimaster kits!  Searching my odds and ends I find the old (circa 1961) 1/75 scale Nichimo P-51D.  I give it to him and he starts taking the parts out, saying ‘Ooooooo’ over and over.

Then he discovers the small tube of glue in the box and starts acting like he’s gluing the parts!  While watching him I put together my game plan…use my liquid cement and paint only the pilot and main wheels.  I’ll instruct him and see what we get.

So, as I remove the parts and clean ’em up a bit I ask him if he wants to glue and I put the parts on or visa versa.  We trade off on this through the build, with me going back and adding more glue as needed.  I taught him how to hold the brush and he did the painting on his own.  Same with using the glue brush.  NO spills at all (although he did try to shake the glue once!) and only a dab of black paint on his thumb to which he said ‘Dangit!’.

I did build the stand on my own as he was more interested in the plane at that point.  He never wanted to stop/quit even after I asked him a few times.

I robbed the stars and bars from my Academy P-51D kit. He was a bit befuddled that stickers needed to go into water first.  Two got caught up on his fingers so the one on the underside is goofed up good.  But that’s it.

Here’s a few pics of the evening.  By far and away one of my favorite fatherhood moments.  And here it was I was thinking about getting him a Snap-tite kit for his 3rd birthday…apparently we’ve moved past this!

3 thoughts on “Readers’ Gallery: Lee and Thomas Fogel’s 1/75 Nichimo P-51D”

  1. I’m so proud of my two boys. However, my little boy is growing too quickly. It was such a joy to watch Lee and Thomas do this together. Lee doesn’t get near the time I get with Thomas since he’s at work. So it was great to see this Daddy/Thomas time for this.

    Lee’s Wife,

  2. Scott A. Des Planques

    You did a better job on your model than I did on my first model, a F-? Starfighter. It was way back in 1968 and I was eight years old and your model looks a lot better. All my dad had was some house paint so it was kind of a real big mess, I’m now 53 years old but I’ll never forget my first model with my dad. See if you can build some more and post them so we can see how well you learn to build better models. Have your dad tell you about the history behind the airplanes because that is real neat too.
    God bless you and your dad.
    Scott A. Des Planques, Historic Preservation Planner
    St. Josep, Missouri

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