Peripheral Bucket List. Week One. Build an Airfix Model.

The results from last week’s poll were pretty conclusive. 57.6% of you wanted me to build an Airfix model. So I did.

Airfix models are slightly more expensive than I thought they would be, so I wasn’t able to take full advantage of their extensive range. Instead, I settled for the cheapest plane that wasn’t flown by Nazis during the Second World War. That plane turned out to be the “North American P-51D Mustang”. The artist’s impression on the box has it painted mostly silver, with red, black and yellow highlights which, I’ll admit, looked pretty nifty. Unfortunately, my budget wasn’t going to stretch to as many as four different paints so I would have to improvise.

Who knows, maybe after somebody at Airfix reads this they will offer me free kits and I can splash out on some Umbro paints. Kick things up a notch. They are launching a Handley Page H.P.42 Heracles set soon (which is one of those wacky looking biplanes that we can all get behind) and it’s very reasonably priced too, at only £12.99! Anyway, if anyone at Airfix does read this, and appreciates that little advert I just gave you for free, and would like to send me a kit, that one would be lovely. Ta.

Which is my way of introducing the fact that building an Airfix model was actually quite fun. Mostly. A fine time but with quite a steep learning curve.

I am, without wanting to brag, something of an expert when it comes to constructing flat pack furniture. I’m great at it. I have never understood it being something people hate doing. It’s easy. Give me twenty minutes and a mug of coffee (milk, no sugar) and I’ll build you anything that IKEA can throw at me. Bookshelves, desks, sofa beds, chairs, whatever you like. No problem. So how difficult could it be making something smaller than a plate? Quite difficult it turns out. Especially at first. Quite fiddly too.

And yes, I did make things difficult for myself by trying to stick the pieces together with a 39p tube of super glue I bought in Home Bargains that produced either no glue or too much glue. And fine, that led to several parts being glued to my fingers, and then those fingers being glued to other fingers, and then glued fingers being glued to the glue tube, but that was two days ago and I’m all recovered. And maybe I wanted my phone not to recognise my fingers for a day or too. Maybe I like having fingertips that feel like burnt plastic.

I learned quite quickly that, unlike with a lot of flatpack furniture, the pieces of an Airfix model don’t fit together with a satisfying click. In fact, when Airfix models make a clicking sound it usually means you have broken something. A click and a snap are quite similar to an untrained ear, but the consequences of each are wildly different. Reader, I broke things, But don’t worry, because that glue was only 39p, and despite it flowing out of the tube like a split pipe whenever I touched it, there always seemed to be more left to fix little accidents.

The other skill I thought I had plenty of before starting building a model plane was patience. You don’t spend a year home-schooling a child without adopting the calmness of a nonchalant monk. Not much fazes me nowadays. I’m serene to the maximum. But, having said that, attaching piece 27A to the fuselage can kiss my tits. In fact, fuck gluing anything smaller than a lentil to anything else. I haven’t got time for any of that shit. No-one is going to notice it hasn’t been stuck on, are they? If it was important it would be bigger.

I’m not drilling anything either. I was supposed to drill the wings somewhere but that was never going to happen. Sorry, Airfix. I’m not drilling a tiny hole in a wing so I can attach the wheels later. I’m a busy man. You will just have to imagine the wheels are folded in the undercarriage. They aren’t. Obviously they aren’t.. They are in the bin. But you can imagine they are.

Which isn’t to say I wasn’t prepared to put the effort in. I stuck the propellers on at a jaunty angle and put a bit of thought into the paint job. And sure, I saved a bit of money by using my daughter’s Posca pens to add detail but I think the end result is pretty good for a first attempt.

I like it anyway.