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Last updated on 02/27/2010

Areas of Interest: Hobbies

Scaled Models Listing

Fighter/Bomber Planes

  • Supermarine Spitfire

  • Curtiss P-40 (Royal Air Force version)

  • Lockheed P-38 “Lightning”

  • Messerschmitt Bf 109

  • Focke-Wulf Fw 190

  • Junkers Ju 87 “Stuka”

  • Mitsubishi A6M “Zero”

Bomber Planes

  • North American B25 “Mitchell”

  • Martin B-26 “Marauder”

  • Boeing B-17 “Flying Fortress”

  • Boeing B-29 “Superfortress”

  • Douglas C-47 “Skytrain”


  • Battleship Bismarck

  • German U-boat

The first collection I have memories about is a cards’ album whose subject was nature and wildlife. The album pages had a specific section where the card was affixed with glue, leaving the rest of the area below the image for instructional text about the pictured subject. Unfortunately, I wasn’t able to complete the collection. Latter on, other albums followed, although none with real educational value.

When I had just passed age 6, I was given a 2500 piece puzzle depicting London’s Trafalgar Square. I completed it except for the sky which featured very few clouds. I didn’t develop a passion for solving those kind of puzzles and as a result didn’t get any more of its class.

Around late 1974, my grandpa gave me a scaled model of a wooden ship for assembly. All its elements were plastic (even the sails, which were modeled as fully deployed). Given that it was my first assembly model ever, I did a fairly good job. I didn’t paint it and neither did I use the decals that came with it. Again, although I had a good time assembling it, since it was not for playing, I didn’t develop an interest on models and moved on.

It was not until I became an outcast that puzzles and scale models became hobbies. This happened after our flight from Nicaragua’s civil war when I became aware of the reason my parents had for being insistent that I get educated. Most of my peers in Honduras, having experienced none of what I did, continued behaving as if the world owed them a living. Having a different set of values forced me to spend time alone. Puzzles and Models filled my hours after school and homework.

I started with scaled models. This time I would go to the trouble of looking for the recommended colors for the painting and affixing all the decals. Of course, I started small, not just because of complexity but because of lack of financial resources. It was not just the models; it was all the ancillary equipment required: paint enamels, dissolvers, glue, cutters, and brushes. I don’t remember which model was my first one. It could have been the F-5 fighter plane or the SR-71 spy plane. I do remember however, that in the interest of detail, I developed a taste for World War II planes. My scale of choice for those was 1:48 As my interest was weighted more on the process of assembling rather than in displaying the final product, I didn’t mind that many of the painted details on the interior were not visible once the plane’s fuselage was glued together. Some exterior features such as the windows’ metal frame was only engraved on the plastic element and required painting dexterity. Large planes included human figures such as pilots (transport planes also included some paratroopers). Bomber planes usually included bombs and cartwheel. It was on the human figures that I came to display my painting dexterity by going after the smallest features such as rank insignias, harnesses, belts, and adding some personal touch, moustaches and beards on their faces.

When it came to puzzles, I chose subjects by the complexity of assembly as well as for the attractiveness of the picture. The idea, after all, was to spend lots of time putting it together. At first I would finish, leave it on the board for a while –for contemplation- and then, dismantling it, putting it back in the box to repeat the cycle at a latter time. As soon as I could afford to have a few, I started to frame the finished picture and hang it as decoration. The biggest puzzle I ever had was a 5000 piece featuring an Alpine town. I became so fast at putting it all together that I only had (2) 500 piece units and (1) 1000 unit.

By the time as was dedicating my free time to other activities I was able to assemble puzzles for which I didn’t have a reference picture! I would start by sorting the pieces as to find the puzzle’s edges and then working inwards; or by coupling a few obvious pieces I found by luck and then, building around it.

Alas, I don’t have pictorial records of my collection of puzzles and models which I left behind when I moved to California.

Today, my hobbies are photography and my web site.

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