I remember when I first started with radio-controlled models. I was about 4 and my dad bought an old rc (radio controlled) electric boat and I had a go on it. It was only capable of about 5 mph but I still found it enjoyable. Controlling this kept me occupied for 5 or 6 years when I went to a model aero show in Bristol. These aircraft captivated me and this went along with my long running interest in aircraft. My dad bought a small biplane with only rudder and elevator for me to learn on. We knew that I needed some tuition to fly it so I took two lessons at a model-flying centre. I'd just like to say that I learnt a lot, but I wouldn't recommend it simply because of the price - £20/1 hour. They wouldn't teach me on my plane, as they preferred their own training aircraft. I then wasn't good enough to fly alone and sold the plane in exchange for an electric car, which is a lot of fun. When I was 13 we decided to buy an electric glider to get back into the hobby. We joined the local flying club and asked for instruction; the instructor helped me for a day but said that the bottom line is that I need a trainer aircraft. We bought a Tiger Trainer and I flew it a few times until the elevator broke away, the plane crashed into the concrete and was a total write-off. We then bought a Hi-Boy 5 and I obtained an A licence after about 1 month. This meant that I could fly without an instructor by my side. I had owned a WOT4 for some time but had never flown it. It was a slightly more advanced aircraft and was capable of lots more aerobatics. I practiced with this plane constantly and even now - 2 and a half years later, I still love to fly the plane. I since have owned a Voodoo, an Extra, a Mini-whizz, and a Cap232. I decked the old electric glider and the Mini-whizz, both from over-stress. I also have two slope soaring gliders. I would recommend this hobby to anyone but don't e
xpect it to go without crashes and disappointments.
When I was a child a used to enjoy making model airplanes, boats and cars. One day I was in a secondhand shop, there I spotted a car made entirely out of matches. This car was beautiful, It was better than any kit type car. I then decided to see if I could make my own models out of matches. I went out and bought a craft knife, matchsticks without heads, from the modelshop(for safety) and some wood glue. I then drew different sections of the car on paper. I then stuck the matches on the paper, which gave me the basic shape of the car. It was then just a matter of joining the car up, and adding extra detail. The car was then finished with a couple of coats of varnish. My first try wasn't great, but it was my first model. I still have it today as a reminder. Over the years I have got better and better at this hobby. I have made boats, aeroplanes, cars, jewellery boxes, picture frames and pencil boxes. This hobby isn't easy, it's takes a lot of skill, which you will learn as you make things. My latest project is making a full size guitar, I'm hoping to add a pick-up to it, to make it an electro-austic guitar. I started off by visiting a carboot sale. I bought a guitar there for £1.50 which was totally battered, but it had all the parts I needed, which I could transfer onto to the guitar I'm making. Whats more it gives me a pattern to work off. I started by using a piece of wallpaper to draw the shapes of the guitar. You then use this as your pattern. Then you can start sticking your matches to the pattern. Rememeber You can't just stick the matches anywhere, you need to work out the best pattern with you're matches for strengh. If you get it wrong, the guitar will fold up, when you tighten the strings. Inside a guitar there are small blocks of wood, for strengh, you will need to build these blocks into your guitar. When you want to get rid
of the paper pattern, which is obviously stuck to your matches. Wet the paper with a sponge, then gently scrape the paper off the matches. When the matches are dry, your project is really for sanding. Also be careful using wood glues as some react with water, thus your model falls apart. If you want to try this hobby I would recommend you start by trying to cover say a box, this is a simple project to do. It will determine whether you are cut out for this hobby. Modelmaking with matches is a cheap hobby that can give hours of pleasure. If you need further information don't hesitate to contact me.
My husband is a dedicated builder of model aeroplanes. Let me just define the word 'dedicated' for you in this context. He has five sheds and a lock-up garage full of built and unbuilt model kits. Every spare piece of storage space at both our home and his poor long-suffering parents' house is filled with unbuilt kits. He takes up floorboards to use as storage and we even have a stash inside the bath panel. This, admittedly, is excessive but he's done it all his life so he's not about to stop now so there's no point in me trying to stop him (after all, I'm obsessed with prisons - but that's another story!) The model aeroplace kits are generally less than £10 although more expensive ones are available. There is an immense range of kits available ranging from the earliest days of flight to the most modern fighter aeroplanes and passenger aircraft. The kits are graded in skill levels with 1 being an absolute beginner and 4 being the most advanced. You have to buy glue and paints although a few kits do come with everything that you need but these are usually more expensive for what you actually get. It takes my husband anything between three hours and a week to build a model depending on its complexity. He sits there quite happily, cutting, sticking and painting, almost oblivious to the world around him (although he does say 'mmmm' occasionally if you prod him hard enough. Seriously though, its is a very absorbing hobby and one which can involve as much or as little effort as you choose. My husband has an encyclopedic knowledge of all aircraft as he researches each model prior to building it to ensure that it is as authentic as possible. There are competitions on a regular basis which are actually quite fun to attend and the standard of the models which are produced is astounding. You would never know that they came from little £5.99 kits that you can buy from a toyshop
- they look like display items. Most of our friends make fun of my poor husband (we've heard every geek and anorak joke going) but its actually quite a good hobby. From my point of view, it doesn't involve me having to stand in the cold pretending to watch him playing some sort of sport that results in muddy kit to wash. There are frequently little plastic bits all over the carpet but this is pretty harmless. Anyway, my recommendation is based upon personal experience as I made a model and really enjoyed it. I didn't think I would and only did it to please him but it was rather fun - very absorbing and rather therapeutic. So, dig out your best anorak, get on down to your local toyshop and get building!