Christmas comes but once a year……
I’m writing this little piece early in December and I’m already thinking I don’t care if I never see another turkey, or lump of Christmas pud!
Don’t get me wrong though. I’m not a ‘Bah Humbug’ in the true Dickensian style by any means and I’ve yet to see my door knocker transform into anything sinister looking. I actually love Christmas but I have to admit to a certain over-indulgence at this time of year. I’ve already put on half a stone and I can already see one hangover blending in with the next. Like most people, I also tend to feel a bit deflated after the ‘big’ event. All the excitement, the build-up, then ‘poof’, it’s all over.
I’m just going to carry on with one of my current builds. A nice Jaguar C Type…
Many people often ask if there was ever an ‘A’ or ‘B’ Type Jaguar. The simple answer is no. So one may ask, why start a series of famous cars with the type ‘C’? The answer is simple. The ‘C’ stood for ‘competition’, as the car was actually built to be a racing version of the XK120. It’s those cars that came after, that don’t really have a purpose to the letter designation: The ‘D’ Type and of course, the ‘E’ Type. Jaguar have pretty much stuck with the letter-naming style in recent years with the advent of the S, X, XF, XJ, XKR, XJR, XE, and probably a few I’ve forgotten, but it’s the ‘C’ Type that started it all. Whether you love Le Mans racers from the classic era of the 50’s - 60’s, or you favour Jaguars, or you just love the sweeping style of cars of that period, or whatever, there’s little doubt that every self-respecting model maker should have a ‘C’ Type Jaguar in there somewhere.
How kit builders in years gone by would have managed I can’t imagine, unless they had access to a vast library of car models, kits and books. Nowadays we have the invaluable ‘Google images’ and countless online model suppliers.
Reference material – you NEED it. Try to get pictures of the real car you are creating from several different angles, with detail shots of the engine, interior, or anything else you can find as if you just try to follow the exploded drawing in your typical kit instructions you will be putting the door hinges beside the rear number plate, the tonneau cover somewhere under the tail and the bonnet straps just a tad beneath the headlights!
You will also find that if you look at several of the pictures of the same type of car you’ll see the interior in a different colour scheme, wheels are different, odd additions to the body and so on… Decide on HOW you want your model to end up and stick to your plan.
Out there in the great web of life, you will find a model kit of just about any car you can imagine so don’t for one minute think you won’t be able to build your ‘dream’car. However – some kits are far better than others but just because a particular kit you find isn’t laden with fret after fret of etched parts, bags of metal or resin castings and a body with more parts to it than Pamela Anderson, it won’t make it any less fun or less rewarding to build. I would rather have a display of well built ‘simple’ kits, than a shelf full of badly built complex ones.
Jump in. Search out a kit of a car you love and have a go. What’s to lose? A few quid and a couple of evenings of (hopefully intensive, fun) work. So what? Even if your result isn’t the eighth wonder of the world, YOU did it, and you weren’t staring at that flat screen in the corner of the room absorbing John Lewis adverts…