Back when I was younger, I remember spending long Saturday afternoons in my basement putting various plastic models together. At that time I favored racecars and ships, and my bedroom was filled with the finished products. I eventually grew out of the hobby, but now that I have kids of my own, I’m slowly getting back into it. My sons love model fighter planes, so now our weekends are consumed with finding the perfect jet and working to put it together.
One of the best things about toy models is the process of building something. I can see the excitement in my boys’ eyes when they unravel the instructions (which they insist on referring to as “blueprints”) and lay all the pieces out side by side on the workbench. Then they take turns assembling the plane, carefully putting each piece in place and securing it with glue. It’s amazing to see model fighter planes slowly emerging in this fashion from the individual pieces, and the kids frequently stop to admire their progress. Finally, once the main assembly work is done, they decorate the aircraft with stickers or paint and prepare it for display.
Obviously, putting together model fighter planes is a terrific way to promote family bonding. Models are relatively cheap, and no other special equipment is required. All we need are a few basic supplies and a clean workspace, and we’re ready to go. Usually the boys argue and bicker as much as any other pair of young siblings, but when they put their heads together over one of these model fighter planes, they really take the principles of teamwork seriously. As a parent, this is wonderful to behold!
Another great thing about this particular hobby is that model fighter planes are very easy to find. There are a couple of hobby shops within reasonable driving distance, so we usually take a drive out to one or the other store on weekends to check out the selection. If we don’t see something we’re interested in, we can also purchase model fighter planes online from a number of discount websites that offer free shipping. The bottom line is there will never be a shortage of projects to work on.
And you might not think it, but putting together model fighter planes is an excellent way to take in a bit of history as well. Whenever possible, I try to read up about a specific plane before our weekend sessions, and then as they’re busy with the project, I’ll tell the boys what I’ve learned. Interesting discussions usually ensue, and we all come away having learned something new about Japanese Zero Fighters, Soviet Migs, or P51 Mustangs.
All I can say is I’m very pleased that my sons are enjoying these plastic models as much as I did when I was their age. Model fighter planes have provided my family with countless hours of fun and quality time together; maybe they can do the same for yours!