"The Joy of Models & Photography"

Jim Bristow
February 2002

I have been wanting for a very long time to get some good shots of some of my models that surround me up here in my own, "Big Jim's World." As you will see in the pictures there is no bare spot on a table top or the top of anything else for that matter that is not home to one kind of model or another.

Air Force One

I have been building models since I was a kid and never stopped. I have been asked why I do it and I can tell you that there are few other hobbies that can give the same degree of personal satisfaction.

As you look at the pictures that Gavin has displayed herein so masterfully you will see that they are not just slapped together, they are crafted with loving care. Each piece of the sometimes very intricate puzzle that ultimately becomes a model must be carefully fit, sanded and worked with great care to fit into it'' proper place. Even though these models come from ready made kits in various kinds of plastic, the parts do not always fit just right.

In my world of chronic pain I find, that when I sink my mind into the modeling project, I become completely engrossed in the effort. The history of the kit I am working on and the fun of making something really nice helps very well to take my mind off of the pain at least for a time.

The only problem is that models today are hellishly expensive. We are talking a minimum of fifty up to hundreds of dollars. The money can not be recovered because they are almost impossible to sell once they are done in order to get money to buy more even though they represent hundreds of hours of work for which you ask no pay. Few people would be prepared to give you even what the kit cost to buy and build. However, the joy it gives you and the productive use of your time makes it very worthwhile.

People in good shape spend thousands on golfing or hunting, I spend a few hundred on models. You folks in the good old USA have one hell of an advantage because the same kits there are in many cases a third of the price that they are in Canada. And if I try to buy a kit from the States it costs almost twice as much with the exchange.

However let me tell you about some of the pictures you will see here. The first one I will tell you about is the picture of the rockets. As you can see from the surrounding furniture they are a pretty good size and quite beautiful. You will no doubt recognize the Space Shuttle complete with booster rockets. That one cost more than 150.00 to buy and build. You have the Apollo Moon Rocket which in Canada is 300.00 to buy and build. A small Ariane Rocket, The one on the extreme left, I put together from spare parts, a fantasy dedsign you might say. I forget what the tall one on the right is but that beautiful silver rocket was a gift from Texan Mike, one that I particularly treasure and it is the famous German V-2 Rocket from WW 2. Thanks ever so much Mike. I got a great deal of pleasure from that one.

Airforce One
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Enterprise Bow On
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Nautilus Side
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Soleil Royal Side
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Soleil Royal Stern Side
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Soleil Royal Stern
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Star Trek Stuff
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Viking Ship
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F-15 Eagle
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There are a couple of shots of the carrier Enterprise. This is an incredible model made by a Japanese model company called Tamiya. It is a very large model. I love the big ones, I guess because I am a big guy I like my models big as well but this is an incredible model to build and to display. Every aircraft and little vehicle on the deck is hand done. And as small as those little planes are they are initially in several pieces.

There are a couple of shots of my all time favorite plane, Air Force One. I always wanted a model of that one but there are none like this one available. So I got hold of a plain 747 and hand painted it in the Air Force One colors. Then I had to get the words United States of America done by a graphic sign company. 30 bucks for each side of the plane which by itself cost 300.00 to buy and build. With the cost you can imagine that I only get one of these kits every once in awhile. I wish I lived in the States right near a hobby shop.

Desk Area

There is a shot that shows a coffee table on which there are several planes from the experimental Valkerye the big white number to a B-52, F-15 Eagle, Boeing 727 airliner and in the back, the International Space Station.

You will no doubt recognize the most famous science fiction submarine in the world, Jules Vernes Nautilus from 20,000 Leagues Under The Sea, this one is a real treasure.

There is a whole bunch of Star Trek stuff. You can get models of almost anything and they look beautiful if you do not rush them.

You can see the classic old sailing ship. That one is the Soleil Royal by Heller from France. It is a French ship of the line that was sunk in a battle in the 1800s. The work on this model is really something. All that gold painting has to be done by hand with a tiny brush just a fraction of an inch at a time to keep it straight. This one will take hundreds of more hours. The lines have to be tied with tweezers, because my fingers are like legs, they are so big. There is also a shot of my desk area where I work on my models. You can see the tv there. I watch movies as I work all the time. When I am working on the ship for instance I might watch something like Mutiny on The Bounty and so on.

Models On Coffee Table

So there you have a sampling of Big Jim's World" if you have any questions please do not hesitate to ask.

I can fully recommend that anyone try a model, you gals too, you may just love it.

Big Jim

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