There was a series of things that happened at the same timeframe that really shaped my model building path. I had cousins who were very much into star wars, and even though I liked star wars I didn’t have any toys because I was already collecting batman and He-Man stuff growing up, so my parents wouldnt have been able to afford another collection. Plus, by this time (being born in 1980 and figuring I wasn’t really into action figures until 85) star wars was waining.
Jump ahead to the early 90s. I had a cousin who turned his whole basement into a star wars room. He bought and sold eveything. I loved going to his house and seeing his collection. It was amazing. A slow resurgence in star wars started to brew, as we got our first rumblings of a possible prequel trilogy, new novels were starting to get published, and star wars video games were becoming popular. I was 10 years old and my parent’s friend owned a short lived hobby shop. I loved looking at all the models kits and RC cars and planes, but I had no knowledge of any of it.
My parent’s friend sent me home one day with some model catalogs. One of them was the 1990 AMT catalog, and I was spellbound. It showed photos of the entire star wars, trek, and batman lineups. I would stare at the photos all day. I’d seen lots of car models, but never scifi stuff.
A very short time later I was riding around with my dad. We had stopped off at a yard sale and looking around I found a huge box of loose, partially built models. It was as tall as I was at the time. I belive it cost my father all of $8 for that box, and it road home on my lap in the front of an old Chevy pickup truck.
By now I was also collecting everything star wars, and I just about wore out my copy of “from star wars to Jedi” on vhs, which was a making of the star wars trilogy video. Everyone thought I was crazy when they’d ask what I wanted to be when i grew up and I told them I wanted to work for industrial light and magic and make models for movies.
I tried as I might to buid something decent from that box, but it was frustrating working with half built kits, and I new nothing about kit bashing. Still, it gave me practice and within the next year I was saving all my money and buying all the reissued star wars models. I spent much of my teens in my room building star wars kits.
I had gotten away from it for a few years and got rid of that box (stupid mistake) when i moved out of my parents house. About six years ago after a few years away, I started getting inspired by all the photos I’d seen online of people super-detailing their kits and adding leds and fiber optics, and I feel as excited now as I did back in 1990.