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Modeling time capsules, unboxing a classic Monogram kit

I have a thing for Monogram kits. Not just the nostalgia, which there is a great deal for me, but because they are still decent kits at a good price. I frequent a local hobby shop here in Seattle called Skyway Models. Emil the owner has a great selection of new and classic kits, the place is wall to wall models! Anyway, I have been collecting (to build of course) Monogram kits as of late, trying to come as close to the original release date as I can. the gem of this lot is a 1973 pressing of the classic FW-190. It was truly a time capsule, I built this exact boxing as a teen, sitting at the dinning table watching MASH. Note the 1.17 price tag on the original shrink wrap! Opening it the 44 years between when it was packaged and now have shaken things off sprues, but over all it is in great shape. Decals look ok, but I imagine they may shatter when wet, so I will probably save them as a separate item. I love these old kits as I have fun building them, and I don’t feel the pressure I feel when building an expensive Tamiya kit. I love the 1/32 Corsair and Mustang I built, but I also had a great amount of stress worrying about not mucking them up! Anyway, here is my modeling time capsule from 1973, when Monogram ruled the 1/48 scale sky.

6 additional images. Click to enlarge.

24 responses to Modeling time capsules, unboxing a classic Monogram kit

  1. A nice time capsule, the Tom Daniel kits look cool too.

  2. Yes! The Ice Y is a pretty recent re-pop, but older kits of it seem hard to find. The Stuka is a late 90s “Classics” release, and the Paddy Wagon is a late 90s special edition release. Both the Stuka and Paddy Wagon molds have held up well, at least at that time. The Stuka has almost no flash and neither does Paddy Wagon.

  3. Jeez, I had those top two kits back in the late 60’s.

  4. I’d love to find/afford some 60s versions! The Holy Grail is Tijuana Taxi. I have never seen one I could afford, and haven’t seen one in person since the 60s early 70s.

  5. $1.17…..??!! Holy “Time Capsule”, Batman – I can’t even imagine $1.17. My, how times have changed, huh? And you’re right about those Monogram kits…they were THE domestic kit manufacturer “back in the day”. And yes, they’re STILL pretty good kits for the money – even now.

  6. Fond memories Rob, fond memories. Like you it was Monogram airplanes,but also Revell ,MPC and AMT car kits for me. And Johann as well. The childhood years of models and baseball cards. Love it!

  7. Ah, memories, for me it was always Airfix, not much else was available where I lived in the 1950s.

  8. Nice Rob, those were the days my friend. I picked up the old 1/72 Monogram Twin Mustang kit at a model railroad show not long ago. Still had the price sticker on it, $.99. Mow a couple of lawns and you could acquire a kit, some glue and paint as well. Fun times.

  9. Oh the memories. I built so many of the Monogram kits when I was a youngster. Thanks for sharing.

  10. Looks like there are several Tijuana Taxi kits on ebay at decent prices right now…..hmmmmmmm

  11. Yes I absolutely know what you mean Rob ,for me like George it was Airfix back in the 70’s, I still love building those old kits that I butchered as a kid or that I could never afford, the holy grail of Airfix nostalgia fiends is the SAM 2 guideline missile, they still pop up on ebay but for silly money, one day I might bite the bullet and buy one but if I do one thing is for sure it wont sit on a shelf in built it will be completed as it should of been.

  12. My experience with Airfix is limited to MPCs “Profile Series” kits, which were of course Airfix kits in an MPC box with extra decals. Emil has a nice selection of those as well as Airfix at Skyway. I am tempted by them, I loved the profile artwork on the box showing the different versions, still do!

  13. Boy, this strikes a chord! Like most of you, I grew up when Monogram, Airfix, & a few Aurora kits were the whole game.

    At this moment, I have almost ALL of the original Mon. 1/4″ scale kits … all bought within 6 months to a year from their release dates. I’ve had them stored since the mid 1970s to early 1980s hoping that at some future date I’d get back into building them. That date seems to be now! I hope I live long enough to start/finish at least SOME of them! I’ll also be learning how to use my new Badger airbrush. Thanks to Tom Bebout I have started a 1/72nd F6F-3 Hellcat that is about 1/3 finished. Sadly, I work at what can only be described as a “glacial” pace (+Thanks, Josh P. for the apropos adjective that describes my work speed! Slow, but thorough. I hope. Lately I’ve been trying to do more research than I used to do. Before, my research consisted of reading the kits’ instructions with PERHAPS a few bits of information from outside sources. Toward the end of my modeling (before I put it on the back burner, so to speak) I had discovered MicroScale decals, so a couple a/c were built OOB but decorated with the MS decals.

    It IS fun to learn!

    Keep getting & doing those old Monogram kits, Rob – and all y’all others, too!! They are still some of the best for the least amount of money, even at their age! (Kinda like many of us! πŸ˜‰ )

  14. When the Monogram 1/48 B-17 was announced back in the 70’s, I asked my hobby shop owner friend to see if he could get me one. I was 16 at the time. He was as good as his word and I seem to remember paying $6 for it. It sort of ticked off the older club members that I got one first, but it was worth it. After I built it, it went on display in the hobby shop until it closed a few years later. I have no idea what happened to it. I did get it back, but it was probably lost or destroyed in a move.

    I just bought the Revell re-issue of the Ju-87G tank buster a few weeks ago just for nostalgic reasons, looking forward to getting started on it sometime during the next ice age…

  15. What a trip down memory lane. I remember building the FW-190 kit pretty much under the same conditions as you did. Sitting at the kitchen table and listening to the TV which was in the living room. We had to manually change the channel and manually turn up or turn down the volume and there was no such thing as cable TV or internet back then. I would go out and push mow the yards in our neighborhood (didn’t have a self propelled mower) and pick up / collect glass coke bottles from along the road sides to get the deposit money. Then once I saved enough I would get my next Monogram fix. The local hobby store owner was the dealer and I was hooked on plastic. My name is Louis, and I have had a lifetime a problem. Ok there I admitted it. That’s the first step. πŸ˜‡
    Thanks again for sharing these with us my friend.

  16. What I miss the most is the smell of the styrene when I first opened the box when I bought those kits back in the β€˜60’s with my grass cutting money. Probably wildly carcinogenic but it certainly was part of the whole β€œnew” model treat.

  17. We all have similar stories about spending our meager allowances, lawn mowing money or pop bottle earning. That was the business model Monogram employed especially at the start of the plastic kit era. The idea was a kid could buy a kit with paper route money, build it with minimal help over the weekend and have a good looking model at the end. They had a few misses, Lil’ Coffin was a great kit, but I doubt I could have completed it when I was 10-12 years old. The Snake and Mongoose dragsters were easy, thoug the re-pops I built years later required painting. Many of the early aircraft I remember building with little help. I think I built my first Monogram SBD Dauntless in the late 60s and did dive bombing runs in the living room for hours!

  18. Nice trip down memory lane, guys! I can remember when Monogram would send hobby shops builtups of their new kits, which went into the window to temp the initiated to buy! Some fplks collect them, they’re rare and $$$! Hey I was hooked on plastic! Still am. Hmm, make a nice Tee shirt..

  19. Great to see these Rob – in NZ they were our staple diet in the 60’s some Aurora and Renwall too – always wanted that Atomic Cannon!.
    Some of the modern kits are beautiful, but they could learn from Monogram who could produce an excellent kit with no more that 40 odd pieces as opposed to 87 nowadays!

  20. I built this kit back in the day when it came out, and also more recently. That build was posted here a few months back…Heinz BΓ₯r’s Red 23. Cheers.

  21. Tom I went back and took a look, that turned out wonderful. Just again proves what can be done with a decent older kit is the basic shapes are sound!

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