Of Memory Lane and Angry Clients.
These photos are models I no longer own, or for what I know, no longer exist. Sorting through old family files resurfaced these ghosts to me, reflecting on my younger years and my decision to do commission model work. Around my high school and college years, I was paid to build from three or four separate individuals. I have since learned that it tends to not be worth it, but for a student it was okay money at the time. The stress that could come along with it? Not worth it.
The Connie was paid for by a random man I talked to at an antique store, but the other five were purchased and commissioned by the same man. At first I felt it an honor that he wanted to buy my work: the first time he approached me was after he saw my Chinese Peashooter at a show and wanted to buy it. He was a great modeler himself, but he hadn't the time to finish everything he wanted. The Hawk III, A7M 'Sam," P-38, and Raiden were kits he supplied and paid me to build for him.
The Hawk and Sam seemed to please him; after all he did request my further work. But as our relationship went on he became more disgruntled with my efforts. He had peculiars that he wanted done, and I admit I did not always meet them: flattened and bulged tires, cut and repositioned flying surfaces, and other little details.
Eventually he got frustrated enough that he decided to cut contact. The last model I finished for him, the Raiden, I had made a rather simple but glaring mistake on (see if you can spot it), and for him it was the last straw. The final time I saw him was at a model show and he criticized me in public. At the time I was insulted but now I just regret the situation. I did make mistakes, such as not following his full requests and taking too long to finish. He was a j**k, but I wasn't fully innocent.
I no longer do commission work except for friends on rare occasion. Do I regret selling these models? No. As you can probably see from the photography, my post shading at the time was crude and sticks out like a sore thumb. And egads that 'exhaust staining' on the Sam. It's fun seeing these old projects again, but I am glad I have improved over time.
Thanks for looking.
21 additional images. Click to enlarge.