The Airfix pilot dream
This is a short story regarding an old build, found here at https://imodeler.com/2017/06/airfix-spitfire-mk1a-172-starter-kit/, and published first on https://kurakensama2.blogspot.com/2021/07/the-airfix-pilot-dream.html . I hope you like it.
The Airfix Pilot Dream
Once I built a model, an Airfix Spitfire MK1A 1:72. I built it following the specifications, piece by piece, joining the 27B with the 12A and so on, as the manual said. The only thing I didn't liked it is that the cockpit is always closed, so very carefully I saw it and put open over the cockpit frame, exquisitely painted with its dials, switches and controls. And in the middle of the cockpit I put Carl, the pilot. I painted it very carefully, grasping mi right hand with my left hand to counter my clumsy pulse; I make him mouth, eyes, nose, googles, scarf over the reglamentary blouse and his leather helmet with ear pieces. Really, Carl seemed happy. I took a trupan square over wich sandpaper, acrilyc gloss and the mutilated bristles of a brush created the tarmac and grass of an english base of 1940. Over it, in an acrilyc puddle with fake leafs, I put my Spitfire, on a frame, and hanged it on the wall for eternal joy and secret envy of my visitors. Small transparent circles marked the fictional rain drops under which Carl waits on eternal alert, on infinite representation of the Night of the Spitfire, just before dawn.
Four years passed since. There are no more admiring visitors and there are only hurried masked escapes to walk the dog. Carl was filled with dust. Look at this mess, I told to myself; took a brush and started to clean it.
I hear a very subtle sound, very very subtle, coming from the Spitfire. I remember having heard this before. Always though it was the TV, or a car out there, or tinnitus. I get close and put some attention...
"... And now this bloody bastard decides to take a look. Look, you i***t, you forgot to put your damn brush in my left eye! This one still doesn't hurt, you silly hummongous, excuse of an artist!"
My indignation overpass my surpri-scare. By the way, dear reader, as I'm a native spanish speaker, it must be noted that the conversation with.. Carl... was in english.
"Hey -I answer him- first ain't an artist, I'm an engineer (a sad excuse of an engineer, he started to say) and I didn't know you were alive. Since when are you peeping here, you little perv? Did you see me naked looking for towels?"
A microscopic, slow and suffering roll eyes.
-"and for your information, slightly less hairy King Kong, all we Airfix pilots are alive."
Now I get why the cockpits comes closed.
-"Anyway, why are you mad?" ask. "you should be happy, most kits never leave the bag, nor has a lovely tarmac with a great piece of display of an Spitfire."
-"a damp display"
Oh, now I get it.
-"you know what is sitting in the rain for years? Even in mid summer, you baboon, here is 1940 on a rainy night of Sussex at 0500. Is 1°C, always. I have all my suit wet and since 2 and a half years that includes my undies. Didn't you think on putting me an umbrella or in a sunny beach on Jamaica? Is on the Empire."
-"I didn't paint you underwear, Carl."
-"Well, I have undies. And are wet. We are sitting here and all I can think is speed and g's and I'm stucked here looking at your ugly nostrils."
Holy Jesus. My pilot is a pocket version of a very, very angry Jeremy Clarkson.
-"Well, what shall we do?"
-"I don't know, buffon, you put me here, you fix it."
I put him there, I fix it.
-"What's your dream, Carl?"
For the first time he shut up. Melancholically soften his voice and look at his hands, glued to the stick.
-"I dream of being in a sunny morning. No germans, no scrambles. A happy morning. Build me the squadron casino. Scotch and friends and happy tales in the sky. Cigarretes and memories of recently lost comrades. A table, with sausage and eggs, the radio with that jazz music they play in America, and Rita, the nurse. Then, build me the barrack and build Rita and me, naked. Then, if ever Rita gets pregnant, put me on a mission to attack a whole air wing of boches, alone".
I stare at him a couple of minutes. He answer my stare, on defy. I slowly get up.
Brought my toolbox and kit pieces, Very carefully I unglued the canopy, move it slowly forward and just before closing it forever I say in a very low voice and speaking between teeths, "f**k off, Carl". And I no longer hear his insults.
Now I know why the cockipts comes closed.
Ok. My head is spinning. I've buit models since 17's. I go to my kid's room. F15, F-16, Arrow Hawk, all the cockpits are closed. I breath again.
Me-109. Lost its canopy on 2002.
-"Achtung, kommt die dreckige Schwein, die hinter mir einen Mustang installiert hat, der immer schießt!"
- The built was real. Is on https://imodeler.com/2017/06/airfix-spitfire-mk1a-172-starter-kit/ and was published on Airfix'es website.
- Thank you very much to @cindy_sismologa for the german revision.