Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Sniffing Glue



Some people won't understand. Maybe it's a babyboomer thing. But there was a time when sneaking copies of Famous Monsters of Filmland under the covers to read by flashlight was the best thing in late night entertainment. Flipping through pulp pages of black and white pictures of old horror films occasionally seen on Saturday afternoon television, or after school matinées, and reading Forrest J. Ackerman's corny copy was pre-adolescent Nirvana. And so were Aurora models.

Do kids still make models? I had an amazing collection. From The Addams Family House, loving painted and mounted on a wood base complete with miniature skeletal trees and cemetery, to the full host of Universal monsters. The best had to be Dracula, with Frankenstein's monster coming in a close second.

Gluing and painting, creating horrific panoramas, the experience fueled the imagination. If you're interested in exploring some of these creations, or jogging memories, follow this link to Bobby's Monster Models, "my macabre mausoleum of morbid monster mayhem"

My poor parents. "When are you going to outgrow this stuff?" The answer now is obvious. Never.

9 comments:

Charles Gramlich said...

I'm gonna have a post on my blog at some time about how I'm apparently the only male of my generation who never saw a copy of FAmous monsters as a kid.

spyscribbler said...

How cool! I think I only got one when I was little, but I always wanted them.

I did make boats with my dad. That, I loved. Sailboats, where every single part was handconstructed, then varnished, everything. I've been wanting to do it ever since, but the kits are like $400!

Stewart Sternberg said...

Charles, what the f#$!!! What kind of childhood was that? I suggest you rectify that immediately. Later this week, go outside, hang a blanket over a clothes line, stake it down, then spend the night outside and with a flashlight, read a one copy of "Creepy"(find a Frazetta cover), one copy of "Famous Monsters" and least three comic books (Marvel or D.C. at your discretion---although make mine Marvel). Be sure to bring along red or orange soda and a couple bags of chips.

Spy, I used to do the model ships too. I used to put a high intensity flashbeam behind them and the silhoutte of the vessel would appear giantlike on the wall. I could smell the sea salt.

Wayne Allen Sallee said...

Stewart, you can imagine if I tried to make any Aurora models with my condition, I'd look like Spider-Man--the Ditko version--from the glue alone. But I did have a bunch. Charles evidently never saw the Outer Limits trading cards I mentioned last Friday. Guess that's what happens when you get your first motorcycle at the age of three. I'm going to be posting about my Universal Monsters trading cards soon. I still am a huge fan of the 50s giant monster films. I have letters from the late John Agar, I had tried for years to get him to let me ghost write his autobiography. Oh, and going back to the models, can't forget Big Daddy Roth's Rat Fink models, both surfers and hotrodders.

Stewart Sternberg said...

I had a Ratfink model. Those were the best. I remember the Universal Monster flipbooks, they had a scene from a horror film in them. You'd let the pages rifle through your fingers and a small scene would play out. Wolfman, Frankenstein, etc. sigh.

Robyn said...

Hubby and I used to paint D&D lead figures. Miniatures are really difficult to do well, but we loved doing it! Now, you can't paint them anymore, as they come pre-painted. Sigh.

Mark Rainey said...

Yep, we had about the same childhood. I used to listen to my cassette recordings of Godzilla soundtracks before I went to bed, and my dad would ask if I were going to be listening to Godzilla soundtracks when I was an old man. I gotta tell you -- happiness is having 1,200+ Akira Ifukube tracks on your iPod.

Lana Gramlich said...

I used to paint D&D minis, too. Way before that, however, I'd put together models of the space shuttle & whatnot.
Gads, I was a total nerd! Not much seems to have changed, either...

Jack said...

I enjoyed looking at your models. I never got around to building the monsters. I don't understand why, because I love those monsters. I did build a Rat Fink, the Batmobile and the Munster's car. I also read Famous Monsters of course.