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Donkin's World: Raising The Model Child

...Forty years on, I wonder how I survived all that kit modelling, sniffing all that glue and solvents, working with razor blades. The world was such a dangerous place back then...

To find out whether or not Richard Donkin is being ironic, do read on.

Please visit Richard's entertaining Web site
http://richarddonkin.com/

To purchase a copies of Richard's celebrated books please click on
http://www.amazon.co.uk/Blood-Sweat-Tears-Evolution-Work/dp/1587990768/ref=sr_1_2?ie=UTF8&s=books&qid=1214554429&sr=1-2
and
http://www.amazon.co.uk/Future-Work-Richard-Donkin/dp/0230576389/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&s=books&qid=1260983216&sr=1-1

Maybe you saw that TV series called Toy Stories where James May revisited his childhood passions and the toys that furnished a young boy's imagination when growing up during the 1960s. The other day I was watching a repeat of the one where he commissioned a full-scale replica in plastic kit form of a Supermarine Spitfire.

May was speculating on whether the exercise could stir an interest in plastic kit modelling among today's younger generation. George, our 18-year-old, was watching the programme with me. He hadn't made many plastic kits, he said, and decided he would like to have a go so ordered a couple of Airfix aeroplane kits on Amazon.

The kits arrived yesterday: a Spitfire and a Bristol Beaufighter. Just as an aside, my first kit was a Grumman Wildcat. Isn't that what they say? You always remember your first kit. The Spitfire kit was missing the transparent parts. That brought back memories too. Missing parts was not uncommon when I used to make these kits forty years ago.

Not to worry, said George. He wanted to to do the job properly and decided he would paint the parts first. But he couldn't find the paints. I used to have a full set of Humbrol paints, added to over the years by the boys, but they seemed to have gone missing. Most of mine would have dried up anyway.

So George went to the local model shop to buy some new paints. "We can't sell you those," said the shopkeeper. "They contain solvents and the law says we can't sell them to people under the age of 21."

Forty years on, I wonder how I survived all that kit modelling, sniffing all that glue and solvents, working with razor blades. The world was such a dangerous place back then. Thank heavens for the law makers who have made it their job to protect our children from themselves. George has gone back to his bedroom and his X-Box 360, a far healthier influence on today's young minds.

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