The Tamagawa Code
I had gotten a call early in the day. Another modeling tragedy had occurred and I had to come in to pick up the pieces. Tragedy strikes modelers every day and kits are warp-sixed or worse. That’s enough chit-chat, let’s get down to figuring out why this modeler can’t finish a model.
I would need to start at the beginning. Where the main body of evidence would be. The workbench.
Examining the workbench I noticed there was a misshapen piece of resin that looked like a piece of a Bearcat cockpit, but the model our victim was last working on was a P-40E, the kit that was called “un-buildable” by many a mere modeler but it looked as if this modeler was going headlong into the challenge. But what about that Bearcat cockpit? Could he have been delusional in those last moments and mixed up the Army and Navy?
That’s crazy talk!
Further investigation (and a look in the garbage can) showed a full Bearcat kit with large gaps in the wingroot. Good god, who could have filled those gaps? It’s impossible, the kit was un-buildable, what was the victim thinking taking on a project of this scope and magnitude? Well we know one thing from the shoe mark that crushed the kit, there was definitely a sense of frustration for this unwilling victim and it also explained the bearcat cockpit which looked as if it was being set aside for some other project.
Looking at his tools, he had it all. Three Dremels, a milling machine, even a mini-lathe, but his completed model shelf was bare. Why did this happen? How did this happen? This was a mystery worthy of Scooby Doo and his friends, but since they weren’t available, it was up to me to investigate further.
“It has to be the references” I thought to myself. Peeking around the cornering into what appeared to be an office there were two full walls of books. Books with plans, books made out of plans, books with pictures, books with centerfolds (oops, probably shouldn’t be looking at those) and magazines stacked from floor to ceiling, all about aircraft, cars and history.
“I guess that shoots that theory” I reckoned (reckoned = a word that Jed Clampet used a lot on the Beverly Hillbillys).
“What about his supply of kits? I’ll be that he didn’t have enough to choose from. That’s it!” I said to myself.
As I thought this I noticed that there was a doorway that went beneath the stairwell. The sign said “ Danger”, but my middle name was “ Danger”, of course this got me beat up many times as a child, but that is for another episode.
As I opened the door a bright light shone in my eyes and warmth rushed over my face. Was this the famous white light that we hear so much about when someone passes? Was this doorway booby trapped? Was I dead? Umm, no. It was just a large halogen light on an extension stand shining at the doorway. Phew, that was a close one.
As I descended down the hidden stairwell I entered the inner-sanctum where I was greeted with the largest wall of doom known to mankind. Everywhere I looked there were kits. Vintage kits, new kits, airplane kits and figure kits. There were armor tanks and water tanks. There were military, non-military and some things that were paramilitary. There was stuff there that I couldn’t even identify as it had started to decompose due to age.
I cried aloud “Another theory foiled! Details, it has to be the details!! He has all these kits but no details for them! Aha! That has to be it! We all know that kit manufacturers don’t do enough and that modelers have to add more and more details. That must be it. The victim didn’t have the proper details. I’m brilliant!”
Causally walking over to the nearest pile of kits with a sense of peace and accomplishment I picked up one of the aircraft kits. It was a rare one, one that I had always dreamed of having in my collection, but alas it was only a dream.
Opening the kit box I found not one, but six detail sets in the box. Photoetch, resin and something that looked kind of like chewing gum with some Russian writing on it.
“Noooooooo!!!” I screamed in frustration. “Decals, that’s the only thing left. He didn’t have decals.”
As my screams stopped echoing in the cavernous dungeon a cat flopped down from the rafters onto a row of lateral files twelve feet wide. With the loud crash I spun to see the labels on the outside of the drawers “DECALS”.
Opening each drawer is like a walk through the history of model making. Each drawer has each decal set from every manufacturer known to mankind. Hundreds of decal sets, all in numeric order and cataloged into a master list that was kept in a three ring binder. Each envelope has one or more kit names written on it as if there were being marked for building.
This was too much. I noticed a comfy looking recliner and decided to take a load off and ponder the mystery. As I sat down I noticed a stack of boxes labeled “The Society”. Aww, maybe this is it. Our victim is really a member of a cult!! This must be a secret society of non-builders, just like him.
It appears as if this “Society” is quite concerned about growth of itself (it says so right on the outside of the newsletter), which is strange since with the several years of issues all of the officers of the “Society” seem to be the same people, just in different jobs. Hmmm. Curious.
This society must have something to do with our victim’s non-building problems, but what? It sure isn’t the newsletters occupying him. His issues are almost all brand new (with good reason after reading some of this drivel) so I know he wasn’t preoccupied with these.
“Hey wait, I know what it is…” I said to myself, “it’s old man Johnson, the guy who runs the amusement park! He wants to scare everyone away from this place so he can knock it down and build condos!”
“Yeah and I would have gotten away with it too if it wasn’t for you kids!” said old man Johnson.
No, no, wait that’s the wrong ending, rewind it and try again.
“I know, he’s a modeler!! Of course, why didn’t I think of this before? He has all the symptoms and the shelf of doom to prove it.” I said to myself.
Another mystery solved! Now off to the hobby shop!
The moral of the story is this: Shut up and build!