Wednesday, September 21, 2011

"Good Things Come In Small Packages"... Nummer Fünf!

Some of Brian's German Models made over the years!
As you can tell from the picture, Brian and I started making models around the time he was eight years old or so. Over time, we built just about every German aircraft except the FW190 and as of today, we still have three or four models stored away in the attic... never opened. The Focke Wulf "Condor",  the He-111, the Dornier Do-215, JU-87, Me-109 in the many variants, the Me-110, the Me-210, the Me-163 Komet, the Dornier Do-335 (push/pull design), and even the Blohm-Voss "Sea Dragon were the many planes that built or bought and never finished. "All of these models, except the Me-262, pictured in the upper right hand corner, Me-163 Komet, and the Dornier Do-335 were built mostly, by me and then airbrushed to the little art director's wishes. He'd pull out a picture from my files or from one of my aviation art books and tell me how he wanted it to look.

The Me-262, a reissued kit from Lindberg, was built and painted completely by Brian about four or five years later.

A Cub Scout friend of his was really enamored with all things German from bratwurst and sauerkraut to BMW's and warplanes of WWII. Tim and Brian would construct these outlandish, unaerodynamic aircraft out of Construx pieces where everything that wasn't the fuselage or wings was a bomb, a rocket or a machine gun.

I used to tease them both about their designs and both of them would beam that childish smirk of, "Yeh, we know, but it's still loads of fun" as they attacked and crashed into one another with Construx pieces flying apart.

After a fierce battle in the skies of South Pasadena, the plane that most resembled a plane, won!

Not wanting to have Brian get the wrong message about the Germans and the Nazis, I introduced him to some German culture and history through books and television in hopes that he, as an eight or nine year old, could understand the difference. Naturally, taking care to not present a thorough history lesson to a child, complete with all the horrors and atrocities, it didn't happen over night, but eventually, he did have better grasp of the war and its many complications. I probably was a bit too zealous, for after a while, it was like trying to speak to him about the birds and the bees. He'd listen to me preach and respond by giving me, with all the worldliness of a twelve year old, a roll of his eyes and a smirk, replying in exasperation...

"I know Dad, I know. I just like this airplane, that's all... And, the cool way we can make it look with those paint schemes and your airbrush !"

Ah yes, flattery will get you everywhere, kid!

Copyright 2011/ Ben Bensen III

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