Sunday, September 16, 2007


I have an assignment for the day job that's not too bad, eh? Building model kits. I guess there's good and bad, but generally it's an interesting assignment.

Our hospital system is bringing in one of the people involved in the sunken U-boat discovery chronicled in Shadow Divers . He'll speak to the medical staff at their annual meeting.

We have a vibrant wound healing program, and because it utilizes hyperbaric oxygen chambers, wound medicine is called diving medicine.

Our wound medical director met one of the divers at a conference and yadda, yadda, yadda - "Sidney, could you help us build a bunch of U-boat model kits as center pieces?"

The request came from my co-worker whose husband is a phenomenal model kit builder with a Trek emphasis. I think he's reconstructing the entire ruins of Wolf 359.

My model background
I usually build kits of Dracula and other Universal monsters. I was going to build a Tor Johnson from Plan 9 kit, but that was around the time Christine and I were getting married and she felt there were better uses for my fortune. It's a lovely radiant cut.

I haven't built model kits in a few years. There was an unfortunate incident involving Christine's breakfast-nook table and some paint thinner.

But since it's for work I'm building Revell U-boats.

A lot of U-boats.

Fortunately I have until October 10 or so, and my co-worker's husband is going to spray them all a gunmetal gray. It would be fun to paint them with the precision this model-builder achieved, but that would be impractical.

I'm a little nervous because Scott (my co-worker's husband) is a perfectionist and I find myself not wanting to disappoint. I hope I will get faster with my next builds, but there's a surprising amount of detail even though there are not a million little pieces.

Cementing the hull without separations requires all of the rubber bands, chip clips and clothes pins I could find, and I have big fingers that make the assembly of the conning tower and the deck guns a little challenging.

The near-sightedness in my left eye comes in a little handy, though.

I find it satisfying, and a nice break from writing. I'll try to keep you posted on my progress.

Ships completed so far: 1


Ships completed so far 9/24: 4 1/2


Charles Gramlich said...

Hey, no fair having fun at work stuff. I envy your patience here. I've never been able to build complex models. No decent eye/hand coordination, and little enough patience.

Erik Donald France said...

U-Boats are the coolest of all subs and ships. I still fondly remember the U-Boat on display in Chicago, though I haven't toured it since about 1970. The model sounds fun to assemble.

Stewart Sternberg (half of L.P. Styles) said...

You know what I used to do, Sid? I would build these models of three masted schooners, then turn off the lights in my bedroom and turn on a small high intensity lamp. Using a magnifying glass, I would create lifesize shadows of the schooner on the wall...slowly moving the model before the lamp, I would watch the deck slowly roll by and even slightly roll with the ocean of my mind.

Too much time on my hands..not enough friends.

Sidney said...

You know, I've never seen a real U-Boat. We went aboard a U.S. sub on display in Alabama when I was a kid, but I've never seen a German ship.

Stewart, I can identify. I had a cool couple of weeks at the end of one summer vacation reading "The Deep" and putting together a Revell pirate ship. said...

Surely, the dude is absolutely fair.

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