Since childhood I have always enjoyed making model handicrafts in my spare time. My interest took me to building plastic moulded kits, particularly the aeroplanes.
By the time I was 10, I began to feel frustrated that I could not replicate each model as shown on the package kit. I kept facing the same old challenges:
I guess I was a bit clumsy in my early years and lacked enough patience and got frustrated too easily. I kept feeling a sense of disappointment since I could not meet my expectations after seeing the exciting action image on the cover of the kit box. Ultimately, my toys gradually became neglected over time and lost their appeal to me.
Around the age of 11, my father gave me a book titled ‘Making Model Aeroplanes’ by Peter Fairhurst, published by Carousel. I guess my parents must have noticed my frustration, not to mention the ever increasing cost of those plastic moulded kits.
This book was one of a range of themed books that were published at the time. They provided base templates on various themes of models. The book I received had 12 plane templates to be copied and traced, via ink and tracing paper, onto recycled cardboard. With the addition of a few other types of recycled materials, I was able to build them. Furthermore, I was able to colour them using water-based paint, rather than oil-based paint required for the plastic-based models - which made my model making environment cleaner, safer and healthier. The models were fun and cheap to make. I was even able to make other planes from photos using similar design formats. I was also able to play with them as they were robust and easy to repair if needed. Most of the models have survived to this day due to their durability and the care given to them because of their uniqueness, creativity and innovation.
Now as a parent, I see a different world to the one I saw as a child. We all enjoy and value the Internet and what flat screen technology brings us, maybe too much? We all strive to balance our lives, not as simple as we all wish.
When reviewing my old planes, I recalled how it helped me visualize ideas from photos or even from an object I found whilst out walking somewhere. One such example was a galleon that I made initially inspired from finding some drift wood. The benefit of creativity and ingenuity can help improve life balance, mindfulness and resiliance especially in today's world.
After years of work experience in different fields, I revisited my childhood interest in model making using recycled materials and decided to bring it into the present.
Welcome to the world of Mecodels!
Planes made from ‘Making Model Aeroplanes’ by Peter Fairhurst, published in 1976. Two extra planes were made afterwards.
A galleon ship made from drift wood and recycled materials, inspired from the above mentioned book at age 11.