Harking back to the days of model-making

Mr J G Robertson, a Redwell handicraft teacher, is pictured attending a craft course for South Shields teachers, along with three of his pupils in November 1969. They are, left to right, Derek Turnbull, Terence Thompson and George Gray.
Mr J G Robertson, a Redwell handicraft teacher, is pictured attending a craft course for South Shields teachers, along with three of his pupils in November 1969. They are, left to right, Derek Turnbull, Terence Thompson and George Gray.

You might find it hard to believe, but I used to do a bit of modelling in my younger days.

Not on the catwalk, of course, but on the kitchen table, making model planes and the like.

A scene from the 1954 Godzilla film.

A scene from the 1954 Godzilla film.

It was a hobby enjoyed by probably every young boy and some girls in the days before other distractions, like mobiles and tablets, came along.

Most of us young model-makers started off with an Airfix kit, building a Spitfire or Messerschmitt plane from scratch.

But I also remember a series of plastic model kits, produced, I think, by Revell, that featured some wonderfully detailed representations of famous film creatures and super heroes, such as King Kong, Frankenstein’s monster and Batman.

One in particular springs to mind, a model of Godzilla, which, according to the box, had glow-in-the-dark parts.

Models of a different type. South Tyneside youngsters modelling sports and leisure wear  in April 1991.  Do you recognise  any of the pupils pictured? Why were the lads modelling the clothes?

Models of a different type. South Tyneside youngsters modelling sports and leisure wear in April 1991. Do you recognise any of the pupils pictured? Why were the lads modelling the clothes?

As usual, I carefully constructed the model in the daylight, completing the paintwork as soon as the glue was dry, and stood back to admire my handiwork.

It looked great, but even as the afternoon drew to a close and the light faded, the glow-in-the dark head, claws and feet (I think that was all of it) refused to glow, and just looked like lumps of grey plastic.

Having abandoned Godzilla to the window sill of my bedroom, I drew the curtains and went downstairs.

By the time it came to go to bed, I’d forgotten about the beast behind the curtains ... until I turned out the light and closed my eyes ... only to find that the darkness was not dark anymore, for an eerie glow was filtering into the room.

And guess where it was coming from? Behind the curtains, as Godzilla glowed with all his might.

In fact, the light was so distracting that it kept me awake, and I ended up having to push Godzilla in a cupboard. Still, as they say, it did do what it said on the box!

Reader Rob Paris is also a keen modeller, he wrote: “It’s a lovely hobby, teaches patience and accuracy. I still make models and have been on and off since I was seven, it’s a form of art ... and some of the better kits sell for £100s.

“For me, after a lot of nuro issues, it helped me regain concentration and dexterity.”