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Why Not Authentic, Prefabricated Husbands?
April 1960 American Modeler

April 1960 American Modeler

April 1960 American Modeler Cover - Airplanes and Rockets Table of Contents

These pages from vintage modeling magazines like Flying Aces, Air Trails, American Modeler, American Aircraft Modeler, Young Men, Flying Models, Model Airplane News, R/C Modeler, captured the era. All copyrights acknowledged.

Wives poking fun at their hobby-obsessed husbands is not a new thing. Good-natured articles contributed by wives have appeared in all kinds of specialty magazines for decades. This one entitled "Why Not Authentic, Prefabricated Husbands?" was written by the wife of a model airplane, rocket, and boat builder. Her name is Laurie Cunningham, which makes me wonder if she is the better half of Chuck Cunningham, who wrote the "Cunningham on R/C" column for R/C Modeler magazine for many years. Mrs. Cunningham's experience is not unlike my own wife's (Melanie) dilemma living with me going on four decades (39 years and counting). Throughout our house on display are Estes rocket models, plastic and balsa model airplanes and boats, and even a helicopter or two. Most of them are ones I've never flown or floated for fear of messing up the carefully applied finish. Fortunately, the in-service models are now all electric so there is not a mess of glow fuel dripping onto the floor - just an occasional tire mark on the wall. In exchange for her tolerance, I support her sewing and cooking habit as much as I can. It has worked well for us all these many moons.

Why Not Authentic, Prefabricated Husbands?

Why Not Authentic, Prefabricated Husbands?, April 1960 American Modeler - Airplanes and RocketsBy Laurie Cunningham

There is a Rascal in my bedroom. Being good-natured I don't mind this too much, but that Rat in the center of my dining room table is somewhat bothersome. To say nothing of the Sidewinder on my window sill. Honest John and Little John are around here somewhere too. These are all models of missiles I hasten to add.

You see, my husband's hobby is making models and I sympathize with any wife who finds herself in the same boat - the "boat" would be an authentic scale model, of course. The amount of dust these things will collect is amazing. If my husband HAS to have a hobby I wish he would collect stamps. It's considerably more profitable than collecting dust.

Almost every weekend my better half will settle himself in the den surrounded with complicated-looking sets of blueprints, bits of plastic in all shapes and sizes, cement, paint, my best scissors and any number of other things I can't even give a title to. As far; as I'm concerned it boils down to one big MESS. And I daren't interrupt him during one of these orgies for fear of disturbing his power of concentration. After looking over a few of his model blueprints I can see where it would take a powerful lot of concentration. They're IMPOSSIBLE! I have heard that twelve-year-olds enjoy this hobby, but I don't believe it. The assembly instructions are enough to confuse a Professor of Abstract Mathematics. I tried reading one once in the belief a wife should share her husband's hobby. This is what it said:

A. Locate, do not cement, Part 41 to the holes in Parts 42 and 43.

B. Carefully locate, do not cement, Parts 44 and 45 to Part 46.

C. Now slide, do not cement, Part 46 into the grooves of Parts 42 and 43. Snap, do not cement, the left and right superstructures into place. Finally snap Parts 41 and 46 to Parts 13.

By this time it was my mind that had "snapped" and I decided he could keep his hobby to himself.

Take that word "locate" that keeps appearing in a set of instructions. The manufacturer knew what he was doing when he wrote that in. When you have a hundred and thirty oddly assorted pieces spread around the entire room it's a wonder anybody can "locate" anything at all.

After my husband has FINALLY completed one of his models he makes a tour of the house searching for a likely spot to display it. By now there are few likely spots left. The "Flying Cloud" is floating on the mantle. The "N.S. Savannah" is docked on my coffee table. The "Jupiter C." is ready to blast off the T.V. That Rascal is still in my bedroom and a Sherman Tank is threatening my love seat. Comes the day I have to take a bath with the "U.S.S. Arizona" I'm going to turn my husband in on a new model ... if somebody ever puts out a kit for one, that is.

Authentic scale model husbands should sell like hot cakes.



Posted April 16, 2022

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