Thursday, May 19, 2011

Box fresh

I like using unconventional materials in my work, the latest being (gasp!) plastic. I've avoided it for a long time but you can't really dive head first into post-apocalyptic futurist science fiction without getting your poly vinyl freak on. Speaking in terms of design and aesthetics, plastic is the poster child of the space age.

This is an 80s model kit from eBay- some sort of Japanese Mecha. I was disappointed it came purple (I wanted white) so I've had to buy some high-gloss spray paint to right it. But hey, spray painting things is way too much fun to complain about.

I've grown up watching my Dad build model trucks, I was forced to sit with my hands behind me back so I wouldn't touch. Now I've got my own kit, and it's not going to like what I'll do to it. Dad never stuck to the instructions, he does what's now known as kit-bashing (the milenium falcon in Star Wars IV is a perfect example of kit bashing) where you follow the basic form and add your own touches to make it more realistic or accurate (don't get me started on the inaccuracy of models- I'm still thinking of re-painting my Gozer).

I remember one night, pouring through magazines at the kitchen table looking for tiny pictures of the coke logo so Dad could cut it out, wrap it around a bit of dowel and make a tiny coke can for the dashboard of a road train. He was always getting halfway to the bin with something and then stopping and saying 'wait- I can use this' and then putting it in a box in the model room. And you wonder where I get it.

And look at the tiny glue that came with the kit! So tiny!!

Tiny glue now lives on the shadow box with the thimbles and the antique dominoes and other tiny things of merit.


Anonymous said...

This plastic toy is ugly!!!!! I hope you will not use this part for your jewellery......BAD IDEA

Little Brown Sparrow said...


Well you see anon, you gotta have a creative vision to see the potential in form. It's easy to see potential in a bead, but to look at something so ordinary as a model kit and think 'I can use that' takes a little more grey matter. I think these little plastic bits are beautiful.

ensourdine said...

Can't wait to see the white-painted plastic spaceship parts (maybe with some dented patina?)!!! Something outrageous and very brothers-Quay is gonna come out, I reckon! ;)

Little Brown Sparrow said...

@ensourdine Yeah some patina will definiately be there- I'm going for that worn-in Star Wars look rather than 2001's perfect lines.

fanciful devices said...