My brother and I built models when we were kids. He was more adept at the art than I, being more mechanically minded. We built car kits, airplane kits, and I think we had a train kit someone gave us. All those old models are gone, including one my brother built out of spare parts from other model kits (it was a hot-rod car — maybe he got the chassis from a kit one of his friends ruined).
Although I don’t have a particular passion for kit building, I know that modeling can take on a full-time presence in some enthusiasts’ lives. I recall walking into a hobby shop in the Atlanta area many years ago and seeing about 1/4 of the floor space taken up by styrofoam molding. The storeowner was building a huge model train landscape. I went back to the store about a month later after they had completed the project and was just blown away by the detailed landscaping. They had a mountain, a tunnel, several levels of track, and 2 trains running concurrently. There were a couple of villages, a depot, and several other items the store was selling.
So what does all that have to do with science fiction and fantasy? Well, it seems there are science fiction and fantasy-related model kits — and have been for decades. I’m familiar with the wargaming panoramas, castle models, and similar hobby kits that have been around for years. Pencil-and-paper role-playing gamers have been known to construct sophisticated structure models and displays, too.
But Cult TV Man is uploading videos to YouTube in which he discusses classic model kits with science fiction themes. This video, number 10 in the series, discusses “The Bride of Frankenstein” — which appears to be based on the original movie (or, at least, the movie I watched as a kid).
Model enthusiasts come from all walks of life. A few years ago I found a small group of Middle-earth railroad hobbyists who were building Shire landscapes and running trains through them. The Lake Town and Shire Railroad site has moved to its own domain since then.
Which all goes to show that science fiction and fantasy is not just about books and movies. It’s also about costuming, modeling, recipe-sharing, filking, and so much, much more. Check out Cult TV Man’s video, and maybe browse his channel. You never know. You might just find yourself browsing the hobby stores looking for something to do next weekend….
Visit Cult TV Man’s Web site.
Browse Cult TV Man’s YouTube channel.
SF-Fandom is a fan-run moderated Web discussion community devoted to science fiction, fantasy, history, and mythology. Founded in 2001, SF-Fandom is part of the Xenite.Org Network of science fiction and fantasy Web sites.