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Hobby Bounties
Airfix 1/48 Mustang
48 Hour Group Build

by Peter J K Chiang

North American P-51D Mustang



Keep Calm and Press on…this is the conviction of the Hobby Bounties group of Airfix modellers. In the midst of the Covid-19 pandemic, some were expecting model building to be put on the back burner to focus on more critical work. That was true during the onset of the pandemic, however as the measures were decided and implemented and the initial chaos diminished, some of us found more time to pursue our hobby; to finish the projects that has taken more time to keep them dust free than to have them completed.

The organizer of the group, Mr. Peter Chiang decided that it was perhaps a good time to rediscover the good old days of model building. The idea was to build a model over a weekend straight out of the box with no aftermarket accessories and NO airbrush. Basically, to relive the memory of the first few models that we built when we were kids, when there were no internet and TV had 2 channels and commercials were longer than the show itself. Also likely before discovering girls; the time period at which all modellers are on hiatus depending who they eventually marry. Sad to say some are still on hiatus in full or in part, others created a whole other hobby of just buying and collecting with no building for decades.


Swedish Camo Mustang by Mr. Lee Stringers

With the platform and the general idea for a competition set, the subject was chosen, 1/48 Airfix Mustang being the clear preference. Some further rules, if they can be considered so, we shared over different beverages on skype. The date was set, and everybody started to get their hands on the kits; yet another good reason to buy another model airplane of the same type and of the same scale. Unfortunately, some members who were not able to get their Mustang but has decided to participate anyway with other Airfix kit that was accessible; buiding a ‘what if’ plane instead.


Duo Livery Mustang by Mr. Benjamin Koh

The competition would start official at noon on Friday the 22nd May and would conclude at noon on Sunday 24th May. There were 2 skype sessions planned during the build for the participants to share their progress and techniques. The ‘real time’ continuous following were conducted on whatsapp group and Facebook forum. During the competition, Trivia on Airfix and Mustang was also included in the whatsapp group just to make things interesting and for participants to learn interesting facts; to bring the event beyond building models.


Mustang with Pilot, by our event organizer, Mr. Peter Chiang

The competition started on time and it was surprising that some were really fast builders, others, not so much. We had 2 participants who had not completed a project for years. Fortunately, the kit was an excellent kit, with the new tooling, the fit was good and little or no putty were used by most. A lot of special Brush painting techniques were shared with good results. At mid point, some have already completed most of the airframe and the Mustang has taken on its famous shape; however for others, a lot of the parts were still being painted whilst they were still on the sprues. During the first Skype of the competition, it was obvious, who was ahead and the choice of build complexity. It was also obvious that who would, likely, not finish on time. Typically static modelling is a hobby where time is not critical, this competition has changed that, intentionally giving the participants an extra dimension to the challenge. Pictures and photos started being posted on Whatsapp and uploaded accordingly in Facebook.


Swedish Mustang by Mr. M Razali

Strangely, the quality of the build was quite good and the restriction of time did not seem to have an adverse effect on the quality of build. The Skype sessions were well received where most took the opportunity to relax and take a breather, the sessions  were enjoyable and a great opportunity to share stories. One important observation was that, the facilitator needed to make sure everybody had the opportunity to speak, else, some presence may have gone unnoticed. There we were a group of middle aged men trying to learn the social ways of contemporary teenagers; I have to say it was fun and we were beginning to understand why it is so addictive.


Dooley Bird Mustang by Mr. CJ Tan

Finally, when noon came on the second day, slightly over half of the participants have completed their models on time. Some did not have any sleep for 36 hours leading to the deadline. 4 pictures were required for judging from 4 different cardinal angles. One further picture was required to be taken in sunlight to set a fair parameter for color accuracy. The finished models were of high quality considering no airbrush were allowed and the limited time given. Those who did not finish, soldiered on for another day or 2 to finally finish their planes, even though not judged for the competition, they do form an integral part of the group build.


Dooley bird II, Jet by Mr. Mick Stephen

In the end a winner was selected based on strict adherence to the rules and good quality build with great workmanship. There were other sterling efforts, distinguished Swedish Camouflage, great attempts on metallic finish and even an attempt to build a diorama from the movie Empire of the Sun.


Dooley Bird Mustang by Mr. Terrence Teo

The competition was overall a great success not from a traditional perspective but more so for the innovative adoption of IT to make it possible. It has proven that human spirit shall always find the way, Where there is a will there shall always be a way. Combining a traditional hobby with new IT, we have found ourselves able to connect to anybody from anywhere in the world. Since the competition, the Skype sessions have since continued and the sharing of story has proven to be therapeutic and enjoyable during these challenging times.


‘Big Dick’ Mustang by Mr. CL Kwek

I would like to express my gratitude to the participants, organizers and volunteers for making this event a success. Special thanks to Meng, our goto IT specialist for educating us on Skype and muting practises. Looking at how things are developing, it may be sometime more before we can meet face to face, with IT we shall continue to enjoy our hobby, not in solitary but with our fellow modellers. Keep Calm and Press on with the building.


Dooley Bird Mustang by Mr. Andrew Rozario

Model and Text Copyright 2020 by Peter J K Chiang
Page Created 12 August, 2020
Last Updated 14 August, 2020

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