Wednesday, January 31, 2007

My own little Military-Industrial Complex

It's been a while since I've collected model airplanes. I never really was very good at putting them together, much less painting them. Then early last month, I picked up a MiG-29 Fulcrum by 4D Master and I've been hooked ever since.

Over the past few weeks, I've been putting together my own little military-industrial complex. Thus far, I've gotten a YF-22 Raptor, an F-14 Tomcat with VF-84 Jolly Roger colors, and an F-4E Phantom. I plan to track down a few more.

Yes, I could just say "squadron," but "military-industrial complex" just sounds a bit more Cheney-esque.

I've been in love with fighter jets since I was little. My parents joke that my first words were "e-plen." Our Compton's Encyclopedia ca. 1969 is all torn somewhere in the middle of the A volume because I was always at the pages with the military aircraft (and very careless, too.)

First ambition was to become a fighter pilot. Then I found out my eyes were bad. Such is the way childhood dies. Ah, well, nerd has a much nicer ring, I think.

Now that I'm a little bit older and a little more aware of political and historical realities, I view these fighter jets with a slightly different perspective. They're not the tools of democracy that I once thought they were.

Case in point: the F-4E Phantom. Looking at its sleek and sinister lines, I can't help but fall into the thrall of childhood fantasies. But at the same time, part of me wants to ask: "How many Viet farmers and babies did you burn with napalm bombs, O Phantom?"

Such is the way that childhood dies. A part of it, anyway.

Still, we can't go through life carrying these burdens all the time. And all the same, those are some damn fine lines.


  1. wow, a crafty hobby you have there.
    i remember my brother who used to assemble and collect tamiya war tanks and trucks.

    i'm wondering what the blue, yellow, and red orb-like things are in the second picture? they seem to look like helmets...

  2. They've dropped the 'Y' in YF-22.

    That F-4E looks like the (or has the color scheme) Wild Weasel, tasked to seek and destroy SAM sites.

    And what happened to those plastic kits that needs glue, assembly, painting, and patience?

    I'm still dreaming of putting together that wooden tea clipper. Passed up the chance few years back. *Sigh...*

  3. Hi, Arci: thanks for visiting, long time no see. The 4D series isn't your old-school model kit; it's really more like a puzzle. It takes about 10 minutes to put it together. Prepainted, and they do look quite nice.

    You called it right: the orbs are actually helmets. They're the containers for the pieces of the kit.

    Hi, Benz: this particular model still carries the YF-22 colors, I think, hence the name. There's an F/A-22 in the series, but I didn't like the scheme.

  4. This is just so cool. I love those fine details on those minature models. I used to collect mechas before as well.

    Thank you by th e way for the words of encouragement. :D

  5. wow!

    military ordnance collection. I too wanted to collect them a long time ago

  6. Cheney-esque. Hahaha!! Good one there. Toys for the big boys, indeed.