Out of Your Reach


atomic annie boxartIn response to The Daily Post’s writing prompt: “Out of Your Reach.”

Was there a toy or thing you always wanted as a child, during the holidays or on your birthday, but never received? Tell us about it.

Lots…the early/mid 70s were a Golden Age for the plastic modeller community with household names (in our household anyway) like Airfix, FROG and Matchbox releasing new kits every month across a range of topics near and dear to every schoolboy’s heart…these were generally pretty affordable and even the larger ones were acquirable, albeit through the good intentions of aunts and uncles. The jewels in the crown though were the big kits from the USA, in 1/32 monster scale mainly, most notably Revell’s range of 1/32 scale aircraft, singles and twins, many of which remained the only games in town until the last couple of years – a competing 1/32 De Havilland Mosquito has only been released this year (at 3-4 times the price of the venerable and still respectable Revell offering.

When I was 12, Mum and Dad took me along on their annual pilgrimage to Christchurch, then, at some 150 miles away, quite an epic journey. One day, while exploring the inner city, we passed a cycle shop (back then most cycle shops carried enough plastic kits to win away a young lad’s pocket money with ease – they are somewhat less exciting now) in, I think it was Manchester Street. There is all its glory was the Atomic Cannon, at a price hopelessly beyond our means…

It’s big and cool and evocative of those days when build and see it was the prevailing engineering philosophy. I grew (temporarily) out of modelling not so long after but that’s always been a strong memory. When I got back into modelling, it was always at the back of my wish list…in the late 90s I managed to score one unbuilt off a collector in the Netherlands and another built one of eBay and few years later, just in time for a work mate to rescue a load of old models from a rubbish skip. Once he took what he wanted he, handed the survivors over to me…and there is was…an original Atomic Annie…built by a clearly schoolboy hand, it dates back to the original releases, I would say, judging by the other kit remnants in the box with it…

So now I have three, none finished…there’s a surprise!!! But one day, when I do, it’ll look something like this…

atomic cannon

You can see more of this build here: http://thegreatcanadianmodelbuilderswebpage.blogspot.co.nz/2011/10/atomic-cannon.html

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