EAST TEXAS (KYTX) - Models have been used throughout history to represent ideas for everything from ships, to airplanes to buildings. The hobby became very popular after World War II with the availability of plastic model kits. J.B.'s Journals, Sheriff J.B. Smith shows us an East Texas Master Modeler.
Mike Tobin of Whitehouse has been constructing models since he was a boy.
"I've always preferred to build the science fiction models even though I've built tanks, airplanes, subs, things like in the past."
At first, some of the models didn't turn out the way they looked on the box.
"All the clear parts had thumb prints on it where I held it in place with glue on my thumb while I was trying to put it together."
"So we would take the models out there on the sand dunes shoot them apart with BB guns."
Over the years, Tobin has greatly improved his skills.
"Right now I'm into building war gaming models from the war hammer 40K universe."
"The detailed painting really brings the model to life."
"This is first model kit I built used several different materials and techniques to get the finished effect of rust, dirt, dust."
This ship has six different layers of paint.
"By the time I get done with this, probably invested about 20 hours for building and painting."
Tobin has built hundreds of models and has given many away to make room for the next masterpiece. One of his favorites was the original Star Trek Enterprise.
"My brother took it, thanked me, said did you buy it like this or make it? Looked like a store bought model. That made me so proud of the work that went into it."
He says today's model kits are much better than the early versions.
"It's just amazing using computers to design the models, what that has done for the hobby."
An activity he plans to continue building on in the future.
"When I spend my money on my hobby, I have something to show for it when I'm done."
For CBS 19, I'm Sheriff J.B. Smith and that's my story.
Cars and military models are extremely popular for modelers in East Texas. A local club meets frequently at Hobbytown USA in Tyler to discuss model making. Call 903-509-3000 to learn more.