Saturday, April 14, 2012

'77 Chevy Monte Carlo by Taylor Perry

Taylor is my daughter. She is six years old.  We were at the Hobby Stop in Orem and she found a car model that she liked.  Who am I to tell her she can't have a model?  My father bought me tons of them!

I do not care if she likes to build trains, cars, planes, tanks or doll houses.  All I care is that she learns the craftsman skills to build whatever she likes and to learn to finish a job to completion.  Oh, and most to handle tools safely.

This is a good model for her.  Revell is pretty good quality and this is a snap together.  Just right!  Let's get started!

 First, we open the kit and glance over the directions.  We learned to put acetate (clear) plastic pieces away from our work space because they are easily scratched and damaged by glue.

 We study the pictures and read the copy on the box.  Lots to learn here!

 Now we read the directions from front to back.  Yes, I really do this!  Taylor is still learning to read but is way ahead of most kids her age.  I have to help her with words like chassis and chrome.  She is new to cars so we spend a minute learning about the parts of a car.  Model building is VERY educational.

 We start construction by learning how to use sprue cutters.  These handy plier-like cutters are perfect for Taylor as she develops fine motor control.  Hobby knives are allowed (in green over by the box) but the less we can use them the better.

 We learn to cross check parts with the drawing, what a "sprue" is and how to identify parts.  We also know what mirror image parts are and why they can cause difficulty.  Taylor puts together the front bucket seats.

 She is VERY intense at this age, and still learning patience.  Her hands are not quite strong enough to cut some thick sprues or to snap together large parts, so I help her but only when needed.

 The interior compartment is done!  We are not painting this model.  I want her to focus more on reading directions and making the assembly.

 The chassis is screwed into the body of the car so we learn about the different ways to hold a Jewler's screwdriver.  She works with big tools with me, so this is no issue for her.

 Taylor was very careful not to break the sprues on chrome parts.  If you break them off they will gouge the plastic and ruin the part.

 As the car comes together, the assembly gets more difficult.  Taylor attempts to put some parts on upside down.  We learn to move the model into the same position as the drawing, then to compare the drawing to the part.  Oops!  Now I see, Daddy!

 Small detail parts are easier for her to handle than they are for me.  She has better eyes as well.  Skill will come quickly and she LOVES doing this.

 There!  The basic model is done.

 Using a locomotive foam cradle we learn to position our work so that we can put decals on the car.  She is very careful to make sure she has the right decal for the right side.

 All done!  She is proud of her work and is already playing with the car in the hallway of the basement.

Cost of model car... $15
Cost of tools for model car... $55
Price of spending time with my daughter building models....PRICELESS


  1. That's awesome! When I was younger I built a lot of these types of cars getting harder and harder. At one point my dad just gave me all the parts in a bag with no instructions to see what I could come up with on my own. It was easy for me to figure out all the pieces and painted it with colors from my own imagination instead of what was on the box. Lots of fun!

    1. That is so great! Me and my daddy spent lots of time doing these things when I was younger.


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