Growing up, I saw myself as quite the Romeo. My mom, of course, told me I was very handsome. So did both of my grandmothers. I knew that those three dear ladies would never lie to me. If you can’t trust them, who can you trust?
And then there was the kindergarten playground incident. The teacher had told my mom I’d come up to her and complained that all the girls were trying to hug me, and chasing me around. I then uttered a line my mom loved to repeat at EVERY opportunity… “I’m tired of being a hero to girls! I just want to be a hero to dogs!”
Anyway, in my early elementary years, I was very concerned about finding a wife. I was trying to decide between Ginger and Mary Ann on Gilligan’s Island, Valerie Bertinelli on One Day At A Time, and Judy from Lost In Space. It was quite the dilemma for an 8-year-old.
A Man Of Action
I finally decided to write them all letters, spelling out the stellar qualities that would make me the ideal husband, and just see what happened. Certainly one or two of them would see my logic and agree to it.
In my carefully crafted letters, I presented the list of why I should be their beau. First, I was very handsome, as evidenced by the testimony of my mom and both grandmas. (I may have even thrown in an aunt or two for good measure.)
Second, dogs liked me quite a bit, except for that one German Shepherd up the street, who liked to chase me when I rode my bike past his house. (Until I saw the wisdom of carrying a 7 iron… then he just watched me ride by. Who’s a smart dog? 🙂 )
Third, I was very smart. As with my case for being handsome, I had hard evidence. All of my teachers always told my mom “Jon is a very smart young man…”. To be fair, I never paid any attention to what they said after that, though I did note it always seem to begin with “but”. I’m sure it had to do with me also being quite handsome.
Specialization Is Not A Problem
I also crafted a few qualities that would be useful to each of the young ladies.
For Ginger and Mary Ann, I assured them that austere island life would suit me fine. I liked to climb trees, and enjoyed tossing coconuts around. For Valerie Bertinelli, I offered the prospect of moving out of her apartment, and joining my family and I in our home. I noted we had a yard with many flowers, and I would let her use my old bicycle.
Judy from Lost in Space received some special assurances. I let her know that traveling about the universe was no problem, and I was very resourceful when it came to dealing with aliens and other things likely to be encountered gallivanting around the cosmos.
I also made it very clear that I would not put up with any of Dr. Smith’s shenanigans’, as her knot-head little brother did.
A few caveats were attached – I did need to be home for Christmas and Easter, and my birthday. And school of course. But weekends and summers were quite open to the exploration of the stars.
And I wasn’t even worried about her fiance, Don. I was quite confident that my positive traits would be so overwhelming that even he could not fail to see the logic.
The Space Pod Kit
To be honest, I don’t recall seeing the Space Pod on the TV show. I watched Lost In Space every time it came on, but it did seem as though they played the same few shows over and over. But I didn’t mind… the thought of being a traveling family soaring through space was quite cool.
As soon as I saw the kit though, I wanted to build it.
The kit parts are a bit rough, as I’ve discovered with all the Moebius kits I’ve built. The shape is generally good, but every part has plenty of mould seam lines to clean, and there is also some flash here and there. Still, with a bit of care, a mold line remover, and a few sanding sticks, everything cleans up nicely.
The kit is almost two kits in one. Various wall parts, adorned with a variety of lights, tubes, canisters, and metal beams, make up a sort of “inner assembly”. Once assembled, more parts are added on forming an outer shell. Test fitting shows it to be a bit fiddly to get together, but once joined up, there won’t be too much clean up. (For a Moebius kit…)
Painting The Interior
Given the breakdown of parts, the logical path seemed to be to completely finish the interior first, and then go from there.
I did some initial assembly, gluing in most of the various parts on the walls. Moebius instructions are a bit maddening, with everything being in narrative form, and a single, poor, black and white photo showing the general arrangement for each step. If you build the kit – test fit, test fit, and test fit again. I did get it all sorted out, of course.
The painting instructions are also less than helpful. Instead of each step showing what parts receive which color – because there is no diagram – there is a table on the last page of the instructions that tells in text format what paints colors go where. You can of course, take the time to carefully notate on the grainy black and white photos what the color call outs are. Or, you can proceed as I did, and just mostly make it up as you go along.
Now To The Actual Painting
Everything was primed in Badger’s Stynylrez Gray Primer, and then all interior surfaces received a coat of Tamiya’s XF-55 Deck Tan. The metal beam assemblies were coated with Citadel’s Leadbelcher, and the various panels were picked out in Vallejo Black Gray. I had taken enough time to note that some of the canisters were painted orange and yellow, so I used Vallejo’s colors for that.
On of the fun parts of the kit are the loads of buttons and knobs. I really love these old 60’s scifi cockpits, because they were (inexplicably) full of blinky lights that seemed to have little function other than to appear blinky. Sticking with that thought, I broke out the yellow, red, blue, and green paints, and began painting away.
All the buttons, knobs, and dials were given a base coat of Vallejo Sky Gray. Over that, I started placing all of the colorfully colored colors. I wanted to be fairly random, so it would fit with the “blinky lights” theme.
I also decided to completely avoid weathering. So many of those 1960’s sets were clean and grime free. I figured why not do so on the Space Pod? Instead of going for my normal approach of trying to make it look as if it were a real thing, I deliberately wanted it to appear as a prop, ready to be filmed for the show.
All was given a gloss coat, a panel line wash of Citadel’s Nuln Oil, and then a matt varnish coat.
With the interior painted up, the next step will be getting it all together, and then moving on to the exterior. I’m quite looking forward to that work, as everything will be all shiny silver and orange. The Space Pod will hopefully look quite cool when all is said and done.
My dad took all my letters from me, promising to make sure they were delivered. I made sure to check the mailbox every day, waiting for the expected reply from each of my prospective brides.
Amazingly, all four letters… well, three actually, as I saw Ginger and Mary Ann as a package deal – they all wrote back at once. The letters were waiting for me when I arrived home from school one day.
My initial excitement quickly went away. Though they all assured me I must be very handsome and smart, each had similar advice… work hard in school, obey your parents, be kind to your sisters and brother (odd they knew about them…), and get back in touch when I was at least old enough to drive and have a job.
I also found it ironic that each of the young ladies handwriting looked exactly like my mom’s. I guess they must’ve done very well in school also, especially handwriting… 😉
Forever the optimist, I also realized that none of them had explicitly said “no“. So that was as good as a “yes” in my book. I actually felt a twinge of guilt… since none had said no, I’d obviously be required to break a few hearts when I finally did grow up and choose my bride.
It’s not easy being handsome and smart. But someone has to do it…. 😉
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