The unexpected benefits of building model toys

Building model toys have been a hobby of mine for as long as I can recall. The first model that I ever built was a German Fokker Dr.1 triplane, a fighter flown by the legendary “Red Baron” fighter pilot circa World War I. As the years progressed, the complexity of the miniatures I built increased with my experience. Hulking battleships like the U.S.S. Arizona B.B. 39 and U.S.S. Missouri B.B. 63, a gray Russian MiG helicopter gunship and a British World War II Supermarine Spitfire fighter plane soon inhabited my shelving on stands and hung from my ceiling by dental floss and string. Some even arranged in mock aerial dogfights, complete with cotton stuffing to replicate smoke emanating from a bullet-addled engine.

My latest addition, A Japanese World War II Mitsubishi A6M Zero long-range fighter jet. 

As a small child, my father would place me in his lap at the desk where he spent many hours sanding, painting, and assembling miniature pieces of polyurethane, patiently giving me instructions on the appropriate brush and strokes to create weathering or how much plastic cement to utilize so as to not have excess glue leak out between the seams of the delicately completed sections. The instant I sit down to begin, the precision necessitated, the attention to detail, even the smell of the acrylic paints, consume my thoughts and anxieties and I am immediately transported to the comfort of my father’s desk. 

In addition to the meditative solace provided, constructing model toys provides students with a myriad of valuable tools. Adolescents who engage in model assembly are shown to have an improvement in cognitive abilities, such as problem solving, logic and spatial relations. Furthermore, gaining exposure to the fundamentals of physics, history, architecture and engineering at a young age is crucial to proper development. 

 

-Alec A, Office Assistant