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Very Good (semi-pro) Deceased Modeler - What do you do with built kits?


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So! I have a very good friend who died last year.  He was a modeler.  He was very good.  Even placed in I.P.M.S. regional & national competitions.  His widow contacted me and asked what could be done with his kits.  I visited this weekend and took pictures of over 500 built kits; mostly 1/48, but a good selection of 1/72, 1/144, 1/32 & even a few 1/24.  Almost all aircraft.  What to do?  He was a builder.  Built anything that tickled his fancy.  Although he specialized in P-47 Thunderbolts, P-40 Warhawks, Me-109s, & Fw -190s, he built anything!  Some he detailed, some he built just for the decal markings sake, (i.e.  spraying the inside of the canopy gloss black).   He has plenty of modern aircraft as well as civil airliners.  For instance: he built the entire 365th Fighter Group P-47 line up from WWII in 1/48 scale.  

 

What to do?  His widow is not hurting, so no pressing need to sell anything. But what does one do with a collection like this?  Some kits are truly museum quality.  Most are very well done. I pondered for several minutes and came up with seven options.

 

1.  Donate several kits to a local or regional museum for display?

2.  Contact the local airport, and see if it would be willing to place some of the models of local interest on display indefinitely?

3.  Donate some kits to local hobby shop(s) for display?

4.  Auction / raffle off some at the local IPMS chapter club meetings over the course of a year or so?

5.  Donate specific unit kits to the appropriate USAF/USN/USMC unit?  (Iowa ANG in the case of the 365th FG P-47s.) 

6.  Donate whatever kits were applicable to a local / regional museum?

7.  Sell individual or group kits on eBay?

 

From this description, some of you ARC Forum subscribers may discern the particular modeler I am talking about.  I have known him for over twenty years and he became a mentor to me.  I have particular interest in his models other than to help his widow clear out his modeling space and storage space and to help her get on with her life.  I do not live anywhere close by.  I just happen to be in town on business.  I will return in a few months and would like to be able to advise her wisely on the disposition of her deceased husband's kits. 

 

So I would like to hear from the wider audience the combined wisdom of the larger group on what to do with a deceased members models, other than throwing them out in the garbage?

 

I await your responses.

 

V/r,

Dutch

 

Edited by Dutch
Correct grammar.
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Dutch

If she is not seeking money. I would suggest getting in touch with one of the wounded veterans organizations. They may be able distribute them to recovering veterans. Or check with a local Boys and Girls club to see if they can use them. If there are built models check with aircraft/military museums to see if they can use them in display cases. If she wants to sell then place them in the for sell section here on ARC.

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Hey Dutch, 

I think that all of those are great idea's. They do however require varying amounts of work on your part. All are a great  legacy for your friend. Maybe a mixture of all of them. I saw a collection in a small private owned military museum in Germantown Ohio that was beautiful to behold.

Edited by Aeronca1121
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Let every family member of your friend have one kit each to remember him by, maybe even two :) Friends of him may want one as well.  I hope his wife wants to keep a few as well. Cherry pick a few for yourself, share them with as many people as possible. As your friend is now deceased, a monetary gain is not an issue anymore. With so many kits, i am sure you could sell a few batches on ebay. Figure out a way to rate them and start divide them up into smaller lots. Whatever you do, stay far away from the garbage bin !

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Donate a good parf of them to charity to auction. They will benefit, do the work and solve the problem. Could be a Legion, restoration group, Cadet unit or any cause that is raising money.

 

Cheers

paul

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He sounds like a hell of a guy, a P-47 fan, like the guy I knew when

I lived in Mass. on the north shore. He was an ex airline employee

and built Corsairs and was a big Connie fan. If this guy lived anywhere

near an NAS they might be interested in some of his builds. I sure miss

that old guy, sounds like he was similar to your friend.---John

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To everyone that responded, thank you.  My main problem is that I live over 1000 miles away and am only in town on business for a week.  But I will be back in a few months and will figure out some of these excellent suggestions in the mean time.  He has other friends who are local and may be able to help, so I will have to communicate with them and see if I can mobilize some of them as well.

 

@ Breadneck:  Yes, his family members have selected several kits for their own remembrance.  I have chosen a few myself, mostly ones that I had purchased for him or asked him to build for me. 

@ Bruce:  He was a prolific builder.  Only about 10 -12 kits not started.  He left two kits unfinished on the bench and several abandoned "hangar queens."  His wife already has someone to sell the un-started kits.  

@ Habu2: There are several civilian airfields in the vicinity.  He has a number of airliners, even a series featuring one airline that flies to the local airport, so that is a possible good fit.

@ AlienFrogModeller:  He also purposely built models for local veterans over the years.  Not sure how many more are out there.  It may be difficult to find a veteran(s) home for his large WWII selection, most of them have passed.  Though we could research military bases in the vicinity to see if they would like some.  His local IPMS chapter has a pretty competitive group of seasoned builders.  I am not sure if they would want any of his built kits.  I could have his wife ask.

 

Edited by Dutch
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You might take the models to a local IPMS contest and offer them to attendees free (or for a small donation). I'm sure there are modelers who would appreciate having an extremely well built model in their display case as an object of inspiration.

 

Steven Brown

Scale Model Soup

 

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Just helped a friend liquidate her late husbands kits...... definitely added to my stash..... but we certainly did better than we thought we would. She actually paid for the tables at the show prior to the doors opening to the public. Built models I'm sure will be appreciated by the units depicted.

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