Expert helps modelers get on track 0
KAWARTHA LAKES -If you feel like you're in over your head when it comes to building a model boat, John Vincent can throw you a lifeline.
The president of Kawartha Marine Modelers works Tuesdays and Thursdays at Hobbies & Beyond in Lindsay. He'll help customers find a boat kit to fit their skills and interests, from tugs to military vessels, and "give tips so they don't get into hot water".
He also specializes in train models. Vincent got his first model train when he was five. He went beyond the type that goes around in a circle when he was about 12 and started to build his own tracks, scenery and models. He said growing up in rural areas around Markham meant that there were no hobby stores nearby so he relied on his own ingenuity.
The two types of modeling use different skills, he said, but both provide a sense of accomplishment. He added that it also gives people a way to express their artistic creativity, but in a three dimensional way instead of two dimensional like painting.
Vincent said customers are of all ages. "The old timers know what they're after," he said.
He noted that a lot more women are building models than one might think, but they tend to be shy about it. He shares the unexpected fact that rock star Rod Stewart is an expert train modeler.
If a customer hasn't built before, Vincent encourages them to try. "A lot of stuff looks formidable before they begin," he noted. He said people are fearful of making mistakes, but that is part of the learning process.
The most common question he is asked, especially this time of year, is: "What can I get my five-year-old son / daughter / grandchild?" He recommended finding out what the child's interests are to choose the most suitable gift.
The store also carries model planes, board games and role-playing games. Last week, it was awarded first prize in the Lindsay Downtown BIA Christmas window contest.
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John Vincent encourages would-be modelers not to be afraid of making mistakes.