my worst missing parts story

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my worst missing parts story

Joined: February 27th, 2005, 2:45 am

April 21st, 2017, 1:55 pm #1

I was a kid when I went to a nearby community to by a small model by Hawk. I think it was a 1/24 scale model of an antique car, maybe the Rambler, I don't think it was cellophane wrapped, just taped, but it rattled, so I knew something was in there. When I got home to open it, all I found was empty sprues! Some clever person saved himself maybe $0.49 by returning the model, with the parts taken off, without the employee checking the content, and then putting it back on the shelf! Of course, I wanted to return it, but thought, they won't believe me, so I went back in with my father, hoping he would increase my credibility, but, noooo! They still didn't believe me, and I didn't get my precious $0.49 back. This was back in the early 60s, when that was a weeks allowance for me.

I doubt Hawk would have believed me, either. Of course, I never went back there again.
Last edited by ronsm on April 21st, 2017, 1:58 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Joined: December 15th, 2009, 1:19 am

April 21st, 2017, 2:14 pm #2

A tough way to learn at a young age how there are bad apples out there.
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Joined: January 10th, 2006, 4:30 pm

April 21st, 2017, 2:21 pm #3

I was a kid when I went to a nearby community to by a small model by Hawk. I think it was a 1/24 scale model of an antique car, maybe the Rambler, I don't think it was cellophane wrapped, just taped, but it rattled, so I knew something was in there. When I got home to open it, all I found was empty sprues! Some clever person saved himself maybe $0.49 by returning the model, with the parts taken off, without the employee checking the content, and then putting it back on the shelf! Of course, I wanted to return it, but thought, they won't believe me, so I went back in with my father, hoping he would increase my credibility, but, noooo! They still didn't believe me, and I didn't get my precious $0.49 back. This was back in the early 60s, when that was a weeks allowance for me.

I doubt Hawk would have believed me, either. Of course, I never went back there again.
Ron, your story was very entertaining and reminded me of a similar experience. I was a lad in the late '60s or early '70s and looked and looked for a Revell 1/72 scale DH 2 WW1 biplane kit at the local department stores. There weren't a lot of local hobby stores near me at the time, but department, hardware and drug stores carried a lot of plastic models in the day. They weren't real good about restocking once something sold, however. A local drug store had one on the shelf, but you could tell this thing had been around a while. The box was worn and crushed and had been opened. I remember opening the box in the store and noting that several parts were off the sprues, but had to have the kit. Once I got the kit home however and started inventorying the parts, there were probably a dozen or so missing: several of the struts, a wheel, the machine gun, etc.

That evening, I sat down and wrote Revell in Venice, California, a nice letter telling them about what had happened. I am happy to report that my story has a happy ending as Revell did respond to the letter. They did however want me to send proof of purchase of the kit and stated that there was no way the kit left their factory with all those pieces missing. I had to bum another stamp from my mom to mail a second letter and an end of the box as proof of purchase of the kit. In a couple more weeks, all the parts I had requested were sent to me and I was a happy little boy, and quickly put that kit together, using tube glue and sewing thread to rig it with. It was my pride and joy for several months until my mom knocked the upper wing off of it while dusting it one day while I was at school. Due to the complexity of the rigging, I did not try to repair it, but had my own little dog fight in the back yard between von Richtoven's Albatross and Lanoe Hawkers DH2, with Hawker being burned to death as the fuel (a small cup of gasoline I threw on the model) ignited during the crash. Oh what fun memories of youth.
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Joined: February 27th, 2005, 1:52 am

April 21st, 2017, 2:25 pm #4

I was a kid when I went to a nearby community to by a small model by Hawk. I think it was a 1/24 scale model of an antique car, maybe the Rambler, I don't think it was cellophane wrapped, just taped, but it rattled, so I knew something was in there. When I got home to open it, all I found was empty sprues! Some clever person saved himself maybe $0.49 by returning the model, with the parts taken off, without the employee checking the content, and then putting it back on the shelf! Of course, I wanted to return it, but thought, they won't believe me, so I went back in with my father, hoping he would increase my credibility, but, noooo! They still didn't believe me, and I didn't get my precious $0.49 back. This was back in the early 60s, when that was a weeks allowance for me.

I doubt Hawk would have believed me, either. Of course, I never went back there again.
I was 13 years old in 1964 when I rode my bike 2 miles through suburban traffic to the hardware/hobby store. I picked out the new Revell 1/72 FIAT Cr.42 and pedaled back home. When I opened it up and looked it over I couldn't find the canopy. So after another bike ride back to the shop I explained to the old guy at the counter that it wasn't in there and could I exchange it for another? He looked inside, peeled the inner corner back and there it was. I rode back feeling like an idiot the whole way home.

Kind of amazing what details stick out in your memories
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Joined: November 17th, 2006, 1:18 pm

April 21st, 2017, 2:25 pm #5

I was a kid when I went to a nearby community to by a small model by Hawk. I think it was a 1/24 scale model of an antique car, maybe the Rambler, I don't think it was cellophane wrapped, just taped, but it rattled, so I knew something was in there. When I got home to open it, all I found was empty sprues! Some clever person saved himself maybe $0.49 by returning the model, with the parts taken off, without the employee checking the content, and then putting it back on the shelf! Of course, I wanted to return it, but thought, they won't believe me, so I went back in with my father, hoping he would increase my credibility, but, noooo! They still didn't believe me, and I didn't get my precious $0.49 back. This was back in the early 60s, when that was a weeks allowance for me.

I doubt Hawk would have believed me, either. Of course, I never went back there again.
was a lot more back then.

Clever?? He prob went on to Wall St, sell new/used cars, or become a politician.

I'm sure many yrs from now many eBay bought sealed in 'original' shrink wrap collector kits will be found to contain empty sprues or sprues of cheap kits. OH to see the face of the new owner in 2040 who paid many 100s (1000s?) for that sealed, in mint cond, whatever. Opened to actually be built perhaps to re-live his 1960s childhood.

That diy shrink wrap, or just a couple pieces of cello tape, are a good ploy/guarantee that the contents of that $$ mint kit will not see the light of day for a good long time. Way past eBay's month or two return/file a complaint time limit.
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Joined: February 27th, 2005, 4:12 pm

April 21st, 2017, 2:58 pm #6

More retirement income ideas!!
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Joined: February 28th, 2005, 5:19 am

April 21st, 2017, 3:24 pm #7

I was a kid when I went to a nearby community to by a small model by Hawk. I think it was a 1/24 scale model of an antique car, maybe the Rambler, I don't think it was cellophane wrapped, just taped, but it rattled, so I knew something was in there. When I got home to open it, all I found was empty sprues! Some clever person saved himself maybe $0.49 by returning the model, with the parts taken off, without the employee checking the content, and then putting it back on the shelf! Of course, I wanted to return it, but thought, they won't believe me, so I went back in with my father, hoping he would increase my credibility, but, noooo! They still didn't believe me, and I didn't get my precious $0.49 back. This was back in the early 60s, when that was a weeks allowance for me.

I doubt Hawk would have believed me, either. Of course, I never went back there again.
Seems I had several kits when I was younger without certain clear parts (I was too shy to complain), but I was happy to discover a photo of the captured Stirling with a tarp taped over the nose glazing so my Airfix kit had a new goal in life. And then Falcon canopies came to my rescue later, since most of those kits were still in their boxes, waiting.....

Strangest one was a Hawk U-2 with two port side fuselage halves. I kid you not, years later at a kit show I found one with two starboard halves!

At another kit show, I was sitting at my table and got a front & center seat as two brothers went at with a vendor over a rare AMT(?) car kit that apparently was in original cellophane--they opened it up right there and it had the wrong tires, so they were about to get in a fist fight as the vendor said "Hey, it was in original shrink wrap, sold AS-IS"

I started thinking about some woman in 1964 who had no idea when she grabbed the wrong sprue of tires and put in the box that 30 years later it would almost come to blows...
Last edited by el-rancho-decomposo on April 21st, 2017, 3:33 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Joined: July 2nd, 2005, 5:44 pm

April 21st, 2017, 3:31 pm #8

I was a kid when I went to a nearby community to by a small model by Hawk. I think it was a 1/24 scale model of an antique car, maybe the Rambler, I don't think it was cellophane wrapped, just taped, but it rattled, so I knew something was in there. When I got home to open it, all I found was empty sprues! Some clever person saved himself maybe $0.49 by returning the model, with the parts taken off, without the employee checking the content, and then putting it back on the shelf! Of course, I wanted to return it, but thought, they won't believe me, so I went back in with my father, hoping he would increase my credibility, but, noooo! They still didn't believe me, and I didn't get my precious $0.49 back. This was back in the early 60s, when that was a weeks allowance for me.

I doubt Hawk would have believed me, either. Of course, I never went back there again.
So that's how Bernie Madoff got started n/t
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Joined: March 30th, 2015, 3:46 pm

April 21st, 2017, 4:25 pm #9

I was a kid when I went to a nearby community to by a small model by Hawk. I think it was a 1/24 scale model of an antique car, maybe the Rambler, I don't think it was cellophane wrapped, just taped, but it rattled, so I knew something was in there. When I got home to open it, all I found was empty sprues! Some clever person saved himself maybe $0.49 by returning the model, with the parts taken off, without the employee checking the content, and then putting it back on the shelf! Of course, I wanted to return it, but thought, they won't believe me, so I went back in with my father, hoping he would increase my credibility, but, noooo! They still didn't believe me, and I didn't get my precious $0.49 back. This was back in the early 60s, when that was a weeks allowance for me.

I doubt Hawk would have believed me, either. Of course, I never went back there again.
I ordered a Great Wall Hobby P-61 kit from Amazon Warehouse Deals at a nice discount off the usual price. The condition was advertised as something like, "box opened, contents new and complete." When I received the kit, the only thing "Great Wall Hobby" about it was the box and the instruction sheet. The plastic was all-Monogram. Somebody previous had purchased the GWH kit from Amazon, swapped out the plastic for their Monogram kit, and returned it to Amazon for a refund. I advised Amazon, and fortunately their return policy is better than that of the local 60s store that inadvertently refunded and resold a box of empty Hawk Rambler sprues.
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Joined: February 26th, 2005, 11:35 pm

April 21st, 2017, 4:46 pm #10

I was a kid when I went to a nearby community to by a small model by Hawk. I think it was a 1/24 scale model of an antique car, maybe the Rambler, I don't think it was cellophane wrapped, just taped, but it rattled, so I knew something was in there. When I got home to open it, all I found was empty sprues! Some clever person saved himself maybe $0.49 by returning the model, with the parts taken off, without the employee checking the content, and then putting it back on the shelf! Of course, I wanted to return it, but thought, they won't believe me, so I went back in with my father, hoping he would increase my credibility, but, noooo! They still didn't believe me, and I didn't get my precious $0.49 back. This was back in the early 60s, when that was a weeks allowance for me.

I doubt Hawk would have believed me, either. Of course, I never went back there again.
Who had the reputation for selling mint wrapped kits that when opened only contained empty junked sprue pieces. I know several folks this happened to over the years.

Strangest thing I had was I ordered a Hasegawa 1/48 Bf-109 with Bulgarian markings from HLJ. When I opened the box it contained a complete Mitsubishi Zero.
If anything in the above post offends you, I suggest you grow a thicker skin!
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