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Crazy for Craft Kits

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I realised after Christmas that I had several craft kits which wanted making up. Firstly, there was my gingerbread reindeer kit. Then, my Big Hoot owl and finally two model aircraft.

The gingerbread reindeer was a Christmas present which I made up a few weeks ago. However, there is still some of it left to eat. In this kit, the body and head, antlers, base and legs were all supplied as pre-baked gingerbread biscuits. There was icing sugar, sprinkles and little chocolates with coloured shells. The assembly was easy-peasy. We used out own icing sugar to make the icing with, because we had a packet open already. The gingerbread base had slots into which the legs could be stuck with icing. Then, we slotted the body into the legs and put the antlers on.

Gingerbread Reindeer

Jazzy Gingerbread Reindeer

When it came to the decoration, I strayed away a little bit from the picture on the box, and I used the small coloured disks which we already had in instead of the sprinkles. The result was rather jazzy! Unfortunately, the reindeer’s neck soon broke under the weight of the antlers. We hadn’t re-baked the biscuits through first because the instructions said only to do this if they seemed soft. In hindsight, we probably should have done it anyway. Also, the icing really needed to be left to set before the antlers were placed on. Still, although my reindeer didn’t last long, he looked good while he did!

My second kit, also a Christmas present, was for painting a model plaster owl. It was merchandise from The Big Hoot, an outdoor exhibition of giant owls across Birmingham city centre, which we saw last summer. The exhibition was very similar to the Easter Egg Hunt and Pigs on Parade, both of which we saw in Dublin.

The kit comes with about five tiny paint pots in a basic range of colours and two small paint brushes. When I started doing this kit, I quickly realised that the brushes and paints supplied were hopeless. Although I stirred up the paint as best I could, some of it was too hard and set to mix. I got my own paints out to replace them. The bristles on the brushes were too long and bendy to be accurate, I tried cutting them down, but this had little effect. In the end, I got out my own paintbrushes as well. So much for kits with ‘all materials included’! Anyway, at the moment the owl is half-finished and awaiting a second coat of paint.

Finally, I have two model aircraft kits, one from a trip to Cosford Air Museum last summer and one was a Christmas gift. The Red Arrow kit is by Airfix, similar to the Hawker Hurricane and Gloster Gladiator that I made before. The other kit is quite different. It’s a Hurricane in balsa wood and tissue paper which is rubber powered and can really be flown.

Hawker Hurricane

Hawker Hurricane kit

I’ve never made a plane kit like this before and I’m looking forward to doing it as a summer project this year. Also, I’m going to finish my owl sometime soon. He Who Put The Shelves Up suggested making it an Emperor Owl and painting on some gold leaf to suggest a chest plate or chain mail. Gold leaf is sold in lot of craft shops and I might pick some up to try out this unusual idea.

What have you been making and baking recently? Drop us a line in the comment box below…

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