Just in case anybody feels like building Fenway Park over the Winter...
Build it Yourself Fenway Park
by Len Martin
I recently came upon a copy of "Build-It-Yourself Fenway Park" while browsing through the baseball section of my local bookstore. It seemed interesting, so I dug into my pocket for the needed cash and took it home. The project book, authored by Len Martin, consists of several pages of Fenway Park history (featuring an introduction by Philip J. Lowry), assembly instructions, and then many pages of glossy cardboard with brightly colored pieces. The reader is promised a scale model of Fenway Park upon completion.
This is not a rainy-day project for the kids, it takes a lot of time because you have to wait for glue to dry. I found that it fit in well with watching baseball on TV. Work for a while, stop when waiting for the glue (or when the action picks up). The only problem is that you have to live with somebody who doesn't mind having a partially completed Fenway Park in their living room. It took me a little over three weeks to complete.
I assume that most people are like me, and had their cut-and-paste skills peak somewhere around the age of six. Still, with a little bit of practice, this is an easy task to undertake. Outside of the book, I needed to buy some Elmer's glue. Good scissors really helped, and I found that a small metal ruler did wonders for when I needed to score the cardboard with my Swiss Army knife. I found that the best thing to do was to go through the entire booklet and do all of the scoring in one fell swoop. If you don't do this, at least score the pieces before you cut them out. While some of the cutting can get time-consuming (such as the light standards), none is very difficult.
The pasting, on the other hand, is where the real trouble occurs. I found it hard at times to get the pieces to not slip out of place as the glue dried. It was also hard to glue the lower deck seating together in such a way that the slopes from adjacent sections matched. Once again, with a little bit of practice the problems seemed to decrease. The best advice is to just do all of the gluing slowly. I found it to be a bad idea to have 3 or 4 pieces all drying at once. If one piece popped out of its proper position, then it could be fixed. If several did so at the same time, one might set in an incorrect manner while I attended to the others. There is no reason to make this a rush job, just take your time and do it well.
My final product ended up looking very nice. Of course, since I am the one who built it, so my eyes focus on the glue stains, the mis-matched walls and all of my other errors. Everyone else is amazed by what has been created. Not living in the East, I've only made it to Fenway twice. However, the cardboard on my floor matches what I saw in person and on TV. The only problem is where am I going to store Fenway Park?
Book Review by David Marasco
The Library of Book Reviews