Finishing Kit

April 15, 2011

Trip to Vans to Pick Up Finishing Kit

Today marks another milestone in this project. I've been anticipating my finish kit since ordering it back at the end of January. Since I'm fortunate to live close to Vans, it's a Will Call pick up for me. So I scheduled it for the afternoon of April 15th and then made plans for some help. The last time I picked up a big kit from Vans, I had a large Ford Expedition SUV. It was big enough to carry a fuselage kit easily in one trip. But I'm driving a smaller vehicle these days, a Mercury Mariner. The seats fold down in the back and I have a lot of cargo space, but not nearly the room of the Expedition. So I asked my brother if he would come down with me and bring his full size Ford Van. My Dad was able to come along as well, so it was fun to have him along, too. After writing a big check at the counter to pay for the balance, I was directed around back to the Will Call door.

It was a cloudy, rainy day here in the Pacific Northwest, and fortunately, Vans had the big door open and allowed us to pull part way into the factory out of the rain. The big crate was sitting in the middle of the floor with all my stuff inside. As before with previous kits, I didn't want the crate and didn't have to pay for it. One was just used to hold my stuff until I got it all loaded up. Here's my Dad, checking out the contents of the crate after we got the big stuff loaded up.

My brothers' van was the perfect choice for this mission. There was plenty of room inside for the big cowling parts and a nice fold-down bed for the precious canopy. As I had suspected, there was no way I could have taken all this stuff home in my little Mercury.

With the big pieces out of the way, there's not much left to worry about! It's surprising how little there seems to be in this kit.

There's more than meets the eye in this box, though. Since I didn't pay a crating charge, I didn't have the wads and loads of paper packing material to sort through. Vans just put all the hardware and small pieces in this cardboard box. I appreciated that.

Then we just started loading up the rest of the stuff in my vehicle. A happy day, indeed! You can see the engine mount in the back of my car below.

Everything else fit easily in my rig. We were done in no time. So we had to have a little fun, of course!

A few obligatory "hat" pictures, as many who have gone before me have demonstrated. Steve couldn't decide which model he liked the best. The one above gives him that ancient "Viking" look, but the conehead model below provides a little better visibility.

My Dad even got in on the act! He still has a great sense of humor at age 83, although he doesn't look nearly as enthusiastic about it as Steve.

Quite fashionable, don't you think?

Well, we got all the work done so fast, we had some time to take a quick tour of the factory. My Dad has been here several times before, but Steve had never been here before. So I took them on a walk-through and showed them around. We ended up in the hanger where all Vans demo models were tucked away out of the rain. I didn't take pictures of any of that. If you've never been to Vans, I'll just tell you it's a MUST SEE!

A while later, I was home and with a little help with the big pieces, got everything safely tucked into my shop. It's great to finally have my finish kit!

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