Half the fun of the hobby is creating the models and half the fun is creating the photographs! My recent focus has been on aircraft with radial engines and amphibious or sea planes. Some of the models are aircraft that meet BOTH criteria! Natural backgrounds have been added using Photoshop. The models have all been photographed against seamless white or tan backdrops.
SIKORSKY H-19 - A classic aircraft model, this Sikorsky H-19 was built from a 1978 vintage kit in 1:48 scale. The model was enhanced by cutting open the side door and installing an interior in the cargo area. Wire mesh was added to the side vents and seatbelts added to the pilots' seats. Finally, the sliding door on the copilot side was modeled in the open position and all the side window glazing replaced.
LOCKHEED GAMMA - The prototype plane, created for Frank Hawks, was powered by a Wright 14 cylinder engine making 785 hp. Top speed was 248 mph. The plane was fitted with unusual "park bench" ailerons on top of the wings. It was called SKY CHIEF and was sponsored by Texaco. The 1/72 scale model (8" wingspan) was made in 1975 by Williams Bros. model company. Interestingly, the little kit came with two cowls, two engines and two canopies as the kit could also be built to represent a two-seat version of the plane, Dr. Ellsworth's POLAR STAR.
PIPER TRI-PACER - This 1:48 scale model was built from an very old issue by Monogram. There's a nicely detailed interior and the cowling is removeable to show the 4-cylinder engine. The custom paint scheme is correct for 1957.
REPUBLIC P-47 THUNDERBOLT - This large 1:32 scale model was built years ago from a Revell kit. It was built from the parts in the kit with no details added. The weathering was done with pastel chalks. 'Love the giant 4-bladed prop!
VOUGHT F4U CORSAIR - Like the Thunderbolt above, this large 1:32 scale model was built years ago from a Revell kit. A few details were added to the cockpit but otherwise it's straight from the box. Weathering was done with pastels and some of the patina visible in the photograph is just accumulated dust from being displayed on the shelf for all these years! The chipped paint effect was done by lightly stippling silver paint over the blue.
NORTH AMERICAN P-51D MUSTANG - The consummate WWII fighter that everyone has modeled in every version, this 1:48 scale model was built from a Tamiya kit. Tamiya produces the best molded and best fitting kits around. Featuring a slightly free-lanced paint scheme the model represents what a restored P-51 on the show circuit of today might look like.
GRUMMAN F3F-3 - Nicknamed "The Flying Barrell", this plane was retired before the start of WWII and was never flown in combat. The carrier-based bi-plane had retractable landing gear, two cowl-mounted guns and could carry two small bombs. Only 27 F3F-3s were built. It's hard to imagine why a plane built for combat was painted in such a bright scheme. Photos show tri-color prop tips. The planes flew in groups of three. The leader's plane had a stipe on the fuselage behind the cockpit. His wing mates' planes had no fuselage strip with one having the top half of the cowling painted, the other the bottom half (see illustration at left).
This 1/32 scale model was built from a Revell kit from 1998. The strut wires are .020" rigid brass wire. The standing pilot provided in the kit was modified to be seated in the cockpit. The engine was detailed with new push rods made from styrene rod. Spark plug wires and fuel lines were made from fine solder. Other small components were added. The bombs came from another kit. The model is displayed on a simple base with a photo of ocean water. This was a very challenging model with all the paint masking and the strut wires. The kit can be built with operating landing gear activated by turning the prop but the model was built with the gear in the retracted position and the prop is removeable for photography.
NORTH AMERICAN F-100 Super Sabre - This 1/72 scale model was built from a Hasagawa/AMT kit of unknown vintage. The naplam tanks came from a different kit and the decals are aftermarket items. The finished model is about 8" long as the F-100 wasn't a very big plane but it certainly looks aggressive with all the under-wing armament and fuel tanks. The unusual goose-neck aerial fuel filler on the right wing is a unique feature as well..