Other plastic model aircraft

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Other plastic model aircraft

The 1903 Wright Flyer in approximately 1/48th scale

The 1903 Wright Flyer in approximately 1/48th scale

Scale plastic model sailplane

Revell 1/32 scale ASK-21

This Revell 1/32nd scale ASK-21 sailplane, here in the colours of the US Air Force Academy, comes without pilots, which is unfortunate. It is one reason I photographed it from below. Another reason is that its rudder is missing–along with other parts including a tailplane of my 1/48th scale BAC Lightning. Where do these part go?

Dieselpunk days

This is my Trumpeter 1/48th scale Armstrong Whitworth Seahawk of the early 1960s. It was used by the Brits, the Germans (as here) and by the Indians. When I was a youngster, I often saw all-black Seahawks flying into and from Hurn airport, or Bournemouth International Airport as it is now.

Trumpeter 1/ 48th scale Armstrong Whitworth Seahawk

Trumpeter 1/ 48th scale Armstrong Whitworth Seahawk

The rear fuselage join is not good in this kit and it shows on this model. In addition, the rear of the canopy should be more like flush with the fairing behind the cockpit.

Trumpeter 1/ 48th scale Armstrong Whitworth Seahawk

The ‘invisible’ hanging thread is all too visible!

The kit does not include a pilot, but fortunately I had a spare Airfix jet pilot. I had to file down the seat and the pilot to get the canopy on.

I used acrylic paints.

Trumpeter 1/ 48th scale Armstrong Whitworth Seahawk

Up and over

It has a span of just short of 10 inches (24 cm) and it is also 10 inches long.

Trumpeter 1/ 48th scale Armstrong Whitworth Seahawk

Up and under

I set my Fuji Finepix HS 50 EXR to setting P rather than my customary AUTO for shooting against the bright sky.

In ground effect

In ground effect (or is that Airfix kit stand effect?)

Another dieselpunk craft: Bartini’s space ship: Modelsvit 1/72nd scale Bartini Beriev VVA-14 (BBA-14)

Falklands War

Talking of the Avro Vulcan (see Plastic models–contemporary with Vietnam) here is one of its adversaries, although they did not meet in battle…

Plastic model kit

1/48th scale Super Etendard of the Falklands War of 1982

Apparently I was not the only one baffled as to why Argentina would invade some small islands off the coast of Scotland in 1982…

Plastic model kit

Airfix 48th scale Super Etendard

When I eventually discovered that the Falklands are in the south Atlantic, I was only slightly less baffled.

This is the Airfix kit of this small but effective attack fighter.

See also La muerte negra, my Kinetic 1/48th scale Falklands War Sea Harrier:

Kinetic 1/48th scale Sea Harrier FRS.1 held in modeller's hands

Kinetic 1/48th scale Sea Harrier FRS.1

Gulf war

Photo of a model AH-64D

1/48th scale AH-64D Apache Longbow

If I recall right, this is the Academy kit. The fuselage is 12 inches long and the rotor span is also 12 inches.

Photo of a scale model AH-64D


The standing figure is from another kit and the Remove Before Flight streamers are sold separately.

Photo of detail of a scale model AH-64D

Refuelled and rearmed

At the turn of the century I wrote some of the online help for the computerized forward maintenance of the AH-64.

Monogram/Revell 1/48 AV-8B

Monogram/Revell 1/48 AV-8B

This AV-8B Harrier is 12 inches long and 8 inches wide. I did not make a good job of the canopy (or of anything else much).

See Spring loaded to the freedom position—my review of Hammer from Above, Marine Air Combat over Iraq, by Jay Stout, 2007. It includes some Harrier action.

The Airfix 1/48th scale Buccaneer (see Plastic models–contemporary with Vietnam) comes in a box big enough for two kits. That must have struck the packers at the factory as ironic, because mine had two kits inside! Normally that would be cause for celebration, but this kit is so appalling it took me years to get round to building the second one, which is the Gulf War variant.

Airfix 1/48th scale BAe Buccaneer

Low level

In both these photos I edited out the hanging lines.

Airfix 1/48th scale BAe Buccaneer

Climbing away

Moose Jaw Hawk

The Airfix BAe Hawk in 1/48th scale:

Airfix 1/48 scale BAe Hawk

Low level hell

See Moose Jaw Hawk for more.

Science fiction/fantasy

While looking through Dark Visions, the Illustrated Guide to the Amtrak Wars by Patrick Tilley, I recognized the ‘Sky Rider’ reconnaissance and light transport airplane as an O-2 Cessna Skymaster without the front engine. I had an old 1/48th scale O-2 in the loft, matt black all over — it looked horrible — so I repainted it over a weekend in 2014. A bit rough and ready, but here is my idea of the Amtrak Federation Sky Rider Mark 2 (with the front engine). Its camouflage and modified U.S. ‘star and bars’ are copied from the artwork by Fernando Fernandez in the Illustrated Guide…

1/48 scale Amtrak Federation Sky Rider Mark 2

1/48 scale Amtrak Federation Sky Rider Mark 2

The fifth book in the series sports an illustration of a Sky Rider (mark 1) on the cover

The fifth book in the series sports an illustration of a Sky Rider (mark 1) on the cover

1/48 scale Amtrak Federation Sky Rider Mark 2 (underside)

1/48 scale Amtrak Federation Sky Rider Mark 2 (underside)

See New clear days—my review of The Amtrak Wars book 1, Cloud Warrior, by Patrick Tilley.

Skunk Models Workshop 1/48th scale F-16XL

My Skunk Models Workshop 1/48th scale F-16XL

See Falcon excel, my Skunk Models Workshop 1/48th scale General Dynamics F-16XL in markings based on those of the Falcon interceptors in Gerry Anderson’s New Captain Scarlet (2005).

Plastic model kit

Airfix HO scale MiG 241 Viper (Angel Interceptor)

This Airfix HO scale MiG 241 Viper (Angel Interceptor) from the 1968 sci-fi television series Captain Scarlet and the Mysterons, itself made using puppets and scale models, is only six inches long. I bought it only to provide decals (transfers) for my 1/48th scale F-16XL, but it comes with enough spare decals to complete this kit as well.

You’re never alone with a drone

Revell 1/48th scale General Atomics MQ-9 Predator B

Revell 1/48th scale General Atomics MQ-9 Predator B

Seasons don’t fear the reaper
Nor do the wind, the sun or the rain
We can be like they are.

— from (Don’t Fear) The Reaper by Blue Öyster Cult, 1976

The 1/48th scale Revell kit of the General Atomics MQ-9 Reaper/Predator B (said to be the Skunk Models Workshop kit repackaged) is a simple and quick kit to make. There are no cockpit and crew details to do, for a start, and the parts fit together well. The finished model is 16.5 inches (42 cm) by 8.6 inches (22 cm).

Adding flex to both wings while the glue dries

Adding flex to both wings while the glue dries

Each wing consists of upper and lower half glued together. I used tape at both ends while the glue dried. In addition, as the photo illustrates, I set the wing flex for this in-flight model by clamping the root ends to a desk and pacing an object (pliers here) under the tips to raise them a little. Both wings are in the photo; one on top of the other. You can even see where glue that somehow got on a finger tore the paint I already applied. Grrrrr.

A thin aerial and a thin air data probe are each attached to the runner part way along. You must take care removing them from the runner. I used a sharp modelling knife with a light sawing action rather than my usual cutting action. I broke only the aerial initially. The nose probe is a casualty waiting to happen.

Revell 1/48th scale MQ-9

It is a large but spindly looking aircraft

According to info on modelling forums, its upside down paint scheme (lighter upper surfaces) is specified as FS 36375 on top and FS 36176 underneath. For the upper surfaces, FS 36375 equates to Humbrol #127 U.S. ghost gray. For the underside, FS 36176 is Xtracolour 157, but I used Humbrol 156 (dark camouflage grey) which is slightly darker (equivalent to FS 36173). The greater contrast arguably simulates the stronger outdoors direct light in a model displayed indoors. Both those paints are satin (semi-gloss) so I applied a coat of matt varnish. All paints I used are acrylics except for ‘polished aluminium’ enamel for the propeller spinner and pitot tubes and nose probe.

Revell 1/48th scale MQ-9

Weapons fit supplied with the kit

When retracted, the main wheels protrude, at least in this kit. I found no photos of the real thing in flight that showed that detail, so I assume it is correct.

My last kit

Partly finished Airfix 144 scale HP-42

Notice the missing propeller

This is my last ever model kit, not because of any fault with the kit, but because of a problem that has plagued my (and apparently others’) kit building. I had it almost finished when I discovered that I lost a propeller. I am sure it was included in the kit because I painted all four propellers. If only three had been on the runner I am sure I would have noticed. My time is running out (cancer) and I cannot afford to waste it on the futile hunt for missing parts. As I mentioned on my pages about other kit builds, the floor of my room must contain enough assorted parts to build n imperial star destroyer. In which case, why can I not see them? (If I did not live on my own I would be certain that someone was deliberately taking the parts.) This unsolved mystery is one that I cannot allow to suck away my remaining time. The anger and frustration it causes me has to stop and the only way I can see for that to happen is for me to stop building models.

See Biplane airliner — almost for more.


Nam in Powered flight, which includes a photo of a real Cessna O-2 Skymaster undergoing restoration in 2004

Comments by others

The comments below relate to my Vietnam war plastic models page, but they were on the wrong page after I split the page, and I have not discovered how to move them:

7 Responses to Other plastic model aircraft

  1. Malcolm Wood says:

    REALLY nice work on your models! i was particularly interested in the Mohawk. My Dad flew one in Vietnam and I’m trying to find all I can about it.

  2. Jerry Barnes says:

    Are you sure those Vietnam figures are 1/32nd? I can find 1/35 easily.

    • As I recall, it stated 1/35th scale on the pack, but they are significantly larger than the crewmen that came with the Huey (if any; I forget) and also larger than the Dragon aircrew I also bought (separately). And when standing next to the Huey, those figures are clearly too large. The guy holding the door open (just visible in one of the photos) came with the aircrew set and he is the correct scale.

  3. Jerry Barnes says:

    Thanks Everard, can you measure the height of them? I guess most 1/32nd are about 54mm.

  4. Jerry Barnes says:

    Wow, that is just the right size, I’ll look for the kit, thanks! Now if I could find some VC in that size….

  5. I’ve seen both scales (1/32 and 1/35) used in relation to certain aircraft. Most of the larger scale fixed wing stuff tends towards the 1/32 whilst ground vehicles and helicopters tend towards the 1/35 (something reading something about “eggbeaters” being considered “army” equipment, therefore “ground” stuff years ago, but can’t recall where).

    Love the amtrak wars skyrider.

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