Favorite Model Kits

I'm not the world's greatest modeler, but I'm improving. I guess you just have to keep on practicing. I started doing this when I had pneumonia and couldn't do much else. I also have an interest in WWII vintage aviation. A lot of planes from those days are gone, or hard to see, so the only way to get an idea of what they looked like is to build a model. Like everyone else, I have an incredible backlog of models that need to be built.

Also some hints for other novice modelers. Superglue, the special stuff they sell in model shops, such as Zap-a-Gap, is the key, plus an accelerator. You'll need all three of the different types of Superglue: super thin, super thick, and normal. However, don't use it on clear parts! (I wish I had known the first few models.) Instead, use white glue or the special clear drying glue (looks suspiciously like white glue, but more expensive) you can buy in model shops. Use the thin Superglue for joining together fuselage or hull halves. Use the thick stuff and the accelerator instead of putty for filling gaps. It can be filed and sanded. You can also use white glue for very minor filling.

For aerials and rigging, don't use regular sewing thread. Use either the special thin thread for tying fishing flies or sprull. What is sprull? Take a piece of plastic parts tree, heat in the center carefully, and PULL! Depending on the temperature and how you pull, you can get thin threadlike strands of whatever thickness you desire.

Sell your soul, but get an air brush and a compressor. This will lead to heart ache and ecstasy. Also get a real filter mask to save your health. The Paasche H brush is a good place to start. I like my Badger compressor. Forget about the propellant in a can. Now suffer. The key here is to keep everything clean and to ensure your paint is properly thinned and strained if necessary. Try to use the water based acrylic paints instead of the enamels if possible. However, they require more cleaning. Use silver paint as a primer, but careful which one you choose. I just made a big mistake with chrome silver. Silver plate works well if you can afford it. Make sure to buff it before applying colors over it. Definitely use aluminum plate for bare metal finishes. Don't prime under it. The surfaces have to be perfect before you apply it.

For painting canopies, mask, use a fresh blade in an X-acto knife and cut away the material over the framework. Airbrush with the internal color, and then with the final color. Make sure the masking material is down really well. Remove residual masking adhesive with scotch tape if necessary. Scotch tape also works for masking flat surfaces.

The key to decals is to have a smooth surface. Make sure that you airbrush on clear lacquer before you try the decals. You can get the acrylic stuff and it works. Also try Future floor wax. I should try it on my Linoleum someday. Depending on the decals, look into setting solutions, such as the Microsol line or vinegar. When the instructions warn not to use them, believe them! Tamiya decals don't appear to respond well to the setting solutions.

Here's a list of some of my model kits.


Some other models I've built that haven't gone to my cubicle (the graveyard) or the trash.

Some links to my own galleries of photos of trips to air museums for reference

  • The Garber restoration facility in Maryland
  • A second trip to the Garber in 2001
  • The National Naval Aviation Museum in Pensacola
  • The Planes of Fame museum in Chino, California
  • Castle Air Museum
  • Dryden Test Center at Edwards AFB
  • Pima Air Museum (guest gallery)
  • Duxford, England
  • Hendon, England
  • Cosford, England
  • NASM, Washington DC
  • College Park, Maryland
  • Hiller San Carlos, CA
  • December 19, Lyon Air Museum Photos
  • November 11, 2023 Commemorative Air Force Museum Photos
  • October 15, 2023 Palm Springs Air Museum Photos
  • August 27, 2023 Flightpath Museum Photos
  • September 24, 2022 Museum of Flight outdoors Photos
  • September 23, 2022 Evergreen Aviation Spruce Goose Photos
  • September 23, 2022 Evergreen Aviation Museum Space Photos
  • September 23, 2022 Evergreen Aviation Museum Photos
  • June 2, 2022 Estrella Aviation Museum Photos
  • September 19, 2019 Flying Heritage and Armor Museum Photos
  • May 7, 2019 China Lake Museum Photos
  • May 6, 2019 Saxon Aerospace Museum Photos
  • December 1, 2018 Nike Missile museum openhouse Photos
  • July 21, 2018 Zero and P-40 at Western Museum of Flight Photos
  • August 19, 2017 Wilbur Wright Birthplace and Museum Photos
  • August 18, 2017 NATIONAL MUSEUM OF THE US AIR FORCE Photos
  • August 11, 2017 Weisbrod Aviation Museum Photos
  • January 13, 2017 National Atomic Testing Museum Photos
  • September 4, 2016 Aerospace Museum of California Photos
  • September 2, 2016 Castle Air Museum Photos
  • April 26, 2016 Planes of Fame Museum in Valle Photos
  • Sept 24, 2015, Roswell Museum & Art Center Photos
  • Sept 17, 2015, Udvar-Hazy Center Photos
  • Sept 6, 2015, Cole Transportation Museum Photos
  • Aug 26, 2015, New England Air Museum Photos
  • July 30, 2015, Dayton Aviation Heritage Park Photos
  • July 28, 2015, Greenfield Village Photos
  • July 27, 2015, Greenfield Village Photos
  • July 16, 2015, National Museum of WW2 Aviation Photos
  • April 3, 2015, White Sands Missile Range Museum Photos
  • June 19, 2014 War Eagles Aviation Museum Photos
  • January 21, 2011 March Field Air Museum, Photos
  • September 27, 2010 Kennedy Space Center, Photos
  • June 02, 2010 Aberdeen Proving Grounds Museum, Photos
  • June 01, 2010 Smithsonian Udvar-Hazy Air & Space Museum, Photos
  • June 01, 2010 Marine Corps Museum, Triangle, VA, Photos
  • May 18, 2010 Pima Air & Space Museum, Photo
  • May 18, 2010 AMARG Boneyard, Photos
  • 2009 Pacific Coast Air Museum Photos
  • Aug 28, 2008 Evergreen Aviation Museum Photos
  • Udvar-Hazy 2004 Museum of the NASM in Chantilly where I took some photos
  • San Diego Air & Space Museum


    Like everyone else, I have enough unbuilt kits to last me through several lifetimes. Someday I'll inventory them. I can hardly use my closets for clothes. Well, actually I did run out of closet space and now the model are just everywhere:

    Last Update: 21 December 2023
    Web Author: Doug Ikemi