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RIP John Alcorn

August 30, 2017 in News

Noted scratchbuilt modeler John Alcorn died this past Sunday of complications of Alzheimers and congestive heart failure.

I first met John 45 years ago, when he walked into a meeting of Golden Gate IPMS in Berkeley, California, at the behest of his good friend and co-worker down at Stanford Research Institute, the great George Lee. He brought in a 1/32 Bf-109E scatchbuilt in wood that looked like it was injection plastic.

Over the next couple of years, he brought in bits and pieces of his famous 1/32 scratchbulit A-20C – the landing gear that worked just like the original, the gunner’s position that looked like he’d hit the real thing with shrink spray. Another year after he’d completed it, I moved out of the Bay Area and we saw each other sporadically at events until I moved down to Los Angeles and got involved in the movie business. Lost track of him till the 1998 IPMS convention in San Jose, where he brought his magnificent 1/24 DeHavilland DH.9, which won Best of Show. Connecting with him was like the last time we had seen each other was the weekend before. Stayed in touch with e-mail till the Alzheimers ended that

The best modeler and one of the best human beings I ever met. There isn’t a major scratchbuilder out there who doesn’t consider John a mentor.

The first photo is the Dh.9. The second is George Lee’sO3U that John finished after George died. It’s in the National Museum of Naval Aviation, with a couple other of his models.

Fair skies and a tailwind, old friend,

1 additional image.

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13 responses to RIP John Alcorn

  1. A true artist in the field indeed. Forgive my ignorance, but is that George or John in the photo?

  2. Thank you Jim, Thank you Tom.

  3. Sad news, the Master of all scratchbuilders…..

  4. A Giant walked among us….

  5. Got to meet John just once, a fine man, our hobby has lost one of its true Master Modelers.

  6. Sorry to hear about the loss of your friend Tom. Alzheimer’s is a nasty disease. Hopefully someday there will be a cure for it. His work was amazing to say the least. He will be missed……………….

  7. Sad to see one of the true legends in scale modeling go. I only ever knew John from his books, but always considered him one of the Grand Masters of our trade. He will be greatly missed.

  8. I would echo what you already wrote, Tom: “Fair skies and a tailwind …”

  9. It’s very sad. Two of His books are long time on my bookself among the favourites. 🙁 He was a true artist.

  10. 🙂 … Greetings … 🙂 :
    Truly a master and an inspiration to us all , one of the few Grand Masters of this our hobby.

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