Modeling by Tom Cleaver

RIP John Alcorn

by Tom Cleaver on August 30, 2017 in News -- 13 Comments

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 […]

PBJ Walkaround

by Tom Cleaver on August 18, 2017 in Photo Collections -- 18 Comments

This is the last actual PBJ-1J (delivered as such from the North American factory) still in existence, now operated in flying condition by the CAF SOCAL Wing out at Camarillo Airport here in S.Calif. after a 23 year restoration.

Dunkirk – see it!

by Tom Cleaver on July 21, 2017 in Reviews -- 34 Comments

Go see Dunkirk. A cinematic masterpiece. Truly a work of art. My screenwriting partner and I walked out just blown away by the thought a mind could conceive it and then carry it out. The slicing and dicing of the […]

Hasegawa 1/48 RAAF P-40E-1 Kittyhawk I

by Tom Cleaver on July 1, 2017 in Aviation -- 10 Comments

The P-40E-1 was produced for service with the RAF under Lend-Lease, where it was known as the Kittyhawk. The aircraft served primarily in the Middle East and Far East, where it was the first fighter equipment for the RAAF. As […]

Trumpeter 1/32 P-47N

by Tom Cleaver on June 10, 2017 in Aviation -- 16 Comments

Originally designed as a high altitude interceptor, in which range would not be a major consideration, the P-47’s role changed completely when it was the only American fighter with much chance against the Luftwaffe, and was thus pressed into service […]

2nd Lt Archie Maltby remembers D-Day

by Tom Cleaver on June 6, 2017 in Aviation -- 5 Comments

Today is the 73rd anniversary of the Invasion of Normandy. I remember Gladwyn Hill (“Gladhill”) AP’s “Man with the 8th” who made the first broadcast of the invasion from a bomber overhead telling me “they opened a hatch and I […]

John Bridgers’ account of the loss of USS Yorktown

by Tom Cleaver on June 5, 2017 in Aviation -- 6 Comments

June 4, 1942: in addition to the US fliers sinking three Japanese carriers in the morning, the aircraft of the surviving fourth carrier, Hiryu, hit USS Yorktown; after survivingtwo strikes, the majority of the crew was evacuated. Yorktown survived another […]

Dick Best – the man who sank the Akagi and won the Battle of Midway

by Tom Cleaver on June 3, 2017 in Aviation -- 13 Comments

Between 1998 and 2001 when he died, I had the privilege of knowing one of the most interesting people I ever met, Dick Best, the man who sank the Akagi and changed the Battle of Midway. As you’ll find out […]

VMSB-241 SB2U-3

by Tom Cleaver on June 3, 2017 in Aviation -- 8 Comments

The Vindicator at Midway: VMSB-1, the “east coast” Marine Scout-Dive Bomber unit, was renumbered VMSB-231 in October 1941 and sent to the west coast as war clouds gathered in the Pacific. In November, the unit was sent on to MCAS […]

Midway Group Build – VMSB-241 SBD-2

by Tom Cleaver on June 3, 2017 in Aviation -- 9 Comments

Too busy working with the editors on the upcoming “Pacific Thunder” (out in August, you can pre-order on Amazon now) to build anything new for the group build but here’s my Trumpeter SBD-2 from VMSB-241 built a few years back, […]