Modeling by Tom Cleaver

Airfirx 1/48 Checkertail Clan P-51D

by Tom Cleaver on January 20, 2018 in Aviation -- 18 Comments

The 325th Fighter Group arrived in North Africa when they flew their P-40Fs off USS Ranger in late November 1942. The group participated in the fighting in Tunisia, then took part in the invasion of Sicily and moved to Italy […]

James O. Howard’s “Ding Hao!” – Tamiya P-51B

by Tom Cleaver on December 31, 2017 in Aviation -- 9 Comments

The Tamiya kit, OOB, with Aeromaster decals. James O. Howard and “Ding Hao!”: Born in China, the son of Methodist missionaries, James O. Howard joined the U.S. Navy in 1938. After graduating from flight school at Pensacola, Ensign Howard was […]

A Monogram P-51D

by Tom Cleaver on December 31, 2017 in Aviation -- 3 Comments

Proof you don’t have to have the latest kit to get a nice model, if you’re willing to put in the work. About 15 years ago, a friend gave me a bunch of old kits that he figured were good […]

History gets saved at the last minute

by Tom Cleaver on December 24, 2017 in News -- 27 Comments

Was up at the LHS this afternoon reading “airplane porn mags” and found out that last year the second-oldest C-119 “flying boxcar” was up for sale as aluminum scrap, when the AF Museum discovered it was the second-oldest C-119 left […]


by Tom Cleaver on December 23, 2017 in Aviation -- 17 Comments

Probably the fewest completions in a long time, but then there were the major completions of “Pacific Thunder” and the upcoming “Tidal Wave,” as well as another project not to be spoken of yet, so I had good excuses. 1/72 […]

Tamiya P-51B – Don Gentile’s “Shangri-La”

by Tom Cleaver on December 18, 2017 in Aviation -- 13 Comments

Don Gentile – The Most Controversial Ace When I sat down 30 years ago to write “the definitive fighter pilot screenplay” and chose as my subject the 4th Fighter Group in the Spring of 1944 during “The Great Ace Race,” […]

Charles M. McCorkindale’s P-51B

by Tom Cleaver on December 10, 2017 in Aviation -- 11 Comments

Tamiya P-51B to do the P-51B “Betty Jane” flown by Charles M. McCorkindale, CO of the 31st Fighter Group in Italy, around June 1944 at the end of the Battle of Ploesti. McCorkindale joined the USAAC in 1936 and flew […]

With the overwhelming number of votes in favor of P-51Bs….

by Tom Cleaver on December 9, 2017 in Aviation -- 9 Comments

OK, so three votes out of five. It’s a 60% majority! “Alice-Jo” of the 332nd FG “Red Tails.” An ace of the 325th Fg (whose name escapes me at the moment) told me that they were very upset to find […]

Now for a P-51B

by Tom Cleaver on December 8, 2017 in Aviation -- 6 Comments

Personally, I like the P-51B better, mostly for its look. This Tamiya P-51B was done with Aeromaster decals and the Falcon Malcolm hood to do Don O’Hara’s “Shillelagh” of the 353rd FS, 354th FG. As a wingman and element leader […]

“Mrs. Virginia” P-51A

by Tom Cleaver on December 6, 2017 in Aviation -- 9 Comments

Due to a few air-to-air photos, “Mrs. Virginia” a P-51A of the 1st Air Commando Unit is well-known. The big thing with doing a model is to get the built-up exhaust staining. This is the result of leaning the engine […]