Modeling by Tom Cleaver

Profile Photo Tom Cleaver ( @tcinla )
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Author of “Fabled Fifteen: The Pacific War Odyssey of Carrier Air Group 15”, which you can order here:


Tamiya 1/48 F4D-1 Skyray

by Tom Cleaver on April 28, 2014 in Aviation -- 13 Comments

The Douglas F4D-1 Skyray was the first Navy fighter capable of that could exceed Mach 1 in level flight. It was the first carrier-based fighter to hold the world’s absolute speed record, and was the last fighter built by the […]


Gloster Meteor N.F.11 and N.F.14

by Tom Cleaver on April 24, 2014 in Aviation -- 7 Comments

Here are the Classic Airframes Gloster Meteor N.F.11, limited-run injection-molded kit, and the Aeroclub Meteor N.F.14, multi-media vacuform. Both 1/48, the N.F.11 built in 2004 and the N.F.14 in 2002. Following the conclusion of the Second World War, the RAF’s […]


Today in history: 21 April

by Tom Cleaver on April 21, 2014 in Aviation -- 5 Comments

Today in history: 21 April is the 96th anniversary of the death in action of Baron Manfred von Richtofen. Thought I’d take a moment to refer you down memory lane to my post and model of his Dr.I, which you […]


Grand Phoenix 1/48 McDonnell F3H-2N Demon

by Tom Cleaver on April 21, 2014 in Aviation -- 14 Comments

On May 21, 1948, the United States Navy issued a “Request for Proposal” to build a carrier-based jet day fighter. The Navy wanted an aircraft of equal or superior performance to the land-based jet fighters being built at that time. […]


Alley Cat 1/48 deHavilland Vampire F.3 all-resin kit

by Tom Cleaver on April 16, 2014 in Aviation -- 13 Comments

Unlike the Gloster Meteor ‑ which was always intended to be an operational fighter ‑ the deHavilland Vampire began as an experimental aircraft, originally developed to specification E6/41, to test the deHavilland Halford H.1 jet engine. Design of what the […]

Lt. John D. Bridgers_airborne

LT John D. Bridgers, VB-15

by Tom Cleaver on April 11, 2014 in Aviation -- 2 Comments

To me, LT John D. “Jiggs” Bridgers is emblematic of the naval aviators of World War II. In 1941, he decided that $125/mo as a Navcad with “meals, clothing and housing provided, plus a $1,000 per year bonus after serving […]


Czech Model 1/32 Lockheed F-8C Shooting Star

by Tom Cleaver on April 11, 2014 in Aviation -- 7 Comments

By mid-1943, it was obvious that the Bell P-59A Airacomet, the first U.S. jet fighter was a failure, being far too heavy and unable to give a higher performance than either the P-47 or P-51, with little opportunity for further […]

Rod Smith lands aboard USS Wasp

“Gear down… flaps down… hook down… what hook?!”

by Tom Cleaver on April 8, 2014 in Uncategorized -- 8 Comments

In May 1942, USS Wasp and the Royal Navy carrier HMS Eagle delivered a second batch of Spitfires to Malta as part of Operation Bowery. Launching the Spitfires on May 9, McCampbell participated in one of the more interesting small […]


Roden 1/32 Nieuport 28 flown by Eddie Rickenbacker

by Tom Cleaver on March 25, 2014 in Aviation -- 8 Comments

The Nieuport 28 was the last of a line of fighting scouts to see combat service in the First World War. Unlike all of its predecessors, which had been sesquiplanes (a two-winged airplane in which the lower wing is less […]


D-Day Group build: 1/48 Monogram Hawker Typhoon IB

by Tom Cleaver on March 23, 2014 in Aviation -- 15 Comments

The Monogram Typhoon is copyrighted 1967, though I don’t remember seeing it before 1969. Whatever. It’s old. Supposedly been completely replaced by the Hasegawa kits in 2000-2001. They go for US$45.00 or so. This goes for $16, and the LHS […]