Modeling by Tom Cleaver


Johnnie Johnson’s MK392

by Tom Cleaver on October 9, 2014 in Uncategorized -- 18 Comments

The Spitfire IXe was a development of the standard Spitfire IX that inverted the position of the 20mm cannons and replaced the outboard .30 caliber machine guns with .50 caliber weapons in the wing position formerly occupied by the cannons. […]

Fabled Fifteen Cover LR

Ace-signed copies of “Fabled Fifteen” now available.

by Tom Cleaver on October 4, 2014 in Uncategorized

There are 68 copies of the newly-published hardback edition of “Fabled Fifteen” available, signed by LCDR Jim Duffy of VF-15, the last living fighter pilot to have scored victories at the Marianas Turkey Shoot and the Battles of Leyte Gulf. […]


ICM 1/48 LaGG-3

by Tom Cleaver on September 29, 2014 in Uncategorized -- 7 Comments

While the Red Air Force had fielded the most advanced fighter in the world in 1934 when the I-16 joined its first operational unit, it was clear by 1939 that Soviet fighter aircraft had fallen behind the international standard. While […]


Gavia (Eduard) 1/48 Lavochkin La-7

by Tom Cleaver on September 28, 2014 in Aviation -- 8 Comments

The Lavochkin La-7 was the ultimate wartime design of a line of fighters that began with the LaGG-3 in 1941. The LaGG-3 suffered from a heavy structure due to its designers unfamiliarity with modern aircraft design and the fact that […]


RIP: Bernie Fisher

by Tom Cleaver on September 11, 2014 in Aviation -- 16 Comments

I noted that MAJ Bernard “Bernie” Fisher, the first USAF MoH honoree in Vietnam, died this past month. Going through my photos, I found these shots of my 1/48 A-1E built back in 1998. The kit is a mishmash of […]


Zvezda 1/48 La-5

by Tom Cleaver on September 8, 2014 in Reviews -- 4 Comments

The Lavochkin La-5 was developed from the earlier LaGG-1 and LaGG-3 fighters, which had suffered from too-heavy airframes and lack of a suitably-powerful engine. They were among the least popular fighters used by the V-VS during the Great Patriotic War […]


A trip back in time: MPM 1/48 I-15 vacuform

by Tom Cleaver on September 6, 2014 in Aviation -- 11 Comments

So why is it the Czechs make such good plastic models? For those who don’t know the answer to that question, the reason why, in the past 24 years since the overthrow of communism and the end of the Cold […]


Montex 1/32 Yak-1b

by Tom Cleaver on September 4, 2014 in Aviation -- 10 Comments

Of the many types of warplanes used by the Soviet Air Forces during the Second World War, the most celebrated, successful and widely-used were the series of fighters by the design bureau led by Alexander Sergei Yakovlev. Though they lacked […]


iModeler Review: Airfix 1/48 Spitfire Vb

by Tom Cleaver on September 3, 2014 in Reviews -- 14 Comments

For look what’s inside the box – see In the development of the Spitfire, there is a recurring theme: that outside of the Mk.I, each major sub-type used was actually a “stopgap” design while the “definitive” design undertook more […]


Hasegawa 1/48 F4U-7 Corsair

by Tom Cleaver on August 25, 2014 in Aviation -- 9 Comments

The United States had the chance in 1945 to avoid 55 years of history, the deaths of over 58,000 Americans, several million Vietnamese and other Southeast Asians, and the self-confidence of America as a country. All that had to be […]