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Mike Maynard
52 articles

1950's Model Aircraft Rewind

October 16, 2013 · in Aviation · · 13 · 2.4K

Like many of you, I've built my share of models when I was a youngster. And perhaps like me, your model inventory got thinned out on the 4th of July. For some unknown reason the models I present today are an anomaly. Similar to the aircraft boneyard in the Arizona desert, these plastic models escaped the fire crackers of the 4th and ended up in the attic of my parent's home. Tossed into a box (probably during the Kennedy administration) they survived to be re-discovered in the 1980's when they found a home in my home's attic. Since the mid-1990's, I pull one of the "derelicts" out of the box a year and "re-condition" it. There's something enjoyable about reliving a tangible part of your youth and having the good fortune to "correct" all those model building mistakes of yesteryear.

The "Flying Boxcar" is the only model I did as a before-and-after photo. The "Boxcar" photos show the average condition of all the models, missing parts and all. It was a birthday gift from my folks in 1960 and I remember that day like it was last week. Such are the things that a model can convey. It can represent a miniature of a prototype aircraft and it also can recall a time when things were simplier and people that were so important in our lives are no longer with us. Yet the model and those great memories live on.

Reader reactions:
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11 additional images. Click to enlarge.

13 responses

  1. Very cool Mike...wish I had saved some of the kits I have built over the years. You are right how models of old builds can bring back memories. Now, you have to pick up a glue bomb off E-Bay to enjoy bringing a old model up to today's standards.

  2. Too true Jack, many models built that have gone into the yonder.
    Some nice builds there Mike,

  3. I love the story and the way you turn those derelicts into masterpieces on their own terms!

    I don't want to rub it in but I still have the first aircraft model I ever built: an Airfix Auster. I was never a firecracker-kid 🙂 !



  4. Mike,
    By refurbishing these you have returned these old kits to the history shelf. It is very nice to see them in their present state. It is amazing what time learned skills and up to date tech niches can do to these very old and basic kits. Great job.

  5. Always good to see equipment brought out of mothballs & put back on active duty.
    Well done.

  6. I love it, Mike ! I loved building those old kits then, and I still do. It's the era and the memories. It seems the earlier the model, the better the memories. I still have a few laying around, just the way they looked when I first built them. I don't know if I want to restore them or not, but it sure is great seeing yours. Thanks.

  7. I like it it brings back memories. It also preserves the models of the past.

  8. Overhaulin' for models...Very cool. I especially like the F-94 Starfire as I built and blew up a lot of them as a kid in the early 70's. Great job bringing these classics into modern times!

  9. I like this a lot. Mine never survived the years. I do remember doing the blimp. Can't remember the name of the model company though.

    • Thanks Tom
      The blimp was offered by ITC (Ideal Toy Company) and later by Ringo Models. Today Glencoe models sells the same kit.
      I forgot to list the "overhaulin" kits: Aurora Flying Boxcar, Cutlass and Crusader jet, Revell Starfire, Helicopters for Industry Mixmaster, Aurora Skyray and Saber Jet.

  10. Well, I must have gone through most of the Airfix catalgue in the 1950's, I've no idea what happened to most of the kits I built, probably lost in the many house moves we had as a family. I'm not sure that I want to see any of them now though... but, still, many happy memories, thanks, Mike.

  11. F-94! I had dreams about that plane in the 50s!

  12. Have some fun and visit this Website

    You have lots of old model kits with the box tops.

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