Profile Photo
Jaime Carreon
95 articles

Another story, and another old model airplane

November 11, 2013 · in Aviation · · 11 · 1.3K

While rummaging around in the attic a few months ago, I came across a small box tucked into the corner of a larger box filled with stuff from our old house back home. On it, in my dad's script, was written, "1st place model airplane, October 1972." Needless to say, it didn't take long to open the box.

I think this is a P-51D, finished in the markings of my favorite fighter group, the 4th. This one was built in 1972 for the monthly contest in the junior division of the club I belonged to, the El Paso Scale Model Society. I was 14 years old then. It was my first scratchbuilt cockpit, my first airbrush paint job, the first time I used aftermarket decals, and my first first place win. There was a little note in with the model that read, "Sorry, I couldn't find the blue ribbon." I had been with the club since 1970, and still remember to this day how excited I was when the club president announced my name as the winner, and handed me the ribbon and a five dollar gift certificate to a local hobby shop.

This little airplane is 41 years old now, and still looks pretty good. It's a wonderful trip back in time, and is now on display on the shelf above my desk. I like to think of it as a tribute to the two older guys in the club who took the time to teach me the tricks, the urge me along when I got discouraged, and who taught me that the most important thing about the hobby was to have fun.

So build a model, everyone. And have fun doing it!

Reader reactions:
3  Awesome

5 additional images. Click to enlarge.

11 responses

  1. Your Dad sure was proud of you. 🙂

    Aaaaand, now I'm misty...

  2. Jamie,
    These are the little things in life that makes it all worthwhile. It was and act of love that compelled your dad to keep it,

    OK, Kelley... pass me a Kleenex.

  3. How did we ever struggle through making models from kits as awful as these? Did we not know better? 🙂

    Cool memory.

  4. I think it still passes muster, Jaime.

  5. Hello Jaime. That was a nice surprise stumbling upon that box while rummaging around in the attic. Winning a contest at 14 must have been a confidence booster! The model still looks good after 41 years of display and storage.

  6. I had a similar experience while cleaning out my Dad's drawer after he passed. Not only did I find a local newspaper clipping & ribbon from a contest at a "dime store" I placed in but also the wallet he carried in WWII still stuffed with lira & a leave map showing places that weren't off-limits.
    I don't think my model would have been as nice as yours though & it was probably a car.

  7. Thanks for sharing, Jaime., both the model and the memories. We all have our own, and seeing yours gives ours a little stir. I think our memories are an asset to our hobby that gets little credit, but throught the years, adds to our enjoyment. Hopefully youll be staring at that Mustang 40 years from now, with the same pleasant thoughts.

  8. Thanks, everyone. It was a very pleasant surprise finding this model, though I can't imagine what possessed my dad to save it like he did. He isn't a modeler or an aviator. I'm glad he did though.

Leave a Reply