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@flyingwrench G. Ley

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Retired pilot/mechanic

Camera Tripod

Here is a neat, 12" miniature tripod for photographing small work. What's really neat is the bracket that holds the camera without need for the screw attachment. This feature came as a surprise and is really handy when switching between multiple[...]

Balancing weighty matters

Every mechanic can tell you stories about aircraft idiosyncrasies. Stories abound about aircraft towing and jacking incidents. I have one about how I severely injured my back lifting the wing of a C-177 RG to change a tire because we did not hav[...]

St. Thomas – A day at the Beech

Well I finally finished it, the diorama's pièce de résistance. And boy was it ever a piece of résistance. Back in Texas, we had word for projects like this – “Snakebit.” This Beech was “snakebit.” To date, this is undoubtedly the most challeng[...]

Corsair in the Palms

This superb diorama is not my work, but the work of master modeler Terry Davis who graciously consented the use of these photos. To wit: "Yeah, go ahead, I have no problem with that." This is his 1/48 Tamiya F4U-1D Corsair skimming the jungle [...]

Cleanliness is next to 1/48 godlessness

Over the years I've spent some time cleaning up hangars, so it is not without a certain irony I find my self spending time dirtying one up. My affair with filth began a few weeks ago with seagulls. I found a few that still waiting in the deta[...]

The Hangar

The "Bobcat" is now in the hangar along with a number of other aircraft. The Diorama is shaping up to conclusion with the Beech at the final stages and the Goose not far off. It's been a long and interesting journey to this point. Lots of memor[...]

Cessna T-50 “Bobcat” Landing Gear Retraction Test

Something is not right with the Cessna's landing gear and a couple of mechanics have put it up on jack-stands for a gear retraction test to determine the problem, probably something to do with the jack-screws being out of alignment. I actually d[...]

A day at the airport – Caribbean cargo operations

The cargo operation I flew for out of St. Thomas U.S.V.I, is the focus of this diorama. The diorama is representative of various daily airport operations combined in one setting. One of the more notable aspects of hauling cargo were souls no lo[...]

The Airport Fuel Truck

All the airports I worked at had the ubiquitous fuel truck roaming the ramp areas. In fact I drove a fuel truck at the very beginning of my aviation career and at various later times in pursuit of airborne happiness. This particular fuel truc[...]

Radial Engine Repair Mini Diorama

I've spent some time working on old, round engines everywhere, from in the shop to replacing parts like propellers busted hoses and "blown jugs" in the field. Therefore, it is only natural to included a radial repair scene in my airport diorama.[...]