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@mike-knowles Michael Wayne Knowles

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Humbly proud to be the current VP of IPMS Ocala. Modeling since I was six years old, which means I’ve been at it for half a century! I find model building is relaxing (usually), informative (with a few exceptions), and a creative outlet for a guy who is stuck in traditions. I cannot understand why none of my eight children or fourteen grandchildren have taken up my hobby, but I’m still working on them. (I have two more grand kids on the way — maybe they will become the first of the next generation of modelers in the Knowles family tree!)

I have used my models for educational purposes in schools and clubs. I particularly appreciate the big eyes as they see the contrast and comparison that a slew of models portrays. I also like finding the oddities and eccentricities of the real thing, and then build the model to illustrate it.

Special thanks goes to Ray Waddey, whose huge display at the Fredericktown Mall in the late 70s convinced my young bride that models are cool and not just toys. Thus she permitted me to build even if it took time away from her (within reason).

I build aircraft, ships and armor. My display cases are full and many projects are in storage bins.

I am best known for my many unfinished projects (due to too short an attention span with all the models available to be built.) I am also known for my story telling when it is Show-and-Tell time in our club meetings.

World War in a “Z” (with apologies to Brad Pitt)

This is the Hobbycraft Canada 1/48th Dornier Do-17Z, German medium bomber. Because the earlier version had a particularly narrow fuselage, it was sometimes called the Flying Pencil. I think the Z transformed it into the Tadpole! Though the fas[...]

1/48 F8F Bearcat “Beetlebomb”

The early days of the Blue Angels was filled with Hellcats. I don't know too much about this era, but I can imagine there were a host of Navy pilots looking for something to do at the close of World War II! The next mount was the F8F Bearcat.[...]

Third time’s the charm . . . yet another A3D Skywarrior

Here again is another Hasegawa Skywarrior, this time in the early attack scheme. This is in the out of box markings for USS Independence in the early 60's. I am still working on a scratch built bomb bay with the two nuclear shapes she was desi[...]

I’m in the mood for love . . . the KA3D Skywarrior by Hasegawa

It seems everyone likes the Whale, so I present another of my Skywarrior models, this time the KA3D. Not much to say, except that this is the carrier borne refueling tanker version out of the box by Hasegawa. The diagonal stripes are a visual [...]

1/72, F-89 Scorpion, Revell

I found this model in my stash of old models in my parents attic, and was pleasantly surprised. As a straight from the box production, it has real "class." Right from the Cold War days of flying shot guns, the Scorpion was designed to shoot do[...]

1/72 Hasegawa A3D Skywarrior

The A3D was the Navy's answer to the challenge to deliver nuclear weapons by jet bombers from our new Forrestal class Attack Carriers. For many years, it was the largest aircraft to serve aboard our CVAs, and certainly proved itself an aircraft[...]

1/350 I-400 by Tamiya

The I-400 class of submarines were the largest undersea vessels of World War II. They were designed to give Japan the ability to launch stealth attacks on distant targets and sneak away undetected. Speaking of which, it is even rumored that t[...]

1/700 Columbo Express by Revell Germany

When launched, the Columbo Express was the largest ship in the world, capable of hauling 1800 containers of cargo at once. She was the largest ship ever launched to be driven by just one propeller. Yet, despite her size, she is crewed by fewe[...]

1/350 Jake by Tamiya

This is just for fun -- one of the float planes from the IJN Tone, an Aichi Jake. It took about 2 1/2 hours each to build the nine planes I had on the cruiser's after deck. Now, I've acquired a PE set to add cockpits and under wing stores. [...]

1/48 Ki-61 Hein by Hasegawa

Here is an older build of Japan's only in-line engine powered fighter, commonly called Tony. This is in a New Guinea scheme, which began as natural metal, but was quickly over sprayed. I think the Japanese had a strange sense of humor to cal[...]