According to my mother, the first word I said was “airplane” (“oh-pane”) at around 11 months of age when a P-38 flew over the park we were in. I’ve had a love affair with airplanes and the people who are involved with airplanes ever since, which has become my career as an aviation historian and author.
I built my first model, a Strombecker all-wood P-80 (that dates me!) at age 6, after watching my father build other wood models for me. I quickly graduated to plastic models when I found Mr. Twist’s Fix-It Shop on South Gaylord Street in Denver, with its corner shelves full of wondrous kit boxes. I built my first biplane (a Hawk Models Nieuport 17 – still available from Testors) before I was old enough to know that “biplanes are hard.” With time out in the 1960s after graduating from high school for the Navy and college and “The Sixties” I returned to the hobby in 1970 and haven’t left since.
I became a screenwriter in Hollywood in the 1980s, after first getting published as an aviation author in the 1970s in Air Enthusiast Quarterly. I love the4 fact that William Green, who wrote the first “serious aviation book” (All The World’s Aircraft 1954) that I got my father to buy for me was the first person to publish me. I’ve flown the back seat of an F-4E Phantom for an article on the Wild Weasels in Air Force Magazine, and had 20 minutes stick time in Jim Nissen’s 1918 Curtiss JN-4D Jenny back in 1979 for an article in Plane and Pilot, and been in everything in between over the past 47 years. When I worked in politics in Sacramento during the 1970s, I was a member of a club that flew Stearman N747JR (we called ourselves in as “Boeing 747 Junior”) and got around 100 hours in that fun machine.
I’m one of the original members here of iModeler, and consider it the best model club on the planet.
Author of “Fabled Fifteen: The Pacific War Odyssey of Carrier Air Group 15”, “Pacific Thunder: the Pacific War from Wake island to Leyte Gulf,” “Tidal Wave: From Leyte Gulf to Tokyo Bay,” “The Frozen Chosen: The First Marine Division and the Battle of Chosin Reservoir,” “Holding The Line: the Naval Air Campaign in Korea,” and “MiG Alley: The US Air Force in Korea – 1950-53” which will be released on November 26.
You can order all of them here: https://www.amazon.com/s?k=Thomas+McKelvey+Cleaver&i=stripbooks&ref=nb_sb_noss_2
Spain became one of the first foreign users of the Bf-109 when the Condor Legion departed Spain after the civil war leaving behind their Bf-109Es. During the Second World War, the Spanish received a number of Bf-109Fs and in 1942 Hispano of Spa[...]
Adolf “Addi” Glunz is one of the most interesting of the Luftwaffe experte. He was born June 11, 1916 at Bresegard in the Lugwiglust region of Mecklenburg, the son Karl Glunz, a Beamter, or civil servant, of the Deutsche Reichsbahn. Due to his [...]
Eduard has released overtrees of the Spitfire Ia both early and late. Saw them advertised at Kitlinx for $22.99 - get 'em while they're hot!
Just saw an announcement that Lloyd Jones passed away over this past weekend.
If you don't think you know who he was, if you ever used a Scale-Master Decal, you knew Lloyd, who designed and created all that series. Those decals are so good, I u[...]
There's an interesting thread over at The Other Place in answer to the question, what was the first model you built?
My dad built my first models for me: a Strombecker solid wood B-29 and B-24, both painted silver. The first plasti[...]
Following the 1932 success of the Ar-65 as the airplane that would become the first fighter of the re-born Luftwaffe, Arado commenced work on two diferent prototypes of successor fighters, the Ar-67 and AR-68. The Ar-67 was droppe[...]
Spain became one of the first foreign users of the Bf-109 when the Condor Legion departed Spain after the Civil War leaving behind their Bf 109s. During the Second World War, the Spanish received a number of Bf-109Fs and in 1942 [...]
Fernando Soto's Corsair, done back in 2003 with the Hasegawa 1/48 F4U-5N kit
A little-known fact of Corsair operations is that of the six air forces that flew the type operationally, two used their Corsairs against each other in the last air wa[...]
Herewith a review strictly for iModeler:
The summer of 1943 finally saw the Fifth Air Force begin to receive the desperately-needed reinforcement and expansion that General Kenney had argued for since his arrival in Australia.
Just heard the news that Bill Koster has passed. A man who influenced all of us, whether you ever made one of his conversions or models or not.
The nicest guy to ever deal with in the hobby. He always had time for everybody.
I hate you hate yo[...]