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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 the 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.

My most recent book, "Clean Sweep: VIII Fighter Command Against the Luftwaffe 1942-45" will be published by Osprey on May 23.

My wife of 27 years finally escaped Parkinson's on February 20 and sailed west to the unknown land beyond the sunset where she once again paints seascapes with her friends, her cats.

You can order all of them here: https://www.amazon.com/s?k=Thomas+McKelvey+Cleaver&i=stripbooks&ref=nb_sb_noss_2

It’s here! ICM 1/48 B-26B Marauder

Christmas in April! There on the front porch was a big box from Prague, with the Kool Kitz from Eduard: the 1/72 Bf-109F double kit, and the Bf-109G-2, all beautiful. The 1/48 FM-1 (the first kit I ever managed to convince them to do) with [...]

Oh Happy, Happy, Happy Day! A 1/48 F-86A!!!

Clear Prop will officially announce the release of a 1/48 F-86A at the Moson Model Show this coming weekend. From design information made public,the kit will ultimately be released in multiple versions. OH HAPPY HAPPY HAPPY DAY! Clear Prop [...]

We're Not Worthy!! (Again)Bill Bosworth's 1/48 scale scratchbuilt H6K "Mavis"

I hear stamp collecting and knitting are hobbies that lots of people enjoy... The latest from Bill Bosworth: 1/48 scale scratchbuilt vacuform Kawasaki H6K Ocean Reconnaissance Seaplane (Allied code name Mavis) The wingspan is 32 inches.

Last living survivor of USS Arizona passes

Lou Conter, the last living survivor on board the USS Arizona during the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor in 1941, has died. He was 102. He had been in hospice for the past four weeks. Conter died Monday morning while surrounded by family [...]

Review: MiniArt Republic 1/48 P-47D-30-RD Thunderbolt

The Republic P-47D-30, which appeared in the ETO during the fall of 1944, and was produced at both the Farmingdale and Evansville factories, was the first Thunderbolt sub-type to have the underwing dive brakes that prevented the airplane [...]

Review: Wingsy 1/48 Bf-109E-4: Dolfo Galland's pesonal ride.

Since the development history of the Bf-109E series is well-known and available here with other reviews, this will focus on Adolf Galland's role in the development of different camouflage and markings during the Battle of Britain that [...]

1/48 Czech Master North American FJ-1 Fury restored

Blowtorches at Sea: By 1944, the U.S. Navy was aware of what the USAAF and RAF were doing with the P-80 and Meteor projects, respectively, and knew as much as anyone did what was expected soon from the Germans. Having come up on the short [...]

Review: Special Hobby 1/48 Fairey Albacore Mk.II

The Aircraft: The origins of the Albacore, popularly known as the "Applecore", originated in Air Ministry Specification S.41/36 issued on 11 February 1937, as well as the earlier Specification M.7/36, which had sought a [...]

Review: MiniArt 1/48 P-47D-25RE "No Guts... No Glory!"

78th Fighter Group ground crewman Warren Kellerstadt recalled: “They didn’t tell us when D-Day was going to be, but the night before we could smell something in the wind. They closed up the base tight and wouldn’t let anyone on or [...]

Yet Another Sabre from the Garage of Doom1/48 CAC Avon Sabre Mk. 31 Red Roo conversion

Australia's first jet fighter was the DeHavilland Vampire, built under license by Commonwealth Aircraft in 1948-49. The follow-on possibilities included the Grumman Panther and the Hawker P.1081, a project which never went past the [...]