Models on the Move

The winter has crippled the completion of the model display in the Museum office with snow preventing acquisition of materials needed for mounting the glass shelves paid for and brought to the office in early January. In the meantime, models displayed at the home-collection for decades, moved in boxes to the new airport location over the summer are being removed from storage to be returned to public display.

models displayed in a humid basement for decades before cleaning for display at AKM

Models stored in sealed plastic sandwich and freezer bags kept in shallow cardboard boxes formerly used for shipping cases of Polaroid film (saved during my days in retail) have been unaffected by the basement.

But something I would not have foreseen when the model below was built by my friend Ed Wahl and donated to the collection has come as a surprise to me and a warning for the future . . .

1/72 Aurora kit Boeing 737

Ed built the model for the first public display at Springfield’s big White Oaks Mall by what was then called AIRCHIVE in 1978. It has been displayed regularly in public since then, but when I removed it un-bagged from a box where it had been since 1996, it was obvious that the model had not been “sealed” by airbrushing a coat or two of clear Future or Microscale Clear Gloss. This model will be restored, probably not in PSA colors.

Minicraft kit Hughes H-4 Hercules 1/200 scale

Likely to remain in storage until we have space where we can display 1/200 scale models is the model pictured above. AeroKnow Museum is focusing on 1/32, 1/48, 1/72 and 1/144 models, making exceptions for built models made from early kits,  before 1965. Many years ago, Boeing donated some 1/200 scale models of early 757 and 767 prototypes before the actual aircraft had flown. These remain in storage as well.

fictional model based on imaginary turbofan-powered H-4, produced from Minicraft 1/200 kit

Also not slated for display is this model whimsy, one of several in the collection. If you are not familiar with the website Hyperscale, created and maintained by Australian Brett Green, visit and get to know it. I posted a note to Hyperscalers I was looking for 1/200 scale Boeing 747 engines and pylons from the Hasegawa kit, indicated it was for a turbo-fan H-4, and a generous Hyperscaler DONATED them, assembled as though a true professional had done the work. It ALLOWED this model to happen. Other Hyperscalers have donated parts (Gerald Voight of Hawkeye’s Hobbies sent XB-35 props and another sent X-15 decals after I discovered mine had been destroyed in the basement humidity) and I have purchased and traded kits with many who frequently post at the site.

The fictional whimsy is engaged primarily in 1/72 scale. The following pictures illustrate . . . .

1/72 Airfix F-86D with Heller F-94B sing - fictional model

FICTIONAL 1/72 Hasegawa MiG-25 "Foxbat" with vertical stabilizer from Airfrix RA-5C Vigilante

FICTIONAL 1/72 Monogram Messerschmitt Bf-110 with extended canopy, three vertical stabilizers (center from Ta-152) and three engines.

There are several more fictional models, including an imaginary F4U Corsair with an un-cranked (straight; not inverted gull) wing, and tri-motored B-58. I’m not displaying any fictional aircraft models I have “designed and built,” though models of “concept” aircraft including Revell’s early B-2 and Monogram’s 1/72 Snap-Tite “Spectre” stealth fighter are displayed on the shelves today.

The AeroKnow Museum has a long way to go before it’s where it needs to be. I am still looking for modelers and aviation historians living in and near Springfield, Illinois to serve on the board of directors this year. Board members will be recruited from supporters. If you would like to support the Museum, even if you don’t have time and/or inclination to serve on the board, comment here, and I will contact you via e-mail which is not visible to those who visit this blog.

Thanks for your consideration!

CAVU and soft landings.

About Job Conger

I am a freelance aviation, business and tourism writer, poet, songwriter. My journalism appears regularly in Springfield Business Journal and Illinois Times. I am author of Springfield Aviation from Arcadia Publishing and available everywhere. As founder/director of AeroKnow Museum (AKM) and a volunteer with American Aviation Historical Society (AAHS), I created this blog to share news about AKM activity and aviation history.
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1 Response to Models on the Move

  1. I certainly enjoyed looking at the photographs and reading the text in this posting.

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