Focusing on Scale Arranging

Since moving AKM to  the airport, I’ve displayed  1/32 scale models with “landing gear retracted”  on the  bottom shelf but intending. Over the winter I came close to building  newer 1/32 models with landing gear down; replacing the gear up models bottom shelf displayed here. This idea evolved because I thought that hanging the “gear ups” on fishing line from the WELCOME Room ceiling would be fun. Recently I reconsidered.

There is no 1/48 scale kit new to the market that, for AKM display purposes, does not provide detail and color options equal to 1/32 scale. I don’t have to build a 1/32 B-17 if I want to show excellent detail, with landing gear down, via some custom additional kit work and optimal placement on a shelf.  That’s why I intend to trade and sell most of the un-built 1/32 kits now in the collection. There will be exceptions: racers, MAJOR aircraft of World War 1, and civil aircraft. In a perfect world, I would love to  build  or at least, display, donated personal favorites in 1/32:. Tamiya F-14 and USN F-4J

Airliners in 1/144 scale, displayed on top shelves of part of the WELCOME Room were moved upstairs to the Research Room before I placed them into storage. Many of those will return to the room where first displayed, this time in a top-to-bottom chronology with the early types at the top . . . or bottom, I’ve not yet decided.  I will include military transports in this display, but there will be nothing smaller than the Swearingen Metroliner slated to be one of the first returned to the shelves.

Remaining most prominent will be 1/72, and instead of futzing around with 40 to 80 models in process, half-built or less, I’ve established a priority list of models that will have my major focus until they are built and displayed. Number 1 is a nearly finished
#1 – Hasegawa SR-71 – nearly finished but on hold too long
YF-12A – new-build Italaeri kit – fast track to build, display
M-21 carrier with D-21 recon drone – need to be refinished
MPC-75 carrier for Aurora – needs minor repair; the Aurora is displayed now
PBM Mariner – my Mach 2 kit is 90% done; must finish it
B-52 – 70% complete for the past three years, a black under silver Viet War participant
B-45 – Mach 2 kit, originally planed to build the B and RB; will settle near term for RB
since is flew in the Korean War
B-36 — about 30% ready,, it will be an Arctic, six-engine bird; no jet pods
CH-47D — 85% done, am building a RAF Falklands War machine
AH-64 — too long not finished
OV-1 — again, almost done; must finish it
There are many 1/72 models of foreign aircraft nearing “done” including Gloster Javelin, Dassault Mirage F-1C, Panavia Desert Storm Tomado, SEPECAT French Jaguar,  Vickers Valiant (to go with built Vulcan and Victor) and more. A new PRIORITY is to catch the smiles and appreciation of visitors likely to SUPPORT AeroKnow  Museum. I would love to have a lineup of USAF and USN fighters and attack birds. Too few are on display now.  Models of foreign birds don’t turn heads in the middle of Illinois, USA.

But wait,, there’s more.  I expect 1/48 models to generate most close-up study by visitors. That has proven true so far. On my priority list here are:
1 – Stearman PT-17s — My Lindberg and Revell (USN & USAAF) are almost done, waiting to be rigged, and I hate rigging. I will conquer this problem.
2. Corben Super Ace — 50% done, it should be on the shelf soon.
3. there are so many more, the lack of action in filling those holes here embarrasses me.

I’ve begun building at home as well as at the airport. But I’m way behind. even with that.  A friend recently donated a second air brush  — an Iwata — I will use at home AFTER I buy a compressor for it.

Though I know the photographs, magazines, files of culled articles and books here at AeroKnow are like few collections elsewhere, I also know that our display of built static display model planes brings recognition, delight and memories to 98 percent of our visitors. We intend to exploit that happy evidence by better focusing on our production and display of such aircraft — and model kits dating back to the 30s.  I hope AKM can count on your help and support in this effort.

Thanks for reading this post. Happy 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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