ASM Articles Page

ASM Website Pages - Click on applicable Title below to visit that page.


ASM100.jpg (82854 bytes) Index ASM100.jpg (82854 bytes)

Click on selections below to navigate to that location on this webpage or to a separate webpage (annotated by *)

Next Club Contest     Clinics Schedule Next Sponsored Contest
Upcoming Events Calendar Notes and News Items   
E-Board Articles     Member Articles IPMS/USA Links
IPMS/USA National Convention Local Contest Information
ASM Review Articles * NM State Fair Model Contests *
* Archived Articles #1   #2   #3 * Website Updates *
Fred's Foto Files * Nuclear Weapons Heritage Model Display *
Cavalcade of Wings Model Display * Recently Archived E-Board Articles  *


Next Club Contest

***  The April 3rd meeting has been cancelled  ***


Special (Non-Points) Contest

USS Iowa Presentation by Kathy Meyer


The March 6th meeting was an


Theme (Points) Contest


 Upcoming ASM Contests Info

May 1st  -  "The Desert" Theme (Points) Contest

June 5th  -  "Korean War" Special (Non-Points) Contest

July 10th  -  "Two or Three" Theme (Points) Contest

For further details on upcoming contests, click on the link below to the

ASM Contest Schedule section of the websiteContest Schedule


Workshops and Presentations will be listed below as scheduled.  Please stay tuned for updates and changes to the schedule.

2020 2020 Presentations and Model Clincs
Apr 3 -Meeting Canceled "USS Iowa" Presentation by Kathy Meyer
Jun 5 "USAF Air Superiority in the Koraen War" by Douglas Dildy
TBD Air Force Armament Museum Presentation by Mike Blohm
2019 2019 Presentations and Model Clincs
Apr 5 Wings of Freedom Tour Presentation by Josh Pals
ASM Website Demo by Mike Blohm
May 3 Dallas Airshow Presentation
Jul 12 Photographing Models by Ken Piniak
Aug 2 World War I Aircraft Rigging by Bob Henderson
Oct 4 2019 IPMS/USA Convention Report/Presentation by Dave Straub
Nov 1 Casting Resin Parts by Dave Straub
Dec 6 Discussion on contest theme suggestions for the 2020 Contest Schedule
TBD 2020 Air Force Armament Museum Presentation by Mike Blohm
TBD 2020 Tentative - "MiG Alley" Presentation by Douglas Dildy

Test Page

Next Sponsored Contest

July 10th  -  "TBD" - hosted by Mike and Matt Blohm


Upcoming Sponsored Contests:

July 10th  -  "TBD" - hosted by Mike and Matt Blohm

August 7th  -  "Rotary Wing/VTOL" - hosted by Scott Jaworski

October 2nd  -  "Best Paint Scheme"  - hosted by Ken Liotta

November 6th  -  "Disney"  - hosted by Patrick Dick


For further details on upcoming Sponsored Contests, click on the link below to the

Sponsored Contest ROE

Upcoming Events Calendar

  2020 Schedule
January 17-19, 2020 Albuquerque Comic Con, Albuquerque Convention Center, Albuquerque NM.  See ASM Trip Report from the 2011 event.  See ASM Trip Report for the 2012 Event.
January 24-26 Model Car Contest, sponsored by the Albuquerque Model Car Club, at Expo New Mexico, in conjunction with the 29th Annual Super Nationals Custom Auto Show.  Contest is on Jan 25th. 
February 15 Model Fiesta 39.  San Antonio Event Center, San Antonio Texas.  IPMS Region 6.
March 28
Postponed to Aug 15
CoMMiESFest 2020 - Tentatively rescheduled for August 15. "20/20 - Sweating the Small Stuff"  Jefferson County Fairgrounds, Golden, Colorado, 9AM-5PM. IPMS CoMMiES, Region 10.
April 3
Meeting cancelled
"USS Iowa" Presentation by Kathy Meye at April 3rd ASM Meeting
April 4
Trinity Site Open to the Public.  The April 4th event has been canceled.  8:00 AM to 3:30 PM at White Sands Missile Range.
April 16
Route 66 Model Expo 2020, Rescheduled for August 22.  Bixby Community Center. Tulsa Modelers Forum, IPMS Region 6.
April 25
Best of the West 2020 Show and Contest.  Rescheduled for September 5.  East Side Cannery Resort and Casino, Las Vegas, Nevada.  IPMS Region 8.
April 25 Modelmania 2020.  "Call of the Wild"  Stafford Center, Stafford Texas.  IPMS Houston, IPMS Region 6.
May 1-3
StarFest 2020.   Science Fiction Convention, Postponed - will be rescheduled. Marriott and Hilton DTC Convention Hotels, Denver Colorado.  ModelFest & model contest at StarFest, hosted by IPMS CoMMiES.
May 7-9 AMPS 2020 International Convention.  "Last Battles" Radisson Hotel Harrisburg, Camp Hill, Pennsylvania
June 5 "USAF Air Superiority in the Korean War" presentation by Douglas Dildy at June 5 ASM Meeting
--- Squadron Eaglequest 29 - normally in June -  has been cancelled
July 29 - August 1 IPMS/USA National Convention Embassy Suites and San Marcos Convention Center, San Marcos, Texas. 
August 5-9 Star Trek Convention - Las Vegas 2020, Rio Suites Hotel, Las Vegas NV.  See Star Trek Trip Report from the 2011 event. Star Trek Trip Reports for 2013 and 2014
State Fair
Model Entries
Date is TBD
New Mexico State Fair  ASM-Sponsored Model Contest; Model registration dates are still TBD at this time.  Will be two days from 9 AM to 5 PM each day. Judging probably on Wed or Thur the week following.  ASM Display-Only Theme: "The Korean War (1950-1953)"  The state fair runs Sep 10-20.  Model pick-up is on Mon, Sep 21 from 9 AM to 5 PM.
August 28-30 Bubonicon 52 - 2020.  Science Fiction and Fantasy Convention, Albuquerque Marriott Uptown, 2101 Louisiana Blvd NE (Louisiana & I-40), Albuquerque, NM
September 11? (TBD) ASM Model Display at the 2020 Folds of Honor Patriot Gala at the Isleta Resort and Casino in Albuquerque, NM 
September 18 ASM Model Display at the 2020 Air Force Ball at Kirtland AFB
October 3 Trinity Site Open to the Public.  8:00 AM to 3:30 PM at White Sands Missile Range.
November TBD ModelZona 2020  Red Mountain Community Church Gym Building, 6101 E. Virginia St, Mesa, AZ from 9:00 AM to 4:00 PM.   IPMS Craig Hewitt Chapter, Region 10

Please notify the ASM Webmaster of any additional events that should be included.

Notes and News Items


Group Model Build Project for 58th Special Operations Wing

    Robert Grande, a new ASM member who is assigned to the 58th Special Operations Wing, is requesting help in building models for a display in their Heritage Room depicting "Operation Kingpin" -- the Son Tay Raid attempting to rescue American Prisoners of War that occurred on November 21, 1970.  If you would like to help, please contact him at 321-501-1357 or at

The 1/72 scale model kits to be built for the display are listed below:
HH-53C x 5
HH-3G x 1
A-1E x 2
MC-130E Rivet Clamp x 2
HC-130P x 1

Pictures of some of the kits are shown below


Pictures of the Son Tay POW camp, training for the raid, the special forces team, and a HH-53B departing from the raid are shown below.
For more information on the raid click here:  Operation Kingpin - 1    Operation Kingpin - 2


Results of the 2019

E-Board Challenge Build and the ASM Super Raffle


There were two additional events at the December 6, 2019 ASM meeting besides the "75th Anniversary of the Battle of the Bulge" Special Contest and the "2019 ASM Model of the Year Showdown." These included the E-Board Challenge Build and the ASM Super Raffle.

E-Board Challenge Build

To compete in the E-Board Challenge Build, ASM members had to enter at least one model, in theme, at every points and special contest in 2019 starting at the March Open points contest. At the December 2019 meeting those members that met the requirements would have their names put into a "hat" and a winner would be drawn for a gift card at Hobby Proz. The members who did meet the requirements were Scott Jaworski, Mike Blohm, Frank Randall, John Tate, and Tony Humphries. Brian Peck pulled the winning name from the bucket, which was Scott Jaworski. Scott won a $100 gift card from the E-Board. Hobby Proz did contribute S20 gift cards to the other four contenders. A big "thank you" to Hobby Proz for that!


Super Raffle

The Super Raffle involved three large scale kits auctioned off separately at the December 6 meeting. These kits included: in automotive, the Revell/Germany 1/16-scale Porsche 356; in aircraft, the Hobby Boss 1/32-scale B-24J Liberator; and in armor, the Trumpeter 1/35-scale Smerch. Tickets were bought in separate kit categories at $5 each or 5 for $20. Frank Randall and Josh Pals picked the tickets from the bucket. The winner of the B-24J was Dave Vickers. The winner of the Smerch was Jim Medina. Finally, the winner of the Porsche was Tim Wood. Thanks to Josh Pals for donating the Porsche kit, Hobby Proz for donating the Smerch kit, and to an anonymous member who donated the B-24 kit. Thanks to all the members that participated in the raffle. All ticket funds went to the ASM treasury. 



Current Articles


Deadline to submit proposed ASM Newsletter articles to

Joe Walters is 10 days prior to the upcoming club meeting.

ASM E-Board Articles

Click Here for Recently Archived E-Board Articles

February 2020 Article: 

Vice President's Column

by John Tate 

What were the greatest war movies ever made? Gallipoli? Tora! Tora! Tora!? Das Boot? Saving Private Ryan? You can add a new film to that list--1917, produced, directed and co-written by Sam Mendes, whose own grandfather was a Great War veteran. Coming in at two hours, it depicts a perilous journey by a couple of WWI Tommies on an impossible mission through No Man's Land and beyond, utilizing a one-shot constant filming technique that puts the audience right in the middle of the action.

As a modeler, I was struck by the filmmakers' attention to detail--from uniform kit to a disabled Mark I tank to a distant flight of Sopwith Camels, everything was dead-on accurate. Clearly, it was important to everyone in the film to get this one right, and it shows. Combined with a great story that has plenty of action and suspense, this is a movie well worth seeing.

It is difficult to find anything to criticize about the film but if I were so inclined it would be the depiction of the Germans, who displayed generally villainous behavior throughout--it seems there was still a bit of a Great War grudge against the Hun. In reality, most of the WWI German soldiery were little different from their English and French opponents, young conscripts caught up in an insane war, and no more and no less barbaric than anyone else, although they were occupying by force land that did not belong to them, a point driven home by the film.

If you get a chance, catch this film while it's still in theaters so you can get a glimpse of what that this grim war actually might have been like. Given its financial success and groundbreaking new film technique, I hope 1917 is a harbinger of more historical war movies of this caliber in the future.



January 2020 Article: 

The Fez Returneth

Fez 2:  The Fezzening

Back to the Fez

Fez 2:  Electric Bugaloo

Episode 7:  The Fez Awakens

Well, here we are again. Somehow, I suddenly and mysteriously find myself back here once more like a fat(ter) and (more) balding Douglas MacArthur wading up the beach and shaking the kelp and small marine molluscs from my shoes. Being back in the high chair and donning the fuzzy hat is deja vu on steroids, as you can probably imagine. It's good to be back though. I think...  Anyway, what has happened since we last spoke, dear reader?

Well, the club continues to grow and thrive. Our membership has increased, and our club competitions continue to draw numerous top-quality entries. Our community involvement is also at an all-time high, with representation at many events in the area, including airshows and military balls (cough) and galas throughout the year, plus exhibits at museums and local libraries as well as our involvement in the State Fair. I think we've done as much as any club could reasonably do in promoting the hobby in a state where the tumbleweeds outnumber the people and in fact, have gone above and beyond in a number of key areas. Let's make sure that continues throughout the coming year and let's hope that the IPMS power-that-be are paying attention too.

You'll have to excuse the scraping sound here, though, as I once more drag my heavy soapbox slowly front and center across the newly waxed and shiny floor as it needs to be said once again, that if we don't get some new faces on the board in the near future, then that growth is likely to turn into a rapid decline. So please consider standing for election to a board position at the end of 2020 and don't rely on the same old people time and time again to run this club. Most, if not all of us on the board this year have been here many times before and we're getting tired and grumpy, so you young whippersnappers know what you need to do. I would love to see a situation in 2021 perhaps, where the entire board is made up of new blood and none of the positions are filled by anyone who has done this stuff before. The old hands are still going to be around for a while (terminal backache or choking to death on a Werther's Original, aside) and will be happy to advise you, wherever necessary. As long as you give us a nice soft cushion to sit on, a chance to take a nap now and again and speak to us loudly and slowly.

Anyway, back to what's been going on since I last pulled one of these articles out of the place that shall remain unspoken. As you are probably all aware, we came 1st and 2nd in the group chapter entry category at the 2018 Nationals and although we didn't enter in 2019 due to Tennessee being 2000 light-years away from here, 2020 and 2021 look very do-able and if you want to get involved in any of the proposed group builds (and we have several options) then please see myself or one of the board, and if we're not actively involved ourselves, we can certainly point you in the direction of someone who is. You'll be able to tell them apart anyway, of course, as they will be the ones giggling to themselves and arguing with the coffee-maker in the corner. We have a great record in this area (chapter entries, that is, not talking to kitchen appliances) so why not be a part of the action? Apart from that time in Colorado when they forgot to judge our entry altogether (not that we're still bitter about that, of course), we've won every time we've entered, so let's see if we can keep that going.

We are going to have some challenges in the forthcoming year, however, and it's as well to be aware of them from the get-go. The biggest problem is likely to be money. Financially, things are likely to be tight and since UNM seem to be under the impression that we're trying to buy the meeting room rather than rent it, some savings may need to be made this year. Trophies for example, may need to be simplified or reduced. They've been costing us a lot recently. One thing I definitely don't want to do is to raise membership rates, but if anyone has any fund-raising suggestions or large bags of cash hanging around that they don't need, then do please let us know. Please don't take this as a hint that we want you to go and rob Bank of America, however. I don't look good in orange (it clashes with my eyes, for a start) and you probably don't either. So let's not go there.

Anyway, despite some challenges this really could a great year for us as a club, if we apply ourselves. So let's go out there and make it happen. Let's make it productive, informative and above all, let's make it fun! Now, where did I leave that red nose...?


January 2020 Article: 

Vice President's Column

by John Tate 

Should auld acquaintance be forgot,

and never brought to mind?

Should auld acquaintance be forgot,

and auld lang syne?

As 2019 drew to a close, my thoughts turned to departed modelers who once filled the ranks of ASM and how they could be best remembered. As modelers, each of these members had a unique interest and modeling style, and left behind for the rest of us some of their built and unbuilt models. Over the years I've built or rebuilt some of these models to commemorate their modeling interests and contributions to our club.

Harry Davidson, a well-known historian of Albuquerque aviation, passed away in June 2018; at the last ASM meeting he attended, he gave away some of the old built models he had in his collection. I received from him an Aurora 1/48 DH.10 Amiens, which I rebuilt and finished in a way to capture the spirit of Golden Age modeling.

Don MacBryde, a prolific modeler who built for the sheer enjoyment of the hobby, passed away in 2013; Brian Peck organized a commemorative model build to honor him, using kits from his collection. Many ASM modelers contributed to the effort; my build was this Hasegawa 1/32 P-51D.

Don Alberts, a former ASM member, was an IPMS legend and for many years, IPMS Head Judge; he helped organize the successful 1995 Nationals here in Albuquerque. Don died in November 2010 but a few years ago, Dave Straub passed along some of his built models to me. Although Don was primarily a naval aviation modeler, he built other subjects, including this M3 Grant tank from the old Airfix 1/32 kit; I rebuilt and refinished it in a desert scheme from the El Alamein period.

I never met Alan Goodman but he was one of the founding members of our club. Alan passed away in 2004 and four years later, his daughter organized an open house sale of his kit collection, which consisted of hundreds of models from the Golden Age through the 1990s. One of the model kits I picked up was this Revell 1/28 Fokker D.VII, which I built out-of-the-box.

If you have a model kit that originated from one of our departed members, give a thought to building it in the coming year, to commemorate their contributions and continue the legacy of craftsmanship and scale modeling enjoyment they worked so hard to instill. For scale modelers, there can be no finer salute than a finished model.

Spider_web (2).jpg (150780 bytes) Webmaster's Tales

By Mike Blohm, ASM Webmaster

Spider_web.jpg (89398 bytes)

The ASM Website has completed its changeover to 2020.  All of the "yearly" web pages (model pics, meeting pics, modeler of the year, and model of the year) have been created and populated with the pictures and information for 2020.  All these pages are updated through the February 2020 meeting at this time.  The 2020 pages have links to last year's info and to previous years, often going back to 2004.  Note that selecting any of the button at the top of the 2020 pages will take you to other 2020 web pages.  If you are on previous year's pages (for example 2018 Model Pics) selecting a "year" web page will take you to that same year's pages.  Note that selecting the Home Page will always get you back to the Home Page.  

Some reminders about the ASM website:

The “Marquee Banner” that scrolls across the top of the Home Page will always have the latest info on club activities – contests, events and speakers for the upcoming month, notice that new schedules and Newsletters have been posted, and whether an event has been postponed – so always check that out first when you visit the ASM website.  If the weather looks bad enough that the meeting might be cancelled - check that banner before you drive to the meeting.  We did use it once in 2011 when a meeting was cancelled by UNM due to a snow storm (all campus buildings were closed).  There will probably also be an audio alert (beeping sounds) that will go off when the page initially comes up if a meeting has been cancelled. 

There is an  "ASM Review Articles"  page listed in the "Index" at the top of the Articles Page.  There is also a link on the Home Page.  This page is an archive of all previous review articles authored by ASM members - it has links to different sections of the page based upon the review topic - aircraft, armor, automotive, books, etc.  Please take the time to write up a short blurb if you are building a new kit and submit that and some in-progress / final pics to the website and ASM Newsletter. 

There is also a "NM State Fair Model Contests" page listed in the "Index" at the top of the Articles Page.  It also has a link on the Home Page. This page includes links to separate  NM State Fair contest resuls pages from 2005 to 2019.  It also includes all the Section and Class entry criteria.  Current year information will be posted as soon as it is available.  Read through this information to learn what models you should be thinking about entering in 2020.  Note that ASM Master and Intermediate modelers are asked to enter in the "Professional" Class.  Please note that there is also a link in the  that will take you to the actual NM State Fair site. 

ASM Newsletters are available on the website going back to January 2004. 

We have other webpages going Way-Back to: Model Pics - 2006; Meeting Pics - 2005; Contest Results - 2003; Modeler of Year - 2003; Model of Year - 2005.

The “New and Potential ASM Members” web page has all the info that new and prospective members need to review to understand how ASM is set up and the policies that govern club operations – the By Laws, Contest Guidelines, etc.  The link to the New Member page is on the Home Page.  Both new members and “old heads” should review these documents every so often. 

Some of the links on the "Website Updates" page back to older article postings no longer work .  If you cannot find an older article mentioned in the Website Update listings, it would be best to check the "Archived Articles" page as it was probably moved to that location.  Articles moved to the Archives are always posted at the top of that page, so the most recently removed articles will be found at the top of the page.  Scroll down to go back in time - the ASM Time Machine. Note that the Archives were broken up into three sections (dates are listed) due to the amount of articles being archived.  Note that most articles get posted in two locations, so they should be available after they get removed from the Articles webpage.  For example, trip reports get posted on both the Articles webpage and the Field Trips webpage.  Review articles get posted to the ASM Reviews webpage and the Articles webpage. 

As always, let me know if you have any ideas for changes or additions to the website, and please send me any articles, reviews, or trip reports with pictures that you’d like to post on the website - and also send your inputs to Joe Walters if you'd like your article  included in the  the Newsletter as well.    Thanks!

Website of the Year!

by Joe Walters, ASM Newsletter Editor

On July 24, Region 10 Coordinator Mike Mackowski announced the 2018 award winners, and once again Mike Blohm was named Webmaster of the Year!  From Mackowski’s announcement:

Mike Blohm (from Albuquerque Scale Modelers) is the R10 Webmaster of the Year for 2018. Albuquerque’s site is very comprehensive, easy to navigate, promotes IPMS/USA on the main page, and has a specific page for people new to the hobby. Their self-nomination essay is attached and is very detailed.

Citation: For producing a sharp, easy to use, well organized website with useful and timely content including ready links to IPMS/USA.

Chapter of the Year was awarded to IPMS Craig Hewitt Chapter, which, considering they hosted the Nationals last year, was certainly well deserved!

Newsletter of the Year went to The Corsair, news­letter of the same chapter, an excellent and deserving publication. Interestingly, Mackowski’s text for this award included “The Corsair consistently has quality content, including kit reviews and modeling tips without padding it with content that is better suited to a website.” Wonder what he’s talking about there.

[NB: This newsletter is not eligible for that award, as this Regional Coordinator made it a rule that only newsletters edited by IPMS members are eligible, and I’m not a member. -JW]

Congratulations, Mike! Best. Website. Ever.


ASM Member Articles


Kit Review

1/350 USS Indianapolis by Academy/MRC

 By Mark Vaughn


Before we lost Harry Davidson, I built a 1/350 USS Indianapolis to commemorate his cousin from Clovis who was lost when it was torpedoed by a Japanese submarine. There is a recent movie that covers that event. Harry wanted the model for display in Clovis, so this was built straight out of the box as a museum display piece.

While I was thinking more of an old Revell type kit, this one has about 500 parts, many smaller than a grain of rice! Of course, I got the photoetch railings too. At first, I did not believe the color scheme. She was fresh out of a refit, new paint, with dark blue decks and a dark blue lower hull stripe with the accustomed gray upper vertical surfaces. This free build was starting to get serious!

As I usually do, I carefully fitted a piece of basswood along the keel with slow curing epoxy. I have heard tales of molten polystyrene using the fast curing variety. I have certainly melted plastic mixing bowls with it. Since I wasn't using the (spindly, almost useless) kit stand, but rather a wooden base supplied by someone else (with little varnishing skill), it was necessary to provide wood or something like it internally for screws. Like weight in the nose of aircraft, it's easy to forget this (ask me how I know). I turned some brass pedestals on the minilathe. I had a local awards outfit make a nameplate.


There were a few kit criticisms. The radar antenna was solid which I faked as best I could with dry-brushing. Also, the crane was solid, and again, I did my best to make gray "openings." This seemed absurd to me, since the catapult was detailed. I made a few replacement parts on the lathe, either because the plastic ones were too spindly or were lost in the carpet. There are a few cockeyed parts in the masts that should have been remade. One thing I like to do on portholes is use a mechanical pencil and rub in "glass". The graphite does a good job of darkening while giving the portholes a little gloss. I used G-S Hypo Cement to attach the photoetch railings. Tackier than CA with a longer pot life, I find it easier to use with the hypodermic needle applicator it comes with. And you can’t glue your fingers together with it.

I debated with myself whether there should be an ensign, but since it was torpedoed at night, decided against it. They never seem to look right anyway to my eye. I didn't rig the superstructure as, at 1/350, a one-inch cable is invisible at three mils. What I remember most about this build are the disagreements with Harry about colors. Fortunately, there are online refit photos showing the color scheme, particularly the coloration of the raft floor webbing. In the end, Harry (and the museum in Clovis) were pleased.



USS Bataan and the Cavalcade of Wings

 By Mark Vaughn

Albuquerque Scale Modelers (ASM), the local IPMS chapter, supports the Cavalcade of Wings both monetarily and through the efforts of some of the members. In and after 2012, for the New Mexico centennial, CoW and some IPMS members built a series of models of World War II US Navy ships named for New Mexico places and other New Mexico themes for display in museums across New Mexico. One of these is the USS Bataan, LHD-5, named for the infamous death march that so many New Mexicans from the 200th and 515th Coast Artillery Regiment were a part of. The kit chosen was MRC/Gallery 1/350 scale Wasp/Iwo Jima, with decal mods as needed. This kit has about 1500 parts.

I "inherited" the kit partially assembled by Larry Niederman. The budget was expended and the US Naval Academy Alumni Association sponsors were impatient. While Larry builds exquisite aircraft models, he had been talked into doing this ship without knowing the magnitude of the kit by Harry Davidson. Harry volunteered me to finish it. Assume the good parts are Larry's and the rest mine.

Since the ship is an amphibious assault ship with a lot of otherwise invisible landing craft, it was decided to show its payloads as if it was in drydock. The wood balks are quite out of scale, but I went ahead and used the base as I received it. There were no complaints from the client. Indeed, they liked the presentation. Go figure.


Since my ship models usually have masts and sails, I had not used photoetch railings before. After a bit of experimentation, I found that G-S Hypo Watch Crystal Cement was easier to use than CA or other adhesives (since, I have found that tacking them in place with a few dots of PSA, followed with CA from a glue looper, works nearly as well).

The oohs and aahs of museum visitors over the railings made it worth the time. The model is on display at the New Mexico Military Museum in Santa Fe.

Webmaster's Note:  Click here for additional articles on ASM's support to the New Mexico Named Ships Project



ASM Model Displays in 2019

 By Mike Blohm

This article is a summary of the five model displays conducted by ASM during 2019, and a thank you to everyone that participated in the displays and/or contributed models. Our goals with the displays were to promote the hobby of scale modeling, to let the public know that Albuquerque has an active model club, and to perhaps gain some new members. All the displays turned out to be highly successful. Descriptions of the display and pictures are included below. More detailed stories and additional pictures are available below on this ASM 2019 Meeting Pictures webpage:

Our first 2019 display was at the Albuquerque South Broadway Cultural Center and Library and it ran the entire month of February. The theme was "What is Scale Modeling" and we had 79 models in three display cases. We also put on a Make & Take on February 9 in conjunction with the display.


Our second display was at the Kirtland Air Force Base "Air and Space Fiesta" airshow on May 18. We had five tables with 77 models at the event. The theme was the "History of the USAF" with some Real Space and Theoretical Space thrown in due to the theme of the air show. We were located in the center of the Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math (STEM) and Space Pavilion hangar, and the estimated crowd that flowed through the hangar that day was 30,000 people. Airshows are where we get max exposure of the hobby, and the people really loved the models.


Our next model display supported the 50th Anniversary of the Apollo 11 Moon Landing event at the National Museum of Nuclear Science and History. The museum was running the film "The Day We Walked on the Moon" three times on Saturday, July 20, simultaneously with other Smithsonian-related museums across America. The museum also had Apollo Program artifacts from their collection on display for the duration of the event. The ASM model display had a total of sixteen models and ran from mid July through mid September. It included eleven Real Space models from the American space program and five Theoretical Space models from the 1950s.


Our annual model display at the 2019 New Mexico State Fair on September 5 - 15 had the theme "1939 - 80th Anniversary of the Beginning Of World War II." We filled one case with 36 models. The conflicts of 1939 covered by the display included the Invasion of Poland, the Winter War (Russia versus Finland), the Khalkhin Gol/Nomonhan Incident (Russia versus Japan), and the second Sino-Japanese War (China versus Japan). A more detailed article on the "1939" display will be published in the February ASM Newsletter. As of January 2020, the 2020 ASM display theme will be "70th Anniversary of the Korean War" with models from anytime during the war (June 1950 - July 1953).


The final 2019 model display was at the 2019 Air Force Ball held at Kirtland Air Force Base on September 21. The event celebrated the 72nd birthday of the USAF as well as the 75th anniversary of the D-Day invasion on June 6, 1944. ASM had two large tables totaling 76 models with one containing 45 "History of the USAF" models from the Korean War through the present, and the second containing 31 "D-Day landing" models.


ASM did not conduct a model display this year at the Folds of Honor New Mexico's "Red, White, and Blue Celebration Dinner" fund-raising event on September 23. The 2019 event was held at a small venue and they did not have space for our normal display. ASM did contribute a 1/48-scale A-10 Thunderbolt model for the auction, which sold for $150, and they appreciated that very much. They do want ASM to put on a display at their 2020 event. So please work on some models that could be used in that display. We currently need modern armor and naval subjects (ships and submarines).




Ken's Armor Files

Stowage on Modern US Armored Vehicles

By Ken Piniak

One topic that gets even the experts is all of the gear that is stowed on modern US armored vehicles. Beginning especially with all the media coverage of Operation Desert Shield/Storm (ODS), people were amazed by the shear amount of stuff carried in and on US vehicles. Often this is referred to as "extra stowage" or "extra gear." It is not "extra" anything; it is just gear, and mostly required gear. So here I will go over just what all that gear is, and how to model it on a vehicle. This information is most relevant to vehicles used during the Cold War, ODS, and the initial invasion of Iraq in Operation Iraqi Freedom (OIF). It is also relevant to vehicles deployed to the National Training Center (NTC) at Ft. Irwin, vehicles deployed on REFORGER, and those in South Korea. During Vietnam and many of the actions in OIF vehicles operated out of base camps, and carried very little gear with them, so much of the personal gear would not be present. The gear carried on a vehicle can be broken down into two main types; gear required by the crew/personnel, and gear required to operate the vehicle. Let's take a look at the gear for the crew.


Bradley covered
with gear
Bradleys with
M1 Tanks M1 Tank

Throughout the Cold War and beyond, heavy mechanized units were expected to operate, in combat, for at least three to four days without resupply. Therefore, they had to carry everything they needed to survive with them. Exactly what was carried, and where, varied by unit; and was covered by the unit Standing Operating Procedure (SOP). Although these varied from unit to unit, the basics are all the same. Also, these amounts are required minimums; you could always carry more (and we often did). Each soldier carried/wore their basic combat gear: one full uniform, helmet, flak vest, web gear, gas mask, and weapon. Everything else was divided up into three bags: A bag, B bag, and C bag.

Living on
the tank
Duffle bags
and water
Model tank with
duffle bags
and rucksacks
M60A1 tank with
Camo net on turret
and pole bag on side

The A bag was carried by the soldier, and went with him. Usually the rucksack, sometimes a duffle bag, it contained at least one fresh uniform, socks, and underwear, toiletry items, a sleeping bag, and anything else that a soldier would need right away. The B bag, usually a duffle bag, carried another uniform, boots, more socks and underwear, along with the field gear that was expected to be needed very quickly. This usually included cold weather gear and wet weather gear. The B bag should travel with the soldier, but may be transported separately and get to the soldier later. The C bag, the last duffle bag, contained another uniform, socks, and underwear, and the rest of the issued field gear. This bag was often transported separately from the soldier and delivered to him when needed/available.

All this means that for every soldier on a vehicle, you have one rucksack and two duffle bags. A tank has a crew of four, a Cavalry Bradley five, I believe an M113 carried ten, and an Infantry Bradley nine. At three bags per crewman, that gives you twelve to eighteen bags of required personal gear carried on a vehicle. Additionally, in ODS, we were not allowed to sleep on the ground and were issued cots. So add four to nine cots to the vehicle. The crew has to eat. Assuming three meals a day, one case of MREs will feed a soldier for four days. So add four to nine cases of MREs to the load. The crew also needs water, so add at least one five-gallon can of water to the vehicle. In ODS and OIF, cases of bottled water were often carried. Many units also began to issue insulated 1 gallon water jugs and ice chests. These were regular civilian items, and came in a variety of colors. In ODS we carried extra canteens; usually two, one quart canteens on the web belt, and an additional two-quart canteen. In OIF, they carried a camelback water container on their back or inside their body armor or rucksack. That covers the required gear for the crew.

Model Bradley with
full bustle rack
Water, MREs,
oil can
Gear on rear Model M60A1 with
pole bag on side
of turret
M60A1 tank in
Germany with
camo net

The vehicles themselves need maintenance and repairs. They carry tools, equipment and supplies to keep them operating. What has to carried, and where it goes, is covered by the vehicle Basic Issue Items (BII) list in the vehicle Operators Manual or Technical Manual (TM) and unit SOP. Some unit SOPs are pretty generic; they might state that a tank must carry one spare road wheel and two spare track blocks mounted on the turret. Others can be more specific; i.e., one spare road wheel will be mounted to the left side of the bustle rack and two spare track blocks will be mounted to the right side of the turret in front of the bustle rack. Most SOPs require at least one spare road wheel, track blocks, and other parts to fix broken tracks and road wheels. They also have at least one five-gallon can of oil for the engine, and one for the transmission. Additionally, Bradleys, M 113s, M 577s, Humvees, and most wheeled vehicles need water for the radiator, so add another five-gallon water can. And lastly, most vehicles were required to carry a camouflage system consisting of one net (in bag) and one support bag of poles and spreaders. Every vehicle also comes with one tarpaulin (tarp). Many units specify the use of additional stowage containers. The 20mm ammo boxes often seen mounted on the back of tank bustle racks are a good example of this.

Where a vehicle is can also dictate some gear stowage. German law requires tactical vehicles to be equipped with a rotating or flashing "whoopee light" to alert civilian traffic. This is usually mounted on top of the vehicle or on the rear. Vehicles involved in training exercises or deployed to the NTC are equipped with Multiple Integrated Laser Engagement System (MILES) gear which includes firing simulators and a "kill light" that looks similar, but is different from, the whoopee light. Vehicles involved in REFORGER or other exercises have a blue or orange panel mounted on the side or turret to show what "side" they are on. Vehicles in REFORGER can have all of these at once!

Finally, if a unit is involved in combat operations, it will be packed full of ammunition (ammo). Most of the ammo is packed in specified racks or bins; but extra ammo can be carried on the outside of the vehicle. In ODS, we carried lots of extra ammo, especially for the machine guns.

At this point, a vehicle is pretty well covered with gear, all of which is required by SOP. This does not include any extra personal gear, comfort gear, or war trophies. And if you have ever looked inside of an armored vehicle, you know that there is very little room in it, so all this stuff gets piled on top or hung along the sides. So now you know why US armored vehicles are covered with so much "extra" gear.

Legend camo
Early M1 with
Whoopee light
on rear fender
M3 Bradley
ammo stowage
Bradley gear Model Bradley
ammo stowage
Model Bradley

So now how do you model all this stuff? Back in the 1970s-80s, there was very little gear available, either from the major model manufacturers or the aftermarket. If you wanted to add any gear, you had to make it yourself from epoxy putty or tissue paper soaked in diluted white glue. Today there is literally tons of gear available. Major manufacturers (AFV Club, Tamiya, Academy, Meng, Rye Field, Trumpeter, etc.) provide lots of stowage gear with their kits, or as accessory sets. Aftermarket companies (CMK, Verlinden, Legend, DEF Model, Plus Model, etc.) provide gear in resin, photoetch metal, paper, and other materials. The quality of most of these items can be great, but be careful. They do get some things wrong (Note: specific manufacturers and items listed here are simply ones that I have used or know of, it is not intended to be a complete or all-inclusive listing).

Tamiya, especially, often has you just glue items to the side of the turret or hull of a vehicle, with no indication of how it is actually attached. In real life, everything should be securely attached to the vehicle, or it will come off and get lost. Most items are attached using straps and tie-down loops (sometimes called footman loops). Other items are strapped to guards, hand rails, antenna mounts, lifting eyes, or something. During ODS, many US units created improvised tie-down points on the sides of their Bradleys; often using straps and the bolts on the armor plates. After ODS, the US Army added tie-down points to the sides of Bradley fighting vehicles and an additional bustle rack to the turret of M1 tanks to better handle all this gear. In the beginning of OIF, some Bradleys had locally-fabricated racks mounted to the sides of the vehicles. Several companies model these, including Legend and Verlinden.


Duffle bag strapped
to vehicle
War trophy portrait
of Saddam
Model with all gear
strapped or tied down
M1 with additional
bustle rack
M60A3 with tarp
covering additional
bustle rack
Model tank with
tarp covering
bustle rack
Tank under

Sometimes, crews will remove the camouflage net from its bag and place it on the vehicle. Italeri included this in their M-163A1 Vulcan, but it is pretty crappy. Legend does a nice version in resin; AVF Club and DEF Model have the material in a thin plastic. One trick US tank crews like to do is use the vehicle's tarp to cover the gear stowed in the bustle rack to protect it from rain, snow, and mud. Some aftermarket companies, especially Verlinden, use a lot of "random" tarps and tent rolls to fill space when they don't know what to put there. As I explained earlier, there is no "random" anything, every item has its purpose.

There are, of course, exceptions to everything. If you have a photo of a vehicle that shows something different, go ahead and build it.


Trip Report - USS Wisconsin

 By Lloyd Powell

Click here for trip report pdf file


ASM Builds Model for 2019 Folds of Honor Event

 By Mike Blohm

The Albuquerque Scale Modelers club provided a 1/48 scale A-10A Thunderbolt II "Warthog" model for the auction at the Folds of Honor New Mexico's "Red, White, and Blue Celebration Dinner" fund-raising event held on September 23, 2019, at the Tanoan Country Club in Albuquerque. The Folds of Honor Foundation provides scholarships and other assistance to the spouses and children of soldiers killed or disabled in service to our country. The model was built by Mike Blohm. The Monogram model kit was donated by Brian Peck. The Folds of Honor was very appreciative of our donation and thanked us for again contributing models for their auction. ASM had two F-16 models for their 2018 event.

The model was built as an A-10A of the 78th Fighter Squadron "Flying Tigers" of the 23rd Fighter Group while assigned to the 332nd Air Expeditionary Group at Jacobabad, Pakistan, in March 2002. The scheme was from the Print Scale 48-073 A-10 Thunderbolt II decal sheet. The kit came with decals for a warthog-faced A-10 of the 47th Tactical Fighter Squadron of the 917th Tactical Fighter Group, Air Force Reserve in a Europe 1 paint scheme (two greens and one gray). However, I wanted to build a three grays scheme with the colorful shark mouth used by the 23rd Fighter Group Flying Tigers, as that would be more appealing to any potential bidders on the model.

The kit was built out of the box other than the decals. It is an older kit with raised panel lines, and a lot of fit problems that required sanding. The 1/48 scale kit is pretty huge. I usually build 1/72 scale aircraft, and the A-10 was bigger than a B-17 model in 1/72.  It probably had more parts. too. To avoid it being a tail-sitter, I loaded the front of the fuselage below the cockpit with modeling clay holding a lot of fish sinkers--as much as I thought the narrow nose gear would hold. To my dismay, the model sat back on its tail after I had everything put together. The kit does come with a clear plastic "support stand" that I had not wanted to use, but did use in the end. It is way back by the tail and is pretty unnoticeable. I used a whole lot of Master Model Light Ghost Gray (FS36375) and Dark Ghost Gray (FS36320) to paint it. What I really would have liked was a decal or a template for the fake canopy on the underside of the nose that is in Gunship Gray (FS36118). I ended up drawing the outline of that in pencil and then painting it on. I was surprised at how well that came out. Building the ordnance took a long time. I built six CBU-71 canisters (that is the closest thing the pieces match to), four AGM-65 Mavericks and two LAU-88 triple rail launchers, and an ALQ-119 ECM pod. Getting all those attached to the pylons was a major pain.

The base for the model is a large 18 x 20 picture frame. I inserted a thick grey-colored mat under the glass that looked like an aircraft parking ramp, and had a 3 x 4 inch metal plate built with the appropriate wording about the model. That plate and a smaller plate stating "Model by Albuquerque Scale Modelers" were then attached by double-sided tape onto the glass.

The A-10 model sold for $150 in the auction. The winner donated it to the nine-year-old son of one of the scholarship recipients at the dinner. The boy is a special needs child who is "all about airplanes."  So the model is going to a good home. The 2020 Folds of Honor event will be held at a larger venue, and they do want ASM to put on a large model display for that event. So start building for that!





ASM Model Display at the 2019 Air Force Ball

 By Mike Blohm

The ASM model display at the 2019 Air Force Ball went very well. The event, held on Saturday, September 21, at Kirtland AFB, celebrated the 72nd birthday of the USAF as well as the 75th anniversary of the D-Day invasion on June 6, 1944. ASM had planned to have three tables in three different rooms on which to display models, but we ended up with just two. One was in the main room where the festivities took place. It was decorated in a USO theme with lots of camouflage netting and we set up 31 D-Day-related models there. The other table was located in the entryway into the club where the attendees checked in. We ended up closely-packing 45 models on that table, covering the Korean War, Viet Nam, Air Defense Command, and Operations Desert Storm, Enduring Freedom, and Inherent Resolve. We brought 23 tubs of models but due to the space limitations not all were put out on the tables. We did have a total of 76 models on the two tables.

Lots of people stopped by and asked questions about the models and we were thanked for putting on the display. Ken Piniak wore a World War II tanker uniform complete with pistol and submachine gun, so he got lots of questions. Thanks to the following ASM members for setting up and manning the tables during the event: Josh Pals, Frank Randall, Ken Piniak, and Matt and Mike Blohm. Thanks also to John Tate for dropping by with his models and helping with the set up. Thanks to the following people who loaned models for the display: Glenn Bingham, Tony Humphries, Keith Liotta, Larry Glenn, Steve Brodeur, Jim Medina, Len Faulconer, Dave Tingley, John Tate, Josh Pals, Frank Randall, Ken Piniak, and Mike Blohm.





Field Trip - Commemorative Air Force

by Lloyd Powell

I went out to the Commemorative Air Force open house on August 10 at the Moriarty Municipal Airport. Worth the trip. Here are a few photos







Kit Review

 Dragon's Apollo 11 "Lunar Approach"
Columbia" + LM "Eagle"

 By Mike Blohm

This review is on the Dragon 1/72 scale kit Apollo 11 "Lunar Approach" (11001) that depicts the Command Service Module (CSM) "Columbia" and the stowed Lunar Module (LM) "Eagle" connected and enroute to the Moon.  This model was constructed to be part of the ASM model display that supported the 50th Anniversary of the Apollo 11 Moon Landing event at the National Museum of Nuclear Science and History here in Albuquerque.  We had 16 models in that display, including the LM "Eagle" in 1/48 scale and a Lunar Roving Vehicle in 1/32 scale, but we did not have a model of the CSM "Columbia."  This "Lunar Approach" kit would fill that missing element.  The big challenge was to get it done in time for the all-day event at the museum on July 20th, the anniversary date.  The build started on Saturday, July 13th, which was three days prior to the Apollo 11 launch, 50 years ago.  My "race to the Moon" was to get the model done and on display at the museum before Apollo 11 got to the Moon.  The completion target date was Thursday, July 18th.  This review includes a kit overview and sections on model assembly, model painting, decaling, and the final assembly. 

Kit Overview.  The model comes in a large box and has 11 different sprues consisting of 165 parts, many of which go unused (picture 1)  There is a similar Dragon kit "Apollo 11 - Lunar Landing" (11002) that depicts the LM sitting on the Moon while the CSM soars above, so it looks like a lot of the parts in the Lunar Approach kit box are for that other "on the Moon" kit.  And that leads to a lot of confusion in trying to build this model.  Overall, this is a great model and it has a lot of clever engineering on where the sprue attachment points are and how the parts fit together to eliminate the chances for gaps.  However, this great kit is totally let down by very inadequate instructions.  It should have been a booklet of steps showing how the parts should fit together and be painted.  Instead, it is a single sheet of paper that folds into four sections--one and a half cover the CSM and one and a half cover the LM (see 2 and 3).  The fourth section shows the layout of the parts on the sprues.  It took a lot of dry fitting and looking at pictures of the real articles to figure out where the parts should go, what angle they should be at, etc.  Of note, there are no pictures of what the real LM looked like when it was stowed and attached to the CSM on the way to the Moon (think about it). 

1     2     3

Additionally, some of the diagrams on the instructions are incorrect or missing steps, such as attaching the folded parts of the legs and the lower parts of the legs with the landing pads.  They leave out that one of these lower legs should have the ladder attached (where Neil Armstrong climbed out of the LM)--they instead depict four legs and no ladder.  Remember all those extra parts?  Yes, there are four legs without a ladder.  So after dutifully following the instructions and being at a later step, I realize "hey, there's supposed to be ladder on one of these."  So I had to go back and figure out which one needed the ladder.  And the ladder is actually part of one of the other lower legs, and not something you glue onto the legs.  Since I had super-glued it originally, I had a fun time disassembling one of the leg combos.  And since I was racing the clock, this was not an appreciated side-track. 

Model Assembly.  Most of the parts are attached to the sprues so that they can be easily cut off and needed minimal sanding to smooth out.  Some exceptions were the grip handles that attached onto the outside of the CSM.  They also needed to fit into tiny holes at an angle on the capsule, and those took a lot of work (4).  The Service Module (SM) parts did not fit together well.  I wrote their part numbers on the inside of the pieces with a marker so that I could keep track of them as I glued them together.  How they should attach to two inner support rings is a bit nebulous in the instructions, so you have to sort out which should be glued first and what goes next. (5)  I did use some gap-filling super glue and rubber bands to keep the pressure on and hold it all together.  Step 3 on the instructions includes installing six struts onto the top bulkhead of the SM where the capsule will fit, apparently to cushion it when it is installed (6).  More on this later (foreshadowing...).  The multitude of thruster units come with two nozzles installed and two to be glued onto the unit.  I painted them but left them off until near the end of the build.  It looked easier to first glue the units in place, and then glue the loose nozzles on, which turned out to be the best way to do it.  The SM's rocket engine nozzle was left off until the very end as well (7) 

4     5     6     7

The LM is a pretty straightforward build.  The top section was built first followed by the lower section.  These were kept separate until the very end.  The gold-colored parts of the LM's lower section were painted while they were still attached to the sprues.  More on that below.  I left off all the antennas and thrusters until the end of the LM build.  The LM legs are molded as simulated gold foil.  This looks great when painted, but the connection points for the parts (flat areas for gluing) are not prominent and getting things attached was difficult.  I used a lot of super-glue in these areas.  Luckily most of the attachment points are obscured behind the legs.  I already mentioned the problem with the "missing ladder."  The LM has two rocket engine nozzles.  The top nozzle was no problem.  For the bottom engine, the connection (peg) part at the top of the nozzle did not fit into the slot provided, and I had to cut off part of it and do some workarounds with super-glue to get it into place.  With the completion of the capsule and SM and the two sections of the LM, I was ready to start the painting.

Model Painting.  Painting the kit was a challenge for several reasons.  The non-existent instruction book should have covered the paint scheme in detail.  What you do have is 16 diagrams on the bottom of the box (see picture 8 and 9).  These are not bad, but they need to be about five times bigger.  The paint scheme is the four sides of the CSM (in 90 degree sections), left to right as if you would spin it.  The LM is eight similar diagrams of the upper and lower sections in the 90 degree sections.  Lastly, there are two diagrams of the LM's top section and two diagrams of the LM's lower section, looking straight down from above and straight up from below.  So your challenge includes keeping your spins all lined up as you paint the CSM and LM.  I again used a lot of pictures of the real articles to cross-check the paint scheme.  Be aware that the LMs on the Lunar missions were not all painted the same.  And don't necessarily believe the captions on the pictures.  For example, I found one titled "the Apollo11 LM" and noticed there was a Lunar Roving Vehicle parked next to it.  Those were used on Apollo 15, 16, and 17.  So beware; however, it was on the internet, so it must be true (10). 

8     9     10

Here is a listing of the colors that I used and the painting sequence.  Airbrush painting was used except where noted.  The capsule was painted Model Master (MM) Aluminum Plate - Buffing Metalizer.  Sections of the SM were painted first with MM RLM 21 White.  Those were taped off with Tamiya Tape and the rest of the SM was then painted with the MM Aluminum Plate - Buffing Metalizer (11 and 12).  The raised middle section of the SM's bottom was painted MM Magnesium.  For the outside of the SM engine nozzle, the top half was MM Titanium Buffing Metalizer, with the lower half MM Exhaust Buffing Metalizer.  The entire inside of the nozzle was painted MM Burnt Metal, as that had been fired to get them headed to the Moon. 

11      12     13     14     15

Before assembly of the lower section of the LM, the gold-colored parts had been sprayed with Tamiya Gold from the spray can while they were still on the sprue (13).  I found it easy to touch up the gold where it was "crinkled foil."  The areas that remained gold were taped off and MM Flat Black was painted over the rest of it (14 and 15).  References need to be checked closely for this.  The gold and black are not alternating colors around the sides.  I had to stick a piece of tape with "Gold" written on it for one side to make sure that I did not screw that up. 

16     17     18     19

For the top half of the LM, I debated about which color to paint first, the MM Aluminum Plate - Buffing Metalizer or the MM Flat Black, as taping would be involved.  I elected to do the aluminum first and tape those edges before the black was applied (16-18).  It was a back and forth re-spray due to some overspray and marring of the aluminum from handling it.  The slightly rubbed edges on the black areas revealed aluminum underneath, which looked good.  The two engine nozzles of the LM were both painted MM Exhaust Buffing Metalizer inside and out, as they had not yet been fired.  The major sub-assemblies--LM legs not yet attached--are shown in picture 19.  After all the CSM and LM sections were painted, the thrusters and the antenna were attached (21).

 Decaling.  The 16 diagrams on the bottom of the box also double as the decal instructions.  Again, much too small for easy use, and some of the decal numbers are incorrect as to what is on the decal sheet.  Looking at the sheet was disheartening at first due to the sheer number of decals, but it turned out that a lot were "spares" and were not used (20-25).  There are some very tiny "one word" decals for the CSM that I left off, as trying to put them on was marring the finish.  I had to use a magnifying glass to determine if some were oriented correctly.  The small pictures on the box were not much help there - it showed where they went, but not how they should be placed. 

20     21     22     23     24     25

Final Assembly.  With all the separate parts completed it was time to hook them all together (21).  The first problem encountered here was attaching the capsule to the top of the SM.  Remember that foreshadowing?  The capsule is mounted onto a post sticking vertically out of the SM's upper bulkhead (6-7).  This is not shown in the instructions.  However, when this is done the outer edge of capsule did not seat flush against the top lip of the SM.  Part of the problem was those six struts sticking up, preventing it from pressing down far enough.  I bent those over and out of the way, but the capsule edge was still a bit too high and not flush with the SM.  I ended up shaving a bit off that vertical post and then using super-glue around the lip of the SM to hold the capsule securely in place.  If I build this kit again, I would leave all those struts off completely and shave off the two small support pieces that are around the base of that vertical post.  Those seemed to prevent the capsule from seating at the proper height.  All this screwing around with mounting the capsule marred the finish a bit, so more re-painting was required.  The next step was securing the CSM to the display base.  The base is made up of a flat horizontal lower section and a vertical arm that are screwed together (26-28).  There is a plug that is supposed to be inserted into the side of the CSM that the vertical arm of the base is supposed to slide over.  This is another problem area of the instructions, in that it does not mention opening a hole for the plug before the SM is put together.  I did locate that spot and used an exacto blade to open it.  How to insert the plug through the hole in the vertical arm and into the SM is also nebulous--which way it goes--and I screwed that up, and while attempting to remedy that the plug fell apart.  At that point I went to basic engineering and found a wood screw that fit through the hole in the vertical arm and screwed it into the SM.  That worked just fine. (Chris Kraft and Gene Kranz would have been proud.)  When I connected the assembled LM onto the rod protruding from the tip of the CSM, I discovered that the model was front heavy and the base was very likely to tip over.  So I used modeling clay and a lot of fish sinker weights at the back end of the base to balance it out.  I printed out a small Apollo 11 mission patch and stuck that onto the horizontal part of the base.  The last item added was the photo-etched antenna array (four circular dishes) that attaches to the aft end of the CSM.  The problems encountered with attaching the capsule and the base resulted in a slight half-day slip of the projected completion date. 

26      27     28     29     30     31     32

In summary, this is a great looking model when it is finally completed, but it has its challenges along the way.  The big failing is the very inadequate instructions.  A better detailed set would have made this a much easier build.  I had wanted to get an Apollo 11 model built for the 50th anniversary of the first lunar landing, and getting it completed for the ASM model display at the National Museum of Nuclear Science and History was a very good reason to get it done.  I did get it there the morning of July 19th, before the Apollo 11 crew entered lunar orbit 50 years ago, so I did win that race.  And yes, I would build another of these kits.  The next one will be that "on the Moon" version, which looks to be reissued by Dragon in the near future.  An article on the ASM Apollo 11 Anniversary Model Display (pics 33-35) can be found on the ASM Website at:

33     34     35


ASM Model Display Supports Apollo 11 Lunar Landing Anniversary

Event at the National Museum of Nuclear Science & History

By Mike Blohm


The Albuquerque Scale Modelers (ASM) club provided a model display to support a 50th Anniversary of the Apollo 11 Moon Landing event at the National Museum of Nuclear Science and History.  The museum was running the film "The Day We Walked on the Moon" three times on Saturday, July 20th, simultaneously with other Smithsonian-related museums across America.  The museum also had Apollo Program artifacts from their collection on display for the duration of the event.  The ASM model display was set up at the museum on July 15th and 16th, and has a total of 16 models.  Eleven are Real Space models, and five are Theoretical Space models from the designs of the late 1950's and early 1960's.  See pictures below.  We have two models from Apollo 11 - the Command Service Module Columbia and docked Lunar Module (LM) approaching the Moon in 1/72 scale, and the Lunar Module Eagle in 1/48 scale; and one model from Apollo 17 - the Lunar Roving Vehicle (LRV) in 1/35 scale.  There are also models representing the X-15 program, Project Mercury (Mercury-Redstone 3 - Alan Shepard), Project Gemini (Gemini 3 - Gus Grissom and John Young), and the Space Shuttle program (Challenger), along with an astronaut with Manned Maneuvering Unit (MMU), a V-2 rocket, the Vanguard TV-4 satellite launch vehicle, and a Soyuz space capsule.  Theoretical Space models include the Lunar Lander Concept Design by Dr. Wernher von Braun, 3 Stage Ferry Rocket and Retriever Rocket from Colliers Magazine, the Nuclear Exploratory Vehicle design for a nucler-powered spaceship, and the Mars Liner from the Disneyland Rocket to the Moon exhibit.


We had five vertically-standing rockets that would have been nice to display, including three from the July 12th "Man In Space" contest, but unfortunately the display case provided to ASM would not accommodate those taller models.  The Space Shuttle Challenger with boosters and central tank was displayed laying on its "belly" instead of standing up on the crawler-transporter, to provide a complete set of all the NASA manned space programs.  We had a short time to pull this all together but it turned out very nice.  Jim Walther, the museum director, mentioned to me that "it was good to have models from the model club back in the museum again."  Hopefully ASM will be able to support future museum programs as well.  Because the display lacked an Apollo command module, the "Apollo 11 Lunar Approach" model was started on Saturday, July 13th and the build "raced" Apollo 11 to the moon.  The model was completed and delivered to the museum on Friday, July 19th as the real Apollo 11 went into orbit around the Moon, fifty years ago.  More on that build in a future article.  Thanks to the following ASM members for loaning models for the display: Steve Brodeur (LM), Ken Piniak (LRV and MMU), Frank Randall (X-15 and Gemini), and Mike Blohm (remaining models).  The model display will run at the museum until approximately August 1st. 







Apollo 11

By Frank Randall

July 20, 1969, a 10-and-a-half-year-old boy was glued to the TV watching a grainy black and white broadcast of the Apollo 11 landing. I remember my Dad saying that this would be a history-making event. And now, fifty years later, we remember that great event. So who was that first man on the moon making that great statement, "That's one small step for man, one giant leap for mankind?"

Neil Alden Armstrong (August 5, 1930 - August 25, 2012). He was a naval aviator, test pilot, astronaut, and university professor.  A graduate of Purdue University, Armstrong studied aeronautical engineering. He became a midshipman in 1949, and a naval aviator the following year. He saw action in the Korean War, flying the Grumman F9F Panther from the aircraft carrier USS Essex. In September 1951, he was hit by anti-aircraft fire while making a low bombing run, and was forced to bail out. After the war, he completed his bachelor's degree at Purdue and became a test pilot at the National Advisory Committee for Aeronautics (NACA) High-Speed Flight Station at Edwards Air Force Base in California. He was the project pilot on Century Series fighters and flew the North American X-15 seven times. His first flight in a rocket-powered aircraft was on August 15, 1957, in the Bell X-1B, to an altitude of 11.4 miles (18.3 km). He flew the North American X-15 seven times, including the first flight with the Q-ball system, the first flight of the number 3 X-15 airframe, and the first flight of the MH-96 adaptive flight control system. Armstrong was involved in several incidents that went down in Edwards folklore or were chronicled in the memoirs of colleagues. During his sixth X-15 flight on April 20, 1962, when Armstrong was testing the MH-96 control system, he flew to a height of over 207,000 feet (63 km) (the highest he flew before Gemini 8). He held up the aircraft nose for too long during its descent to demonstrate the MH-96's G-limiting performance, and the X-15 ballooned back up to around 140,000 feet (43 km). He flew past the landing field at Mach 3 at over 100,000 feet (30 km) in altitude, and ended up 40 miles (64 km) south of Edwards. After sufficient descent, he turned back toward the landing area, and landed, just missing a bunch of Joshua trees at the south end. It was the longest X-15 flight in both flight time and length of the ground track.

He became an employee of the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) when it was established on October 1, 1958, absorbing NACA. He was also a participant in the US Air Force's Man in Space Soonest and X-20 Dyna-Soar human spaceflight programs.  Armstrong joined the NASA Astronaut Corps in the second group, which was selected in 1962. He made his first spaceflight as command pilot of Gemini 8 in March 1966, becoming NASA's first civilian astronaut to fly in space. During this mission with pilot David Scott, he performed the first docking of two spacecraft. During training for Armstrong's second and last spaceflight as commander of Apollo 11, he had to eject from the Lunar Landing Research Vehicle moments before it crashed.

On July 20, 1969, Armstrong and Apollo 11 Lunar Module pilot Buzz Aldrin became the first people to land on the Moon, and spent two and a half hours outside the spacecraft while Michael Collins remained in lunar orbit in the command and service module. Along with Collins and Aldrin, Armstrong was awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom by President Richard Nixon. President Jimmy Carter presented Armstrong with the Congressional Space Medal of Honor in 1978, and Armstrong and his former crewmates received a Congressional Gold Medal in 2009.


After he resigned from NASA in 1971, Armstrong taught in the Department of Aerospace Engineering at the University of Cincinnati until 1979. He served on the Apollo 13 accident investigation, and on the Rogers Commission, which investigated the Space Shuttle Challenger disaster. He acted as a spokesman for several businesses, and appeared in advertising for the automotive brand Chrysler starting in January 1979.

While my Dad was stationed at the Air War College, we had access to a computer lunar lander simulation and we discovered it could be programed with the same parameters that Neil Armstrong encountered during the landing of the Eagle module. After many tries we did manage to land the Eagle (fifteen tries according to my Dad), so we are not the pilots that Mr. Armstrong was to get it right on his only try. Mission Control later revealed that the module only had about 45 seconds of fuel left at landing!



Hansen, James R. (2012). First Man: The Life of Neil A. Armstrong. New York: Simon & Schuster.

Kranz, Gene (2000). Failure is not an Option: Mission Control from Mercury to Apollo 13 and Beyond. Alexandria, Virginia: Simon & Schuster.


By Frank Randall

The North American X-15 was a hypersonic rocket powered aircraft operated by NACA (later NASA) as part of the X-Planes series of experimental aircraft. The X-15 set speed and altitude records in the 1960s, reaching the edge of outer space and returning with valuable data used in future aircraft and space craft design. During the X-15 program, thirteen flights by eight pilots met the Air Force space flight criterion by exceeding the altitude of 50 miles (80 km), thus qualifying these pilots as being Astronauts. Three X-15s were built, flying 199 test flights, the last on 24 October 1968.

The first X-15 flight was an unpowered glide flight by Scott Crossfield, on 8 June 1959. Crossfield also piloted the first powered flight on 17 September 1959. Twelve test pilots flew the X-15. Among these were Neil Armstrong, later a NASA Astronaut and first man to set foot on the Moon, and Joe Engle, later a commander of Space Shuttle missions.  On 15 November 1967, US Air Force test pilot Major Michael J. Adams was killed during when X-15-3, AF Serial No. 56-6672, entered a hypersonic spin while descending, then oscillated violently as aerodynamic forces increased after re-entry. The airframe broke apart at 60,000 feet (18 km) altitude, scattering the X-15's wreckage for fifty square miles.

The second plane, X-15-2, was rebuilt after a landing accident on 9 November 1962 which damaged the craft and injured its pilot, John Mackey. It was lengthened by 2.4 feet (73 cm), had a pair of auxiliary fuel tanks attached beneath its fuselage and wings, and a complete heat-resistant ablative coating was added. The plane was renamed the X-15A-2, and took flight for the first time on 25 June 1964.

Five principal aircraft were used during the X-15 program: three X-15 planes and two modified "nonstandard" NB-52 bombers:

    X-15-1: 56-6670, 81 free flights

    X-15-2 (later X-15A-2): 56-6671, 31 free flights as X-15-2, 22 free flights as X-15A-2 - 53 in total

    X-15-3: 56-6672, 65 free flights

    NB-52A: 52-003 nicknamed "The High and Mighty One" (retired in October 1969)

    NB-52B: 52-008 nicknamed "The Challenger," later "Balls 8" (retired in November 2004)

My X-15 build used the Monogram 1/72 kit.  It's a decent kit with good details, is a pretty quick build, and gives you the option of the canopy open or closed, and a pretty good carriage for the back of the vehicle as the X-15 did not have back wheels, just skids. The skids are in the kit but there are no struts for them. The model decals represent the X-15A-2 with the rebuilt and extended frame. I painted it with three different blacks and a very dark gray to try to get the look of the original. Also be aware that the external fuel tanks were different colors and markings for each mission so check your references! Overall not a bad kit in this scale and it's the only game in town in 1/72.



Evans, Michelle (2013). The X-15 Rocket Plane, Flying the First Wings into Space. Lincoln, Nebraska: University of Nebraska Press.


Apollo 11

By Ken Piniak

When I was a little boy - a very little boy - my grandfather, Milton E. Burreson, worked for the space program. He was a contractor for Boeing, and, for a time, Aerojet. He lived in Houston, Texas, Huntsville Alabama, and finally, Titusville, Florida. My family visited my grandparents several times, in Huntsville, and especially in Florida. One time, while visiting in Huntsville, we went to see Rock City.

Once, while visiting my grandparents in Titusville; I was playing with my Major Matt Mason Moon Suit toy. This toy had rubber arms with a wire in them, which often came out. Mine did, and poked me in the thumb (this was long before toy safety laws). Grandpa had to use needle nose pliers to get it out of my thumb; I guess it helps to have a rocket scientist in the family. And yes, I cried, the damn thing hurt! But that didn't stop me from playing with it! Another time, we visited them for Christmas in Florida. We went swimming in the ocean on Christmas Day! Okay, wading in the surf, I was just a little kid after all. But coming from northern Indiana where everything was frozen, going in the ocean on Christmas was a pretty big deal!

The best time was watching Apollo 11 lift off. The public was not allowed on the cape back then. This was long before the visitor center was built. Heck, this was even before Walt Disney World was built! We had to watch from across the Indian River. I was too small to see anything with all the big people in the way. I don't remember if they set up loudspeakers, or if it was just all the people with radios, but I could hear what was going on.


As the countdown neared zero, everyone got quiet. When the rocket engines lit up I couldn't see it, but I could feel it! The raw power of those engines made the ground rumble. Once it got above the heads of the people, I could see it. This big, bright, upside-down flame. I couldn't see the rocket, the flame was too bright. And it just kept going up, up, up, higher than anything I had ever seen, higher than any airplane, and it still kept going! Finally, it just got too far away to see any more. And then it was gone. Later, we watched on TV when Armstrong climbed out and stepped onto the moon. The image was very grainy, and I could barely make out what was happening.

That was the last space mission for my grandfather, he retired after that. I was never able to get him to talk about what he did, even when I got older and was in the Army. He never talked about a lot of things. But he did give me some Apollo training manuals.

So far, I have never returned to Cape Kennedy. I never got to see a Space Shuttle launch. But I got to see Apollo 11 and its Saturn V launch. To this day, fifty years later, it is still the biggest and most powerful craft ever built. And the only one to carry humans beyond Earth orbit.



Modeling the F-86A Sabre of George Davis

4th Ranking Sabre Ace of the Korean War

   By Mike Blohm

Lt Colonel George A. "Curly" Davis, Jr. is the 17th ranking American ace (tie), 13th ranking USAF ace (tie), and 4th ranking U.S. ace of the Korean War, with 21 total victories.  Davis joined the 4th Fighter Interceptor Wing (FIW) in Aug 1951 and became 334th Fighter Interceptor Squadron commander in Oct 1951.  In Korea he scored 14 kills between Nov 1951 and Feb 1952, with victories over 11 MiG-15s and 3 Tu-2 bombers.  Davis scored his kills in groups, with a "quadruple" on 30 Nov 1951 (3 Tu-2s and 1 MGg-15 destroyed, and 1 Tu-2 damaged), making him the 5th U.S. jet ace.  He also scored 5 "doubles": on 27 Nov and 5 Dec 1951, and 10 Feb 1952; and then 4 kills in two back-to-back sorties on 13 Dec 1951 (2 on each sortie).  Davis was killed in action during aerial combat on 10 Feb 1952 just south of the Yalu River at Sinuiju, North Korea, when he was outnumbered 10-to-2 but still engaged the MiGs in order to protect friendly fighter-bomber operations.  He downed 2 MiG-15s but was himself shot down.  He was posthumously awarded the Congressional Medal of Honor for this action, the only "Sabre" pilot so honored in the Korean War.  Davis was the leading USAF scorer at the time of his death.  He was promoted to Lt Colonel on 15 Apr 1953 while still missing in action.  There is controversy surrounding his last engagement on whether Davis had "MiG Madness" and disregarded a deteriorating situation where he got slow in an outnumbered fight in order to try to score a victory.  There is also controversy on the North Korean side of the engagement, over which pilot really shot down Davis and if there were several MiG-15s mistakenly downed by their own pilots and claimed as F‑86s, including Davis.  See  Aviation History magazine, March 2017.  


Davis is also a member of the "inner seven" - an ace in two wars.  He flew the P-47D Thunderbolt and P-51K Mustang as a 1st Lieutenant and Captain with the 342nd Fighter Squadron, 348th Fighter Group "Kearby's Thunderbolts" in the Southwest Pacific Theater from Aug 1943 to Apr 1945, where he scored 7 victories.  He had two "doubles": on 10 Dec (2 Tonys) over Negros Island; and on 24 Dec 1944 (2 Zekes) northwest of Clark Field, in the Philippine Islands.   His World War II score included 3 Zekes, 3 Tonys and 1 Val, all accomplished in the P-47D.  Photos below show Davis in his P-47D (left) in late 1944 and in his P-51K (right) in early 1945 in the Philippines.  


The model of George Davis's F-86A/5 Sabre is the Matchbox kit in 1//72 scale, and depicts his F-86 at Kimpo Air Base, South Korea in 1951.  This was the only F-86A kit available at the time of this build for the USAF Academy (Nov 2001) and it may still be.  The model is accurate enough, but it is not near the Fujimi F-86F kit, also boxed by Testors.  The big seller is this kit had the early F-86A canopy with a V-shaped windscreen.  Later F-86E and F models had a flat windscreen.  The Matchbox canopy interior and wheel wells are very sparse.  Instrument panel and seat belt decals were therefore found and added.  Most of the kit decals could be used to make Davis's scheme.  The kit's call number (FU-251) was modified to Davis's scheme (FU-255) with some Aeromaster 1/72 scale numbers decal sheets.  The model wears the 4 FIW's black and white recognition stripes (kit decals) - modeled after D-Day invasion stripes - that were used before the 51st FIW's yellow stripes later became the U.S. standard in Korea.  The light gray nose cone is the actual color of those parts without paint.  The model was painted overall with Model Master Aluminum Plate (Buffing) paint with a light gray interior and wheel wells.



Kit Build

 Trans Um

By Ken Piniak


This is a Revell Deal's Wheels/Funster "Trans Um" kit bashed with an MPC 1/32 Trans Am kit to create a caricature of the car from the movie Smokey and the Bandit.




The information presented below supported the June 7th, 2019 ASM Contest

"75th Anniversary of D-Day"

Special (Non-Points) Contest


The information below is from ASM's Chile Con 3 Website.  D-Day was the central theme of the 2014 Region 10 Contest.

June 6th, 1944 : D-Day

 The Allied invasion of Western Europe at Normandy, France

wpeF.jpg (4554 bytes)


A20_onormay087p1.jpg (51392 bytes) Paratroopers_Landing_onormay564p1.jpg (43731 bytes) Soldiers_In_LST_Sc320901t.jpg (62847 bytes) img167_Good.bmp (46438 bytes) Soldiers_Seawall_onormay058p1.jpg (96312 bytes)


Ship_Barrages_img264.jpg (30310 bytes) Gliders_Landing_img156_Good_Gliders.jpg (28007 bytes) Higgins-Boat.jpg (29916 bytes) Soldiers_Obstacles_Omahaa002p1.jpg (61246 bytes) B25_img379.jpg (32890 bytes)


D-Day_Invasion_Map_440.jpg (71505 bytes)


D-Day is a term often used in military parlance to denote the day on which a combat attack or operation is to be initiated. "D-Day" often represents a variable, designating the day upon which some significant event will occur or has occurred.  The initial D in  D-Day has had various meanings in the past, while more recently it has obtained the connotation of "Day" itself, thereby creating the phrase "Day-Day", or "Day of Days". 

By far, the best known D-Day is June 6, 1944 — the day on which the Invasion of Normandy began — commencing the Western Allied effort to liberate mainland Europe from Nazi occupation during World War II. However, many other invasions and operations had a designated D-Day, both before and after that operation.

The Invasion of Normandy was the invasion and establishment of Allied forces in Normandy, France during Operation Overlord in World War II. It covers from the initial landings on June 6, 1944 until the Allied breakout in mid-July.  The invasion was the largest seaborne invasion at the time, involving over 156,000 troops crossing the English Channel from the United Kingdom to Normandy.  Allied land forces that saw combat in Normandy on June 6 came from Canada, Free French Forces, the United Kingdom, and the United States of America. In the weeks following the invasion, Polish forces also participated and there were also contingents from Belgium, Czechoslovakia, Greece, and the Netherlands. Most of the above countries also provided air and naval support, as did the Royal Australian Air Force,  Royal New Zealand Air Force and the Royal Norwegian Navy.  The Normandy invasion began with overnight parachute and glider landings, massive air attacks, naval bombardments, an early morning amphibious landing and during the evening the remaining elements of the parachute divisions landed. The "D-Day" forces deployed from bases along the south coast of England, the most important of these being Portsmouth.    Source: Wikipedia.


D-Day History

Select Chile Con 3 web pages have historical information on the D-Day invasion, including all of the landing beaches.  The links below take you directly to the different articles.  Click on maps for larger images.


Utah Beach Omaha Beach Gold Beach Juno Beach
 Channel Crossing Pointe Du Hoc Sword Beach Airborne Assault



2019 IPMS Region 8 Convention

By Chuck Hermann

Over the years I have been to several (now ten) IPMS Regionals. It is always interesting to see modelers new to me and their work. So when I saw that the IPMS Region 8 event would be the weekend after Easter, I was able to combine a holiday family trip to Utah with a stop in Vegas on the way home for the event.

The IPMS Region 8 Convention was held Saturday, April 27, in Las Vegas, Nevada. It was a one-day event. The show was held at the Eastside Cannery Casino and Hotel, in one of the meeting rooms. The facility was nice, everything looked relatively new.

There were 131 entrants; I did not hear a final count, but I would say there were about 300 or so models. IPMS Region 8 covers Southern California and southern Nevada, LA to Las Vegas.

The vendors were set up around the edges of the room. I would say there were maybe thirty. ASM members probably know that automotive models are my thing. And unlike many other IPMS shows, there were plenty of automotive kits available. I was able to grab seven kits along with some paints and decals. But there were also a lot of military and sci-fi kits, as well as supplies and tools.

There were 56 categories of all types of models. Unlike many IPMS events, there were more auto than airplane classes! The model car turnout was pretty good, with a nice mix. Oddly there was only one each in the Open Wheel Competition and Open Wheel drag classes. And as usual the aircraft tables were packed. I spoke to builders from California, Nevada, and even Idaho.

The awards presentation went pretty crisply; even with some regional awards, it was done in about forty minutes.

Here are some photos of the stuff on the tables, lots of automotive since that is my thing but I also took some of what interested me from the other classes.



Closed Wheel Competition Table. Drag was a separate class.

Large scale winner, 1/16 T-Bird

Above: One of the street rod winners.

Right: The judges hard at work.

Open Wheel Winner.

Best Automotive winner.

One of the street rod winners.

Best Hot Rod Special Trophy Winner

Closed Wheel winner.

The overall Best of Show Trophy went to this crazy detailed Star Wars Millennium Falcon model.



Kit Review

 Building the Blue Thunder Prototype 01

By Ken Piniak

The movie Blue Thunder (Columbia Pictures, 1983) follows the testing and ultimate destruction of the Blue Thunder helicopter prototype number 2. No mention is ever made of prototype number 1. This, then, is the story and model build of prototype number 1.


Sometime before the events portrayed in the film, #1 was involved in an accident and returned to the manufacturer for repair. I could find no information as to the cause of the accident, the condition of the pilot, or the extent of the damage to the aircraft. After repairing the damage, the manufacturer opted to retain the aircraft for additional upgrades and testing, based on field reports from testing the two aircraft in an urban environment. The aircraft proved to be under-powered, so they upgraded the engine, transmission, and rotor assembly. The engine went from 590HP to 650HP. The strengthened composite rotor blades were much stiffer than the originals, which had a pronounced droop when stationary. The belly armor was replaced with a new, lighter composite armor, 3/4 inch thick. The electronics and surveillance equipment received major upgrades. New communication equipment was added to connect to more databases, which resulted in a new antenna array. The rear cockpit configuration was changed, with one monitor unit removed, and other units and the keyboard relocated. Initial testing showed that it was desirable for the observer to be able to control all of the various sensors as well as the gun turret when the pilot cannot. Since the aft cockpit is not configured to use the Harrison Fire Control system, a joystick was added in the old keyboard location--the observer can use it to operate all of the sensors as well as the gun if it is not being used by the pilot. Lastly, operating the helicopter in an urban environment revealed a serious hazard of wire/cable strikes. Wire cutters were added to cut through power lines, telephone lines, etc. Since the aircraft would most often be used at night, a very dark blue over black paint scheme was applied. After testing out the new upgrades and modifications, the manufacturer turned the aircraft over to the Los Angeles Police two months after the second prototype was destroyed in a collision with a train. It was used by the City of Los Angeles for many years, and was often loaned out to the DEA, Border Patrol, and Customs. It was heavily used in the weeks after 9/11. After 27 years of service, Blue Thunder was officially retired in 2010. Its final fate is unknown.

I originally built the Monogram 1/32 scale Blue Thunder helicopter back in the 1980s, when I was much younger and less experienced. I did an okay job on it, but I can do a better one now that I am older and wiser (?).  So I decided to have another go at it. Digging through the spare parts box, I found the original cockpit, canopy, rotor, tail boom, and other small parts. The main fuselage, landing gear, and gun turret were missing. I had never painted it (I liked the blue plastic) or added decals, but the decals were missing. I would need a new kit to work with. There are two 1/32 scale kits of Blue Thunder; the original Monogram kit and a copy made by Kitech, out of China. The Monogram kit is long out of production, but can be found at swap meets, sales, or on the internet (eBay is my friend), at prices ranging from really low to crazy expensive. At the time I could only find a Kitech kit, which was really cheap at about fourteen bucks.

I had heard that the Kitech kit was a reboxing of the old Monogram kit; it is not. It is a low-quality copy or "knockoff" of the original, and definitely inferior. It has much less detail than the Monogram kit, and has major fit issues, which are aggravated by severe warping of many of the parts. The decals are awful, and the clear parts are not clear. Nevertheless, if you are willing to put in some work, it can be made into a nice model. Since the Kitech decals are crap, and I had lost the original Monogram decals, I ordered a great set form Fireball Modelworks (unfortunately, these are no longer in production).


Once I had everything together, I laid it all out to see just what I had. While the Kitech kit is definitely inferior overall, some of its parts are equal to or even better than the Monogram parts. The instrument panel, rear cockpit bulkhead, and engine are great!  The cockpit tub and gun are decent. The main rotors are okay. My original cockpit looked good, but not very accurate; back then references and photos were impossible to get. Today, however, a quick search of the internet brings up all kinds of photos and information. From this information, I learned that I could not use my parts (or even the entire new kit) to build the helicopter as it looked in the movie. The  Monogram kit was based on the short-lived TV show, with a number of differences to the aircraft, especially in the cockpit. The decal set by Fireball included alternate decals to make prototype #1, so I decided to build that instead of the movie bird.


Starting with my original Monogram cockpit, I added wires, boxes, and a joystick to represent the "new upgrades" added by the manufacturer's engineers. I also added a fire extinguisher (missing in both kits) to the rear bulkhead. The observer's seat swivels, and I added shoulder harnesses. The Monogram kit includes a nice hexagonal pattern in the molded on "belly armor" that I like. The Kitech kit includes this under the main fuselage, but not on the tail boom. So I removed the tail from the Kitech body and grafted on the Monogram tail in its place. Ironically, I liked the Kitech tail fan better, so I cut out the Monogram fan and added the Kitech unit. I installed the cockpit and the transmission and glued the body together. Because of the warping of the Kitech parts; I started with the tail (Monogram, no warping) and slowly worked my way around the belly, top, and nose, clamping as I went. I was going to graft the Monogram engine to the top, but the Kitech engine was just as good, so I kept it. The landing gear was warped, and did not fit the mounting points on the body. It took lots of work, super glue and epoxy putty to get it all lined up and cleaned up. The curved front plate (behind the gun turret, shown on the previous page) had huge gaps all around. It required lots of styrene strip, epoxy putty, and more super glue to blend it in. Because of all that warping of the fuselage, neither the Monogram nor the Kitech canopy fit well. I went with the Monogram part because you can see through it (the Kitech canopy can be fixed by polishing it out) and I had cut open the side hatch to show off the cockpit. Again, this piece had to be glued a little bit at a time. I ended up with a slight gap at the front which had to be filled in with styrene strip. The "engine intake" parts, engine cover, and the "camera surveillance unit" parts are Monogram, the "Nitesun" searchlights, shotgun microphones, and gun turret parts are Kitech. The rear synch elevators and "ammo belts" for the gun are a combination of both kit parts. The new antennas and wire cutters are from the parts box. I used an MV lens for the landing light. The decal set by Fireball Modelworks is complete and accurate, with every marking and stencil seen on the aircraft in the movie. They are even readable! The paint is Testors Copenhagen Blue Metallic, which came out darker than I expected. Worse, when I added a flat clear (to match the matte look of the real bird) the paint turned almost black! I had to go back to a gloss/semigloss finish to bring back the blue. The belly armor is Model Master flat black. The observer's helmet is from the Kitech kit, the pilot's "Harrison Fire Control Helmet" is from a 54mm pilot figure. With the hatch in the open position, she sits ready, waiting for the crew to jump in and take off after the bad guys!


Kit Review

Takom 1/16 Renault FT "3-in-1"

by John Tate

Several of us in the club built these big-scale Renault FT tank models for ASM's Group/Chapter entry at the 2018 Nationals and did well enough with them to win a respectable second place. But after Nationals I still had one half-built on the model shelf so decided to finish it up and do a review.

First, it's true what you've heard--the Renault FT was the first modern tank and easily the best tank of WWI. But when the Great War ended, the FT's service was far from over, as these tanks saw plenty of action between the wars, from Brazil to China, and were still useful enough as a combat weapon to see action in the early stages of WWII. What that means to us as modelers is that there is plenty of variation in markings and camouflage to make this kit a fun build.


The Takom FT is a recent kit, with the "3-in-1" version released in 2017, so generally it's well-engineered and goes together nicely. There are three basic construction stages--the hull, the running gear/tracks, and the turret. I built the kit with an interior and spent much time painting and detailing the engine and driver's compartment, but then buttoned it up anyway, so if you're looking for a quicker build you can skip most of this work. The engine is very nice but needs spark plug wires and priming valves, and the throttle controls in the driver’s compartment need control wires that run to the front of the hull. Here you have to decide if you want to build the turret with the Puteaux cannon or Hotchkiss machine gun; the cannon version used the kit shell racks and the machine gun version had ammo boxes attached to the inside of the gunner's area, but unfortunately no ammo boxes are supplied with the kit. No cannon shells, either--a noticeable oversight if you want to open up the interior.  

Something else I noticed about the interior--there's a firewall separating the engine compartment from the crew compartment. Some accounts say the WWI tanks lacked this firewall, so check your references.

Two turret choices--the hexagonal omnibus turret or the round Girod turret. Both could house either the cannon or the machine gun, and both were used throughout the service life of the tank. I chose the Girod turret with cannon, as the shell racks for it came with the kit. The Girod turret took some work to get right, as I had to add the raised seam line around the top of the turret, plus some bolt heads that were either missing or poorly-formed, but no significant problems.

The running gear and tracks are almost models in themselves and although tedious to get together, are generally trouble-free. The tracks are fully workable when properly assembled. Paint as you build to make finishing easier, and use extreme care when separating the individual track plates from the sprues or you'll end up with divots in the plates which will have to be repaired. You'll also need to decide at this stage if you want the WWI-style wooden front idler wheel, commonly used on most FTs, or the updated steel one, as seen on many French tanks in 1940.


Well, after several weeks to months of steady work, you're finally finished, so how do you paint it? First, do your research and match your build to a real vehicle in a real photo. There are a myriad of FT images online, so finding something interesting shouldn't be difficult, especially as no two of these beasts seemed to painted the same way. There weren't a lot of variations with the FT itself, but there were a few that were noticeable, so pay attention to details in the interest of accuracy. I selected a Vichy French FT used in colonial Morocco to oppose the Allied landings during Operation Torch in 1942, as it had the French post-WWI steel idler wheels and double trail hooks for the tow chains, but still had the early WWI-style vision plate for the driver. Many French FTs that faced the Blitzkrieg in 1940 had a later armored visor for the driver, which unfortunately isn't included with the kit. Decal markings for the model were from the spares box, as there is a distinct lack of accurate decal markings for the FT in this scale, although those that come with the kit are usable.


Overall, this is a nice kit of a great historical subject, and well worth building if you want to try something different in an uncommon scale for armor. By the way, a reminder--the FT would make a good addition to ASM’s "1939" display at the State Fair this year, as it was in service with both Poland and France at the start of WWII.



ASM Model Display at the Kirtland AFB Air and Space Fiesta Air Show

    By Mike Blohm

The Albuquerque Scale Modelers (ASM) conducted a model display at the Air and Space Fiesta Air Show at Kirtland Air Force Base on Saturday, May 18. Our goals were to promote the hobby of scale modeling with a display of USAF and space-related models that fit the theme of the air show, and to let the public know that Albuquerque did have an active model club and to perhaps gain some new members. I think that we put on a great display and successfully met those goals.

We had a very primo spot for our display near the center of the Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math (STEM) and Space Pavilion hangar. Whereas we thought we were going to be allowed only two tables for the display due to space limitations, we ended up with room for five. We had brought some spare tables, and they also had one spare for us to use. We had brought a lot of models, thinking we would have to pare down based on what would fit. With the five tables we ended up using them all and had 77 total models in the display. From left to right around our horseshoe setup (see pictures), we had sections on the USAF in the Korean War, the "What is Scale Modeling" P-51Ds vignette in five different scales, the Viet Nam War, USAF helicopters, New Mexico Air National Guard aircraft, the bombers and aircraft of the Strategic Air Command, the Military Airlift Command/Air Mobility Command, the Air Defense Command, and the aircraft in Desert Storm through the current operations in Afghanistan, Syria, and Iraq. Finally, there was a section with Real Space and Theoretical Space models. Some attendees did inquire about models of World War II aircraft. One thing I had thought about bringing was a 1/72-scale B-17 and a B-24 to talk about Kirtland's past role as a bomber training base during World War II. Unfortunately I left those at home, thinking that we would not have space. So we will need to look at making sure to bring those next time around.

We were there at 8:00 to set up, so we were well ahead of the folks coming on base for the air show. We heard later that there was a big traffic jam with very long waits. We had a continual crowd of lookers all day long, and had lots of questions and comments on the models. Based upon comments that I heard, people's favorite aircraft was the F-4 Phantom followed by the A-10 Warthog. A lot of folks mentioned that they had previously built models and wanted to know where they could get kits to get back into the hobby. We pointed them at our favorite neighborhood hobby shop. We passed out a lot of ASM handouts and perhaps we will get some new members. We did get a lot of thank yous for putting on the display. One of the USAF members supporting our hangar came by as we were packing up and told us that there were more than 40,000 attendees at the air show, and that about 32,000 people had visited the STEM and Space Pavillion. There were a lot of cool interactive-type displays in our hangar, plus shade. So I guess ASM and the hobby of scale modeling did get some good exposure with the public during this air show.

Thanks to all who contributed models and to those who set up and manned the display. Model loaners included Victor Maestas, Keith Liotta, Ken Piniak, Jack Garriss, Larry Glenn, David DeYoung, Josh Pals, Bob Henderson, Frank Randall, Mike Blohm, and the Defense Nuclear Weapons School Museum. Manning the display were Josh Pals, Ken Piniak, Larry Glenn, Jeff Frickstad, Ken Piniak, and Matt and Mike Blohm.









ASM Pays Tribute to Lt Col Richard "Dick" Cole, last of the "Doolittle Raiders" who passed away

on Tuesday, April 9th, 2019 at age 103.  Cole was co-pilot to Jimmy Doolittle in B-25 Aircraft # 1.



18 April 1942 - Doolittle Raid on Japan - "Doolittle's Raiders"

B-25 "Mitchell" bombers launch off the aircraft carrier USS Hornet to bomb targets in Japan.

Doolittle_Raid_g324232.jpg (89124 bytes)    doolittle_raid_cropped.jpg (165944 bytes)    Doolittle_Raid_g41191.jpg (110853 bytes)    Doolittle_Raid_h53293.jpg (108696 bytes)    Doolittle_Raid_h53287.jpg (91528 bytes)    Doolittle_Raid_g41194.jpg (122718 bytes)    Doolittle_Raid_g41197.jpg (101293 bytes)    Doolittle_Raid_g41196.jpg (116465 bytes)

The Doolittle Raid, 18 April 1942 was the first air raid by the United States to strike the Japanese home island of Honshu during World War II. The mission was notable since it was the only time in U.S. military history that United States Army Air Forces bombers were launched from a U.S. Navy aircraft carrier on a combat mission. The Doolittle Raid demonstrated that the Japanese home islands were vulnerable to Allied air attack, and it provided an expedient means for U.S. retaliation for Japan's attack on Pearl Harbor on 7 December 1941.  The raid was planned and led by Lieutenant Colonel James "Jimmy" Doolittle, already a famous civilian aviator and aeronautical engineer before the war. The raid, however, had its roots in the mind of Navy Captain Francis Low, who early in the war surmised that, under the right conditions, twin-engined Army bombers could be successfully launched from an aircraft carrier.  Requirements for the aircraft for a cruising range of 2,400 miles (3,900 km) with a 2,000 pound (900 kg) bomb load resulted in the selection of the North American B-25B Mitchell to carry out the mission. The B-26 Marauder and B-23 Dragon were also considered, but the B-26 had questionable takeoff characteristics from a carrier deck, and the B-23's wingspan was nearly 50% greater than the B-25's, reducing the number that could be taken aboard a carrier and posing risks to the ship's island. Subsequent tests with B-25s indicated it could be launched from a carrier, hit military targets in Japan, and fly on to land in China. Negotiations with the Soviet Union to land in Siberia, shortening the flight by 600 miles (970 km), were fruitless. All 16 aircraft were lost on the mission, and 11 crewmen were either killed or captured. The crews of 13 aircraft, however, were recovered and returned to the United States, and a 14th crew interned by the Soviet Union eventually made its way home in 1943   Source: Wikipedia. 

Models for the Kirtland AFB Airshow

    By Mike Blohm

Below is a listing of the models that we would like to have loaned for the ASM model display at the May 18th "Air and Space Fiesta" Airshow at Kirtland AFB.

Please send me an E-mail to let me know what models you can loan, so that we can size them out for our two six foot long tables.

See the two articles below for how to bring your models to Hobby Proz, by 5:00 PM on Friday, May 17th for pick-up.  We will return them to Hobby Proz ASAP after the airshow. 

Glenn Bingham - P-51D Tacos ANG

 Mike Blohm -  F-51D, F-86, AT-6, B-26, F-82, F-80, F-94, A-7, A-1, O-2, OV-10, F-5, F-4D, F-104, E-3, 3 x P-51D's* (1/72, 1/48. 1/24)

 Jack Garriss - BOMARC, F-35

 Larry Glenn - SR-71

 Bob Henderson - F-16C Tacos ANG (1/32)

 Chris Kurtze - F-84G, F-106, F-102, AC-47, CH-53E

 Keith Liotta - Air Force 1 (VC-25), C-5, KC-10

Victor Maestas - X-1, X-15, F 117, F-100, F-105G, UH-1, HH-60, A-7, P-51D* (1/32)

 Nuc Weapons Museum - B-36, B-47, B-50, B-52, B-2, A-7 Tacos

 Frank Randall - P-51D* (1/144), F-80, A-10, F-4G, RF-4C, F-22, YF-23, U-2, AC-130, F-16C, F-15E, F-15C, EF-111, T-37, F-16, UAV

 Real Space / Theoretical Space - Let me know what you have

 * What is Scale Modeling P-51's

ASM will be located in the "S.T.E.M Center" building (building 333) in the southwest corner of the airshow ramp.  See the attached maps below. 

 Click here for a "Frequently Asked Questions" Word document. 


Update - ASM Model Display at the Kirtland AFB Air Show

  By Mike Blohm

Here is an update on ASM's model display at the Kirtland AFB air show on Saturday, May 18th.  The theme is "Air and Space Fiesta" so we are planning for a mix of USAF models (aircraft, missiles, vehicles, figures) and space models, to include both real space and theoretical real space models.  For the USAF subjects, we would like to use a lot of the same items that got loaned for the Folds of Honor and Air Force Ball in 2018.  We will attempt to highlight the aircraft and missions that were/are at Kirtland AFB.  I will have a list of desired loaners on the big screen at the May 3rd meeting.  If you have a model that's not on my list, please let me know.  We only have two tables for the display, so we will try to gauge what we think will fit.  We would like to go with 1/32 and 1/48 models where possible, as that will be impressive to the crowd.  We are going to use some of the big bomber models from the Defense Nuclear Weapons School Museum display to highlight Kirtland's nuclear test mission, so that will use up a chunk of the space.  We will bring the "What is Scale Modeling" display and P-51 models and work that in, space permitting.  Please let me know what real space and theoretical real space models you have, and we will try to get those worked in as well.  We might try to fit in some UFO's for grins.

We will have a sign-up sheet at the May 3rd meeting - looking to have 6 to 8 people for the day.  We will have some parking passes to park close to the display building, so we will need to meet ahead of time to car pool onto the base.  We do need to supply our own tables and chairs.  Wear an ASM shirt if you have one and bring your ASM name tag.

Expect the usual drill of delivering tubs of models to Hobby Proz in the days before the airshow.  Ensure your name is on your tubs and that you have a list of your models in the tub, along with any special instructions on packing or handling.  Reminder E-mails will be sent out as the event gets closer.


ASM Model Display at the Kirtland AFB Airshow

 By Mike Blohm

ASM is planning to to put on a model display at the Saturday, May 18th airshow at Kirtland AFB.  The theme is "Air and Space Fiesta" so we would like to include a lot of space models as well as the usual aircraft models.  This year is the 50th anniversary of the Apollo 11 lunar landing (July 20, 1969) so we need to highlight that event.  The 50th anniversary is also the theme of our "Man in Space" contest on July 12th, so this is a good reason to get your model(s) done early!

We are going to be located in a smaller building than in past airshows and we will only have two tables that can be either six feet or eight feet long.  We need to supply those ourselves, as well as our chairs. Therefore, we need to scrounge up two portable eight feet long tables to maximize the amount of models that we can display. We will need volunteers to help transport and set up the models and then man the tables throughout the day.  We probably need about 4 people to continuously man the tables.  Since folks will also like to break off to see parts of the airshow, we probably need at least about 8 total people.  It's a fun time, so please come out to help.

We will likely do a combination of "history of the USAF,"  "Man in Space" and some other genres--any kit you want--to show what the hobby offers.  We will try to include aircraft and missions that were/are at Kirtland AFB.  Expect the usual drill of delivering tubs of models to Hobby Proz in the days before the airshow.  Ensure your name is on your tubs and that you have a list of your models in the tub, along with any special instructions on packing or handling.  Reminder E-mails will be sent out as the event gets closer.  If you would like to participate, or just loan some models, please contact me so that we can get a list of models going and determine what will fit our two tables.   We will discuss this at the April 5th meeting as well. 

Here are some links to articles and pictures for our last two model shows at Kirtland AFB:  2016    2011


Modeling for Upcoming ASM Display Events

  By Mike Blohm

Over the last couple of years ASM has been able to conduct model displays at some fairly regular events.  The purpose of our  displays is to promote the hobby of scale modeling to the public and to try to gain some new members.  The recurring displays include the Folds of Honor (FoH) Patriot Gala, which we supported in 2017 and 2018, and the Air Force Ball at Kirtland AFB that we supported in 2018.  We hope to repeat the Air Force Ball this year.  We do have an invite to the 2019 FoH Gala.  See pictures below.  The model themes for these events is the same each year, other than encompassing anything new in the current year.  The AF Ball theme is the "History of the "USAF."  The FoH theme is "Aircraft, Armor, Vehicles, and Ships (including figures and dioramas) used by the U.S. Services from 2001 to Now."  Note that we opened up the 2018 FoH display to "Korean War to Now." 


ASM lacked some model types in our  in our 2018 displays, and I would like to encourage ASM members to build some specific models that we could use roll out for our display each year.  We need some modern ships (surface and subs), armor, support vehicles, artillery, figures, and dioramas.  In the aircraft area, we need bomber and transport/support aircraft--best in 1/144 scale.  As you would expect, we do have a lot of fighter types available.  We also need ICBM's, IRBM's, cruise missiles, and SAM's.  See pictures below from the AF Ball and FoH displays.  Keith Liotta is keeping a listing of aircraft, so please coordinate with him to see what is already built or underway.  These models do not need to be IPMS Nationals contenders.  If you have a kit that you've wanted to build for your own collection that matches a need in our displays, please think about cranking it out this year.  If you don't have room for it in your own display case, we can probably store it as a loaner model at the Defense Nuclear Weapons School Museum display until we need it.  



Kit Review - Airfix 1/24 Scale Hurricane Mk I

By John Tate

First released back in 1973, the big-scale Airfix Hurricane is not unknown to modelers but like many large airplane model kits, is seldom built.  However, when ASM VP Tony Humphries traded the kit to me late last year, I decided to give it a try to see how it went together.  I'm happy to say it's a great kit.

First off, this is''t a generic Hurricane; it's a metal-winged, eight-gun Mark I with a bulbous Rotol spinner and prop.  This fighter type was a mainstay of the RAF during the Battle of Britain so I decided early on the markings I would use, from an excellent Techmod sheet, for 303 Squadron ace Josef Frantisek.  For more on his life and wartime career, check out this BBC link:

I knew of a problem with these Airfix 1/24 scale kits - the cowlings didn't fit once the engines were installed; I experienced this when I built their 1/24 Stuka a number of years ago.  So I decided to leave out the engine and seal up the cowl panels; I'm glad I did, it greatly simplified construction and the rest of the build went smoothly.  I did the same with the wing panels, closing up the wing gun bays, and was pleased to find they fit well.

 The cockpit is well-detailed, a match for any current model kit, and once installed, I found the only addition necessary was a set of PE seatbelts for the Sutton harness.  A cautionary note- make sure the rear bulkhead is flush with the fuselage halves; the armor plate should stand a little proud of the bulkhead.

 There was a gap when I attached the wings but once they were on and aligned with the fuselage, I sealed the gap along the join lines, leaving a surface line for accuracy.  The overall alignment of the model - wings, fuselage and horizontal stabilizers - was good.  I'd read reviews that said the kit wings were too thick but I didn't find this to be the case- they looked accurate and in-scale.

 Next came the landing gear.  I used a Scale Aircraft Conversions (SAC) white metal gear set specifically designed for this kit and found it fit well.  Of special note is the kit's tail wheel strut, which needs replacement by the SAC item as it isn't strong enough to support the weight of the model.  The kit wheel wells are boxed-in, well-defined and accurate.

 The kit tires are rubber and unfortunately have a circumferential seam line.  However, I was able remove it by hardening the seam with CA glue and sanding it off.  Once fixed, the tires fit well and when placed on the finished model provide some shock-absorbing protection.


 Painting was easy as the dark earth, dark green and sky camouflage used by the RAF in 1940 is a dream for modelers- easy to paint, good coverage and tolerant of weathering.  This particular aircraft was painted in a Type A scheme.

 My only nitpick with the kit was the spinner - not shaped correctly and too big, which mars an otherwise excellent model.  So I used a Trumpeter 1/24 Mark I spinner as a guide and carved down and sanded the Airfix spinner until it looked right.  Turned out the thickness of the kit spinner made this an easy job, and the result was a huge positive difference to the finished kit.  BTW, the Trumpeter spinner?  Too small for the Airfix model, so cross-kitting won't help you here.

 What has me perplexed is why Airfix hasn't done anything to upgrade this kit over the past 46 years.  Surely it would be a simple matter for them to retool the kit's Rotol spinner, then maybe throw in a new-tooled De Havilland prop and spinner, and a tropical air filter, to increase the versatility of the kit and boost its appeal to modelers.  Just as perplexing is the slight interest shown in the kit by aftermarket companies- there are literally thousands of resin doodads available for everything with wings but this lion of a kit has been practically ignored.  Go figure.

 All in all, this was an enjoyable build and the finished model is an accurate replica of a Hurricane.  You have a real sense of accomplishment when you complete a model this big.  If you have time, dedication to subject and standard modeling skills, give this old-timer a try- you'll be rewarded with an excellent model of the unsung plane that stopped the Luftwaffe in its tracks and saved Britain and the world, nearly 80 years ago.



ASM Model Display at Albuquerque South Broadway Cultural Center

By Mike Blohm

The Albuquerque Scale Modelers (ASM) model club conducted a month-long model display at the South Broadway Cultural Center and Library in Albuquerque from February 1-27, 2019.  The theme of the display was "What is Scale Modeling."  Models of all genres and scale - 79 total - were on display in three cases.  See pictures below.  One case had five P-51D Mustang models lined up in all the popular scales:  1/24, 1/32, 1/48/ 1/72, and 1/144.  Signage was included to explain what scales they were and what that represents.  A large tri-fold display board provided information on what scale modeling is, what the scales mean, pro's and con's of the various scales, availability of model kits, and examples of model building supplies.  Promotional materials for ASM and IPMS/USA were provided.  Five ASM members helped set up the display:  Josh Pals, Jack Garriss, Chuck Herrmann, Frank Randall, and Mike Blohm.




ASM conducted a Make N Take at the Library on Saturday, February 9th as part of the month-long display.  Seven kids took part in the model-building and had a great time.  At the end of their builds they were flying them around the library.  See second set of pictures below.  The kit built by the kids was the Revell Snap Tite F-14 Tomcat in 1/72 scale.  Our thanks to Hobby Proz for helping with the cost of the kits.  Five ASM members supported the Make N Take:  Josh Pals, Tony Humphries, Ken Piniak, Bob Henderson, and Mike Blohm. 






Modeleing the Aircraft of

Ken Walsh, USMC - The First "Corsair Ace"

   By Mike Blohm

Captain Kenneth "Ken" Walsh , US Marine Corps (USMC) scored 21 aerial victories in the Pacific Theater during World War II.  Walsh is the 18th ranking U.S ace (tie).; 4th ranking in the USMC. the first "Corsair ace" and also the top "Corsair ace."  Walsh was originally a aircraft mechanic and radioman for two years before being accepted for flight training.  He served five years in scout and observation squadrons on the carriers Yorktown, Wasp and Ranger before being assigned to fighters with VNF-121.  He joined the VMF-124 "Checkerboards" in Sep 1942, the first unit to fly the "Corsair" in combat.  VMF-124 and arrived at Guadalcanal Island in Feb 1943.  He became the first "Corsair Ace" on 3 May 1943 when he downed two Zekes off the Russell Islands and would become the squadron's top ace.  Walsh would score 12 victories in 19 days (12-30 Aug 1943).  These included 4 victories on 30 Aug (4 Zekes) north of Ranongga Island and three "triples": 1 Apr (2 Zekes & Val); 13 May (3 Zekes) off the Russell Islands; and on 15 Aug (2 Vals & Zeke) near Vella Lavella.  Walsh flew 3 combat tours with VMF-124.  Walsh was awarded the Medal of Honor for his actions on 15 and 30 Aug 1943 by President Roosevelt on 8 Feb 1944.  Walsh then served as an instructor at Jacksonville until he joined VMF-222 for an additional combat tour, flying fighter-bomber missions in the Corsair in the Philippine Islands and Okinawa.  He scored one additional victory, his final, on 22 June 1945 (Zeke) off Okinawa.  His victories included: 17 Zekes, 3 Val dive bombers, and 1 float biplane. His awards included 5 Distinguished Flying Crosses.  Walsh flew strike missions during the Korean War with VMR-152 from Oct 1950 to July 1951.  He retired from the USMC as a Lieutenant Colonel in Feb 1962, and died in July 1998. 



The model of Ken Walsh's F4U-1 "birdcage" Corsair is the Hasegawa kit in 1/72 scale, built in early 2001.  It is depicted on Guadalcanal Island in May, 1943 when Walsh was a 2nd Lieutenant and had scored five victories.  This is an accurate kit but the interior detail is lacking, having just a floor panel with consoles and an instrument panel that get instrument decals applied, and a basic seat.  The model is finished in Testors Model Master enamel paints  Intermediate Blue FS35164 on the upper surfaces and Dark Gull Gray FS36231 on the lower surfaces.  Walsh's markings came from MicroScale sheet 72-314.  All of Walsh's Corsairs were coded "13." 





Some Reflections on the 2018 Phoenix Nationals

By Tony Humphries

So, another Nationals has come and gone. A competition that ASM enjoyed some success in (as you will discover in a moment) and also where we were well represented in terms of attendees. Quite a few of our club made it out there and hopefully everyone enjoyed themselves?

So how did we do? I am sure others will respond with a list of trophies and accomplishments, but notably both of our entries in the Group/Chapter entry (we had one from the "Sandia Modelers" group and one official ASM entry) did well, with a 1st and 2nd place secured against some pretty stiff competition! I think the judges were impressed with both the presentation and information that we presented with both of our entries and I believe that both factors were the key to victory in that category. Also, one of our FTs went round and round on a turntable, and we should never underestimate the impact of (deliberate) motion and shiny things on the judges.


The Matilda entry, which claimed 1st place, was a repeat (with some improvements) of our 2013 Nationals entry, which the judges at that time forgot to judge (not that we are bitter or anything... it was only a year of our lives that it took to put that together) so it was nice to see that validated. The Renault FT entry was an entirely new experiment in a new scale for us (1/16) and getting a 2nd place with that was an achievement that we should be proud of. Thanks in particular for the Matilda build's win should go to Ken Liotta for the execution of his display and the work put into the entire entry, and definitely also to Jim Guld, who built a number of the most striking models, although all who contributed and suggested ideas (and there were quite a few) should be celebrated too--particularly those who repaired Jim's models after UPS used them as soccer balls. I have no doubt that a list of them will be forthcoming shortly anyway and maybe in this very newsletter.

Some notables that I can recall were Victor Maestas coming 1st with an astonishingly shiny B-25 in one of the aircraft categories (I'm still seeing purple spots now) and getting a number of other placings too. Others that I recall were top three finishes by Frank Randall, Larry Glenn, Ken Liotta, Partap Davis, and David Epstein all in the adult categories, and my own daughter Kathleen Humphries, who placed in two categories in the twelve-and-under section. Apologies to anyone that I missed there, as I am sure there are a number of you. I am equally sure that someone will provide, in this esteemed publication, a list of all trophies won for your delectation and delight and to fill in for my memory lapses.

Having looked at the entries in both the pre-teen and teen categories, there seems to be great hope for the future of the hobby. Something of a relief really and worth stressing I think, to counter the doom-mongers who I frequently hear saying that the hobby is dying. Yes, we are getting older and it was disturbing to hear my eleven-year-old tell me that she had trouble finding me as from a distance I looked like everyone else at the show; i.e., 5' ft 10", reasonably old, fat and balding... with glasses. Indeed, many of us could be seen squinting at the models on display and leaning unsteadily in to try and get a better view of something that could probably be seen from space, by anyone with normal eyesight... Thankfully, I had a wide selection of ridiculous t-shirts to help to some degree with identification and I would urge others to do the same at future conventions. It really helps people to find you if you aren't in khaki cargo shorts and a grey convention t-shirt.

Anyway, as I as saying before I strayed a country-mile away from the original point, from the evidence of this convention there are many younger modelers coming through to take our place, I am happy to say. The quality of the entries in the adult categories also were quite breathtaking, with some of the best models that I have ever seen in person on display, and many exceptional models that didn't place at all, such was the quality on show. The winner of the best ship was one of my personal favorites and congratulations on that beautifully scratchbuilt 1/35 entry. Many of the dioramas were also excellent. The armor diorama with the sheep was another that caught my eye (although not from any unsavory attachment or interest in anything Ovine I should add...since I have some Welsh ancestry and bearing in mind their reputation, I thought I ought to make that clear...).

So, apart from the models, what were the other good points about the show? Well, there was a great chance to socialize with like-minded people from all over the world and chew the proverbial (and in the case of the hotel food, literal) fat. The vendor room was very good also, with some unusual and highly sought-after models on sale. There were also some good deals to be had, especially if you know how to haggle. If not, watch Monty Python's The Life of Brian and give it a go yourself next time. Although offering the vendors twenty shekels for a kit is probably not going to go down too well these days, and calling somebody "big-nose" may lead to some unpleasantnes..... There was plenty of space on the tables to put your models on, too, once you had registered, and the lighting in the model room was very good as well--I brought extra lights for our chapter entry, but was happy to find that I didn't need them.

I felt, personally (and your experience may differ) that there were some problems too. Obviously not everything is going to go to plan and the hosting chapter(s) in Phoenix should generally be commended for the show that they put on. Some things could be better though--the heat and dust were ridiculous although, granted, the hosting chapter can't do much about that..... But having to carry your models over an (at times) busy road to the convention center from the hotel was annoying and risked damage, especially for those who had large group entries or dioramas to move. The loading dock could surely have been made available? Also the initial registration was bordering on a fiasco apparently, with one of our members waiting four and a half hours to register on the Wednesday (first day of registration)! I'd have gone to the bar after the first hour myself, but that's probably just me... Even when I registered on Friday morning it took 45 minutes or so and there were only three people in front of me in the line. That has to be improved and I am sure that the folks in Chatanooooooooga (is that enough "o"s?) will rise to the challenge. Maybe they will provide a better incentive to register online? More people on the registration desk? Practice the process with your own club members first to ensure that it works? A line for cash only payers? Distribution of forms, pens and clipboards at the door of the venue so that people can fill them in while waiting? An area to complete the paperwork and only allowing people to join the line once they have done so? Just thoughts off the top of my head anyway. They might work, they might not.

Whose idea was it to judge on Friday night too? That was disastrous to our FT Group build, as we had a couple of models that we were rushing to finish--if Friday night had been available to do that and the judging had been on Saturday afternoon as normal, then we would have had a bigger and better display. Also some of our attendees would have finished other models and been able to enter them. Obviously it's best to have your models built in plenty of time--everyone knows that--but finishing them in the hotel room the night before is a long-standing tradition, and one that should be maintained, I feel!  We didn't find out about this until Friday morning and with some of our guys coming in to town that day, it was a real problem. This also resulted in some awards being dished out on Saturday morning which rather ruined the suspense of the award ceremony, I thought. It's probably easier for the judges and presenters to do this but I really don't think it helped many of the modelers and I for one think it was an idea that should definitely not be repeated. But maybe that's just me?

In addition to that, I thought that the hotel was over-priced and not as exclusive as it thinks it is. The cost of parking was bordering on extortion ($36 to park overnight in one lot?!?) and the hotel parking lot was full when I arrived, which was also frustrating. Well, unless you paid an arm and a leg for valet parking. Funny how that's always available, isn't it? Other things that didn't go too well for me personally were the cost of registration ($50? Really?) and the awards presentation. The guys running it did a good job with the audio-visual stuff (apart from the constant malware/virus alerts) and the guys reading the results did their best, but there are so many categories and splits now that my brain (or what is left of it these days) was oozing out of my ears by the end of the aircraft categories and I had to leave to get some fresh air. Even the armor results bored me, and that's what I build! Maybe at future events we could reserve and timetable half-hour slots each for aircraft, armor, ships, sci-fi, and miscellaneous and have a scheduled break between each one? I think everyone would be grateful for that. We could probably save time in the armor category too by just giving them all to Jim Wechsler straight away and leaving it at that! Also no-one was allowed in the model room to collect their models until the presentation finished, despite about fifty people waiting around to do exactly that. It seemed petty and unnecessary and it would have reduced the size of the ensuing melee if people could have removed their models when they wanted to. Maybe there was a good reason for that, I don't know, but if there was it would have helped if the guys on the door had known it and/or shared it. The trophies were frankly tiny and looked cheap too. Even the guys from California who seemed to win every single armor category, could have carried them all home in the pockets of their shorts. Hopefully theirs weren't as scratched up as mine was either. The trophies that is, not the shorts...

It's possible that these were only issues for me though. In which case, shove me in a trash can and call me Oscar. Despite this, it was still an enjoyable convention and I look forward to attending the next one. It's inevitable that whatever you do, you're not going to please everyone and I think we all understand and accept that. I probably won't get to Tennessee since I don't want to drive for a week to get there and trusting your models to the airlines may be a bit rash--if United can kill your dog, what will they do to your models?!?  But the 2020 convention in Texas might be do-able and to all those making the journey, I look forward to seeing you there!  It's seems like a long way away (in both time and distance) but it's only two years, so you'd better get your building trousers on. Itll be here sooner than you think. Anyway, thanks to Phoenix and congrats to the Texas chapter who will be hosting in 2020. We look forward to enjoying your hospitality and drinking all of your beer. Hopefully it won't be so bloody hot there either!

Actually if we ever get around to hosting another Nationals in Albuquerque, and I really think we should, then at least we know how to emulate the conditions. All we have to do is pack everybody in and set the building on fire... It will feel about the same!

Cavalcade of Wings Website

The Cavalcade of Wings (CoW) website is now up and running.  Check it out  here.   The CoW URL is:

Additional pictures and information on ASM's support to CoW is available on the ASM Cavalcade of Wings webpage.


Cav_Wings_5.jpg (447894 bytes) Cav_Wings_2.jpg (346506 bytes) Cav_Wings_4.jpg (530711 bytes)


ASM continually supports the nationally-recognized Cavalcade of Wings model display at the Albuquerque Sunport international airport with newly-built models, model repairs, and cleaning/inventorying tasks, and performed all these tasks during this period.  This display of aircraft involved in New Mexico’s history is likely the largest number of models on display at an airport in the USA or perhaps the world, with 1350 total models in 19 display cases.  Several ASM members are on the CoW E-Board.  The original CoW chairman Harry Davidson (pictured above) was a long time member of ASM.  Harry passed away on June 10, 2018.  ASM member David Straub photographed the collection and performed extensive research that produced over 3,000 pages of documentation that led to the stand-up of the CoW website in Dec 2013.  The ASM webmaster, who is also a member of the CoW E-Board, provided inputs on the creation of the CoW website.




IPMSUSA%20Logo%20LD.jpg (17589 bytes)

IPMS/USA Home Page

Click HERE for information on joining IPMS/USA and an application form.

Click here for an IPMS application form (pdf file).

IPMS/USA Region 10 Home Page

Region 10 Chapter Links

Click on the Region 10 IPMS Chapter names below to connect to their website.
Chapters without websites are not listed.

Chapter Name Location
IPMS Northern Utah Scale Modelers Association
Ogden UT
IPMS / Salt Lake City Salt Lake City UT
IPMS / Utah Southern Front Pleasant Grove UT
IPMS / Craig Hewitt Chapter Pheonix AZ
IPMS / Ernest A. Love Chapter Prescott AZ
IPMS/Sonoran Desert Model Builders Tucson AZ
IPMS / Legacy Colorado Springs CO
IPMS / Centennial Chapter Colorado Springs CO
IPMS / Denver-Rob Wolf Chapter Denver CO
IPMS / High Plains Modelers Loveland CO
IPMS / Colorado Modeling Militia Enjoying Sci-Fi (CoMMiES) Lakewood CO
IPMS Grand Junction Scale Modeler's Society Grand Junction CO
IPMS / Albuquerque Scale Modelers Albuquerque NM


IPMS/USA Nationals 2020 Links

IPMS/USA National Convention

July 29 - August 1, 2020

Embassy Suites and San Marcos Convention Center

San Marcos, Texas 


Check out the Official 2020 Convention Website at:

IPMS/USA 2020 Nationals Website



Click here for information on: Past IPMS/USA National Conventions

Local Contest Information

Hard copy handouts on local contests are available for viewing in the ASM Book at Hobby Proz

For information on other contests not posted immediately below, please see the Upcoming Events Calendar

CoMMiES Fest 2020

   ***  Tentatively rescheduled for August 15  ***

CoMMiESFest 2020 is on March 28, 2020 - Rescheduled for August 15.
at the Jefferson County Fairgrounds in Golden, Colorado

Click here for the CoMMiESFest 2020  website


Best of the West - 2020 Show and Contest

April 25, 2020

***  Rescheduled for September 5  ***

East Side Cannery Resort and Casino

Las Vegas, Nevada

Hosted by IPMS Las Vegas, Region 8

Website at:  Best of the 2020 Show and Contest




The 2017 Region 10 Convention and Model Contest

was held on June 16-17, 2017

at the Marriott Pyramid Hotel

Albuquerque, New Mexico

Click on the logo above or here to go to the Chile Con 4 Website

   Chile Con 4 Theme

Star Wars - 40th Anniversary


May the Fourth Be With You


Chile Con 4 Results
Click here for:
Preliminary Awards Slide Show
(High Resolution - 386 MB)

Preliminary Awards Slide Show

(Low Resolution - 25 MB)

CC4 Model Pictures Gallery 1
CC4 Model Pictures Gallery 2
CC4 Model  Pictures Gallery 3





2014 Region 10 Convention and Model Contest

July 11 - 12, 2014  :  D-Day Plus Seventy

Hosted by Albuquerque Scale Modelers

For more information click on the logo above or here for the Chile Con 3 website

---  Thrice the Spice  ---



IPMS Region X Contest and Convention
May 20-21, 2011

Click on the logo above to go to the Chile Con 2 website.  Click on the links below to see contest results and pictures.

Pics from Chile Con 2:

Armor, Autos, Vendors, and Outside Vehicles

Everything Else

Contest Results & Pics from Chile Con 2


Chile Con wpe1A9.jpg (1223 bytes) 2006 
Region 10 Convention & Model Contest
May 5-6, 2006
wpe1F2.jpg (1522 bytes) Chile-Con_2006_Logo-4.jpg (23932 bytes) wpe1AF.jpg (1593 bytes)
Click here for to go to Chile Con 2006 home page:  Chile Con 2006
Click here for Pictures from Chile Con 2006:  Thumbnail Pictures
Click here for the Contest Results Listing from Chile Con 2006:  Contest Results
Click here for the Contest Results with Pictures from Chile Con 2006:  Contest Results with Pics