ASM Field Trips

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This page includes current and past reports and pictures from both ASM group field trips and individual ASM member trips to air shows, museums, displays, conventions, etc., that might be of interest to fellow modelers.  Some of these reports have been previously displayed on the ASM Articles page.  New reports will be posted to both the Articles page and this Field Trips page.  They will be deleted from the Articles page when they go non-current but will be retained here.

Index to Field Trip Reports

Click on the limks below to go to that specific Trip Report - Most recent are at the top of each table

Aircraft & Space Museums and Displays
Kennedy Space Center (FL) Nat Museum Nuc Science & History  
Midway Display-Midway Airport (IL) Cavanaugh Flight Museum (TX) Udvar-Hazy Smithsonian Mus (2016)
War Eagles Air Museum 2016 (NM) Warhawk Air Museum (ID) Palmdale Air Parks (CA)
ASM Group Trip - Two Museums HiMAT Aircraft at Edwards AFB War Eagle Air Museum 2015 (NM) 
AF Flight Test Center Mus (CA) Battleship Memorial Park - Aircraft  Commemorative AF Mus (AZ)  
Pima Air & Space Mus 2014 (AZ) Boeing Museum of Flight (WA)  Smithsonian Air & Space Mus (DC) 
National Naval Air Museum (FL) Planes of Fame & Yanks Air Mus CA Aviation Museuems in TN and OK
War Eagles Air Museum 2012 (NM) Strategic Air & Space Mus (NE) Planes of Fame (CA)
Aerospace Museum of CA Yanks Air Museum (CA) Museum Model Displays
National Mus of USAF 2011 (OH) Grissom Air Museum (IN) Century Circle (Edwards AFB CA)
AF Flight Test Center Mus - Inside AF Flight Test Center Mus (CA) Smithsonian Air & Space Mus (DC)
AF Armament Museum - Inside (FL) AF Armament Museum (FL) War Eagles Air Museum 2004 (NM)
Flying Heritage Collection (WA) Pima Air & Space Museum (AZ) Air Power Park & Museum (VA)
National Museum of USAF 2008 (OH) Pima Air Museum - 2008 (AZ) Battle of Britain Memorial Flt (UK)
Nellis AFB Display Aircraft (NV) Smithsonian Air & Space Mus (VA) Planes On Poles&Static Displays


Armor & Military Vehicle Museums
Battle of the Bulge: Then and Now Mil Veh Tech Foundation (CA) Heartland Mus of Mil Vehicles (NE)
Imperial War Museum (UK) Bovington Tank Museum (UK) German Museums (Germany)


Other Museums
USS Wisconsin (VA)    
Battleship Memorial Park - Part 2 Battleship Memorial Park - Part 3 USS New Mexico Model in NM Mus
Destroyer USS Turner Joy (WA) Star Wars - Sci & Industry Mus (IL) Indy Cars Museum (IN)


Air Shows and Aircraft Visits
ASM at Kirtland AFB Airshow (2019) Commemorative Air Force (NM)  
Aluminum Overcast (B-17) Visit 2017 ASM at Kirtland AFB Air Show 2016 B-17 Visit toABQ 2015 (2 Reports)
Edwards AFB - 1960 (CA) Chino Airport (CA) - 2 Reports B-17 Sentimental Journey Visits ABQ
ASM at Kirtland Open House 2011 B-17 Liberty Belle Visit to ABQ Wings of Freedom Acft Tour at ABQ
Tucumcari Air Show (NM) ASM at Kirtland Air Show (2006) Me 262 Project (WA)


Model Conventions and Contests
    2019 Region 8 Convention (NV)
2018 IPMS National Conv (AZ) Salt Lake City 2018 (UT) 2012 AMPS National Conv (IN)
Model Show at Starfest 2010 (CO) ModelZona 2009 (AZ) Modeling at Starfest 2009 (CO)
AMPS Nationals (IN) Modeling at Starfest 2007 (CO) Scale Modelmania 2006 (GER)
Desertcon 2004 The Gathering 2004 (UT) Tamiya/Con IX


Other Conventions
  StarFest 2018 StarFest 2015
Star Trek Las Vegas 2014 ASM-Albuquerque Comic Expo 2014 ASM-Albuquerque Comic Expo 2013
Star Trek Las Vegas 2013 ASM-Albuquerque Comic Expo 2012 Albuquerque Comic Con 2012
Albuquerque Comic Expo 2011 Star Trek Las Vegas 2011 Star Fest 2011 - 2 Reports
Albuquerque Comic Con 2011 Model Show at Starfest 2010 (CO) Modeling at Starfest 2009 (CO)
Starfest 2008 (CO) Starfest 2007 (CO) Weekend of Heroes (2004)


Other Trips
Seatlle Hobby Shops    


Fred's Foto Files



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Field Trip - Kennedy Space Center

 By Mike Blohm


This field trip report covers a visit to the Kennedy Space Center (KSC) at Cape Canaveral, Florida that I was able to make during a business trip in January 2020.  I made the trip on a Saturday and arrived at KSC at about 1000 in the morning after about a one hour drive from Orlando.  When I was almost there I passed a sign for a "Warbird Air Museum" that I decided I would check out on the way back to Orlando.  More on that in another field trip report (foreshadowing).  Pictures of the KSC visit are included in sections below.  A shorter story with less pictures will be published in the ASM Newsletter. 

It took a while to figure out their kiosk system to get an entrance ticket and I discovered that the tours to see the launch sites were all sold out.  You can get tickets to those on-line ahead of time, which I should have done.  The maps below show the layout of the KSC exhibits and attractions.  After entering the site, the first exhibit you hit is Heroes & Legends, which covers the astronauts.  There was a fairly long line for that.  This exhibit is next to the Rocket Garden missile park, so you can view those from slightly afar as you wait.  When the doors to that attraction open, you are ushered into a large round room where you see an interesting movie projected on the walls.  When that is over the inner doors open and you have access to the interior of the exhibit.  That is how all the exhibits are orchestrated at KSC.  Maybe that is the best way to do it, but I would have liked a separate entrance to bypass the movies and go straight to the displays.  Lots of good stuff to see.  The exhibit has Wally Schirra's "Sigma 7" Mercury capsule and the Mercury-Redstone 6 booster rocket that was supposed to be used by Deke Slayton, the 7th Mercury astronaut who was medically grounded and did not go into space during that program.  He later flew in the Apollo-Soyuz Test Project.  Other displays include the Gemini 9 capsule (Tom Stafford and Gene Cernan), the Mercury Control Center equipment, a Mercury space suit worn by Gus Grissom on his flight, and other astronaut and space exploration memorabilia.  You exit through the U.S. Astronaut Hall of Fame. 




My next stop was a closer look at the Rocket Garden.  I have model kits to build of most of these, so I spent a fair amount of time getting some detailed shots of nozzles, fins, fuel lines, etc.  The map above show all of the missiles so I will not list them all here..  Of note they have a Juno 1 (Explorer 1 satellite),  Mercury-Redstone, Mercury-Atlas, Gemini-Titan II, and a Saturn 1B on its side (all stages connected).  There are also some rocket engines and cutaway capsule mockups to view. 


Next on my tour was the Apollo/Saturn V Center (ASC), so I hoofed it over to the "Bus Transportation" area where you wait to get on a bus for the drive out to that attraction.  The line was tremendously long, and I probably spent an hour waiting to get on a bus, and that was all standing up.  This was my biggest mistake of my tour--I should have come to this first and bypassed everything else, and gone back later.  This exhibit at ASC was well worth the wait.  It looks like they have addressed this problem now.  On their website they now mention reserving a bus time for this attraction when you first arrive and get your tickets.  So apparently you can now show up at the Bus Center at your appropriate reservation time.  I hope this has resolved the problem--remember to do that when you first get there. 

The bus trip out to the ASC takes you on a short tour and you go by the huge Vehicle Assembly Building where they stacked the Saturn rockets and the Space Shuttles.  You also drive by a "crawler" transporter and get to see some of the launch sites from afar.  Make sure that you sit on the right hand side seats as everything will be looked at through the right side windows of the bus. 


The ASC exhibit has a lot of stuff to see and you could probably spend four hours here.  Again you have to wait and see a movie--this time looking down at the Apollo Launch Control Center equipment--before you can enter the building.  The main display item is a Saturn V lying on its side, with all the stages separate, so you can see the engines and connectors for each stage.  You enter the building next to the first stage rocket engines.  Yes, they are huge.  The rocket is surrounded by other displays to see on each side of it as you move towards the top of the rocket.  Displays along the way include an Apollo Command Module and Support Module; a large cutaway model of the Saturn V that is solid on one side and interior visible on the other; and a full-size diorama display of the Lunar Module on the Moon surface with astronauts doing experiments.  That last display is great and has a wealth of details for modelers.  I am old school and that will always be the "LEM" to me.  They also have the Apollo 14 capsule, Apollo 17 space suits, and a Lunar Buggy on display, and you can touch a Moon Rock.  I wonder what they have done with that display after the Corona Virus.  They have a "Right Stuff" gift shop in the building specializing in Apollo-related items.  Sit on the left side of the bus heading back to KSC. 





When you exit the bus you are at the Space Shuttle Atlantis building.  There is a full size set of solid booster rockets and an external fuel tank at the front of the building and you can appreciate how big it was.  Again you have the huge line and a movie to see before you can go in.  Be up near the doors and have your camera ready when the movie ends if you want to get some pics without a crowd of people in the way.  The shuttle is hung with a slight bank angle with its doors open and robot arm extended, so that you can see inside its bay.  Very cool.  There are some higher tiers with a better downward view of the bay, and you can walk all around it and under it to see the tiles.  Besides Atlantis, the building also has a mock up of the Hubble Space Telescope, astronauts in space suits, a shuttle engine, and hands-on type things for children. 




It was getting close to closing time, so I headed for the Journey to Mars building.  There is a full size model of the Orion spacecraft (capsule) near that display so check that out.  It is somewhat bigger than the Apollo capsule.  Displays in the Mars building included replica mock-ups of the rovers that landed on Mars.  My last stop was the "Space Shop." gift shop.  It was getting dark as I exited and I was able to get some nice pics of illuminated rockets. 


So overall it is a great place to visit and definitely worth the trip if you are in that part of Florida.  The daily admission price is pretty high--currently at $57 for an adult on their website.  There may be discounts not listed on the website, like seniors, military, AAA, etc.  Plan for a whole day.  Here are my recommendations and lessons learned.  Get there early and make the bus reservations first thing.  If you want to do the launch sites tour book that on-line very early before your visit.  That is not included in your admission to KSC.  Plan on three or four hours over in the Apollo/Saturn V Center.  Sit on the right hand side of the bus on the way to that, and the left side on the way back.  Have extra battery charger packs for your cell phone camera.  Think about the sun angle and times of day if you want to take pics of the Rocket Garden.  The KSC website is at:

And yes, that Warbird Air Museum (Valiant Air Command) did become my trip on Sunday.  Stay tuned for that trip report. 



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Field Trip - USS Wisconsin

By Lloyd Powell

Click here for pdf file on USS Wisconsin field trip.


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, 2019. 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.








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, 2019 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.

(Webmaster's Note: Numbers by pictures go with the captions listed below.)

1. Closed Wheel Competition Table. Drag was a separate class.  2. Large scale winner, 1/16 T-Bird.  3. One of the street rod winners.

4. The judges hard at work.  5. Open Wheel Winner.  6. Best Automotive winner.  7. One of the street rod winners.

8. Best Hot Rod Special Trophy Winner.  9. Closed Wheel winner. 

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


    2.            3.    4.    5.

6.    7.    8.    9.       

                10.    10.   




Trip Report - Commemorative Air Force

By Lloyd Powell

I went out to the Commemorative Air Force (Lobo Wing) open house on August 10, 2019 at the Moriarty Municipal Airport. Worth the trip. Here are a few photos.





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 inches, 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 unpleasantness... 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 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. It'll 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!


SLC XVIII "Dem Brudders" Do It Again!

By Jack Garriss

Salt Lake City modelers held their bi-annual contest on September 22 (2018) this year. Formerly known as "The Gathering," the one-day contest is well attended by modelers from many states. Dick Engar as Chairman and his brother, Bill, as Head Judge run a well-organized program and this year was no exception. Eighty-one modelers entered 383 models in 54 categories. The Vendor's room appeared to be doing a lively business with all the usual bargaining and deals being struck and the raffle offered some terrific kits as well. Lots of hard work went into this show and the results reflect it. The contest was preceded the evening before by a dinner and auction at Golden Corral. 

Commentary on pictures below, left to right:

Largest Gundam competition they've ever had; Judging in progress; As always, lots of armor; More Sci-Fi than usual




StarFest 2018

By Joe Walters


Webmaster's Note:  The order of the pictures posted below match the discussion sequence in Joe's article.  Parts of this article are in blue to honor Chiana. 

It happened again!  The annual StarFest science fiction convention tool place this past April 20 - 22 at the Marriott Denver Tech Center in Denver, Colorado.

It's really a conglomeration of several simultaneous conventions and events (including ArtFest, ComicFest, CosPlay, Game-Fest, KlingonFest, Model­Fest, RoboCon, ScienceFest, and StarFest itself). These now all take place under one roof, and a ticket to one gets you into all.

Registration opens Friday morning, and the conference runs well thru Sunday (the last event ended at 6:00 PM this time). To make life easier, my wife Linda and I picked up the habit some time ago of driving up on Thursday (the parking lot is jammed full early Friday), and we drive back home on Sunday.

StarFest features celebrity guests, who appear on stage and sign autographs and are generally approachable), panels on all sorts of topics, guests in amazing costumes, parties, music, and far too many scheduled events to possibly attend all of them.

There is also an art show depicting a dazzling array of sci-fi and fantasy subjects; classes on costuming, surviving the zombie apocalypse, creating mock weapons, and more; movies and TV showings, writing workshops, kids' activities, model make & take, Tom Grossman's airbrush demos, the Model Show (the part that will interest most of you, more on that later!), panels on science featuring JPL and Lockheed scientists, and on and on.

We were particularly fascinated by that last bit. The scientist currently in charge of Hubble Telescope operations spoke on latest discoveries and future plans for the satellite; People involved in the InSight Mars Lander (which launched days after the convention!) briefed us on that mission, and much more. We had to miss the one we wanted most, the Kuiper Belt exploration presentation, as that took place at the same time a guest we had to see.

The show takes place at the Marriott Denver Tech Center, which is in the southern part of town, so you only have to drive to Denver, not through it! The place recently underwent a major renovation, and is now just beautiful. The rooms are large and clean, the staff helpful and friendly, and things just seem to work right at the place. We like it!

Food service was rather limited before the renovation, but not now! The atrium now features a large restaurant and bar with lots of seating, a diverse menu, and some excellent food. During the convention, there were not one but two of those convention-burger serving line setups, and we never had to stand in a long line for those. There are even places to sit and eat now, something that was lacking before!

It's hard to tell how many people attend these things, as some people come for the whole thing, and some do one or two days. How do you count them?  I'd guess easily two to three thousand people were there, but that's just me.

Many costumes were in evidence throughout the show (and there is a Saturday night costume competition that is not to be missed!). Here are a few:

As with all conventions (even our Chile Cons!), there is a vast Dealers' Room filled with people seeking to part you from your money and exchange it for something they won't have to carry back home. StarFest is no exception, and the variety of merchandise is nothing short of mesmerizing, and much of it would be of interest to modelers!

First off, this.  I didn't even know this was a thing! These are tiny LEGO figures, about an inch high or so, and they represent many many characters. In this shot alone, I can pick out Pennywise the clown from IT, four Lord of the Rings characters (pretty sure that's a Nazgul next to Legolas), Ash from the Evil Dead movies and TV series, the Grinch, Pinhead from the Hellraiser series, and more. And they were selling! I don’t get it.

And this is a close-up! Check out the entire display on the next page. And this was one of three booths selling these things!

And guests! There were many, though we did not see them all. These three stood out.

At left, Levar Burton (Geordi LaForge from Star Trek: The Next Generation) has done this for so long that he really has the process down. He was an excellent guest, had answers for everything, and was completely in control of his presentation.

At right, Gigi Edgley (Chiana from Farscape) was really fun, very energetic, and a very popular guest. She was continually in motion; I took several photos of her, and they all have something blurred, usually a hand like you see here. Incidentally, she confirmed that Chiana is gray, not blue, it's just that the set lighting gave her a bluish tint on occasion. And she told a fun story about the day she had that gray makeup applied all over.

 At left is Mary Chieffo, from Star Trek Discovery, the new series currently in production. She's a little hard to recognize here, as her face is completely concealed on the show when she plays the Klingon L'Rell. She had a lot of interesting insight to share about the new show, the cast, and the surprises revealed during the last part of the first season.

Not pictured is Penny Johnson Gerald, who also appeared. She currently play's the ship's doctor on The Orville, but was also on many episodes of Star Trek: Deep Space Nine. As someone with a foot in both worlds, she had a lot to say about how different the two productions are, and how careful they are on The Orville about crossing certain lines.

Okay, okay, models!  Fine.

The CoMMiES group puts on Model University, and classes run throughout the convention, and include such sessions as Resin Casting, Studio Scale Ships, Modeling 101, Decals, Intro to Resin Figures, Lighting, Miniatures, and more. There is also a Make & Take area, and Tom Grossman was here demonstrating Iwata airbrushes.

Vern Clark runs the Model Show, the contest. We need to get some ASM members up here to enter this thing! Competition is high, but you guys can measure up. This year, I counted sixty-plus models, though some were parts of collections. Let's get up there and bring back some goodies!

So! What do you think? Are you inspired? This is an annual contest that just cries for some ASM participation!

StarFest 2019 takes place at the same venue, April 26 - 28, 2019. Monitor as time goes on. And be there!











National Museum of Nuclear Science & History

 By Mike Blohm

ASM members conducted a group field trip on Friday, December 15, 2017, to the National Museum of Nuclear Science & History in Albuquerque. We had seven ASM members participating. Andy Rogulich, ASM member and docent at the museum, allowed us to piggyback on a tour that he was giving for the Air Force Nuclear Weapons Center.

The tour was concentrated on the development of nuclear weapons during World War II and the Cold War. Andy gave overviews of the information presented in each of the displays - he definitely knows this subject area.  These included the Manhattan Project and the develiopment of the atomic bomb and its testing at the Trinity Site at White Sands, New Mexico; Fat Man and Little Boy bomb replicas, the onset of the Cold War and the development of other nucler weapons; and civil defense preparations for nuclear attack. Of note, the two B-29 models of the Enola Gay and Bockscar in the museum display were built by former ASM member Pat Trittle. 

The group then went outside to get a tour of about half of the items on display there, due to time limits.  The group saw the B-52B Stratofortress and Hound Dog missile, Mk 17 and Mk 53 nuclear bombs, external centerline fuel tank/weapons pod for a B-58 Hustler, the Atomic Cannon, Honest John rocket, Nike Hercules surface to air misile (SAM), B-29 Super Fortress, replica Trinity Site nuclear bomb test tower, and an F-16 Falcon.  FYI, ASM did contribute funding for the paint used to refurbish their B-52! 

A selection of pictures is included below. The sun angle was not the greatest so some of the pictures are pretty dark. Definitely recommended to visit

ASM will be planning to conduct another tour of this museum in 2018, as well as the Defense Nuclear Weapons School's Nuclear Weapons Instructional Museum at Kirtland Air Force Base. ASM has been contributing and loaning models for their displays, and we want to keep that effort going in 2018.



















SBD Dauntless Displays
Commemorating the
Battle of Midway

 By Mike Blohm

This article covers two displays commemorating the Battle of Midway that feature SDB Dauntless aircraft, and was inspired by John Tate's "Remembering Midway" article in the June 2017 ASM Newsletter. June 2017 is the 75th anniversary of the battle.

The first display is the Battle of Midway Memorial located at Midway Airport in Chicago. I have been through Midway several times and took pictures of the Memorial, meaning to eventually write up a trip report on it. The airport was originally built in 1923 and called Chicago Air Park. It was leased by the city in 1926 and renamed Chicago Municipal Airport in December 1927. In July 1949 the airport was renamed "Chicago Midway Airport" after the Battle of Midway. The Midway Memorial features a Dauntless hanging from the ceiling just as you approach Concourse A. It also includes some displays with information, pictures, and videos on the battle. This particular aircraft was used in training at Chicago's Glenview Naval Air Station and aboard the simulated flattops USS Wolverine and USS Sable on Lake Michigan, and fell overboard during training. It was recovered and restored with the Memorial being formally dedicated on June 4, 2001. Pictures of the display are included below. It is not too far from the central part of the airport, and you can see it even if you are not on a flight departing or coming into Concourse A. Well worth checking out if you have time.


The second display is an SDB-2 featured in the collection at the National Naval Air Museum in Pensacola, Florida. This Dauntless, Bureau Number 2106, actually participated in dive bombing runs against the Japanese carrier Hiryu during the Battle of Midway on June 4, 1942, while assigned to Marine Scout Bombing Squadron (VMSB) 241. It returned from that mission with over 200 bullet holes and a wounded gunner. It is the only known surviving aircraft from the Midway battle. This particular SDB was also a survivor of the attack on Pearl Harbor, having been parked on Ford Island at that time. In early 1942 it served in Bombing Squadron (VB) 2 aboard the carrier USS Lexington (CV 2), taking part in raids on Lae and Salamaua, New Guinea before being transferred to the Marine Corps in May 1942. This SDB was subsequently transferred to the Carrier Qualification Training Unit in Chicago and sank in Lake Michigan in June 1943 The displayed aircraft has several unrestored areas showing the original color scheme and markings. Several pictures of the SBD are included below. This is a must-see aircraft if you get the chance to visit this outstanding museum. Additional pictures of the museum are available in the Naval Air Museum trip report that I wrote in 2012 that is posted on the ASM Website’s Field Trips page.




Trip Report - Cavanaugh Flight Museum

 By Mike Blohm

This trip report covers a visit to the Cavanaugh Flight Museum in June 2016 during attendance of Squadron's EagleQuest 25.  This museum is located in Addison, Texas, just northwest of Dallas.  Brian Peck, Matt Blohm and myself took a couple of hours to make a quick tour through the museum, which has 54 aircraft and some vehicles on display in 5 hangars and on their flight line.  Aircraft of note include: Fokker D.7 and Dr.1, Sopwith Camel, FG1-D, FM-2, TBM, Yak-3, P-51D, P-40N, Spitfire Mk VIII, HA-112 (Bf 109), B-25H, B-25J, A‑1H, F9F, F-86, MiG-15, MiG-21, F-104A, F-105G, and F-4C.   Pictures of some of them are posted below.  Warbird rides are available  in 9 different aircraft (4 trainers, 3 attack/observer/bombers, and 2 fighters) and 1 helicopter. 

Per their website, the museum is devoted to promoting aviation studies and to perpetuating America's aviation heritage; the museum fulfils its mission by restoring, operating, maintaining and displaying historically-significant, vintage aircraft, and by collecting materials related to the history of aviation. 

The museum has a lot of great stuff packed into a small space.  Definitely worth a visit.  Plan on two to three hours to get through everything. 

They are open Mon-Sat 9 AM - 5 PM and Sun 11 AM - 5 PM.  Admission is Adults: $10, Seniors & Military: $8, and Children (4-12): $5. 

Their website is at:


Aluminum Overcast Visit

By Fred Franceschi

Fred's Foto File

This B-17G-105-VE, known as Aluminum Overcast, was first flown on May 18, 1945, too late to see action in the Second World War, and it was sold as scrap for $750 in 1946.

It was modified and used at various times to haul cattle, as a pest control and forestry dusting aircraft, and for a variety of other purposes. In May of 1979, it was acquired by the Experimental Aircraft Association, where it was displayed, then restored to almost original configuration, with radio and avionics equipment updated to meet current airworthiness requirements.

This B-17 was painted to represent airplane 42-102516 of the 398th Bomb Group, shot down on its 34th combat mission over Le Manoir, France, on August 13, 1944.

The Aluminum Overcast visited Albuquerque's Double Eagle Airport during January of 2017, and I drove my Command Car there on January 8, just for the hell of it.


I just had to take these first two shots after Brian Peck's demonstration on painting B-17 exhausts and superchargers during our January meeting.

Damn, but it looks beautiful.

Starting up the engines. Notice the person with the fire extinguisher. That is normally required when airplanes are started in both military and civilian life.

Next two images: Heading for the runway.


Next, a couple of shots of the airplane flying overhead. Seeing one plane flying over is impressive; it must have been awesome, or terrifying, to see five hundred or a thousand of these flying over at one time. The underwing star looks a bit small and further rearward on the wing than I would expect, but maybe that is how the original was painted.

Below and next page: Coming home.

A couple of closeups of the nose as the plane returns from a flight.

The advantage of having a WWII military vehicle is that I can (with permission) park my truck under the wing of the B-17 for a photo shoot.



ASM Model Display at the 2016 Kirtland AFB Airshow

By Mike Blohm


 The Albuquerque Scale Modelers (ASM) conducted a fantastic model display at the Kirtland AFB Airshow on Saturday June 4th and Sunday June 5th, 2016.  It was a great way to promote both the club and the hobby of scale modeling.  The theme of the model display was the "75th Anniversary of Kirtland AFB (1941 - 2016)" to match the theme of the airshow.  We did our best to have all the aircraft that were involved in the history of Kirtland AFB and it's many missions over the years, plus some models to show what other subjects can be built within the hobby.  We started with three tables on Saturday and increased that to four on Sunday, with a total of 70 models being on display.  I think we had more planes on our tables than they had on the flight line.  Model scales varied from 1/32 to 1/144.  We had three huge 1/48 scale aircraft (B-17G, B-24J and B-29A) courtesy of Don Goodrich, that got a lot of attention.  Additionally, we had five ASM-built nuclear bomber models on loan via Erik McIntyre from the display at the Nuclear Weapons Heritage Model Display (B-36, B-47, B-50, B-52 and B-2) at the Defense Nuclear Weapons School Museum representing that testing mission at Kirtland AFB.  Some pictures of the airshow display are included with this article; more are available on the ASM Website. 

 ASM was located in a great spot in the center of the display hangar.  We had literally thousands of visitors stop by to check out the models, talk about scale modeling, and discuss the history of the aircraft that had been stationed at Kirtland AFB.  The parents loved the aircraft and armor whereas the kids loved the science fiction subjects, particularly the Star Wars models and the UFO flying saucers.  Actually, most people loved the sci-fi.  We had to be fast to stay ahead of the little kids who wanted to touch the models, but luckily we had only a few minor, repairable casualties.  Lots of veterans enjoyed seeing their aircraft types in the display and sharing their stories of when they had flown or worked on them.  We even had a few people show us cell phone pictures of their ancestors and ask us if we could identify the aircraft in the picture that they had flown or supported, as they wanted to build a model of their planes.  I'm happy to say that we were successful with those requests.  We also had a few requests to provide some models for additional historical displays, and I'll talk about those at the next ASM meeting. 

 We passed out lots of flyers on both ASM and the upcoming New Mexico State Fair Model Contest and encouraged folks to visit our website.  It sounded like we might get some attendees at a meeting to check out the club.  Additionally, lots of the kids seemed excited to come enter a model at the State Fair, as well as a few adults.  It was a lot of fun, and I think we succeeded very well in promoting both the club and the hobby of scale modeling.  My sincere thanks to all the ASM members who participated in manning the display and/or loaned models (see alphabetical list below).  We were able to have enough folks to watch over the models - a challenge with four tables - and to answer all the questions that came our way.  In particular I'd like to thank Victor Maestas, Josh Pals, Matt Blohm, and Larry Glenn who assisted me in the coordination with Kirtland and the initial set-up on Saturday morning. 

Matt Blohm

Mike Blohm

Theron Brawley

Jeff Frickstad

Jack Garriss

Larry Glenn

Don Goodrich

Gil Johnson

Bret Kinman

Josh Kinman

Victor Maestas

Jim Mesco

Josh Pals

Ken Piniak

Frank Randall

Andy Rogulich

 Dave Tipps








Field Trip - Udvar-Hazy Annex


Smithsonian Air and Space Museum


By Victor Maestas

In April, 2016 I had a work training class near Washington DC.  I went a day early so I could have time to go to the Udvar-Hazy Annex of the Smithsonian Air and Space Museum in Chantilly, VA.  I attended one of the free "highlights" guided tour.  This tour started with early aviation and went through most of the museum in chronological order.  The docent stopped at certain aircraft to give background on the plane, the people involved and details on how the museum selects and restores artifacts.


This museum restricts its artifacts to prototypes of historically significant aircraft, including the first to accomplish something (record holders), aircraft piloted/crewed by significant persons and aircraft involved in historical events. The museum is always adding exhibits and there are about 170 aircraft and over 150 large space artifacts on display. Some of the vehicles on display include:

Boeing 367 "Dash 80" (707 and KC-135 prototype) that introduced jet passenger aircraft to the public by doing barrel rolls over the Seattle 1955 Seafair and Gold Cup Hydroplane Racers at Lake Washington.

B-29 "Enola Gay"

SR-71A  2023/61-7972 last flight from LA to DC - 1hr 7mins 53.7secs on 1990 Mar 6


Selection of US WWII aircraft including

P-40E Warhawk  

F4U-1D Corsair

Curtiss SB2C-5 Helldiver


Selection of German WWII aircraft including

Do-335 Pfiel   

Me 163 Komet

Arado 234 Blitz jet

He 291 Uhu



Selection of Japanese WWII aircraft including:

Aichi M6A1 Seiran

Kyushu J7W1 Shinden

Kugisho MXY7 Ohka Model 22 (Cherry Blossom)

Nakajima J1N1-S Gekko


Bob Hoover's North American  Rockwell Shrike Commander 500S

Double Eagle II balloon gondola, piloted by Ben Abruzzo, Maxie Anderson, and Larry Newman, the first balloon to cross the Atlantic Ocean on 17 August 1978

F-35B with engines on stands for display

Red Bull Stratos Capsule Felix Baumgartner jumped to Earth from a helium balloon in the stratosphere on October 14, 2012. Doing so, he set world records for skydiving an estimated 24 miles, reaching an estimated top speed of  843.6 mph, or Mach 1.25 becoming  the first person to break the sound barrier without vehicular power relative to the surface on his descent

NASA Pathfinder solar powered UAV - set the altitude record for solar-powered aircraft - as well as propeller-driven aircraft - to 71,530 feet (21,800 m) on July 7, 1997.

Space Shuttle "Discovery"

"Close Encounters of the 3rd Kind" Mother Ship film prop


There were also a large number of models on display in cases around the museum.  Most of them were of the painted carved-wood type (mostly in flying poses on stands).


Restoration Hanger

The museum has an on-site restoration hanger where artifacts are prepared for display in the museum.  Work in the hanger can be seen from an overhead viewing area. The museum is also connected to Dulles Airport by a taxiway, so flying aircraft can take their last flight to the museum.


The docent explained that people often ask if the aircraft on display are restored to flying condition. The answer is yes and no.  Most artifacts are taken apart and all parts restored to as close to factory perfect as possible, then coated in a preservative to prevent corrosion or deterioration.  They are then reassembled and put on display.   Even though they are probably able to become airworthy, the aircraft would have to be completely taken apart and have all the preservatives removed.  Artifacts that go to this museum are for historical record and will never leave.


Some of the artifacts being worked on while I was there include:

"Friendship 7" Mercury capsule

B-26 "Flak Bait"

Horten Ho-336 flying wing

Start Trek nacelles - the film prop Enterprise is being restored by the Smithsonian to match the "Trouble with Tribbles" episode, (see reference material on top of the white paint booth)

Sikorsky JRS-1 utility/transport flying boat, survivor of the attack on Pearl Harbor in 1941


This museum has a great selection of very interesting artifacts.  This museum has a lot of the larger aircraft/spaceships that will not fit in the main museum on the DC mall.  If you like seeing historical aircraft and spacecraft in great condition, this museum is a must-see.  I spent about six hours at the museum including a Space Program movie at the IMAX Theater.

Picture Posting In Progress




ASM Field Trip - War Eagles Air Museum 2016

Santa Teresa, New Mexico

By Larry Glenn

On February 25, 2016, Brian Peck, Tommy Willers, Ken Peniak and myself took the long journey to Santa Teresa, NM to visit the War Eagles Air Museum (WEAM).  This was not the first trek to WEAM by ASM members, but it was the first for me.  For an out of the way place, the museum is certainly well represented in aircraft, some military vehicles and many classic automobiles.  WEAM has 36 aircraft on display and 52 vehicles.  Additional exhibits include several nuclear weapons, vintage flight simulators, aircraft engine displays, both propeller and jet, uniform exhibits of allies and WWII German aviators, vintage gas pumps and many other artifacts and exhibits.

Some of the more notable WWII aircraft on display are a F4U-4 Corsair, a TBM-3E Avenger, a P-40E Warhawk, a P-51D Mustang,  a P-38 Lightning (it was in after war racing livery), a Sea Fury Mk X, a Fieseler Storch, a A-26C Invader, a DC-3 (C-47) in civilian attire and a yet to be restored Soviet TU-2.  More modern aircraft included a T-33, a F-86 Sabre Mk.. VI (Canadair), a FJ-2 Fury, a T-38B Talon , a Cessna T-37B Tweety Bird, an A-7E Corsair II, a F-84F Thunderstreak and a MIG-15, a MIG-15 two seater and a MIG-21. 

The classic automobiles included a 1935 Auburn Model 85 Boat Tail convertible, a 1936 Packard Super 8 convertible, a 1918 Oldsmobile Touring car, several Fords, including a 1914 Model T Speedster, a 1927 Model T, 1929 and 1930  Model A's, a 1970 E-Type Jaguar roadster,  and other assorted Chevrolets, Oldsmobiles, Cadillacs, MG's, Jaguars and a lot more.  The military vehicles included the standard Jeeps, a M706/V-100 Commando and, and as you entered the premises, a M163 and Hawk anti-aircraft missile battery.

 We were escorted by Gus, a fellow modeler and collector of military memorabilia.  Gus permitted us entry into the cockpits of the MIG-15 and MIG-21 and into the gunner's station in the TU-2.  Ken brought his collection of flight helmets and other flight gear and was photographed in the gear in the aircraft. 

 We spent about 3 hours at the museum and I took over 100 photographs of the exhibits, many of which are posted below.  We left Albuquerque shortly after 7:00 a.m.  The trip took about 4 hours.  The drive is well worth it and for those who have not seen it, it is a trip well worth taking.

Pictures below by Larry Glenn


Pictures below by Brian Peck


Report and pictures below by Ken Piniak

On Feb 25, four of us: Ken Piniak, Brian Peck, Larry Glenn, and Tommy went to War Eagles Air Museum. I have been there before, so I only took photos of things that were new to me.  I have a small collection of flight gear, and the high point of the trip was being able to dress up as a pilot (US, Soviet, and East German) get my photo in and around some of the aircraft.




B-17G "Texas Raiders" Visit to Albuquerque


A Very Short Road Trip

By Ken Piniak

On October 4, I took the wife down to Cutter Aviation on the south side of the Albuquerque Sunport to see the B-17 "Texas Raiders." The "TR" is one of a handful of B-17s still flying, and perhaps the best preserved one of the group. While I have seen and toured quite a few B-17s in my time, including the "TR," this was a first for my wife, Dawn. She is a veteran (Navy) so she has some understanding of the hardships and sacrifices involved in military service, but this was her first chance to experience up close what it was like for those brave airmen who flew in these machines all those years ago.

When we arrived, the plane was out on a flight, so we looked at a couple of WWII vehicles and browsed the selection of gifts and T-shirts they had available (we each bought a T-shirt). Then we heard the unmistakable sound of a large four-engine aircraft approaching. We were treated to the sight of this large, majestic bird as it made its approach and landing. After taxiing up to the ramp, shutting down the engines, and offloading the passengers and crew, the plane was opened up for tours. For the next hour or so, we explored the old girl inside and out. I answered my wife's questions and pointed out some of the features of the plane, and what it was like to fly in it. Most people do not realize just how tiny, cramped, and spartan the interior of a B-17 really is. I showed Dawn how the crew entered the aircraft, how they had to open the windows to fire the waist guns, and where they plugged in their electrically-heated flight suits to keep from freezing to death.

Outside of the aircraft, we had to be careful to avoid dripping oil from the engines and other parts of the plane. We looked at the ball turret and the tail turret, the loneliest and most isolated parts of the aircraft. After viewing the plane from nose to tail, it was time to say goodbye and head home.



Texas Raiders History

By Mike Blohm

The B-17G Flying Fortress "Texas Raiders" is being presented at airshows and other events by the Gulf Coast Wing of the Commemorative Air Force. It is based at David Wayne Hooks Airport in Spring, Texas. It was originally delivered to the US Army Air Force on July 12, 1945, but was transferred to the US Navy on July 21, 1945. It was converted to serve as an airborne radar system. After service on the Atlantic Seaboard and in Japan, it was retired in August 1955. It was later used as a civilian cargo plane and for aerial photography, mapping, satellite tracking, and oil and natural gas surveys. Mapping assignments included photographic coverage of the entire continent of South America and an extensive amount of Central America. Surveys were conducted in the North Sea and Alaska.

The Commemorative Air Force bought the B-17 in September 1967 for $50,000. It went through major restorations in 1983 - 1986 and again in 1993. It is recognized as the best restored B-17G bomber currently flying in the world. Of note, no B-17 carried the name "Texas Raiders" during World War II. There are currently only eleven restored B-17s that are airworthy out of 12,732 produced. For more info on "Texas Raiders" visit their website at (

The first picture below is the B-17G Texas Raiders overflying the Albuquerque Baloon Fiesta.  The rest of the pictures are the B-17G as seen from my house.





Field Trip:  Warhawk Air Museum

By Michel Wingard

Last summer I had the opportunity to travel to Idaho with my brother Peter and my sister Marie for a family gathering. We were celebrating my cousins Perry and Florence Mary's 90th birthdays and Bill's 89th birthday. Perry doesn't drive much so we went to Meridian, Idaho, to visit him. While we were there, the four of us went to Caldwell, Idaho, to visit the Warhawk Air Museum (

The museum is dedicated to collecting memorabilia that records the contributions of veterans from Idaho. I tried to get as many pictures as I could of the displays, including a number of engines-both prop and jet. The planes include two P-40s, E and N versions; a MiG-17; an F-85F Sabre; and a MiG-21. There was also a P-47 Razorback Thunderbolt at that time, which is not listed on their current web page. They also have two WWI planes: a replica Fokker DR-I and the frame of another Fokker. The fuselage is displayed and the wings are in storage. I believe that it is a restoration waiting to happen at some future date.

They also have one of the few WWII gliders. It was found living in rural Idaho as a trailer and was saved by the museum. While we were there, they were getting ready for an airshow the next weekend for the 4th of July, so I got to see one of the P-40s taxi out and take off and land. Both of the P-40s are flying aircraft, which is really fun to see.

It turned out that the museum is collecting Idaho veterans' stories as a video record with the Smithsonian Institute. Many of these can be seen at their website ( Not all of the video records are public, at the request of the veterans who made them. My cousin Perry was part of this project, but his story can only be seen with permission from him. He served as an engineer in the US Army and was assigned to an Australian unit in the Southeast Asia Theater. We watched his story and he shared with us what happened to him in WWII. Much of his experiences have never been shared with others in the family, so it was a unique visit. While I cannot share his experiences, I was profoundly moved by what he went through and can only hope no one ever has to go to war again.

If you're ever in the northwest, the Warhawk Air Museum is a must-see for modelers and airplane enthusiasts. Enjoy the pictures, I tried to get good detail shots for references. Enjoy!

 Webmasters Note:  A representative sample of Michel's 225 pictures is posted below.  More will be added shortly!



ASM Group Field Trip - Museum Tours

   By Mike Blohm

ASM members conducted a group field trip on Saturday, June 20, 2015 to two different museums in Albuquerque.  These included the Nuclear Museum of Nuclear Science & History, and the Defense Nuclear Weapons School's (DNWS) Nuclear Weapons Instructional Museum at Kirtland Air Force Base.  Approximately 12 ASM members participated, accompanied by some family members and friends.  Andy Rogulich conducted an excellent, in-depth guided tour of the Nuclear Museum that included both the inside and outside displays.  There are a large number of aircraft and missiles to be seen in the outside "Heritage Park" area.  This was followed by the tour at the DNWS Museum conducted by Erik McIntyre and Bret Kinman.  This was also an excellent tour, and included the models built by ASM that are in the Nuclear Weapons Heritage Model Display.  The models do enhance the displays, and we encourage ASM members to participate in this project.  You can help by entering a model for the museum's display in the Nuclear Weapons Heritage Model Display Sponsored Contest in October.  Some pictures of the museum tours are included below; more are available on the ASM Website.  We hope to conduct another "double-tour" later this year.  Pictures below by Mike Blohm and Josh Pals. 












Field Trip: StarFest 2015

   By Joe Walters

The annual StarFest science fiction convention took place in Denver over the weekend of April 17-19. It was one of their best shows, which is saying something-my wife Linda and I have been attending these since 1996, and have never been disappointed! We have this odd tradition that whichever half of the journey she drives (we trade off), she invariably encounters snow. This time, we changed drivers at Raton (a good halfway point), and it was already snowing, and we were in snow from there all the way to the hotel parking lot in Denver. The photo below is from our room, where we were very glad to finally be, as the snow continued coming down. Intensity increased, and within an hour that dark building in the background was utterly invisible. Fortunately, we didn't have to leave the building for the entire weekend!

StarFest always features many, many events, including celebrity guests (who give presentations in the Main Events room, pose for photos, and sign autographs for fans), movie and TV screenings, presentations, gaming, art shows, reports from NASA scientists, "Trailer Park" movie previews, trivia contests, auctions, debates, art shows, music, a huge Saturday night dance (the Federation Ball), discussion panels, contests, and much much more. The CoMMiES group (hosts of the upcoming Regional) put on several model-related events as well: a general model contest, make & takes, and "Modeler University," basically a series of clinics on various subjects.

In addition, there are concurrent "fests" based on other subjects: ComicFest (held in the hotel across the street), HorrorFest, RoboFest, GameFest, and even KlingonFest this time around. It's all part of the same overall show, and a ticket for one gets you into all of them.

Mike Blohm insisted I include lots of pictures, so I have! I took most of what follows, but I also blatantly stole some from the StarFest website after the show. We will begin with a look at some of the guests who attended this show. We found them all very approachable and friendly, and they all seemed to be having as good a time as we were.


Webmaster's Note:  Verbiage below is from the ASM Newsletter, which had four pictures per page.  Pictures above and below are in the correct order to follow along.

At upper left, Armin Shimerman is always an excellent guest. Known for playing Quark in Star Trek: Deep Space Nine and the mean ol' principal from Buffy the Vampire Slayer, he is a very accomplished and versatile actor, and gives a great show!

Terry Farrell, top right, is best known for playing Dax on DS9, as well as for her role on Becker. For such a sweet delicate flower of femininity, she was easily the most foul-mouthed person at the entire convention!

At left, Richard Dean Anderson, of course, played McGyver, as well as Jack O'Neil on Stargate SG-1. An outstanding guest, he was very personable and even spent time conversing with people getting autographs or photo ops. Above you see my wife Linda getting some stuff signed (I've told her that he's her hall pass). Unlike many major actors, Richard stayed for the entire convention, and signed autographs all three days. He was easily approachable.

This show always brings out incredible examples of costuming. Here are some examples, mostly from the Saturday night costume competition, but also from folks just walking about the hotel dressed out.

Upper left: Abe Sapien from the Hellboy movies. Not the only gender switch at this show! And it was a great costume even so.

Upper right: This couple was dressed all in gray, with gray paint swatches pinned all over themselves. That's right, they were dressed as Fifty Shades of Gray.



Lower left: Batman Beyond. This young fellow's costume featured wings that not only extended, but retracted as well! I've seen many costumes with extendable parts, but that's the only one I've ever seen that could reconfigure.

Below right: Captain Pike from the original Star Trek series. Clearly there was a motorized wheelchair under there, and yes, the light blinked with the appropriate "beep" effect. Real crowd pleaser.

Upper left: Captain America. Upper right: X-Men's Dark Phoenix, complete with translucent "Phoenix effect" wings. Bottom right, two conventiongoers each dressed as Groot from Guardians of the Galaxy, posing for passersby. They are Groot. Bottom left: the taller of the two Groots entered the contest, and stalked off (ahem) with Best of Show. When he came out to claim his trophy, the techs played "Hooked on a Feeling" over the PA system, and he actually did the dance from the after-credits scene. Just excellent.


Upper left: Some yellow chick. Might be an anthropomorphized Pokemon character. Ask any nearby teenage boy, they'll likely know.

Upper right: A double gender switch, Tony Stark and Pepper Potts. Tony really pulled off the attitude, and Pepper looked suitably irritated. That's the MC, Kevin Atkins, behind them. He's everywhere.

Bottom left: Superman and Wonder Woman.

Bottom right: A "steampunk" version of Superman and Wonder Woman.

There were many many more incredible costumes, but I thought this made a fair sample. Now, on to modeling (finally!).







I attended a "Modeler University" class on lighting. The instructor, Doug (above left), gave an interesting and informative clinic on adding lighting effects to models without even having to delve into things like volts and amps (and I feel the need to call your attention to the fellow on the right, wearing a black and green Cthulhu fez).

Doug had built a fantastic Iron Man figure and added lighting with just a few stock LEDs. He also built this gorgeous Star Destroyer (bottom), lit with fiber optics and those LEDs-on-a-strip you read about.

The inset photo shows a demo of using a heat gun on shrink wrap to properly and firmly attach a bundle of fiber optics to an LED.

The true modeling highlight at this convention is the Model Show, a competition that really ought to have some ASM members showing up every year to bring home some goodies! Where are you guys? Come up next year, bring some models, bring home awards and accolades and prizes! Vern Clark, who runs the thing, always gives me grief when I show up without a model to enter, so help me out here, guys!

Here are a few entries from this year's competition. On this page, entries from the recent Battlestar Galactica series: the Battlestar Pegasus, a Cylon raider, and a frakkin Cylon centurion!

The above "Mirror Universe" ISS Avenger from Star Trek: Enterprise had to be seen to be believed. Not only was it fully lighted, it boasted the most subtle and perfect panel pattern effect I've ever seen on a Trek model. Darn near made me cry.

Below: This AT-AT has had a bad day.

I showed these pics to the guys at a recent E-board meeting, and they seemed to think it was  1/12  scale or similar. It was big, and the builder super-detailed it, claiming it was 30% scratchbuilt.  I can believe it. An utterly beautiful build.

Top: The creature from the movie Relic.

Center: A distinctive-looking K'tinga-class Klingon Battlecruiser.

Below: USS Defiant, from the original Trek series.

Above left: A finely detailed and camouflaged robotic battle suit thing.

Above right: Nice little Star Wars vignette.

Below: The same Star Destroyer as at the lighting demo. Here you can see the "trench" running along the top of the craft, and those "strip LEDs" at work therein.

A few of the tables showing some of the many models - there were well over 100 entries, including some large groups, and all skill levels were represented here.

And yes, this space used to be a restaurant. It's now the only space in the hotel large enough to house the Model Show, along with tables for Make & Takes and an area for the Robotics club, which brought along three fully-built Lost in Space Robots, all of which were lit and speaking over one another.

Top: Space Ark.

Center: USS Voyager.

Bottom: A nice vignette from the movie Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan. If you saw this movie on the big screen, you remember this moment vividly.

A few excellent Star Wars entries and a very nice-looking  Wellsian time machine.

This is one of those "pics or it didn’t happen" moments—The Rick Sternbach, looking over the models (that's Katniss from the Hunger Games movies behind him, just passing by).

Sternbach is a professional graphic designer, model builder, special effects dude, and more; he worked on all the Trek series except the original, was part of the design team for the Enterprise-D, was the designer of the Deep Space Nine station and Voyager, and much more. He also gave a presentation on his work, which I attended. He showed slides of many of the things he designed including phasers, tricorders, alien ships, and more. It was fascinating to see the evolution of some familiar designs from first concept to final design.

He also showed the graphic at bottom, a piece of artwork he did for Star Trek: Voyager. This piece hung in Chakotay's quarters, and was a "mandala" type design, reflecting the character's Native American heritage.

Only Sternbach knew it was actually a map of the galaxy, with the black lines showing where the wormholes are. It was a map to get home. Had Chakotay known it, the ship could have made it back on day one! An excellent inside joke.

Note that Mr. Sternbach is going to be a guest at the upcoming CoMMiESFest Regional, another reason for attending!

Above is one of the prizes awarded at the Model Show: the starship Defiant, still in its box—but this box has been autographed by four Star Trek: Deep Space Nine actors (who were all present at this show) and by Rick Sternbach—who designed the ship. Could have been yours!

In addition to the model show, some vendors in the dealer room also offer model kits and such for sale. I was surprised to see these two kits for sale - and literally seconds after I took the picture, a guy bought them both. I couldn't identify the manufacturers, but the Soyuz kit box is covered in Russian text, and the Buran box uses the Roman alphabet, but appears to be in some eastern European language.

Various dealers stock model kits and items useful to modelers, such as at this booth. Toys and various bits of merchandise can be used to enhance modeling efforts, and actual kits—both the familiar ones we see everywhere and the ones we rarely encounter—can be found in this room as well.

The emblem at left reflects the presence of two of the major guests at this show: Richard Dean Anderson (Jack O'Neil from Stargate: SG-1) and Mark Goddard (Major West from Lost in Space). Yes, I got the T-shirt!

Below you see a promo piece for next year’s show, revealing three guests they've already signed. But beware - there's an unwritten tradition that the guests you see on the year-early preview never make the show! These are working actors and sometimes they get roles during the intervening time that prevent them from attending. In any case, it's a notable starting lineup, and whatever turns out to be next year's slate will surely be excellent.

The hotel where the convention has been held for the past several years (Marriott Denver Tech Center in the south part of Denver) is about to start an eighteen-month renovation, so next year's show will be held at the previous venue up near the airport (details in the photo below). The convention has grown a bit since we left the old place, and that hotel is smaller than the current one, so one would be wise to book early and plan ahead!

Late in the year, start to monitor the convention website ( for details and deals. The convention runs from Friday through late Sunday, and we have learned to drive up on Thursday to have any chance of finding a parking space, and we drive back Monday since the convention runs into Sunday evening and we quickly tired of returning home at 3:00 in the morning!

Meanwhile, you can visit the StarFest FaceBook page ( and see many more photos from this convention.

So dust off your best SF models, and/or build something new, and come on up! You'll have a great time.


HiMAT Aircraft on Display at Edwards Air Force Base

   By Mike Blohm

The Highly Maneuverable Aircraft Technology (HiMAT) experimental aircraft (technology demonstrator) went on display last summer at the Integrated Support Facility at the NASA Armstrong Flight Research Center located on Edwards AFB, California.  This article provides some pictures of the aircraft and a short history of the program.  The purpose of the HiMAT program was to provide information on integrated, computerized controls; design features such as aero-elastic tailoring, close-coupled canards and winglets; the application of new composite materials; a digital integrated propulsion control system, and the interaction of all these new technologies, in order to apply these to later high performance aircraft.  This research was conducted jointly by NASA and the Air Force Flight Dynamics Laboratory at Wright-Patterson Air Force Base, Ohio. 

The program ran from mid-1979 to January 1983 and included two remotely piloted HiMAT aircraft that were flown 26 times at NASA's Dryden Flight Research Center - now the Armstrong Flight Research Center.  These sub-scale HiMAT aircraft were about half the size of an F-16 (the HiMAT was 23.5 feet  long with a 16 feet wingspan) and had nearly twice that fighter's turning capability.  The HiMAT could sustain an 8 G turn at 25.00 feet and Mach 1, whereas the F-16 could only sustain a 4.5G turn.  The HiMATs weighed 4,030 pounds, including 600 pounds of fuel, and were powered by a General Electric J-85-21 turbojet that produced 5,000 pounds of static thrust, reaching a top speed of Mach 1.4.

The HiMATs were launched  at 45,000 feet from a NB-52B mothership (now retired and on display at the Edwards AFB North Gate - pictures below).  The aircraft was flown by a NASA research pilot in a remote cockpit on the ground with the aid of a television camera mounted in the cockpit of the real aircraft.   The control signals were up-linked from the flight controls in the remote cockpit to the aircraft, and aircraft telemetry was down-linked to the remote cockpit displays.  Contributions from the HiMAT program included the use of composite materials, forward canards and rear mounted swept wings (seen later in the X-29), digital flight control systems, and winglets to reduce drag (now seen on commercial aircraft).  One of the two HiMAT aircraft is at Edwards AFB, while the second is at the Air and Space Museum in Washington DC.  The in-flight pictures of the HiMAT in this article are from the NASA HiMAT Fact Sheets.  Quite a very cool-looking aircraft for the 1979 time frame when it was developed. 

Links to additional data:


Battle of the Bulge: Then and Now

By John Tate


Most WWII buffs have seen the above photo, of an SS Schwimmwagen in the Ardennes during the Battle of the Bulge, ominously headed towards the Belgian town of Malmedy in December 1944. It is one of the most recognizable German photos from that battle and captures well the sinister nature of the German advance. But how many have thought about where the picture was taken?  More than a half-century after the War, finding the location surely must be an impossibility. But on a business trip to Europe seven years ago, I decided to find out, using a Michelin map and old issue of After the Battle featuring the Battle of the Bulge.

The magazine showed an image of the site from 1974; at that time, little had changed since 1944.  A caption mentioned that the Schwimmwagen had emerged onto the N23 road from the direction of Born and turned right towards Lignueville. So the first step was figuring out this area was in southeastern Belgium, midway between St. Vith and Malmedy.

Looking more closely, I discovered the road "N23" no longer existed, having been redesignated N62, and was just west of a new expressway (E42 on the above map). But the original intersection looked like it might still be there, so after pinpointing the spot, off I headed. On the below map, the location of the Schwimmwagen photo was at the end of the small stretch of road between the N659 and N62 blue boxes, where it intersected N62.

When I reached the intersection of the road from Born with N62, this is what I found.

A surprise-instead of the road crossing being in a dark forest filled with the distant echoes of a long-ago battle, it was now the site of a light industrial park. It even included a tire store, which both American and German troops would have found useful back in 1944. Seeing this modern location was a good lesson that just as the US had changed since the 1940s, so had Europe. In the above picture, the SS Schwimmwagen would have made a right turn and headed towards Lignueville and Malmedy.

While I was snapping a photo of the intersection, I decided to have a look at the forest across the highway. What I found was no less interesting—these aren't the old growth forests we're familiar with in the US, they are stands of trees that are grown and harvested, which is apparent even in old wartime photos. A little detail to keep in mind if ever modeling a Battle of the Bulge diorama. Two photos of this forest appear below.

I drove several kilometers up the N62 to the Baugnez Crossroads, known to GIs as Five Points, site of the infamous Malmedy massacre on December 17, 1944.

The massacre occurred near the site of the small parking lot, to the left of where the two cars are parked in the photo at bottom. The Five Points crossroads is at the top right of the picture. Eighty-four US soldiers, most from the 285th Field Artillery Observation Battalion, who had surrendered to an SS panzer column that was part of Kampfgruppe Peiper from the 1st SS Panzer Division, were machine-gunned at this spot. The story of what happened next, through a war crimes trial and postwar political controversies, up to the murder of Joachim Peiper himself in France in 1976, might someday make a compelling film.

 A short distance down the N62 from the Five Points crossroads is the site where American troops made a brief stand against the SS Panzer column.

The Five Points crossroads is at the top of the picture; the ditch on the other side of the road is where American troops fought with small arms against Panzers before surrendering to the Germans. The large farmhouse in the picture was built after the war.

Pictured below: The memorial, which is located at the crossroads across the street from the massacre site. When I visited, it was heartening to see a poppy wreath had been laid there by members of a RAF squadron; a real touch of class from our finest ally.

In this 70th anniversary year of the Battle of the Bulge, give some thought to the American GIs who gave everything, in bitter cold far from home, to stop, hold, and push back Hitler's war machine. Malmedy is a reminder of the risks any American in uniform faces in wartime, and especially the merciless treatment our POWs can receive at the hands of their captors. If you find yourself in a similar forgotten corner of a foreign field, make a point to visit and pay your respects to the memory of our fallen.


Around the time I visited Malmedy, which was on the northern perimeter of the German advance, I visited Bastogne, which is located south/southwest of Malmedy and was right in the middle of the German offensive during the Battle of the Bulge.

Today, Bastogne is a peaceful and prosperous regional city but it took a helluva beating during the German siege.  I had it a little easier on the outskirts of Bastogne than these guys did.

Outside the city, there is an excellent museum, the Bastogne Historical Centre, which is full of artifacts from the Battle. It's located next to the Mardasson Memorial, a Belgian monument to the Americans who defended them against the Germans.  There are a couple of tanks parked outside, but I'm not sure if these were veterans of the Battle of the Bulge or sentinels provided by the Belgian military after the War.


Today the countryside around Bastogne is the picture of beauty and tranquility, probably the best monument possible to the GIs who gave their lives here.

 National Museum of Military History

A good museum to visit in the vicinity of the Ardennes is the National Museum of Military History in Diekirch, Luxembourg. The primary exhibits are of US and German military equipment and uniforms of the 1944 - 45 period and give a useful impression of how the opposing armies were equipped during the Battle of the Bulge.


This was an interesting display—a model of the German V-3 multiple-propellant gun, used by the Germans to bombard Luxembourg during the Battle of the Bulge. About 180 rounds were fired but the weapon was not particularly effective. The rocket gun site was south of Trier in nearby Germany; unfortunately I was never able to pinpoint the location.

One last shot-this image gives a good idea of what the Belgian Ardennes looks like, in summer at least. If you're a WWII military history buff and have a chance to see this part of the world, do yourself a favor and pay a visit-there are few places on earth where the war still feels as close as it does there.


ASM Field Trip - War Eagles Air Museum 2015

By Jerry Little

It's like when you open a kit that's been on the shelf for while waiting to be built and finding an extra set of decals in the box.  That was the case when we pulled into the parking lot of the War Eagles Air Museum in Santa Teresa, New Mexico.  We should have known something was up when we had to look for a parking spot.  According to Brian Peck, there is never more than a few cars there, but this time, it was full.

When the club members decided to take a day trip down to Albuquerque's nearest aviation museum, we didn't know that the very same day there would be a 1929 "Tin Goose" American Ford Tri-motor airplane on display and offering rides.  In addition to the iconic aircraft, the local Ford Mustang club was holding a display along with EAA Chapter 555.  This proved to be a great trip and even more for the lucky one who got to fly on the Tin Goose!

Because the trip down to Dona Ana County only takes a few hours (approximately 4 hours), we decided to meet up at 0730 to start the trip.  Brian Peck, Tom Perea and Blain Couch all volunteered to drive so we all piled in and headed south.  Along for the trip were the three drivers plus, Patrick Dick, Tim Woods and his son Pat, Gil De La Plain, Tommy Willers, Louis Gallegos, Bryanna Delgado and fellow modeler Dave Knauss.   The caravan pulled out and stayed together for about 4 minutes before the other pulled away from Brian's Suburban.  Brian happened to meet some new friends on the last club road-trip to Pima so he wasn't anxious to hurry and hear the dreaded "Sign here Mr. Peck, and drive safe" ... again!

Once we arrived, Tommy Willers made a bee-line for the Tri-motor and secured his ticket for a ride.  The Tri-motor was produced by Ford between 1925 and June 7, 1933 when the last of the 199 aircraft rolled off the assembly line.  While the Tin Goose was founding member of the civil aviation market, it was also used in the military and other countries around the world. Tommy's ticket put him on Flt 17 and lasted about 30 minutes while flying around the Rio Grande River Valley near El Paso, Texas.

Entry into the museum is cheap at $5 and that gets you into the gift shop and museum floor.  Walking through the door the first thing that hits you is the view of a well restored P-40 Warhawk that flew with the "23rd Fighter Group" in China.  Just beyond that was a gloss black P-38 Lightning that was once an air racer.  That was just the beginning of a series of amazingly preserved aircraft that included the only originally built TF-51D still flying.  The range of aircraft spanned from WW I to modern jets.  Many of the aircraft are unique in their pedigree and are all kept in "returnable to flight" condition.  In fact, the museum is strewn with drip pans under a lot of the aircraft to catch leaking fluids (mostly engine preservatives). 

As we were walking through the rows of aircraft, I overheard Tim Woods say to his son: "I know what you're looking at!  ... it was a 1970 E type Jaguar.  In addition to the aircraft, the museum has over 26 classic automobiles and motorcycles.  This includes a stunning 1935 Auburn Boattail Speedster and a 1936 BMW R5 motorcycle named "Max".  Interestingly enough, all of the vehicles in the museum have a name given to them by the curators. 

Another interesting thing about the museum was two aircraft on display, at T-37 Tweet and a Mig 21 were donated on behalf of the German Air Force.  Ft Bliss and Holloman were the home to the 2nd German Air Force for many years.  When one of the commanding Generals visited the museum, he noted that it would be a great place for aircraft displays.  Undenounced to them and with great surprise, one day the museum was notified they had a "large crate" for them in Houston from the German Air Force.  When they opened it, they found the Mig!   The State Department was a little miffed because it was still in flying condition and no one asked their permission.  It is now proudly displayed along with the other cool aircraft on the floor.

After spending a few hours in the museum, we all piled back in the cars for the trip home.  Of course we had to stop for nourishment so Rudy's was the go to place.  The brisket was just right but we all decided to skip the beans!

The trip to the War Eagles Museum is well worth the short drive down to the border.  There is plenty of aircraft and automobiles to view and if you're lucky, you might even get to sit in a cockpit or two!  Next time, Brian can't drive so we can get there without having to shave.

The War Eagles Museum website is:

Additional photos below by Gil De La Plain







New Aircraft at Air Force Flight Test Museum

By Mike Blohm 

Two new aircraft went on display recently at the Air Force Flight Test Museum at Edwards AFB, California.  These include a Piper PA-48 "Enforcer" and a McDonnell Douglas YF-4E "Phantom II."  Pictures are included, with the majority of them being of the "Enforcer."  The aircraft looks really well-restored from its previous condition while in storage.  One item of note is that this PA-48 does not have the huge pitot tube boom on the front of the left wingtip tank, as seen in period photos of the aircraft.

The PA-48 was a turboprop powered light close air support/ground-attack aircraft built by Piper Aircraft Corp based upon the North American P-51 "Mustang."  The Enforcer concept was originally created and flown as the "Cavalier Mustang" by Cavalier Aircraft, in response to the United States Air Force's PAVE COIN program, but Cavalier did not have the ability to produce the Enforcer, so the program was sold to Piper in 1970. 

The USAF actually tested the aircraft twice.  Two were built (one single seat, and one two-seater) as PE-1s and were evaluated in 1971, with a decision not to buy them.  The two-seater was lost in a crash off the Florida coast.  The second testing occurred in 1982-83 at Edwards AFB and Eglin AFB, Florida after much lobbying had occurred for a re-test.  Two additional aircraft were built, now designated as the PA-48.  The aircraft was again found to perform well in its intended role, but the USAF decided once again not to procure it. 

Two PA-48s remain - one at Edwards AFB and one at the Museum of the USAF at Wright-Patterson AFB, Ohio.  These are both from the second batch built.  The PA-48 as tested included a Lycoming YT55-L-9A turboprop engine and was actually only about 10 per cent common with an original "Mustang."  It had a huge exhaust port on the left side of the engine (see pictures).  It was longer and larger, and had six wing hardpoints for ordnance and fuel tanks capable of carrying 5,680 pounds.  According to documentation, the max speed was only 345 mph, with a combat ceiling of 20,000 feet and combat radius of 460 miles. 

 The "Phantom II" on display is a YF-4E.  This was the third YF-4E built, and was originally an F-4D (65-0713).  The first YF-4E had originally been the YRF-4C (62-12200) and the second was an F-4C (63-7445).  65-0713 was the first to include both the nose-mounted cannon and a radar.  These latter two aircraft originally had J79-GE-J1B engines, but both were later re-engined with the J79-GE-17. 

For additional info on the museum and how to visit, check out their website at:

Fred's Foto Files - Edwards Air Force Base 1960

 By Fred Franceschi

These photos were taken at Edwards Air Force Base (or is it Flight Test Center?) in May of 1960. I think I had some of these in pictures in previous Foto Files, but I've located the original slides and sorted my images by their development dates in an attempt to make their provenance more accurate. 

Here is a picture of a US Army C-7 Caribou utility transport, built by de Havilland Aircraft. The C-7 was later heavily used in Viet Nam.  Here we see a Douglas C-133 Cargomaster. Since this is at Edwards in 1960, it was probably the test aircraft for the C-133B. These were designed to transport strategic missiles.

Below, a Cessna T-37 "Tweet" Trainer. Cessna also made an A-37 attack version of the plane, but I don't see any underwing attachment points for ordinance in the photos.

[Extremely Trivial ASM Newsletter Editors Note: I flew the Tweet for four years and never saw one with that long red and white boom attached to the left wingtip of this one. However, in the late 1950s, Cessna developed the B-model of the T-37 to replace the existing T-37A in USAF service at the time. The small strakes on either side of the nose and the configuration of the empennage mark this as a T-37B, likely the plane used for testing this model. All remaining T-37As were upgraded to T-37B status from this time, so A-models are rare; I'm told one is on display at the USAF Academy in Colorado. -JW]

A Convair F-102 "Delta Dagger," the underperforming predecessor to the Dart. I lived in San Diego, where the F-102 and F-106 were made. My friends and I were very aware of the problems when the F-102 grossly underexceeded its design expectations. The discovery of how compressibility impacted the delta wing/fuselage section was a major news event. The engineer who discovered "area rule"  and how to design around it was a hero to the many Convair employees would otherwise have no longer been employed.

Below: Convair F-106 "Delta Dart" Fighter - Notice the "area rule" shape to the center fuselage, visible above the "U.S." painted on the air ducts. It was called the "Coke Bottle shape" and was what changed the mediocre F-102 into a good airplane.

A US Navy North American A-5 Vigilante. A really sleek-looking plane.  A B-58 Hustler with a J-93 jet engine where the weapons pod would go.  I bet this was a haulin' plane when everything was lit up.  And it could make for a really interesting conversion for a modeler with a bit of scratchbuilding ambition.



Field Trip Report - Battleship Memorial Park
3 - USS Alabama Battleship

This is the third installment of a multi-part trip report on a visit to Battleship Memorial Park in Mobile, Alabama in October 2014.  The park is located on the eastern edge of Mobile just off Interstate 10.  This report covers the largest attraction at the park - the battleship USS Alabama. 

The USS Alabama (BB-60), a member of the South Dakota class of battleships, was laid down on Feb 1, 1940 and launched on Feb 16, 1942.  It is the sixth vessel to bear the name Alabama.  Its first tour of duty in early 1943 was protecting lend-lease convoys to Britain and Russia, while operating with the British Home fleet in the "Murmansk Run."  She then joined the Pacific Third Fleet in the New Hebrides in Sep 1943 and participated in activities against the Gilbert Islands.  Actions in 1944 included Truk, the Marianas, Palau Island, Saipan, the battles of the Philippine Sea and Leyte Gulf, and Guam.  She returned to Bremerton, Washington for an extended dry-dock from Dec 1944 to May 1945.  Returning to the Pacific, she supported strike operations on the Ryuku Islands and Kyushu, and bombarded engineering works on Honshu Island 50 miles north of Tokyo on 1Jul 17, 1945.  She was anchored in Tokyo Bay for two weeks at the end of the war in Sep 1945 before returning to the U.S.  The ship earned nine total Battle Stars on the Asiatic-Pacific Service Medal.  She was decommissioned on Jan 9, 1947 and sent to the Bremerton Group of the United States Pacific Reserve Fleet.  She remained at Bremerton until stricken from the Naval Vessel Register on 1 Jun 1962.. 

In May 1962, the USS Alabama had been ordered scrapped along with her South Dakota-class sister ships, USS South Dakota, USS Indiana, and USS Massachusetts.  Citizens of the state of Alabama formed the "USS Alabama Battleship Commission" to raise funds for the preservation of Alabama as a memorial to the men and women who served in World War II.  The ship was awarded to the state on Jun 16, 1964, and was formally turned over on Jul 7, 1964 in ceremonies at Seattle, Washington. The Alabama was then towed to her permanent berth at Mobile, Alabama, arriving in Mobile Bay on Sep 14, 1964 and opening as a museum ship on Jan 9, 1965.

There are three self-guided tours available of the ship, each shown in the Visitor's Tour Guide handout that you get after you purchase a ticket.  The Red tour is below decks to the stern of the ship.  The Green tour is also below decks at the forward area of the ship including the engine room.  The Yellow tour is the main and upper decks, including the main 16 inch and 5 inch gun turrets, the anti-aircraft guns, the bridge, and the fire control tower.   We ended up doing just the Yellow tour because of time constraints and those were the main areas that we wanted to see.  The Guide has a pretty detailed route spelled-out and gives you basic information on all the areas that you are visiting.  Be careful climbing around inside the turrets as they are very cramped spaces.  Pictures below by Mike and Matt Blohm.  The aerial view is from the Park's website.

Plan on several hours to tour the Alabama, depending upon how much you want to see.  The Park is open every day except Christmas Day, from 8:00 AM -5:00 PM in April - September and 8:00 AM - 5:00 in October - March.  Check out the Park's website at:

More information and photos of the USS Alabama are available at:







Pictures below are of the USS Alabama in service, including combat tours in the Atlantic and Pacific from 1942 through 1945



Field Trip Report - Battleship Memorial Park
Part 2
- USS Drum Submarine

By Mike Blohm

This is part two of a multi-part trip report on a visit to Battleship Memorial Park in Mobile, Alabama in October 2014.  The park is located on the eastern edge of Mobile just off Interstate 10.  This report covers the second largest attraction at the park - the submarine USS Drum. 

The USS Drum (SS-228) is a Gato-class submarine of the United States Navy, the first Navy ship named after the drum, any of various types of fish capable of making a drumming sound.  She was laid down on 11 September 1940 at the Portsmouth Naval Shipyard, Kittery, Maine and launched on 12 May 1941.  Drum was the twelfth of the Gato class but was the first completed and the first to enter combat in World War II. She is the oldest of her class still in existence.  She conducted 13 patrols and received 12 battle stars, and is credited with sinking 15 ships, a total of 80,580 tons of enemy shipping, eighth highest of all US submarines in total Japanese tonnage sunk.  She was decommissioned on 16 February 1946.  She went on display at Battleship Memorial Park in July 1969.  She was initially moored in the waters behind the USS Alabama but was brought ashore in 1998 after being damaged by a hurricane storm surge. 

The submarine is mounted on concrete blocks and you enter by climbing up a staircase near the stern to get to the deck.  The self-guided tour starts by entering a hatch forward of the conning tower.  The tour takes you through the various rooms from the forward torpedo room in the bow to the after torpedo room where you exit the sub in the stern - see pictures below.  You can also climb up into the control room for a peek out the periscope.  While you can walk around the deck below the conning tower and get a close-up look at the guns, you cannot climb up onto that area.  The inside of USS Drum seems to be very well taken care of and in "shipshape". 

Plan on about an hour to tour the USS Drum section of the Park.  The Park is open every day except Christmas Day, from 8:00 AM -5:00 PM in April - September and 8:00 AM - 5:00 in October - March.  Pictures below by Mike and Matt Blohm.  The aerial view is from the Park's website.The final installment will cover the USS Alabama The final installment will cover the USS Alabama.  Check out the Park's website at:

More information and photos of the USS Drum is available at:


Interior picture sequence below is from the forward torpedo room to the aft torpedo room





Field Trip Report - Battleship Memorial Park
Part 1
- Aircraft Collection

By Mike Blohm

This is part one of a multi-part trip report on a visit to Battleship Memorial Park in Mobile, Alabama in October 2014.  The park is located on the eastern edge of Mobile just off Interstate 10.  The park includes not only the USS Alabama (BB-60) battleship, but also the USS Drum submarine, a large collection of aircraft, and a fair number of armored vehicles.  So you basically have something for everyone in the scale modeling hobby.  To adequately cover everything on display there will be separate reports provided for the ASM Newsletter and Website. 

 This trip report will cover their aircraft collection and displays.  It had been about 25 years since I last visited the Park and it has grown significantly in size.  I think they had about five aircraft back then.  Now they have 23 aircraft, with about half of them inside a large building called the Medal of Honor Aircraft Pavilion.  The most notable aircraft include a Lockheed A-12, the CIA single-seat version of the SR-71A, and the YF-17 prototype aircraft number 2 that went on to become the F/A-18 for the US Navy.  Other aircraft include an OS-2U Kingfisher, a P-51D in Tuskegee Airman (332 Fighter Group) markings, C-47D in D-Day markings , B-25J in Air Apache markings (bat on nose), HU‑16E Albatross, AD-1, F-86L, F9F-5, B-52D, A-4L, F-105B, F-4C. RF-8G, A-6, MiG‑17A, F‑14A, F-15A, F-16A, F/A-18, UH-19, CH-21, UH-1H, VH-1N, SH-2F, HH-52A, and Redstone missile.  As seems to be my recent luck, they had some kind of a function being set up and it looked like the A-12 had been pushed outside to make room for tables.  The aircraft are all in good condition, other than a few of the outside aircraft that may have been recent additions and are awaiting restoration.  Plan on a couple of hours just to tour the aircraft section of the Park.  The Park is open every day except Christmas Day, from 8:00 AM -5:00 PM in April - September and 8:00 AM - 5:00 in October - March.  The next installment will cover the USS Alabama.  Check out the Park's website at:   The aerial view picture below is from the Park's website.









Fred's Foto Files - German Museums

 By Fred Franceschi

These are photos that I took at museums in Germany in about 2005.  I visited several museums.  One was the Auto and Technik Museum in Sinsheim.  Another was the Museumbuch Speyer.  I purchased books at both museums, but since I don't read German,  I'm not able to do much more t han look at the pictures in them. 

I also visited a military museum, maybe at Mainz-Kastel.  The military museum is really interesting because its purpose is to have historical references for the people who design new uniforms and equipment.  They had German, Russian, American and British uniforms and equipment, as well as armored vehicles from a variety of countries. 

The first photos are of a Russian T-34.  It's indoors and appears to be in good condition, so the photo may have been taken at the German Army Museum. The next two photos are of an M7B2 Priest.  The B2 version can be identified by the high "pulpit."  It was probably at Speyer.  The next four are of M3 Scout Cars.  One is painted in olive drab, and the other is probably painted "rust."  A real weathering job.  The last picture is a 3/4-ton Command Car, the replacement for the earlier 1/2-ton truck.  It is lower, whic enabled more of them to be packed in Liberty and Victory ships.  Being lower also meant it was less likely to roll over so it was a bit safer.  Both the 1/2-ton and 3/4-ton vehicles were made by Dodge. 

My visits to the museums were really interesting and I'd like to return and see them again some day. 



Field Trip Report - Commemorative Air Museum in Mesa Arizona

By Mike Blohm

I visited the CAF museum several years ago but never had the chance to write up a trip report on it, but the timing is right to provide an incentive to go see it, as this is the site of ModelZona 2014 on November 1st.  IPMS Craig Hewitt (Phoenix) has been a great supporter of our Chile Con regional contests, so please give a thought to attending.  The CAF Museum is the home of the Arizona Wing of the CAF and is located in the southwest corner of Falcon Field Airport in Mesa, Arizona.  It consists of several hangars for aircraft and historical displays and for servicing and restoration of their aircraft. 

Their collection consists of about 18 aircraft and helicopters, including a B-17G, B-25J, C-47, A-26C, P-51D, AF-2S Guardian, Nieuport 17, L-16 Grasshopper, T-6, PT-17, C-45 Expediter, C-50 Bobcat, H-19 Chickasaw, OH-6, Canberra bomber, MiG-15, MiG-21PF, and F-4N Phantom II.  Their B-17G "Sentimental Journey" has made several visits to Albuquerque during their summer tours.  (Click here for a trip report on Sentimental Journey's previous visit to Albuquerque.)  The museum offers warbird rides on 7 different aircraft, including the B-17G ($425 mid-fuselage or $850 in the nose) and the B-25J ($395 mid-fuselage and $650 in jump seat behind the cockpit).  When I was there the aircraft had been pushed from the middle of the main building in preparation for a holiday party, and the B-17G was parked outside, so what you see in the attached pictures may not be the normal configuration.  You were able to walk through their maintenance hangar while they were working on the aircraft, so that was pretty cool to see.  There are a lot of display cases full of models, so be sure to check those out.

 A very nice museum with a lot of great aircraft on display.  A must-see museum if you are going through Phoenix.  Plan on several hours minimum to see everything.  The museum itself is readily visible from the main road but you can miss the entrance to it if you are not paying attention.  The museum's website is at:






Fred's Foto Files - Chino Airport

 By Fred Franceschi

Well, this looks like a conglomeration of photos from the Chino Airport. I think that most of the airplanes were at the Planes of Fame museum there, but I remember the SB2C Helldiver. It was at the Yankee Air Force Museum, a privately owned collection in a separate area of the airport. The Yankee Air Force belonged to the owner of a dairy, and he found a really good way to spend his excess funds. Looking at the photo with my younger brother in the cockpit of an F9F Panther dates most of the pictures to the early 1960s. But the restored P-40 may be the same plane that's shown in its unrestored condition.

This is me as a much younger person, many lifetimes ago, in the F9F cockpit.  Here is my younger brother John sitting in the Panther cockpit. A looooong time ago.

F4U Corsair with a semi-World War II paint scheme, but showing the post-war star with the red bar. Museums may not have the correct markings on their airplanes. Always check your references.

This F4U shows the same #29 as the one in the above photo, but a different number of "kills" to the other one. I don't remember if these are photos of two different aircraft, or the same plane at different times.  Another Corsair, or the same one at a later date. There is something sitting on the ground behind it, maybe a B-24 fuselage.

An SB2C Helldiver, pre-restoration. Somewhere I have more photos of it. These planes were so ugly that they were "cool."  An F4F or FM-2 Wildcat.

A B-24 fuselage, waiting to be restored. Wasnt the Lady Be Good the airplane that crashed in the Libyan desert, with the remains of the crew found many years later?  If so, I think the original Lady be Good was a B-24D, so disregard any markings shown here.

Two pictures of an unrestored P-40 Warhawk. The bottom image may be the same airplane at a later date, but I can see some differences in the areas around the engine exhausts, so I'm not sure.

A P-51D, restored. It looks like the invasion stripes were hand painted on the fuselage, which I understand is a lot more realistic than the nice, clean stripe decals we apply on our D-Day models.

Here is an SBD Dauntless. I remember that in those days, some SBDs were used to smuggle lobsters into the United States from Mexico. It seems to me that one time the Mexican Air Force shot one down. So very different to the smuggling that happens in this era.

A Wingless late-model P-38 Lightning. The wings are probably sitting inside a hanger being rebuilt.

Which brings up another thought: When you digitize your film photos or slides, set up a directory in your PC that references the envelope you took the shots out of, with the date and location.




Fred's Foto Files - More of Chino Airport

 By Fred Franceschi

This is a continuation of the photos in the December 2013 Newsletter, showing Planes of Fame aircraft at the Chino airport in the early 1960s, a long, long time ago.

An F4F or FM2 Wildcat.  Wheel well and flap details on the SBD Dauntless shown in the December 2013 Newsletter.  Another photo of the F4U Corsair shown in the earlier newsletter.

The P-40's shown in the earlier newsletter. Some of the photos show the restored aircraft, some of the shots show the plane unrestored. But as I said last time, I can see a few different details, so I'm not sure if this is the same plane. I do notice that the colors of the unrestored plane in these shots look "better" than the ones in the December newsletter.

What's that, a Sopwith Camel in American "Hat in Ring" markings?  That's a B-25 photo chase plane in the background.  Remember, this is in Southern California, where the movies are filmed.  I was going to say that's a PT-17, but I don't see a windshield for the pilot in front. 





Star Trek - Las Vegas 2014

By Joe Walters

The annual Creation Star Trek convention in Las Vegas, which Creation Entertainment claims is the largest annual Trek convention in the world, took place the weekend of July 31 - August 3 at the Rio Suites Hotel. Thousands showed up for the show, and a great time was there to be had.  My wife and I certainly had one!
There are no modeling events at this particular convention, so I'll try to keep this brief.

The promoters had spent a little money this time around to ramp up the decor and general atmosphere of the con. Gone were the big banners of spaceships and head shots that had festooned the walls and stages of conventions past, but new things were there to see, some of them interactive. There was a full-sized "transporter" facility, fully lit and with recordings of proper sound effects playing continuously; there was also a mockup of the famous "Guardian of Forever," with properly flickering lights and sound effects. Both of these displays were meant for attendees to use to pose for photos. And they were both busy all weekend long!

Over 100 guests were present, many on stage (individually or as part of a panel) and several at tables in the Dealer Room. Most of these folks were quite accessible and easy to talk to. Sadly, since the advent of eBay, free autographs are no longer given, but you can usually get a nice hello and a handshake at no charge!

Guests included three from the latest Star Trek movie (Simon Pegg, who plays Mr. Scott; Karl Urban, who plays Dr. McCoy; and Peter Weller, who played Admiral Marcus in the most recent film, Star Trek: Into Darkness). Weller is also well-known from the original Robocop films as well as Buckaroo Banzai, and was an excellent and engaging guest speaker. Creation has posted short videos from the stage appearances of Karl Urban (click to view) and Simon Pegg if you're interested. Pegg even discusses the infamous Neutron Cream Incident in detail. Urban's video shows clearly the "holodeck door" that was used for guests to enter the stage.

There were far too many guests to list here in detail, from every incarnation of Star Trek, and some from elsewhere. We attended a panel of JPL scientists who discussed the exploration of Mars and beyond; the famous "Mohawk Guy" from the Curiosity landing was among them.  A few guests showed up in character, notably Robert O'Reilly and J.G. Hertzler, who reprised their roles as the Klingons Gowron and Martok respectively. Inexplicably, they came onstage wearing bathrobes over their Klingon garb, but proceeded to have a fun time with the audience, even inviting everyone dressed in Klingon garb to join them on stage for some singing. 

A costume competition is one of the major draws there, and there were costumed fans to be seen all over the convention.

But what about models?  Well, there are at present no modeling-related events at the show beyond a "centerpiece contest," which sometimes features models in their designs. The main presence of models is in the Dealer Room, where several dealers sell kits, both the ubiquitous AMT/ERTL kits and some not so well-known. Some of these are getting harder to find, even from sources like eBay.

One (pardon the expression) enterprising vendor was selling mini-posters and pre-built models. Yes, it's possible to earn some money from this hobby! You see some of his examples in the bottom photo on this page.  This dealer was selling mostly display models and figures (how many can you identify?), but there are a few kit builds in there, such as the Enterprise bridge and the My Favorite Martian spaceship in the top photo, and the Glencoe space station below. Obviously, he wasn't limiting himself to Trek-only subjects.

Also of interest to modelers would have been a couple of panels involving some of the special effect technicians who actually built models for the various shows before CGI took everything over.

We always have a good time at this convention, and plan to continue attending them. Tickets (the top level ones) are already available for the 2015 convention, and the following year, the 2016 convention will be celebrating the Star Trek's 50th anniversary (the show premiered in 1966), so we expect it will be quite the blow-out. They already have one guest signed up for it (Shatner, of course!), but expect pretty much every living Trek performer to be there!

Below is a photo of the Starfleet Cheerleading Team posing with Adam Malin, one of the two guys who run the convention.



Field Trip Report - Palmdale Airparks

By Mike Blohm

 This article covers two outdoor airpark museums that I visited in August 2014 that are located adjacent to Lockheed Plant 42 in Palmdale, California.  These two museums are only open on Friday - Sunday from 11:00 AM to 4:00 PM and both have free admission.  The museums sit next to each other and you will be able to visit both in just a couple of hours.  Pictures from the two museums are posted below - more will be posted on the Field Trips webpage. 

The first museum is Blackbird Airpark, which is an annex of the Air Force Flight Test Center Museum located at Edwards AFB.  This museum, dedicated to the Blackbird family, is unique in that it displays together the Lockheed A-12 aircraft used by the CIA, SR-71A Blackbird, a D-21B Reconnaissance Drone, and a U-2D Dragon Lady.  Overall a group of really cool aircraft to see.  The U-2D is a modified two seat version used in testing.  Also on display are a J57 engine used by the U-2 and a J58 engine used by both the A-12 and SR-71, with two of the latter's starter carts.  There is a small museum/gift shop next to the aircraft which has some wind tunnel test models, and pressure suits and ejection seats used with the aircraft.  There is also a pretty nice set of models depicting various A-12, SR-71, and R-21 drone-carrying aircraft.  Make sure you check those out.

The second museum that I visited is the Joe Davies Heritage Airpark, which is supported by the city of Palmdale.  This museum has a total of 18 aircraft on display arranged along a circular walk path where the aircraft are never too far apart.  The one exception is the B-52 which takes a little bit of a hike to get to.  The aircraft include a F-86F, B-52D with AGM-28 Hound Dog missile, F-100D (former Thunderbird), F-101F, F-104C, F-105G, F-4D, YA-4C (currently in refurbishment), A-7B, F-14D, T-33, T-38A, F-5E, C-140, Triumph business jet, Space Shuttle Escape System Test Vehicle (nose section), and an F-16 that needs a lot of work.  Unfortunately the only World War II era aircraft is a nicely restored C-46D Commando.  There are also several types of engines, bombs, and missiles also on display.  A 1/8 scale model of the B-2 Stealth Bomber is mounted on a pole near the museum entrance.  Overall these aircraft are in great shape for being in an outdoor display in the hot California desert. 


Highly recommended to visit if you happen to be in the Palmdale or Lancaster area of southern California.  Check out their websites at: and

ASM at Albuquerque Comic Expo 2014

By Joe Walters

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Albuquerque Comic Expo (ACE) was held the weekend of June 27 - 29 at the Albuquerque Convention Center, and certainly lived up to its reputation as the premier comics / science fiction / fantasy show of this area.

Literally thousands of people attended, many in costumes. Albuquerque Scale Modelers had a presence there as well, as we took up six tables in the lobby area. This is a great location - we were right next to the main entrance, and straight across from the escalator one descends if arriving from the parking garage. That means that everyone who attends the show gets a good look at us whether they want to or not! And many, many attendees did indeed want to!

We had around 140 sci-fi and fantasy based models on display, along with our ubiquitous "What is Scale Modeling?" display, and a huge banner identifying us to the multitudes (you may have seen this banner at Chile Con, where it sat behind the ops are in the model room).

We had a good turnout of ASM members to man our station and answer questions from the public, of which there were many. We ran our first ACE Make & Take at this show, and were amazed at the interest  - we ran out of models the first afternoon, and had to shut it down for the rest of the show!

Many people asked us where one could buy models, and where and when we meet, and many of our little club flyers were handed out. We also distributed quite a few of the little quadfolds we had made for Chile Con, so we may have inspired a few folks to attend that show as well.

There was a vast dealer room, offering not only comic-related wares but also books, video games, legos, posters, toys, and even original artwork from celebrity artists with their own booths. There were displays of famous autombiles, including the 1960s Batmobile, a S.H.I.E.L.D. Volkswagen, and even a Star Wars landspeeder.

Many celebrity guests spoke and were available for autographs and such; I was glad to have a chance to see Joel Hodgson, creator of the Mystery Science Theater 3000 series, speak on that show and future projects.

We were able to corral quite a few costumed attendees to act as "celebrity judges," to select their favorite model and pose for a photograph.

We even had a visitation from some actual celebrities. Two of the stars of the television series Being Human stopped by and really geeked out on the models! Sam Huntington liked a Millennium Falcon, while Sam Witwer preferred a TIE Fighter display.

You'll see more photos in the Bonus Pages, taken by myself and Frank Randall, and you can see all the pictures taken by the two of us online (

ACE is a great opportunity for exposure for our little club, and is a great success in the area of generating interest on the part of the public.

ASM's Model Display at ACE 2014







ASM Make 'N Take at ACE 2014





Celebrity Judging for Favorite Model









ASM Group Field Trip - Pima Air Museum

ASM members participated in a group field trip on April 12-13, 2014 to the Pima Air Museum in Tucson, Arizona.  The group drove down early on Satuday morning and returned late Sunday afternoon.  A bonus was that the Davis-Monthan AFB Open House was being conducted that same weekend, and ASM members were able to view or participate in that event as well.  ASM family members also participated - we had eleven total people - and a good time was had by all.  Thanks to Brian Peck for organizing and leading the trip.  See the Guide Pictures for aircarft that are on display at the museum.  Several other trip reports for the Pima Museum are on the Field Trips web page.

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Field Trip - Seattle Hobby Update

by Victor Maestas

Recently, my wife and I went to Seattle to visit her family. While there, I took a little time to look around at the local hobby shops, make a mandatory stop at the Museum of Flight, and attend one of the local model club meetings.

There are many hobby shops, including several chains like Hobby Lobby, Michaels, and multiple HobbyTown USA locations, but I was more interested in the local independent shops. I started on the north side of Seattle and worked my way south, plugging the addresses into the gps unit that I got for Christmas.

The first one I went to, Galaxy Hobby, was actually in Lynnwood, and was in the same strip mall as a Hobby Lobby. It was a large full-service hobby shop with rc, trains, rockets, etc., along with the plastics section. The selection of kits was very large (one wall, floor to ceiling, about fifty feet long, and several shelves with cars, sci-fi, etc.) but was mostly limited to newer releases. For the car guys, there was a display case full of resin car body trans-kit conversions for sale. They did stock Humbrol enamels (in the little pots) and Vallejo, in addition to the usual Model Master, Testors, and Tamiya paints. All my purchases could not exceed the volume of gifts that we left in Seattle and still fit in my luggage back to New Mexico, so I had to be very selective. At this shop I picked up a Tamiya Red Bull F1 car kit and a couple of Black Dog military figures in 1/35 scale.

The next stop was at M&L Records and Models which had about 2/3 records (lps) and 1/3 model kits. The kits were all older out-of-production kits, some of them "distressed" (parts started, missing promotional items, etc.), but these were all clearly marked and priced accordingly. It was very interesting to paw through the shelves and realize all the subjects that I didn't know had been previously made as kits. I picked up a couple of '80s Indy Car kits and a Star Wars Anakin Pod Racer kit.

Skyway Model Shop was located in Renton and is strictly a plastic model kit store. There were all the latest kit releases as well as large sections with older kits (Frog, Aurora, etc.). The biggest selection of kits were aircraft, then armor, and included smaller, but still impressive, sections on ships, cars, and sci-fi kits. There were all the related items as well, including a section with books and several binders full of aftermarket decals. They also stocked all the required glues, fillers, paints etc. Even though I was running out of luggage space, I picked up a Glencoe X-1B kit. The owner had built this particular kit and had several build suggestions for it.

Every time I go to Seattle, I stop at the Museum of Flight and there is always something new. This time there was a new display on Amelia Earhart including a Lockheed Model 10-E Electra. There is also a growing selection of uavs on display. Across the street (accessible via a new pedestrian bridge), there is a new building with a nasa shuttle Full Fuselage Trainer inside. This is a full-size mock­up of the shuttle that was used to train all shuttle crews in emergency egress procedures and system familiarization. They have it set up so you can tour the cockpit as well as walk through the payload bay. In the wwi display area there was a new display case full of about 150 wwi aircraft models, impressive.

While in town, I checked the meeting schedules for the local model clubs. I was not going to be in town for the ipms club meeting, but was able to attend the NW Scale Modelers meeting. They meet at the Museum of Flight in the "Red Barn" where the Boeing Company was originally started. This club focuses on one annual contest and the meetings include members presenting info on current kit builds (show and tell) as well as planning museum projects. Several people brought their travel setups and were working on kits during the meeting. The club does a lot of work for the museum including displays combining scale models with historical artifacts to put them in context. One of the upcoming projects was to create a selection of 1/72 models that were accurate in size so the architects could design a new building and ensure that all the anticipated planes would fit through doors, around building columns, around each other, and still allow room for displays and foot traffic flow.

Every time I go to visit Seattle, even though the weather can be a bit "drismal," there are always more hobby-related things to see and do.



Field Trip Report - Boeing Museum of Flight

 By Gil De La Plain

These images were taken at the Boeing Museum of Flight in Seattle, Washington.  This is another very well done museum with part of the exhibits being displayed in the refurbished original “Boeing Red Barn” which was first used in 1917.









Live From the Star Trek 2013 Convention

 On-the-Scene Reporting by Joe Walters


Ace Albuquerque Scale Modelers reporter Joe Walters has provided the pictures posted below from his excellent adventure at the 2013 Star Trek Convention at the Rio Suites Hotel in Las Vegas, Nevada.  Stay tuned for Joe's daily reports as he attempts to avoid being banished to the Klingon prison planet of Rura Penthe.   

Friday, August 9th:

Star Trek 2013
Lego Borg Starfleet Cheerleaders Trek Villanesses Joel Grey

Saturday, August 10th:

Ex-Borg Starfleet
Seven-Of-Nine ?
Ex-Borg Starfleet
Seven-Of-Nine ?

Sunday, August 11th:

Star Trek
Starfleet Officer & Romulan Spy Romulan
Starfleet Officer


ASM Model Display at ACE 2013
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 By Mike Blohm

 The Albuquerque Scale Modelers (ASM) put on a model display on June 22-23 at the Albuquerque Comic Expo (ACE) 2013.  This was the second year that ASM supported the ACE event, which was held at the Albuquerque Convention Center in downtown Albuquerque.  The purpose of ASM's display was to promote the modeling hobby, possibly gain some new members, and to have fun.  ASM had a prime location right in the middle of the main traffic area where attendees came in to the building and also transited back and forth from the large vendor area to where the guest speaker presentations and seminars were held.  We had hundreds if not thousands of folks stop by to look at the models and a lot of them asked questions about the models or painting techniques. 

The theme of the model display was "Science Fiction, Real Space, Fantasy, and Science" - the same as what ASM has for its January Special Contest each year.  We had over 100 total models on five tables.  The models were grouped by themes and genre that included: Star Trek and Star Wars (about a third of the display); Real Space and Man In Space; science fiction television shows (Buck Rogers, Battlestar Galactica, Space 1999, The Jetsons), science fiction movies (2001, War of the Worlds, Alien, When Worlds Collide); Gundam and comic book figures; and science fiction vehicles.  The ASM "What is Scale Modeling" display board was right in the middle with five P-51D models ranging from 1/24 through 1/144 scales, along with a display of what comes in a model kit box - the sprues, instructions, and decals - and the finished model itself.  Alongside that was the "what if" diorama of a "UFO Fly-In at Roswell" featuring four UFO flying saucers at the UFO Museum in Roswell, NM.  Pictures of the model display are included below. 

ASM members that helped man the tables included Joe Walters, Josh Pals, Jack and Jeannie Garriss, Blaine Couch, Steve Stronach, Michel Wingard, Ken Piniak, Tony Humphries, Frank Randall, Patrick Dick, Victor Maestas, and Matt, Laura, and Mike Blohm.  Adrian Montano also provided models for the display.  We normally had at least five ASMers available to watch the models, answer questions, and pass out ASM and New Mexico State Fair model contest promo sheets.  Thanks to all who manned the exhibit and provided models, and a special thanks to Laura Blohm who was instrumental in the design and build of the new, large-size (6 feet by 6 feet) ASM banner. 

ASM did meet its three objectives.  We put on a great show and it was very well liked by the ACE attendees.  Being sci-fi and comic book fans, the attendees knew what the subjects were, and really wanted to see and talk about the models.  As occurred in 2012, there were some highly-charged "words of excitement (expletives deleted)" expressed by a visitor when a favorite subject was seen.  We again had "celebrity judging" by a cast of costumed characters that reviewed all the models and picked out their favorite - those awards will be passed out at an upcoming ASM meeting and posted on the ASM website.  Not everyone picked the subject related to their costume.  Princess Leia picked the Millennium Falcon, probably because she spent so much time aboard it.  But surprisingly Darth Vader also picked the Falcon, perhaps because he liked shooting at it?  (Disregard the fact that Victor Maestas did a super job on that model.)  As in 2012, the Bunny-Wan Kenobi and Duck Maul figures by Joe Walters' step-son were a big hit.  Another "big" hit was Adrian Montano's giant 1/350 scale USS Enterprise-A. 

A lot of ASM promo sheets were passed out and it looked like there was a lot of interest in the club.  Pictures of ASM's past Make 'N Take events were displayed on our tables, and several attendees asked about having ASM perform a Make 'N Take for their Cub Scout groups.  So be prepared to possibly do some more of those later in 2013.  There was also interest in bringing models to the NM State Fair, especially amongst the junior modelers.  As for having fun, we all most certainly did.  If you have not attended one of these conventions, you definitely need to give it a try.  It's now time to get building those sci-fi and fantasy models for the January 2014 contest so that we can put on another great show at ACE 2014. 









B-17 Visit to Albuquerque

 By Mike Blohm

 The Boeing B-17G Flying Fortress "Sentimental Journey" made a visit to Albuquerque on May 24-27, 2013, and was parked at the Double Eagle Airport.  This aircraft is from the Arizona Wing of the Commemorative Air Force (CAF) and is based at the CAF Aviation Museum in Scottsdale, Arizona.  Tours of the aircraft cost $5.00, and rides cost $425 in the mid-section and $825 in the nose section.  I am not sure if they ever gave any rides - I did not see them flying over the city.  My son Matt. his wife Laura, and myself took the tour on Sunday, May 26.  There were perhaps 5-10 people there during our one-hour look around and through the B-17.  Pictures of the exterior and interior are posted below.  "Sentimental Journey" carries the late-war markings of the 457th Bombardment Group (Heavy), which included a Triangle "U" and an insignia blue stripe at a 45 degree angle on each side of the vertical tail.  The 457th was unusual in not using any squadron identification code letters on the fuselage sides.  The 457th flew out of Glatton Airfield - Huntigdonshire in Great Britain from January 1944 to June 1945.  This particular B-17 served in the Pacific in 1944-1945, and then at Eglin Field, Florida as an air-sea rescue aircraft after the war.  It was put into storage at Davis-Monthan AFB in 1959.  It then became a borate bomber fire-fighting aircraft.  It was donated to the Arizona Wing in 1978.  The CAF Aviation Museum's website is at:


Field Trip Report  - National Air and Space Museum

 By Mike Blohm

I was able to make a couple of quick visits to the Smithsonian's National Air and Space Museum (NASM) on the Mall in Washington D.C. during a business trip in early May 2013.  I had missed a couple of the displays during an earlier visit due to them being closed or my own oversight.  Unfortunately the NASM was not yet on summer hours so that cut into my viewing time available at the end of a business day.  Some pictures of the display are posted here. 

My prime targets were the Jet Aviation, Great War in the Air (World War I) aviation, and Pioneers of Flight galleries.  The Jets display has one of the Messerschmitt Me 262A aircraft that was brought back to the US for testing by "Watson's Whizzers", restored to its original markings.  The display also includes the original Lockheed XP-80 Shooting Star named "Lulu".  These two jets are displayed nose-to-nose in the center section of this gallery, with a wall-to-wall display of jet engine types out in front of them showing their development from World War II through current day.  Also in this gallery is a US Navy McDonnell FH-1 Phantom, which was the first operational carrier jet fighter.  Unfortunately it is hung in a position that makes it hard to see and photograph. 

The Great War in the Air gallery has a lot of interesting aircraft, but my prime mission here was to try to get pictures of the SPAD XIII "Smith IV", which was flown by, and has the markings of US ace Lt Raymond Brooks (6 victories).  This aircraft is on my list of US WWI aces to build.  Lots of rigging to be done here!  Other aircraft of note are a Fokker D.VII, Albatross D.Va, and Sopwith Snipe.  Some pretty good models are displayed here too. 

The Pioneers of Flight gallery includes the Wright EX "Vin Fiz" that made the first crossing of the US by airplane in 1911 (took 49 days); the Fokker T-2 that made the first nonstop US transcontinental flight in 1923 (took 25 hours and 50 minutes); the Douglas World Cruiser "Chicago" that flew around the world in 1924 (took 175 days); the Curtiss R3C-2 Racer flown to victory by Jimmy Doolittle in the 1925 Schneider Trophy Race; the Lockheed 5B Vega flown by Amelia Earhart to set many of her aviation records; the Lockheed Sirius "Tingmissartoq" (meaning "One who flies like a big bird") flown by Charles Lindberg to set speed records and conduct survey flights; and the Gossamer Condor.


Two other areas that I spent some time in were the World War II aviation and the Sea-Air Operations (Carrier Deck) galleries.  The WW II gallery has a Spitfire HF VIIc (long wing), P-51D Mustang, Bf 109G, A6M2 Zero, Mc 202 Folgore, and the forward fuselage of the B-26B "Flak Bait", which flew over 200 combat missions in the European Theater of Operations. 

Highlights in the Air-Sea Ops gallery were an FM-1 Wildcat, SBD-6 Dauntless, A-4C Skyhawk, F4B-4, and an 11 foot long model of the USS Enterprise (CVN-65) aircraft carrier in 1/100 scale that took 12 years to build.  Now that was impressive.  There are also some pretty good models in the displays showing US Navy operations in WWII in 1/72 scale and during current day - what is in a carrier air wing - in 1/48 scale.   

The NASM is a must-see during a visit to Washington DC.  You will probably need a full day to see everything - plan out your strategery ahead of time.  The museum store has some interesting books but the prices are way high.  Some overall comments on the museum are that the lighting is generally very bad, and taking pictures is hard to do in a lot of the galleries due to the placement of the aircraft.  Entry is free.  Check out the museum's website at: 


Field Trip Report - Military Vehicle Technology Foundation

By Jim Guld

This past month I had the chance to stop in at the Military Vehicle Technology Foundation in Portolla Valley, Ca during our vacation to Oakland and San Francisco.  It is about 1-1/2 hr. drive from Oakland. For those of you not familiar with MVTF, it is the foundation set up by the late Jacques Littlefield to preserve his military vehicle collection of over 240 vehicles from WW1 to the present.  Cost of emission is $20 for adults and $10 for children.  You are led on a guided tour of the four buildings and the surrounding grounds which holds a number of vehicles which need restoration. Chris "Toadman" Hughes was our tour guide. He has a website that has walkarounds of various vehicles both from the MVTF and from other sites around the world.    Some of the pictures are free and he also has cd's for sale of various vehicles.

A few of the more interesting exhibits are the cut aways of the M4 Sherman turret and the turret simulator for an M1 Abrams.

If you ever find yourself up in that neck of the woods I highly recommend stopping in. You do need to make reservations in advance. They do tours usually on Wednesdays and Saturdays.


Fred's Foto Files - German Military Museums

 By Fred Franceschi

About seven and nine years ago I took several vacations to Germany.  I'd have to check my passport stamps to see just when.  And, of course, I hit up all the military museums I could find. These photos are from museums in Dresden (I think) and Sinsheim.

The museum in Dresden is a military museum run by the German army logistics center.  It has a military function in that things such as uniforms, weapons, etc., are grouped so that engineers and equipment designers can study the past to help design the future.  What a concept. And everything was well laid out and presented.

The word "Panzer" translates to "Armored Fighting Vehicle," so the sign showing PANZER T 34 makes sense.  I think that was at the Auto & Technik Museum Sinsheim.

This is a switching locomotive at Frankfurt. I saw it while I was on the way to the Sinsheim museum. It looked "cute and colorful," so I took a couple of snapshots. What the heck.

Is that a Marder?  Probably at Sinsheim.

I think this was also at the Sinsheim museum.

This was probably taken at the Army museum at Dresden. An M5 light tank.

 I remember taking a shot "up the rear" of the same M5 tank, but this photo may be of something else.  Oh, well.

Another Marder at the Dresden museum

Is that a Panzer III?  Dresden museum again.

Above: A row of armored vehicles; just look at all those gun barrels. At Dresden.

Next group: Photos of an armored car at the Dresden museum.

Is that a C-119?  Probably at Sinsheim.  As I look at the photo, it appears that they removed some of the blades on the right engine's propeller to fit the airplane against the wall.

I sometimes take photos of radial engines, so I can figure out how to paint them.

Four shots of a Hind D.  This was after West Germany and East Germany unified, so Soviet equipment that was formerly used by East Germany was now available to the reunified Germany.

An F-104 in German markings.


** Please contact Fred Franceschi for permission to publish, digitally or in print, any of his pictures, at:  **

ASM Trip Report - Planes of Fame and Yanks Air Museum

 By Gil De La Plain

Brian scheduled another awesome ASM road trip for September 2012 and it was really fun even if there were only four of us that could make it. On this trip we flew Southwest out to Ontario, California and then drove on over to the Planes of Fame and the Yanks Air Museum in Chino.

 The weather was sunny and it was downright toasty in the hangers but the planes on display were just amazing. Had we been just a little earlier arriving we would have been able to see a really mean Hawker Sea Fury land at Chino. The aircraft is "September Fury" and she was in transit from the Reno Air Races where they had finished second in the unlimited class. When we arrived the engine cowling panels were propped open and you could hear the distinct popping sound of cooling sheet metal as things contracted.


One of the neat things about the Planes of Fame Museum is the fact that so many aircraft that they have on display are airworthy and get flown routinely in air shows. It's nice to be in a museum that has drip pans under so many of these old warbirds and enjoy the smell of hydraulic fluid and engine oil.


They also have quite a collection of racing planes and it was surprising to me just how compact many of those aircraft were (and still are). It seemed more like you strapped them on to head out and tear around those pylons at high speeds and very low altitude.


And if you keep walking you will find quite a bone yard and a small collection of military vehicles out in "the back 40".


Well that was it for the Planes of Fame museum and we felt like the trip was already worth the effort.  But we weren't done yet. T he last stop for the day was a visit to Brookhurst Hobbies in Garden Grove and it's definitely worth a visit if you are ever in the area. It's a very "old school" shop that is jam packed to the ceiling everywhere you look. I wish I would have thought to take some pictures in the store since they probably had more completed plastic models on display than any other shop I have ever seen. I think my favorite display was an entire "box" of 1:72 scale B-17s suspended from the ceiling with a couple of FW-190s slicing down through the formation. We also couldn't resist bringing home a few goodies to stash in the luggage.

The next stop was the Yanks Air Museum on day 2 and they have an exceptional collection of aircraft as well. They have more in the way of jet aircraft but it appears they do not have as many airworthy aircraft in their collection.


 One of the truly unique (and airworthy) aircraft that they have is a recently acquired Lockheed Constellation EC-121T Warning Star airborne early warning radar platform. This was another impressive product to roll out of the famed "Skunk Works". This particular aircraft was one of the last Warning Star aircraft to be retired from the Air Force, and it is definitely an interesting aircraft to see. They are in the process of starting a restoration of the aircraft as funding and resources allow.


Another nice thing about the Yanks Air Musuem is the large and very active restoration hanger that you are allowed to walk through. The amount of effort and time it takes to restore old aircraft is just amazing and much of it is volunteer labor. One of the things that has always fascinated me about seeing aircraft during the resoration process is the fact that you are able to see the advances in technology over the years at more than a surface level. The progression from wood spars, ribs and linen coverings to steel tubing, machined aluminum and flush rivited aluminum skins makes you realize just how much research and development was taking place. It also makes you realize that totally new paradigms in assembly and mass production had to be implemented in order to produce these flying machines in the quantities needed.


Yanks Air Museum also has the requisite bone yard out back and they had just rolled an F-15 in on a flatbed for future resoration. Now that would be a cool project to work on!


Well that wrapped up this ASM trip and it was really worth the time we spent.  Great friends, great machines and a few kits brought home in the luggage, what more could you ask!

Additional Pictures of the Planes of Fame Air Museum








More Yanks Air Museum Pics To Be Posted!

Aviation Road Trip

By Ken Piniak

 This past summer, I took a road trip to visit my uncle, who lives in Sevierville, Tennessee. During this trip I visited three different air museums: the Tennessee Museum of Aviation, the Charles Hall Aircraft Display, and the Stafford Air and Space Museum.

The Tennessee Museum of Aviation (TMA) is located in Sevierville, Tennessee at the Gatlinburg-Pigeon Forge Airport. This 50,000 sq ft facility is a private museum; most of the aircraft belong to private individuals who maintain them in flying condition. The aircraft are often flying, and other aircraft frequently drop in, especially on summer weekends, for impromptu flying demonstrations. The first part of the display area, after you enter/exit through the gift shop, has a large collection of artifacts from aviation history, WWII, and Vietnam. The main area of the museum is the hangar bay, where the aircraft are. For me, the highlight of this trip was a fully restored, flyable, A-1H Skyraider from Vietnam, "Lieutenant America".  This is not a plane painted up to look like a combat veteran, this is the real thing. The display includes photos of the plane and pilot from the war, and an original cowling panel that shows not only the artwork for "Lieutenant America" but a previous name that was under the paint. The museum also boasts two P-47s, both in flying condition. When I arrived, one was outside of the hanger, and the other was in the air. After the second "Jug" landed and shut down, we were allowed to go out and see the aircraft up close. It is amazing how dirty/oily these planes get, and these are lovingly cared for prizes; not barely maintained combat aircraft. The bellies and tail wheel of both planes were covered with oil. Other exhibits include an H-34 and Airwolf (Bell 222) helicopters, 2 MiG-17s, a MiG-21, an OV-10, a B--5 nose section, and a number of engines. Normal hours are Mon thru Sat 10:00 to 6:00, Sunday 1:00 to 6:00. Admission is $12.75 adults, $6.75 children. Website: .

My next stop was the Charles B. Hall Air Park. This is not really a museum; it is more of an open display, located on a strip of land between Interstate 40 and Tinker AFB in Oklahoma City.  The site is dedicated to Major Hall, a Tuskegee Airman who later worked as a civilian for the FAA at Tinker. The display area is well maintained by base personnel, and had a number of interesting aircraft, including a B-1B Bomber, and an AGM-129 Advanced Cruise Missile. Other aircraft include a B-29, B-47, and B-52 bombers, a C-135, a C-47, an F-4D, an F-105, and an A-7. This display is outside of the base and entry is free.

My last stop was the Stafford Air & Space Museum in Weatherford, OK. This is a small museum that is very easy to miss, I knew about it because I picked up a flyer at a rest stop. Despite the fact that this is a small facility, there is a lot of stuff to see. I arrived late in the day, spent over an hour there before they kicked me out (it was passed closing time and I was the only one left) and I still did not see everything. The museum is dedicated to Gen. Tom Stafford (Ret) who was a fighter pilot and astronaut. Among his many accomplishments, Stafford flew Gemini 6 and 9, and Apollo 10 and the Apollo-Soyuz Test Program. Among the many space exhibits there are the actual space suit worn by Stafford during the Apollo 10 mission, as well as a dress uniform and actual in space flight gear worn by his good friend Alexei Leonov during Apollo-Soyuz. Besides lots of space suits and suit components, other space exhibits include the ejection seat from a Gemini spacecraft, an F-1 and J-2 engine from a Saturn V, a complete Titan II rocket; and a turbopump, a solid rocket booster segment, and a complete set of tires from the Shuttle. On the aviation side, there is a Wright Flyer and a Wright Brothers wind tunnel. There is also a Curtiss pusher Model DIII, a Bleriot XI, a replica of the "Spirit of St Louis"”, a Sopwith Pup from WWI, a MiG-21 and an F-16 with an AIM-9 Sidewinder. The Stafford Museum is located at the airport in Weatherford, Ok. Hours: Mon to Sat 9:00 to 5:00, Sunday 1:00 to 5:00, regular admission is $7.00. Website is .

If you ever get a chance to visit Oklahoma or Tennessee, stop in and visit these places, they are well worth it.






Field Trip Report - National Naval Air Museum

By Mike Blohm



I had the opportunity to visit the National Naval Air Museum in Pensacola, Florida in October 2012.  It's a wonderful museum and well worth the visit.  It has two large buildings full of aircraft and displays, plus a flight line area of parked aircraft that is also worth seeing via a narrated bus tour.  According to the museum's website, there are about 175 aircraft, helicopters and airships on display in the museum buildings and on the flight line.  I saw a lot of aircraft that were not included in their website list.   Pictures of the aircraft and displays and map layouts for the two buildings are included below.   

The main building has displays from the inception of US Navy aviation through the Early Cold War arranged by periods of time (see maps).  There is a great display of aircraft carrier models right as you come in the entrance doors in the "Quarter Deck" area, so be sure to spend some time viewing those.  I recommend starting in the "South Wing" with the World War I, Early Aircraft and Early Cold War displays and then working your way through that to the "West Wing" that has World War II and additional Early Cold War displays.  There is a "second deck" balcony in this building which provides for good shots of the aircraft on the "main deck" area, but there are also displays tucked away in a few areas on the second floor that are easy to miss.  One of these is the "Carrier Exhibit" which is an "in-action, quick-turn below decks on the carrier" display of an F6F Hellcat in the "Minsi III" markings of top US Navy ace David McCampbell.  You also view the airship control cars up on this level.  Aircraft of note in the main building were the Curtiss NC-4 that was the first aircraft to fly across the Atlantic Ocean in May 1919, the D-558-1 Skystreak test aircraft, Sopwith F.1 Camel, P-40B Warhawk in American Volunteer Group markings, an SDB-2 Dauntless that participated in the Battle of Midway, the whole Grumman "Cat" series of fighters, K-47 and L-8 Airship control cars, Skylab Command Module, and a four-ship of Blue Angel A-4E Skyhawks suspended in formation in the "Atrium" area.  There are also several captured/foreign aircraft, including an A6M Zero, NiK2-J George, Me 262B, and a MiG-15. 

The second building (Hangar Bay One) houses aircraft and displays from Viet Nam through present time, presidential support and Coast Guard aircraft, plus a few large aircraft that would not fit in the main building.  Aircraft of note include the P2V-1 Neptune "Truculent Turtle" that set an un-refueled long-distance flight record of 11,235 miles over 55 hours and 17 minutes of flight in September 1946 (note: this was finally broken by a B-52H in 1962), a huge SP-5B Marlin flying boat, and aircraft that flew in Viet Nam (A-1, A-4, A-6, A-7, O-1, F-4, F-8) and Desert Storm (F-14, EA-6B, F-18).  The F-14D "Bombcat" on display flew the last operational F-14 combat mission.  An A-3 Skywarrior is parked outside between the main buildings. 

If you have the time, it is worthwhile to take the tour of the museum's aircraft parked on the flight line area awaiting renovation and inside display.  If you want to take the tour, be sure to get a ticket (free) on a specific tour time when you first get to the museum.  It takes about 45 minutes, and the trolley car-looking bus leaves from in front of the museum.  Aircraft of note include a PV-2 Harpoon, SP-2H Neptune, C-46, AJ-2 Savage, PB-4Y-2 Privateer, and RA-5C Vigilante. 

The museum is located in the northwest corner of Naval Air Station Pensacola, and you enter the base through the gate off Highway 295 (South Navy Blvd / Duncan Rd).  The signage to get there was not the greatest, so it would be good to have either a GPS in your car or a map application on your smart phone to help you find it. 

Plan on spending almost a full day at the museum if you want to see everything.  I spent five hours looking at the displays, and probably could have used at least two more.  There is a souvenir shop that I did not have time to check out, and an IMAX theater in the museum.  The museum hours are 9:00 AM to 5:00 PM daily, and admission is free.  You will need a valid ID to be able to enter into NAS Pensacola. 

Check out the museum's website at:
















ASM Model Display at Albuquerque Comic Expo 2012

ASM100.jpg (82854 bytes)   IPMSUSA%20Logo%20LD.jpg (17589 bytes)

The Albuquerque Scale Modelers (ASM) put on a model display (show) on June 9-10 in support of the Albuquerque Comic Expo (ACE) 2012.  The purpose of ASM's display was to promote the modeling hobby, possibly gain some new members, and to have fun.  ACE 2012 was held at the Albuquerque Convention Center in downtown Albuquerque, and ASM had a primo location right in the middle of the main traffic area where attendees came in to the building and also transited back and forth from the large vendor area to where the guest speaker presentations and seminars were held.  We had hundreds if not thousands of folks stop by to look at the models and a lot of them asked questions about the models or what techniques we used to paint them.  You'd be surprised at how many closet sci-fi model builders live in Albuquerque. 

The theme of the model display was "Science Fiction, Real Space, Fantasy, and Science" - the same as what ASM has for its January Special Contest each year.  We had a total of 108 models on five tables - actually 155 models if you also count each individual figure that Mike McNichols brought in.  The models were pretty much grouped by theme and genre, and the ASM "What is Scale Modeling" display board was right in the middle, with four P-51D models ranging from 1/18 through 1/72 scales.  Pictures of the display are included below. 


ASM members that helped man the tables included Jim Guld, Joe Walters, Ray Ayles, Mike McNichols, Blaine Couch, Ken Piniak, Frank Randall, Adrian Montano, and Matt, Laura, and Mike Blohm,  Members who provided models but could not attend included Patrick Dick, Victor Maestas, and Gorham Smoker.  We normally had at least three ASMers available to watch the models, answer questions, and pass out ASM, IPMS/USA and NM State Fair model contest promo sheets.  Thanks to all who manned the exhibit and provided models. 


I believe that we met our three objectives.  I think ASM put on a great show and it was very well received by the both the ACE attendees and the ACE leadership.  It was like a super mall show, where the attendees knew what the subjects were, and really wanted to see and talk about the models.  There were some highly-charged "words of excitement (expletives deleted)" expressed by a few of the visitors as they saw their favorite subjects.  We also had "celebrity judging" by a cast of characters that reviewed all the models and picked out their favorite - those award certificates will be passed out at the July ASM meeting, and they are posted below.  You'd be surprised at who attended ACE, sometimes incognito.  Matt Blohm won the prestigious "Most Liked Aaward" (picked the most) with his NX-01 star ship from "Enterprise" (Star Trek).  We passed out a lot of ASM promo sheets and it looked like a lot of folks were interested in the club.  There was also interest in bringing models to the NM State Fair, especially amongst the junior modelers.  It turns out that the Cylon Centurion warrior who stopped by to chat and judge is actually an avid model builder.  Not sure how much time he has to build models between raids on the Colonials, but he might be showing up at one of our meetings.  As for having fun, one of the bennies was free tickets for the ASMers manning the tables, and we all did have a fun time.  If you've never been to one of these conventions, you should definitely check them out.  And you will get the chance to check ACE out next year, as it looks like ACE would like to have us back, and maybe incorporate some other aspects such as a contest.  We will provide more info on that as we receive it.  I think this would be a tremendous annual thing for ASM to do as a promo event.  So now you have another reason for building those models for the January contest - we need another 150 brand new models to display in 2013. 











ACE 2012 Celebrity Judging Awards









2012 Armor Modeling and Preservation Society (AMPS) Nationals Report

by Jim Guld

This past April 26-28th, I attended the AMPS Nationals in Auburn, Indiana at the World War 2 Victory Museum. They have used this venue before in 2008 and 2010. I attended the show in 2008 when I drove out from Santa Fe. This time I decided to fly and I am glad to say I did''t have any problems getting my models there. In fact the TSA screener at the Santa Fe airport asked me if they were tanks in the container. The only problem I had was my model box was too large to fit