Although part of the EAA “Land of Enchantment Fly-In,” this plane deserves it’s own article. This jet, a Fouga Magister, has a lot of wear and grime you don’t usually see on an airshow plane. It’s a 1960s French jet trainer that saw action in brushfire conflicts in places like Africa, Central America and the Middle East during the Cold War. Good fodder for scale model weathering!
Posts by John Tate:
Saturday, 9/23/23, was Experimental Aircraft Association (EAA) Chapter 179’s “Land of Enchantment Fly-in” at the Double Eagle II Airport in Albuquerque. Here are images I took of warbirds and other aircraft present, as well as the Cavalcade of Wings table in the display hangar, staffed by ASM’s Michael Howell.
With the 50th anniversary of the Yom Kippur War, it’s worth a look back to see what the hobby offered around that time for modelers interested in replicating the conflict for their display shelves. In terms of military equipment, the Yom Kippur War was a showdown between U.S. and Soviet war machines and a number of these were available in kit form. But scale modeling in the 1970s was very much a case of the box art looking better than the kit, so no matter the subject, a modeler had his work cut out for him when he started cutting sprue.
In that era, the hobby was taking its first steps from toy towards replica and despite a growing number of adult enthusiasts, manufacturers still focused on younger modelers. So often a model was engineered with simplicity in mind with details and accuracy taking a back seat to ease of construction. Most kits from that era were just basic shapes, consisting of airframe parts, landing gear, a few missiles or bombs and a rudimentary cockpit seat and pilot; it was up to the modeler to turn that into a representation of the real thing. Quite a bit of work was involved, with sanding, puttying, shimming, carving and accurizing taking up most of a modeler’s time. Aftermarket resin parts and photoetch were nonexistent with the only extras a modeler could expect to find being Microscale decal sheets. Most of all, in those pre-internet days, a modeler was dependent on his local hobby shop or a few mail-order outlets, like Squadron or Polk’s Hobby Department Store in New York City, for an up-to-date selection of kits.
In the early-to-mid 1970s, when a modeler thought of 1/32 scale, he thought of Revell, which had pioneered a line of 1/32 aircraft kits starting in the 1960s. The Revell 1/32 kits available then that could depict a plane from the Mideast conflict were the F-4E Phantom II and the MiG-21PF, with the Mirage 5J showing up a few years later. The surprise here is, if you want a 1/32 MiG-21PF today, the old Revell kit is still the only game in town. Fortunately, there were even some Microscale decal sheets available for these kits, which included Israeli and Egyptian markings.
1/48 scale? Still something of an oddball scale back then, with most quarter-scale kits being from the original “bluebox” Monogram series of WWII planes. But Fujimi had three decent 1/48 (or were they 1/50?) kits that fit the Mideast War theme- the Mirage IIIC, A-4 Skyhawk and F-4E Phantom II.
1/72 scale was king, and the greatest variety of Mideast War airplane kits in that scale were from Airfix, Frog, Hasegawa and Matchbox. About the best that could be said about these kits was that they were affordable and available at almost any hobby shop.
If you were an armor modeler in the early-to-mid 1970s and wanted to build a 1/35 Yom Kippur War subject, you could have any brand you wanted as long as it was Tamiya. These models sort of looked like the real thing, although motorization had taken priority over accuracy and you had to live with rubber-band tracks and odd dimensions. In that era, about the only references available, especially for Soviet subjects, were blurry photos in news magazines. And come to think of it, those were probably the references Tamiya used as well.
Best of Show
The most popular Mideast War model kit back then, and one that was contemporaneous with the 1973 war, was the Airfix 1/72 SAM-2 missile, truck and launcher. The real thing was used in great numbers by Arab forces during the Yom Kippur War and took a toll of Israeli aircraft, so it was frequently mentioned in news reports. Of all the models from that era, this is the one that most fits the conflict and the one I would most want to build today, but unfortunately it is one of the few Airfix molds that was lost or damaged beyond repair and the kit has not been reissued since the mid-1970s. They still can be found on eBay, but expect to pay collector’s prices for a dime-store kit molded 50 years ago.
Even if you don’t care to go down the Golden Age nostalgia route, give some thought to building a kit depicting a subject from the October 1973 war, a conflict that can focus the attention of modelers today as much as it did a half-century ago. Thankfully for all of us, it was the last conventional state vs. state conflict between Israel and the Arab nations, and unlike 1973, no one has to worry about oil embargoes driving up the price of plastic.
We have a busy meeting scheduled for September 8th- a guest speaker, an open points contest and a sponsored contest.
Our guest speaker, Harvey Chace, will give a talk entitled, “The B-26: They Built It Anyway,” about the famous WWII medium bomber with the unflattering nicknames. Interesting that the B-26, a sleek, fast, modern airplane, was stricken from service and scrapped immediately after the War while the more antiquated B-25 Mitchell was retained for training and utility duties well into the 1950s. Somebody didn’t like that plane!
To coincide with Mr. Chace’s presentation, I will be sponsoring a contest on the Martin B-26- any kit, any scale, old builds welcome.
Coming up in October, there is an ASM display in the works for the Cherry Hills Branch of the Albuquerque Public Library. Set-up is on September 30th and take-down is on October 31st. There is a single vertical display shelf unit to house models, which I inspected, and decided that a display of about a dozen Wingnut Wings models would fit the available space, which will coincide with a talk on WWI modeling & aviation that Don Gatewood will be presenting at the library on October 28th. A selection of those Wingnut Wings kits on display at the April meeting will make an eye-catching display for the public; if you can contribute a model for the display, contact me to make arrangements.
Also, October is scheduled for a contest I’ve sponsored- Middle East Wars 1946 to present- and a talk I will be giving on the Yom Kippur War, as our meeting date is the 50th anniversary of the start of that war. Contest is open to any subject related to Mideast wars from the post-WWII era to the present.
October is our annual E-Board nomination meeting night as well, so give some thought to candidates and choices. During my term as president I’ve tried to open up the Board to new members and new ideas and so far this has paid off, but I would like see additional new folks run for positions on the Board. This is as good a time as any to get your views across so give some thought to standing for election.
As ever, keep building- looking forward to the great models that will be displayed at our contest meeting this Friday.
From The Modelling News website. Full article can be found here.
Hosted annually by the Illawarra Plastic Modellers’ Association, this year’s 2023 New South Wales Scale Model Show was held last weekend in lovely Illawarra shire. The show was held at the Illawarra Sports Stadium in Berkeley, Australia.
Over 300 entrants in to the modellers competition, traders from all over and Model associations were there including APMA, IPMA & IPMS NSW of course!
From The Modelling News website. Full article can be found here.
Kotare website can be found here.
Kotare’s partially new tooled kit #K32004 “Spitfire Mk.I (Early)” in 1/32nd scale is in the later stages of development for a release late in 2023. This new kit includes an updated instruction pamphlet with a beautiful Darryl Legg box art painting. Kotare will start accepting pre-orders for this kit later this year after they have a reasonably (reliable) expected release date.
Here is an excerpt of the article features on the War Gamer website, but the full version can be found here.
So you want to get a 3D printer to make DnD miniatures, wargames terrain, dice towers, or just neat nerd stuff, but don’t know where to start? Good news! 3D printing technology is getting cheaper, easier to use, and more reliable all the time, which is why printing minis is becoming increasingly mainstream.
3D printing feels like magic, and there are ever more things to use them for. You might want to print custom DnD miniatures that you designed on Hero Forge, or conversion bits to upgrade your Warhammer 40k factions and Age of Sigmar armies. Some of the best board game inserts and upgrades can be found on online file repositories, and there are even 3D printer files to upgrade your gaming table.
This guide gives you the essentials you need to consider, such as the type of printer you need, the key features you should look out for, and the statistics that matter when it comes to picking the right machine. Or you can jump ahead to our printer recommendations!
These are the best 3D printers for miniatures in 2023:
Anycubic Photon Mono
ELEGOO Mars 3
Phrozen Sonic Mini 8K
Creality Ender 3 Pro
If you think finding room for our traditional size models can be difficult, try demolishing a potting shed to make room for a 1:1 Spitfire. This guy did!
Check out the full article here:
The Combat Air Museum in Topeka, KS, has some interesting aircraft displays and exhibits. They have a number of cabinet displays with model aircraft that could provide ideas for personal model displays in our homes. The museum itself looks like it’s well worth visiting and within a realistic distance from Albuquerque for those interested in a three-day weekend trip.
Main website: http://www.combatairmuseum.org/
Aircraft on display: http://www.combatairmuseum.org/aircraft.html
(ASM does not claim to endorse or represent aforementioned company and it’s views. Content is shared for entertainment purposes only.)