Airplanes and Rockets' history & copyright Google search American Modeler Air Trails American Aircraft Modeler Young Men Hobbies Aviation Flying Aces Saturday Evening Post Boys' Life Hobby Distributors Amateur Astronomy Engines & Motors Balsa Densities Silkspan Covering Comics Electronics My Models Model Aircraft Articles Plans Model Boat Articles Plans Model Car Articles Plans Model Train Articles Plans 1941 Crosley 03CB Radio Model helicopter articles & plans Crosswords Model Rocket Articles Plans Restoration Projects Photos Peanuts Collection Model Aircraft Articles Plans Sitemap Homepage Hints and Kinks Amateur Radio Archives of the homepage R/C Modeler Electronics About Airpleans and Rockest, Disclaimer, Terms of Use Model Topics Please Donate to Airplanes and Rockets Parole Plaza, Annapolis, Maryland Hobby Items for Sale Airplanes and Rockets Hero Graphic

Drones - Airplanes and Rockets

Plastic Scale Model Kits - Airplanes and Rockets
Model Aviation Magazine, AMA - Airplanes and Rockets

Sketchbook - Model Building Tips
January 1962 American Modeler

January 1962 American Modeler

January 1962 American Modeler Cover - Airplanes and Rockets Table of Contents

These pages from vintage modeling magazines like Flying Aces, Air Trails, American Modeler, American Aircraft Modeler, Young Men, Flying Models, Model Airplane News, R/C Modeler, captured the era. All copyrights acknowledged.

This Sketchbook was scanned from the January 1962 American Modeler, page 38. Most building tips are timeless. Even in this era of ready-to-fly (RTF), almost-ready-to-fly (ARF), bind-and-fly (BAF), etc., there are still many modelers who build their own aircraft. Nearly all top tier competition fliers build their own models, as do aficionados of vintage (aka old-timer) models. Some guys just would rather build than buy a pre-build airplane, whether from a kit or from plans.

This page has links to every edition of Sketchbook that I have so far.


 - Airplanes and RocketsThis Sketchbook was scanned from the January 1962 American Modeler, page 38. There are a couple ideas in this edition that I would not recommend. The first is a method for attaching the primary handle of your control line model to a separate handle that allows the primary to pivot, thereby enabling the pilot to simply hold the contraption above his head and letting the airplane fly in circles without the pilot needing to turn with it. It might seem clever, but I can imagine a whole lot of things that could go wrong with that scenario! The second not-recommended item is placing a piece of sponge material between a transistor package and the circuit board and then saturating it with a volatile chemical prior to soldering the leads in order to allow the evaporative action wick the heat away from the package. It is like putting lighter fluid on charcoal briquettes if the soldering iron/gun gets hot enough and the flash point of the chemical is low enough.

 - Airplanes and Rockets

Special drying cabinet built by Harry J. Miller - Airplanes and Rockets

Special drying cabinet, built by Harry J. Miller, Sarasota, Florida, contains heating elements, filter and blower to speed up drying of painted parts and minimize dust nuisance.

control line model is "in the groove," special . handle designed by Frank Kreiger - Airplanes and Rockets

Once control line model is "in the groove," special . handle designed by Frank Kreiger, Shamokin, Pennsylvania allows "pilot" to stand without turning, holding handle above head. Tilt vertically for control.

Austrian modeler, Franz Czerny suggests improvement for sheet balsa wings - Airplanes and Rockets

Well-known Austrian modeler, Franz Czerny suggests improvement for sheet balsa wings to enhance performance and strength. Addition of sheets between ribs adds torsional stiffness.

Vernon Van Diver, Jr, protects tranĀ­sistors - Airplanes and Rockets

Vernon Van Diver, Jr., Woolford, Maryland, protects transistors from heat of soldering by felt or blotting paper spacers, saturating them with acetone or thinner for cooling by evaporation.

New life for leaky air wheels is tip from John Everett - Airplanes and Rockets

New life for leaky air wheels is tip from John Everett, Columbus, Ohio. Holes located underwater, marked, vulcanized by means of piece of rubber band and soldering iron. Worth trying!

Handy for turning wing tanks - Airplanes and Rockets

Handy for turning wing tanks, nose cones, spinners, of balsa is elemental lathe, assembled by Richard Gard, Casey, Illinois, from simple parts and electric motor. 

Sketchbook Editions

| Sep 49 | Jan 52 | Jul 54 | Aug 54 | Sep 54 | Dec 54 | Mar 55 | Jan 57 | Feb 57 | Mar 57 | Apr 57 | May 57 | Jun 57 | Jul 57 | Sep 57 | Oct 57 | Nov 57 | Dec 57 | Oct 58 | Mar 59 | Jul 59 | Aug 59 |Nov 59 | Dec 59 | Jan 61 | Feb 61 | Mar 61 | Apr 61 | Jun 61 | Jul 61 | Aug 61 | Dec 61 | Mar 62 | Jan 62 |Feb 62 | Jun 62 | Jul 62 | Oct 62 | Sep 62 | Dec 62 | Jan/Feb 63 | Mar/Apr 63 | May/Jun 63 |Jul/Aug 63 | Sep/Oct 63 | Nov/Dec 63 | Mar 67 | Oct 67 | Feb 68 | Apr 68 | May 68 | Jun 68 | Jul 68 | Sep 68 |

Back when the Sketchbook, Gadgetry, Powerless Pointers, and Engine Info columns were run, there were very few pre-built models, and there simply was not as much available in the way of hardware and specialized modeling tools. We were still a nation of designers and builders. The workforce was full of people who worked on production lines, built houses and buildings with hand tools, and did not have distractions like Nintendos and X-Boxes. Remember that plastics were not common material until the early 50s and the transistor wasn't invented until late 47. Enjoy the tips. Some of you will no doubt wax nostalgic over the methods, since you can remember the days when you did the exact same thing!



Posted May 26, 2013

About Airplanes & Rockets 

Kirt Blattenberger, Webmaster - Airplanes and RocketsKirt Blattenberger

Carpe Diem! (Seize the Day!)

Even during the busiest times of my life I have endeavored to maintain some form of model building activity. This site has been created to help me chronicle my journey through a lifelong involvement in model aviation, which all began in Mayo, MD ...

Copyright  1996 - 2026
All trademarks, copyrights, patents, and other rights of ownership to images and text used on the Airplanes and Rockets website are hereby acknowledged.

Homepage Archives  |  Modeling News Archives


Kirt Blattenberger


Family Websites:

RF Cafe

Equine Kingdom

Rocket Kits + Accessories - Airplanes and Rockets

Academy of Model Aeronautics (AMA) - Airplanes and Rockets

Academy of Model Aeronautics

Tower Hobbies logo - Airplanes and Rockets

Tower Hobbies

Horizon Hobby logo - Airplanes and Rockets

Horizon Hobby

Sig Manufacturing - Airplanes and Rockets

Sig Mfg

Brodak Manufacturing - Airplanes and Rockets

Brodak Mfg