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
is the earliest edition I have of Air Trails Hobbies for Young Men, so this is also the first edition of Sketchbook
I have. Sketchbook continued for many years as a monthly feature where modelers wrote to the magazine with handy ideas
for saving time and/or money, and just for offering tips and suggestions on a different way of doing something. In those
days there was not the plethora of accessories available for building models, so a lot of creativity was involved. Even
items as commonplace as bellcranks for control line models and dethermalizers for free flight were fabricated from salvaged
parts like metal soup cans and hairpins. I'm guessing no magazine today would publish a scheme to attach bottle rockets
to a model airplane as is shown here.
Earl Cayton, Salem, Oregon, employs dural firewall plate as firm base for thrust adjustment washers in radially-mounted
engine of free flight gassie -
Have you developed something new in construction, control, or flying? Send a rough sketch - we'll redraw it and
pay $5 for each accepted. Contributions should be original ideas; sorry, we cannot enter into any correspondence
Inexpensive model "tools" for easier handling of small model parts - Arthur Lederle, Southold, New York.
Fabric covering is easily applied with paste adhesive. Spread over frame with fingertip, it allows 15 min. period
for stretching covering before setting. By Eric Knox, San Francisco, California.
Sections cut from combs make realistic grills for cowl openings. Ideal for team racers, stunt & scale models
of all sizes says Phil Boretto, Santa Rosa, California.
L.M. Waldorf, Binghampton, New York, makes small coupling at firewall to facilitate replacing fuel line to "sealed-in"
Great variety in shapes of plastic nail polish caps include some suitable for A/2 engine spinners suggests Keith
Red, 12, Union City, Michigan.
Richard Chang, Hong Kong, China, rigs realistic rocket batteries under wing of control-line model -
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!