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Plastic Scale Model Kits - Airplanes and Rockets

Sketchbook - Model Building Tips
March 1955 Air Trails Hobbies for Young Men

March 1955 Air Trails

March 1955 Air Trails Cover - Airplanes and RocketsTable 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.

Necessity is the mother of invention, as the old saying goes. Back in the 1950s, invention was the necessity of modelers who were either on a tight budget, did not have access to the plethora of gadgets and devices available these days, or both. I really enjoy reading about some of the ideas devised by modelers for use on their airplanes. While doing something like splitting balsa sticks lengthwise to facilitate bending around tight curves - similar to laminating individual pieces, but on a local level - might seems obvious to a seasoned builder, there are always new people entering the realm or even old hands exploring a new area of aeromodeling who need to learn new methods. I actually had an idea printed once in Model Aviation where I suggested saving the small hypodermic dispensers (the ones with the skinny nozzles) from tooth whitening applicators for use in injecting epoxy into hinge slots.


auto gear box furnishes 8:1 escapement rubber winder - Airplanes and Rockets

Toy "wind-up" auto gear box furnishes 8:1 escapement rubber winder reports Richard Stephens, Bronx, N.Y.C.


Sketchbook, March 1955 Air Trails for Young Men - Airplanes and Rockets

Have you developed something new in construction, control, or flying? Send a rough sketch - we'll redraw it and pay $10 for each accepted. Ideas should be original; sorry, no correspondence on submissions.

Longerons may be curved easily if split, cemented in position - Airplanes and Rockets

Longerons, leading edges, etc., may be curved easily if split, cemented in position says Ed Hecker, Ft. Lauderdale, Fla.

Beam-mounted engine is easily adapted for radial mounting - Airplanes and Rockets

Beam-mounted engine is easily adapted for radial mounting suggests Carl Dodge, East Cleveland, Ohio

Realistic "flaps down" position at rest - Airplanes and Rockets

Realistic "flaps down" position at rest, on take-off and at landing for control model or freeflight scale is feature of gadget built by David Froba, Lousiville, Ky.

 - Airplanes and Rockets

quick increase or reduction of fin tab movement - Airplanes and Rockets

R/C model tab adjustment, designed by Eugene Englehardt, Cranston, R.I., permits quick increase or reduction of fin tab movement.

Unique system of making realistic dashboard for scale models - Airplanes and Rockets

Rex DeSilets, Drexel Hill, Penna., devised unique system of making realistic dashboard for scale models.

Sketchbook, March 1955 Air Trails - Airplanes and Rockets

Sketchbook page scan

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 October 5, 2013

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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 ...

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