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About Airplanes & Rockets

Kirt Blattenberger, Webmaster - Airplanes and Rockets

Kirt Blattenberger


My Engineering Web: RF Cafe

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 ...

Airplanes And Rockets 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.

My Main Modeling Websites

Academy of Model Aeronautics (AMA) - Airplanes and RocketsAcademy 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

Sketchbook - Model Building Tips
July 1962 American Modeler


July 1962 American Modeler

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

Aeromodeling has seen significant changes over the decades both in technology and preferences. Magazines like American Aircraft Modeler, American Modeler, and Air Trails were the best venues for capturing snapshots of the status quo of the day. All copyrights are hereby acknowledged.

This Sketchbook was scanned from the July 1962 American Modeler, page 42. 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.


Enrique Arance tells how he bends dural gear legs to provide uniform radius for extra strength - Airplanes and Rockets

Argentina modeler Enrique Arance tells how he bends dural gear legs to provide uniform radius for extra strength. Note pushing edge of angle iron is rounded.

Bob Meyer recommends procedure for "Stuka," "Corsair" wings - Airplanes and Rockets

Interlocking joints at dihedral breaks on solids or gliders improves strength greatly compared to usual butt joints. Bob Meyer, Claremont, Calif., recommends procedure for "Stuka," "Corsair" wings particularly.

Eye-catching trim strips of shiny Christmas tinsel make effective color dividers - Airplanes and Rockets

Eye-catching trim strips of shiny Christmas tinsel make effective color dividers on two-color paint jobs. Used by Rich-ard Brown, Willow Grove, Pa. Clear dope satisfactory adhesive, says Dick.

Richard Barnes trim to shape on glass fuelproof with butyrate clear dope - Airplanes and Rockets

Colored "pressure sensitive" tape, available on rolls of various widths is handy for trimming, repairing models reports Richard Barnes, E. Hampton, Conn. Trim to shape on glass, fuelproof with butyrate clear dope.

David Nudell uses two pennies held by alligator clip - Airplanes and Rockets

David Nudell, Skokie, III., uses two pennies held by alligator clip on lead of heat-sensitive part when soldering radio gear.

Tube coil gives added cooling to model boat engines according to Japanese modeler Kazutoshl Wakatouki - Airplanes and Rockets

Tube coil gives added cooling to model boat engines according to Japanese modeler Kazutoshl Wakatouki. Intake, behind propeller, admits water under pressure, providing circulation.

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  April 17, 2013

Model Aviation Magazine, AMA - Airplanes and Rockets