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March-April 1963 American Modeler

March/April 1963 American Modeler

March / April 1963 American Modeler magazine cover 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.

Before just about everything you could ever think of needing for your aeromodeling hobby was made in China and sold here at a dirt-cheap price, resourcefulness and creativity, combined with some mechanical skill, was needed by most hobbyists. Even those who could afford to buy everything they needed were not always able to find it already made and hanging on the hobby shop wall. Improvisation was the order of the day. These monthly "Sketchbook" features are a prime example of what I'm writing about. Having read through many of the ideas in many issues of American Modeler, I am a little dubious about the practicality of some of them. For instance, I highly doubt that the string starter idea in this edition actually worked very well. That's an awfully short moment arm on the prop shaft for being able to pull fast and hard enough to turn over the engine. I just picked up my Cox PeeWee .010 and flipped the prop and I'd be very surprised if the pull starter would work on it. Yes, some of the .049 car and boat models came with pull starters, but the diameter of the cord wrapping pulley was much larger than that of #4 bolt. I'm just say'n...

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


Sketchbook form March/April 1963 American Modeler - Airplanes and Rockets

Sketchbook form March/April 1963 American Modeler

One of many string starter ideas is sent by Glenn Smith, Peoria, Ariz. Brass washer held at front of spinner allows string to be wound around it for quick start.

David Rice, Tulsa, Okla., suspends R/C receiver with three rubber loops in opening of sliding plywood bulkhead. Unit quickly removable. Vibration and damage reduced.

To prevent accidental release of arresting cord from C/L carrier model's tail hook, Dick Babisch, Warren, Mich., solders light steel wire "mouse trap" rig to hook opening.

14-year-old Michael Sledge, Florence, Alabama, submits simple experimental "Aircar" model made from hat box lid. Balsa engine chamber and strip stiffeners only structure needed.

As quick, easy method of assuring perpendicular rib alignment with leading edge, Steve Eyles, Lake Park, Florida, secures square block to bench, builds wing around it.

Drop-off gears are old stuff to C/L flying but David Moore, Cherry Hill, N. J., has simple method beginners may appreciate. Realistic takeoffs, higher flight performance are advantages.

Got a new idea for construction, adjustment, or operation of model planes boats or R/C? "AM" pays $10 for each "hint & kink" used. Send rough sketch and description to Sketchbook, c/o American Modeler, The Conde Nast Publications Inc., 420 Lexington Ave New York 17, N. Y.

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 September 22, 2012

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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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