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
Sketchbook was scanned from the October 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-built airplane, whether from a kit or from plans.
This page has links to every edition of
Sketchbook that I have so far.
Safety-minded James Happ, North Brook, IIIinois, uses glo-plug
to ignite model rocket. Lengthy wires make circuit with battery.
Fuse ignited when switch closes circuit. Hazards lessened.
Homemade booster battery clip is from Mitsuo Katayama, San Pedro,
California. Turned back ends of wire fittings makes contact
easy. Plywood block keeps battery leads apart.
Clif Norman, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, offers answer to problem
of quick-filling pressure tank. Removable stopper allows fast
fueling, quick resealing.
Practical solution to burned or broken stabilizer pop-up retainer
threads is steel wire member. William Kakoni, New York City,
anchors thin wire to fuselage with nylon ·patch.
See original page.
Neat scale-like wheels for World War I models are produced by
Alfred Epstein, Montreal, Canada, using "O-ring" oil seals for
tires and turned aluminum discs, grooved, for wheels.
English modeler Alan Thomas submits neat axle for heavy-duty
dural landing gears. Turned-down bolt body fits wheel precisely;
threads left for bolting to leg endl
Use of pressure-sensitive "Mylar" chrome materials is suggested
by J. W. Scherer, Wyckoff, New Jersey. Smooth chrome quickly
cut and positioned for windows; fancy textures for landing gear.
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!