After settling 30 years ago into a serious modeling
phase, I decided for no particular reason to chronicle every
US military plane
available in 1/72 scale. At the time it was a practicable project, but the
blossoming of the limited edition industry, and particularly the recent resin
explosion, have put more subjects on the shelves, or at least on the Web, than a
single modeler can hope to build in several lifetimes; even if he devotes every
waking hour to glue and paint, as some contributors to this site by their "prolificness"
seem to do. The earliest American-built plane was this Airfix DH-4.
During The War to End All Wars (Until the Next One Got
Started) the US
never fielded an airplane of its own design, but it did crank out nearly 5,000
copies of this British machine termed the “Liberty Plane”. Over 1,200 went to
and equipped bombing and observation squadrons of the AEF. It sported two fixed
machine guns in the nose, two on a Scarf ring in the rear cockpit, and up to 220
lb of underwing bombs. Among the unknowledgeable the plane was referred to as a
“flying coffin”, but it’s loss rate was similar to other types. The airplane
proved so adaptable that it remained in US service to the end of the Twenties.
No information provided
but I assume it is similar to all their early kits with one-piece wings, Spartan
cockpits and generally good shape. Ed
Gee, what can you say about Airfix? Vintage late ‘50’s
to early ‘60’s molds. Flash, ejector marks, simplifications, no doubt
inaccuracies. At least the markings
weren’t engraved in the plastic. Struts came in pairs joined by horizontal
members that fit into slots in the wings. Made joining upper and lower a breeze.
Rigging is a combo of monofilm thread and stretched sprue.
The kit, of course, came with British wartime markings.
I copied the postwar OD scheme with “meatball” roundels from some scratchy
thumbnails. This one may have been brush painted. It’s collected an indelible
coating of dust from sitting in the same room wherein airbrushing was applied.
Attempts with various cleaners to remove the film
from “test” models were inauspicious, so it shall
In recent years a fleet of “Jennies”, “Tommies”, and
other contemporary WWI US
planes has been made available by some of the short run kitters. They are duly
being added to the collection.
In all fairness to Joel, this was one of his
earliest articles. I used it because there was nothing else in queue and it does
show that old kits are still worth building.
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