Foiling Plastic and Resin Model Kits for Realism by Ken Friend

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There have been several really good modeling articles written about using aluminum foil and hobby foil to generate the natural metal finish (NMF) of unpainted aircraft. The photographs of the finished product(s) show exquisite detail and realism that can’t be matched by any other method. While these articles focus on the technique of applying foil, there are some details I think could be added to create even more realism. This article will focus on “paneling” and effects that can be used prior to applying foil to a model. Most of the topics presented are the result of much trial and error and are conveyed to simply add to the information that others have already provided.

I’ve had many jobs over the years that required working with aluminum castings and aluminum sheet. One of those jobs was as an Aviation Metalsmith in an A-4 squadron in the late ‘60’s and early ‘70’s. As an avid, casual modeler, I have always wanted to recreate some of the unpainted planes of the same era. Until about five years ago I used buffing and non-buffing metalizers with varying degrees of success and satisfaction. One day I opened a Nestlé’s Crunch bar and suddenly realized that I had a better solution right there in my hands. I found some foil glue at Wal-Mart, an Italeri F-104, and some available time. I was very pleased with the outcome and hopelessly hooked….


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A Brief History of Revell Plastic Model Kits

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By Alan Bussie Google+ profile

I would like to thank John Burns and numerous KCCers. Without them, it would have been impossible to compile this information.

In the early 1940s, Lou Glaser, a California entrepreneur, founded an injection molding company. Precision Specialties performed contract work for other manufacturers. In the early 1950s Gowland and Gowland designed the famous 1/32 scale “Highway Pioneers” line of 30 cars, which were the first mass-produced plastic automotive kits. Glaser marketed these for 69 cents through Woolworth Dime Stores and they sold well. Glaser realized that Revell should sell children’s toys, specifically plastic model kits.

The first Revell-made mold was the 1953 USS Missouri, first issued in the narrow box.




The first three aircraft kits followed quickly in one-piece boxes. The F-94C, F7U-1 and F9F-6 were molded Continue reading “A Brief History of Revell Plastic Model Kits”

Monogram Plastic Model Kits – A Brief History

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By Alan Bussie    Google+ profile

Many thanks to numerous KCCers and John Burns for their detective work. Without you this would have been impossible.

Introduction and Early Years 

The name Monogram is synonymous with quality in model kits.   The founders, Jack Besser and Bob Reder, had a clear vision of what constitutes an excellent model kit and how to transform that into mass production.  Not surprisingly, Monogram was a well-run company and proved to be profitable for many years. In 1945 the company began producing stick/tissue aircraft kits and solid wooden kits of ships and cars.  Monogram’s very first aircraft was kit number C-1, the Whirlwind – a gas powered control line kit.   The first car kit was the R-1 Hot Shot Jet-Powered Racer.

 monogram-c-1-whirlwind.JPG   monogram-r1-hotshot.JPG

C-1 Whirlwind and R-1 Hot Shot (Click either photo to enlarge) 

 The ship line consisted of a US BattleshipDestroyer, CruiserAircraft Carrier and Landing Craft (#B1).


Although the wooden ship line was not expanded, the Jet Races line eventually included the Hot Shot (from above), R-3 Mono-Jet, R-4 Midjet, R-2 Terr-Jet and B-6Aqua Jet (for operation in water)

Monogram seized the injection molded plastic initiative early and produced what we would call multi-media kits.  The legendary line of flying and non-flying kits were called Continue reading “Monogram Plastic Model Kits – A Brief History”

Aurora Plastic Model Kits – A Brief History

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By Alan Bussie Google+ profile

Many thanks to John Burns, Tom Graham and the innumerable number of collectors who have helped to compile this information over the years. Without your tireless attention to detail, this would be impossible.

Aurora was one of the most prolific names in American Modeling from 1952 to 1977. The line was very diverse and included military and civil aircraft, shipstanksmissiles, figures (monster and many others), science fiction, automotive, animals, guns, totem poles, HO train items, electronic kits, “Coppersmith” sets, prehistoric scenes and more.

The Early Years – The Brooklyn Era
In 1950, Abe Shikes and Joseph Giammarino created Aurora as an injection molding job-shop. Injection molding was booming in post-war American and business went well. In 1952, they hired a salesman named John Cuomo. The three produced many toys but quickly realized that plastic model kits were the wave of the future, so they banked Aurora’s future on it.

Kit production started in the Brooklyn Plant in late 1952. These kits were in one-piece flip-top boxes and carried the circular logo and the “U-Ma-Kit” slogan. The first two kits were the 1/48 F9F Panther Jet (kit #22) and 1/48 Lockheed F-90A (kit #33).  These first two kits carried no landing gear or missiles and had minimal rivet and panel line detail. Box art was simple and used two colors. There was no price extension after the kit number.

First Issue Aurora F-90A #33

Issues exist with the instructions printed on the inside of the box and with the instructions printed on a separate piece of paper.

If you have the early Hawk releases of the F9F or F-90, Continue reading “Aurora Plastic Model Kits – A Brief History”