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  I hope this is the right place for this post.


A few weeks ago, my sister brought me this big bin full of my stuff, originally from our parent's house: 


 Among other miscellaneous items, there were 20 aircraft models there in various stages of despair. Not in the picture, I filled a shoe box full of loose and broken parts. Most of these were built between 1988 and 1993.  That is 18 - 23 years old me!  I thought these were all gone! 


Back row left to right: 
-AMT 1/72 KA50 Hokum  ~1990
-Monogram 1/48 AH-64 Apache ~1988 (brush painted, clearly remember trying to remove an incorrectly glued part and have the knife cut thru my thumb like butter. Probably the worst "modeling" accident I've ever had)
-AMT 1/48 Mig 27 Flogger D 
-Testors 1/48 RF-18 (My first time using an airbrush) ~early 1993
-Revell 1/72 CH-3C Jolly Green Giant bought at Walgreens open-box with missing decals
-AMT 1/48 Airwolf. Built as Airwolf but added MARINES decals  Hey! The badass Marines could use a badass helicopter!
-1/48 Huey.  Testors.  I think it was my first use of authentic military colors (Model Master? Pactra?) Spray bombs ~88-89
-VEB Plasticart 1/100 Jak-40  I think this was the first Jak-40 I did, not the one I posted elsewhere long ago.  This one was built in gear up configuration.  The most complete of the bunch. Only needs cleaning.
-Monogram 1/32 Blue Thunder in Army cammo. No idea when but it must be pre-90 as I think it is all brush painted
-Testors 1/48 Cobra  Remember building it in green then repaint it in sand color
-Testors (Italeri?) 1/72 Mi-28 Havoc
-AMT Bell 222 civilian helicopter.  It has initials the "K" and "B" in the nose for my sisters Karen and Betsy ❤️
-Revell 1/48 US Customs  UH-60 Blackhawk 

Front row left to right:
-1/48 F117 Stealth fighter. Most likely the initial Monogram release.
-Testors 1/48 Mig 37B Ferret
-Airfix 1/144 DeHavilland Comet 4B  built ~1993  Almost complete but severely warped tail. I don't recall it been that wonky.
-Revell Advent 1/144 TWA Boeing 747-100  Built in 1993. My favorite airliner.
-Not a model but that's my original ~1980 Testor's thinner/brush cleaner bottle.
-Monogram F15C  An old favorite back in the day!
-Testors 1/48 Gee Bee Racer  My first "complex" masking job for painting. ~93  
-Revell? 1/144 Shuttle carrying NASA 747  I did not build this one. I bought or traded to somebody in college. There is supposed to be a third 747-100 somewhere with the idea on making a 747SP conversion combining these 2.


Wow! What a trip down memory lane!   This gives me hope that other missing models could still be somewhere at my parent's or my sister's house. 

This is too big of a find and I need to honor and rescue my history.  I have spent hours sorting thru the parts and assessing the condition of each.  I have to restore these but with the discipline of a proper restoration, not an upgrade or rebuild. I see these as 18-22 years old me.  I'll restore as they were built back then in all their box stock, lots of flash, thick paint glory!


So let's jump into this!


#1: Airfix 1/144 DeHavilland Comet 4B built ~1993 Almost complete but warped tail and fuselage. I don't recall it been that wonky.

Despite the warped tail and fuselage, this seems to be complete. I was able to find in the loose parts the front landing gear and its doors doors, plus the missing wheel.  It was carefully cleaned.  I noticed it was missing the rather simple jet tips. So I made them from styrene tube to resemble the kit's parts used back in the day.  For the life of me I can't remember why there is no tail decals, which I just found in another box.  I also found the instructions in the box.


After the restoration: Warped tail and fuselage. The yellowed finish screams Testors gloss white. Some fingerprints on the paint 






Stay tuned for more!




Edited by ismaelg
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#2: VEB Plasticart 1/100 Yak-40

I think this was the first Yak-40 I did, not the one I showed earlier elsewhere.
Built ~1993 
This one was built in gear up configuration. Looks complete. BMF rings in the engines. Only needs cleaning.


After the restoration: Surprisingly, I found the little top antenna in the bottom of the bin.
Isn't Photoshop great?







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#3: AMT 1/48 MIG 27 Flogger-D   I understand this is a 1988 release and a reboxed ESCI kit dating from the late 70s



Based on the thick paint and tape residues this was built in the very late 80's.  I kind of recall "sand" color Rust-Oleum spray can.  The bottom is a very light green. Cleaned 30 years of dust. The control stick is missing. I replaced with a little piece of wire.  The centerline drop tank was fitted but it was lower than the landing gear, touching the ground, so I took it out.  Interestingly, I found in the parts box what I am convinced is the cannon for this kit that was never attached.  It is also missing the wing hardpoints which I never installed; a practice I had. Don't know why. Those are swimming in my parts box. The inner small landing gear doors are missing.  Everything else is just like I built it 30+ years ago.  This is one of those models I'm tempted to hunt for another kit and build it properly to display side by side to this one.




I have always liked swing wing aircraft






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   #4 from the bin:  AMT Bell 222.  I clearly remember the store (PITUSA on Post street) where I got it.  Can't remember if this was painted with spray cans or if it was one of my first airbrush jobs.  The uneven yellow halves at the bottom tells the story that this was painted before assembly. Some of the seam lines were addressed with a thin strip of masking tape.  Built around  1991-1992. 
The most important part of this build is the initials "K" and "B" which stands for Karen and Betsy, my two younger sisters and my biggest fans to this date  

From the bin:



After some TLC:








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  #5: Revell 1/72 CH-3C Jolly Green Giant.  I clearly remember finding this open box model at Walgreens missing the decals. I got it cheap.  I don't recall but it seems it was painted with airbrush, not rattle cans.  If so, then it was ~1992


Almost 30 years of dust!

I found this picture that has a date Feb 93 on the back.  I remember using a railroad layout grass mat for this picture.

After some TLC
This brought back so many nice memories of the joy of a simple box stock build!



Very similar picture, almost 30 years later




And now getting into a bit more complicated restorations: Missing parts!


#6: Testor's - Fujimi UH-1B Huey:  According to Scalemates, this basic and rather crude kit dates back to 1967 and while listed as 1/48, it is actually 1/50 scale.
I remember this been the first model painted with authentic military colors. I clearly remember hanging it from the cloth line and using a spray bomb that was either Model Masters or Pactra.  A cousin of the girlfriend I had at the time was into RC and pointed me to an electronics and car audio shop of all places that carried modeling tools and supplies in the back corner.  That puts it around  late 1988 or 1989 (18 years old).  I also remember adding a chin mounted gun from another kit.

So my plan is to scratchbuild authentic replicas of the box stock parts used back then.  I even searched online for pictures of part trees. 


This is what was found:

Scratchbuilt parts to replicate missing or broken parts:




And the end result:









#7: Monogram 1/32 Blue Thunder 

As a kid growing up in the 70's and 80's I was a big fan of all those great TV shows, especially those with cool vehicles like Airwolf, Blue Thunder, Knight Rider, etc.
This is the Monogram Blue Thunder in 1/32 scale that I thought would look cool in Army cammo. I don't remember when I built this one but it is all brush painted with Testors enamels! Some of the decals were from the parts box so it was most likely built around 1988-1989 or so.

As found, with 30+ years of dust.


After the restoration: Everything was eventually found in the bin except for a small broken rotor link replaced with a piece of wire.








 I eventually found and installed the rotor top cover and the bottom ammunition belt carriers. Now it is complete! There was no fire extinguisher in the kit.  I found and reattached the parts box extinguisher I originally used in the cabin. It is 1/25 so it is big, but hey! This is 18 years old me!




#8: An old favorite!  Revell 1/48 UH-60A Blackhawk in US CUSTOMS livery

If I had a penny for every time I had to explain "Yes, the tail rotor IS slanted! No, it is not crooked! That's how it is supposed to be!"   

Most likely rattle can spray. 

As found:


After restoration:









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Ismael,  Thanks for taking us for a walk down memory lane and for making the effort to restore your old kits.  I too have a "rescue box."  It motivates me to take a few out and restore them as you have done.  Carry on!  Dutch

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#9: Testors Fujimi 1/48 AH-1S Cobra
I remember building this kit in the late 80's and painting it rattle can light green, then a while later repainted as it is now.  Leftover decals used on the repaint. 

As found:


Getting a bit more complex into broken or missing parts.  Had to scratchbuild the rotor mast as per the original part from online pics of unbuilt kits. Also had to fabricate some hidden supports to keep it in place.


As a happy accident it is now the smoothest turning helicopter rotor in my collection 🙂



After the restoration:  Still fighting those gaps.

The TOW launchers on the right hand side are wrong. They should be horizontal, not vertical. The other side is correct but this one is a glue bomb so I left it as is.






Again, having a blast restoring these. I get to be a teenager again.




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I have reached a milestone in this project: Halfway there!  However, I'm getting into more and more challenging restorations.
#10:Testors Italeri 1/72 Mil Mi-28 Havoc.  This model was really a concept of the then still secret Soviet Mi-28, which ended up looking different.  This model was released in 1989. I think I may have built it around '93 because it seems to be an early airbrush job, or maybe a combination of spray cans and airbrush.  It has a healthy coat of dullcoat. Can't remember if airbrushed or from Testors spray can.  It has what seems to be maybe dullcoat runs? Not sure but they don't clean up.


As found:
Missing one key component: One of the two canopies.

One of the rotor blades (not the loose one) broke in half during handling.   UGH!
I was able to locate all parts except the missing canopy.  For a few days I wondered. Buy a whole kit just for a canopy? Make my own? I've never done complex clear parts.
At the end, I made my own canopy.

After restoration:






Scratchbuilt back canopy. Quite a challenge. Front canopy from the kit.


I was tempted to improve on it but original intent prevailed.



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Nice work restoring these.  I am glad to see you posting again, I am not sure if you remember me, but we used to talk on the old PSAB chat, and I remember your work on the model cars magazine forum.



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Hi Kurt!


  Long time my friend!  Glad to see you!  How are you?  Life in general has been pretty busy and this hobby took a back seat for a few years with limited action.  Plenty of on going projects in both cars and aircraft models.  Just squeezing out precious minutes here and there whenever possible.  This particular project was a nice surprise and has taken a life on its own. I'm really enjoying this trip down memory lane.




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#11: Testors 1/48 F117 Stealth Fighter.  As a teenager and engineering student in the late 80's, there was nothing more badass and revolutionary than this aircraft.  In my mind this was one of the most important aircraft of all time. I mean, beating radar? mind blowing!
This kit was released in the early 90's. I must have built it around '92 or so. Not sure but I think it was painted with hardware store spray cans.

As found:  With about 30 years of dust



I was able to find all parts but the broken nose pitot tubes which were replaced with wire. Cleanup proved to be a challenge in itself as 30 years of dust really got stuck into the paint.  Decals silvered on the transparent parts as the paint was not the glossiest.  I found the original instruction booklet and part of the original decal sheet.  I couldn't resist and added the pilot's name decal.  It cooperated after 30+ years. 
One more thing, this model is huge!  It barely fits my photo booth.



After restoration:









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#12: AMT/ERTL  1/72 Kamov Hokum   In October of 1990, while working on a college class project with other classmates, I clearly remember discussing this model.  It had nothing to do with the project.  I was still learning the basics about helicopters and was not aware of this counter rotating rotor configuration, which is actually almost as old as helicopters themselves.  I was impressed with the benefits mentioned in the instructions of this model.  


As found:
Turns out many other parts are missing in this picture but were all in the bin.  Most importantly, the delicate rotor assembly is intact!


After the restoration:
The only missing part was one of the hardpoints. I scratchbuilt it based on the other side.











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Hello again,

  OK, this is a fun one!

#13:  Testors 1/48 Gee Bee Racer.  This is one of the simplest kits ever made and from what I understand the mold dates back to 1949!  The short story of this aircraft is that it was intended to be the fastest land airplane in the world. Seaplanes were another category. In 1931 the most powerful engine was the WASP 9 cyl radial. So the aircraft was designed around that engine as minimalistic as possible. It remains one of the most difficult and dangerous airplanes ever to fly.  Jimmy Doolittle set a speed record of almost 300MPH in 1932.  
 I built this in the early 90's.  If I recall correctly, this was one of my first airbrush jobs. But before I got my "real" airbrush in 1993, I briefly had one of those cheap and awful external mix airbrush. I think I did this with that based on the consistency (or lack of) in the paint coverage. You can tell the masking job was a challenge for a beginner.  This puts this around '92-'93.

As found:


The paint is cracking probably due to it been applied heavy.  But the biggest issue is missing one of the rear stabilizers

Cleaning attempts were futile except for removing dust.  The spots in the white areas were immune to mild cleaners. I left them as is because any more aggressive and I risk damaging the paint.
But again, the white elephant in the room is the missing rear stabilizer.
So I searched for the part in multiple places. No luck so far. Then searched for built glue bombs I could buy to get the part. No luck. I may get a new kit to build it again but that's another story.


So we went to plan F: Make my own

The stabilizers are mirror images. Actually identical parts top and bottom flipped depending on the side.


So I did a template of the original part. Then transferred to thick styrene, then tapered to shape, then scribed...


You are looking here at a few hours of intense work.  Next challenge; match the faded and slightly yellowed white paint.


And this is the result.


After restoration:

It may not be perfect but I'm more than happy!







Another one I want to build again...




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#14: Testors 1/48 RF-18D   I clearly remember this was one of the first times I ever used my friend Carlos' Badger 150 airbrush in his office studio. He showed me by painting one of the stabilizers or tail fins. I remember been in awe witnessing airbrushing! That must have been late '92 - early '93 or so.  Not been very knowledgeable about military aircraft, I incorrectly thought if it is a photo reconnaissance aircraft, then there is no need for wing hardpoints. You just want to be as light and fast as possible.  While that is true for an SR-71, that is not exactly the case with multi-role F18s  Anyways, it was built without wing hardpoints. But it has wingtips sidewinders. Don't judge me. I was just a 22 year old kid.  🙂


As found:
It had some weird sticky residue that when cleaned left marks behind like if it has eaten some of the paint.


After restoration:









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#15: Testors 1/48 Mig 37B Ferret E Soviet Stealth Concept. This model was released in 1987 when the Stealth concept was in full rage. Designer John Andrews also designed the controversial Testors F19 Stealth fighter model released in 1986 creating a stir of controversy and media frenzy.  If I recall correctly, I bought this kit as a Christmas gift for a friend and fellow modeler. Somehow I ended up with it at a later time.  Must have been late 80's or very early 90s.



As found:
Even then it seems I was a decal hater. Only a single red star and nothing else.


There is one critical part missing: The canopy.  Not in the picture, I found in my stuff the original instructions.  I used it as a guideline to scratchbuild my own canopy.
So I did a paper template of the shape.  Converted that to a tape template and with that I cut the 2 main pieces.  A third piece was cut based on the resulting gap. While not 100% true to the original part, it is close.


It was quite flimsy so I added a structural back piece 

To keep it in place, I added these discreet black supports

And this is the farthest away I've gone from original in these restorations. 


The struts for the air brakes were missing so I did my own with wire.












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#16: Your Majesty! The Queen herself!  Advent Boeing 747-100 in 1/144 scale.  My only model that doesn't fit the big light box.  I apologized to this model for leaving her unattended for many years.  I'm pretty sure I bought and built it in 1993.


As found:


The seam cracked in the back. I'll have to live with that.

These are my scratchbuilt parts to replace the missing box stock ones.  Not in the pic but the wingtips have what looks like antennas or something. One was missing so it was cloned.

A landing gear door, done TWICE as I stupidly made it mirror image of what was needed. DUH!  The other parts are landing gear supports based on the surviving ones. Fortunately, most of the landing gear survived.

And she is re-done!








Love her!  Don't know where to put it but DARN IT! I want to build another one!
Can you tell this is a favorite?



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#17: Monogram 1/48 AH-64 Apache.  I believe this was my very first helicopter model! Must have been built around 1988-89 or so.  Completely brush painted! I remember very well one of my worst modeling accidents was building this. I glued a part and noticed I had to remove it. Can't remember if it was for painting or if it was incorrectly glued or what. I was using a pocket knife. It slipped and went thru my right thumb like butter!  Still hurts remembering it!  


As found:
Missing both doors and a few of those little U shaped handles. For some reason this dust is far more stubborn than any other of the restorations.  Rotor snapped so I'll glue in place. It won't turn.


After restoration:  I left the clear parts unpainted back then, so the replacement doors were cut from clear plastic but left unpainted. Yes, I was tempted to paint them...  Missing U shape handles made out of wire.










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This is awsome, just scrolling through takes my mind back to the 1970s when I did my first models. Way too much Testors glue with lots of glue threads everywhere and slapping on that enamel paint with a cheap brush. Thanks for the trip down memory lane.

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