Scale Models - Overview and Tips (not flying models)
I have long been a fan of scale sailplane models. I built a fair number of scale model airplanes in my youth, and I currently have a scale sailplane model hanging over my office desk. It is loosely suspended by thread - giving it the freedom to dance and sway - as if ever working to find the core of some great thermal.
A nice sailplane model, like any work of art, is enjoyable to look at. Sailplanes are certainly elegant and efficient machines. When I look at a sailplane model, I see the lovely long wings, and the purpose built aerodynamically optimized fuselage, but I also see the history of that particular sailplane. Every sailplane type has an interesting history. There was a person, or group of people, or company that put their hearts and minds into the development of that particular sailplane. It may have been the descendent of many, similar (or quite different) sailplanes in a long line of sailplanes. I see all that when I look at a scale model sailplane. I also see the potential for adventures to come. I see the cross-country soaring flights that await me in the future.
I guess I’m passionate about sailplanes and sailplane models. You will notice that when you visit my Sailplane Models web pages. I have spent a lot of time documenting each model kit. I have photos of the model parts, a scan of every page of the assembly instructions, photos of finished model kits and photos of the full-size sailplanes the model is patterned after. I also provide some historical information about the sailplane type. I also try to add value with model building and terminology tips and links to web sites with tips on building scale models.
A Great Way to Promote Soaring
Sailplane models are more than just fun to look at. Sailplane models can be a great tool for introducing the sport of soaring to others. Sailplane models look great hanging over or sitting on your desk at work, or sitting in a display counter at the local gliderport. They are a great way to encourage friends and colleagues to ask you about soaring. Just think how many more people would ask you about soaring if you had one of these models prominently and proudly displayed!
They are also great to admire while waiting for your new full-size glider to be delivered, or while waiting for spring as your glider is hibernating in its trailer for the winter.
Model sailplane kits are also a great way to promote soaring with kids. Building a model glider is fun and a kid that hangs a glider from his bedroom ceiling is more likely to get into flying gliders in the long run. Buy one for your kids and grandkids and nephews and nieces - and help them build it. I sincerely believe that glider model kits are a great way to introduce kids to gliders.
Not a Model Builder – Not a Problem!
The model kits on these pages are fun and rewarding to build. But let’s face it; some of us don’t have the time or skills to build a model that we would be proud to display. That is not a problem. You can have a model built for you.
- Professional Model Builder
I have established a relationship with a professional model builder. He can build any of the kits on these pages for you for about $300. I’ll send the model kit directly to him and he’ll build it and send it to you. The finished product will look fantastic. There will soon be links to examples of his work here. He has built several models for me that are proudly displayed in my office. Let me know if you are interested in this service.
- HPH Models
HPH builds scale models of just about any aircraft. You can expect to pay between $600 and $1200 for a detailed scale model of your sailplane. They are worth every penny. You can see details and photos on the HPH page.
Scale Model Kits
This web site is targeted at pilots of full-sized gliders - it is not a hobby shop. I'm not an expert model builder. However, many pilots of full-size gliders are also builders of model gliders. The page is a collection of some very nice, scale plastic and resin models of gliders from around the world. It has been fun hunting them down, collecting and documenting them. They are delivered as unassembled kits which require assembly, gluing, and painting. They make excellent display models or as training aids for showing new pilots the parts of a sailplane or for "flying" the model (in your hand) through a maneuver that will later be done in the air. Another great idea is to display the completed model on your desk at work as a way to invite questions about soaring. I have a few nice models hanging over the desk in my office.
Give a Glider Model Kit to a Kid
I am a firm believer that model kits are a great way to promote soaring with kids. Building a model glider is fun and a kid that hangs a glider from his bedroom ceiling is more likely to get into flying gliders in the long run. So buy one for your kids and grandkids and nephews and nieces - and help them build it. I suppose you will think that I'm saying that in order to sell more kits and make more money, but I really do sincerely believe that glider models are a great way to introduce kids to gliders. However, some of these kits have very limited instructions, so adult help is recommended.
Model Kits - Sorted by Model Manufacturer
|1:32||Plastic injection molded||The largest,|
most other kits
|Ardpol||Poland||1:48||Resin||Very nice, larger than|
most other kits
|United Kingdom||1:48||Resin||Nice, For experienced modelers|
|Czech Republic||1:72||Resin||Very small, but nice. |
Some kits are very detailed. Many interesting kits. For experienced modelers.
Next - Finished Scale Models