Distraction Projects

Sometimes we just lose our direction on a build project, yet we want to build. So what do you do. Well you can always build things that give greater depth and tell more of the story about the subject you are building. Provide something that sets it apart from others displayed on the table by giving it a little something extra or even just something to help you develop greater skill sets as a modeler.

Most who walk around a museum focus on the main exhibits such as the aircraft on display. Some will have creative lifesize dioramas such as these two forward combat controllers to help tell the story. Exhibits as these can be inspirational to a modeler to build a diorama, but if you look around and take in the whole of what is being displayed you’ll find more.

Take example these images I took at the AirVenture Museum in Oshkosh. Aircraft are flashy and are the main attractions…BUT! If you take the time to look through the rest of the exhibits you’ll not only find inspiration but more information about the main subjects on exhibit but often times to quote the late Paul Harvey…“The Rest of the Story.”

How about those technicians which kept the avionics in working order? Using some spare radio unused radio panels from a kit or scratchbuilding a few pieces you can create a test bench.

Pilots flew combat missions by day and the crew chiefs and maintenance personnel worked by night to ready the aircraft for the next day’s missions. Again this provides opportunities to add a little more to the story, diorama or static display of the subject. Why not when you’ve hit that building rut divert your attention to fabricating some of the jigs, cradles, stands and racks that were used to facilitate the tasks performed by those dedicated maintenance troops? You’re paying tribute to the pilots and aircrews, a simple side project will let you honor those who kept them flying. The same holds true for vehicles and ships as well.

Engine overhauls were often done in field conditions as well as forward support bases. Take those crude kit engines that you replaced with resin aftermarket ones and create a disassembled one. Some careful cutting with a razor saw and some drilling an you can do something like this easily. The studs can be made using rod or bits of wire.

While you are walking though museums, restoration facilities or salvage yards take the time to take pictures of the stands, jigs and other rigs used for maintaining or transporting components. If you have the opportunity take measurements!











With some Evergreen plastic or some Albion Alloys Precision Metals you can fabricate these stands. Don’t get wrapped up into exactly duplicating them, as these were made by various suppliers/vendors and each were a little different.

You might even find that building these stands, you have found an easier way to build the components which are mounted to them. So next time you are considering to plumb and wire that engine you are planning one installing under that cowling or inside that engine compartment…think about making the support equipment too.


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