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Welcome to Model Airplane Building!

Learn to Build a Realistic Plastic Airplane Model

model airplane propeller

So you've decided to build a plastic model airplane.  Welcome to an absorbing and fun-filled hobby!  Nothing quite captures the imagination as airplanes locked in battle high in the sky.  This hobby is a great way to re-live an important period of world history, or to spend time with kids building patience and hand-eye coordination. 

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 model Spitfire airplane

Above: Spitfire Mark Vb (1/48 scale).

Plastic model kits are designed with a tremendous amount of accuracy and detail.  The kit format allows you to fully customize your model.  If there is a veteran in your life, presenting a model of that person's service aircraft will be the gift of a lifetime.

You may have already built or partially built a model, and have mentally compared it to the ones you see on display at the hobby shop.  You are wondering how they make the kits turn out so amazingly realistic!  Some of your questions might be:

1) How do they get rid of the gap between the body halves?

2) How do they get the paint to look so smooth?

3) How do they get the small details to stand out instead of disappear? 

 model P-51D airplane

Above: P-51D Mustang (1/48 scale). Click the image and turn on your speakers for a short video (1.6 MB).

This site is intended to answer these and many more questions.  We'll demonstrate building the typical World War 2 Airplane Model from start to finish. 

Begin at the top of the menu at the left and proceed downwards.

You will learn many of the insider tricks that are used to turn a humble box of molded plastic parts into a museum-worthy masterpiece. 

You can use as few or as many of these tricks as you like to improve your models.  But the most important thing is to have fun doing it!