Photos of my balsa models made as a youth

As a youth, starting at age 9 when I was given an X-Acto knife set and a few simple cut-out aircraft models, making balsa wood models became a favorite pastime for the next decade. Some of those models have survived the half century of moves since then, so here are photos of some of them.


A model I made from the first photo I saw in a magazine of the first jet fighter, a German aircraft, in a magazine photo taken from an angle; I made this model from that blurry photograph and very many years later after WWII was over and the plane was captured and diagramed in the conventional three views, it was quite similar to those of my model shown here. "ME-262," was its designation maybe?


A group of models I had made as a youth and much later given years ago to first grandson Forrest.


This one was inspired by the ocean's manta ray, and has lost part of its rudder over the years but still shows its gracefulness.


Currently I have mounted some of the models and other things of my early youth including thread-dolls that were my equivalent of boys' toy soldiers of the day, have been mounted on a complex polygon I made much more recently as a display.


Seaplane with fold-up wings, never quite finished but has survived to this point.


The cowboy's six-shooter of the western movies was a favorite subject of my model-making. Here is one of my earliest models of them.


Here is a flying version of a model rocket vehicle, note the little rocket engine in the right hand side, which held a bit of solid rocket propellant. This one had been able to be found after test flights; other models that were not found after a test flight, obviously are not available to photograph now. Note that the wood surface under these models is the work surface on which I made these models as a youth, a sturdy oak workbench built for me by my father, who was an excellent craftsman in wood and used only simple hand tools.


The comic book space adventures often used "ray-guns" so here is one of my efforts to combine the six-shooter with the ray-gun in a model.



Deciding to go for the single size photos 640 x 480 pixel size



This one shows the actual size of this balsa unpainted model, in comparison to a 2 x 4 it sits on, actual width of the piece of lumber is 3 - 1/2 inches. Sometimes pieces can be found for repairs to the models, often dinged from moving around over the years and surviving some earthquakes along the way too.

Copyright © 2008 James E. D. Cline. Permission granted to reproduce providing inclusion of a link back to this site and acknowledgment of the author and concept designer James E. D. Cline.