Craig Hewitt Chapter of the International Plastic Modelers

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Asif Editor Editor

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Unread post04 Feb 2008, 16:48

Luke Air Force Base wrote:History lands here at Luke

by Tech. Sgt. Janet Haliburton
56th Fighter Wing Public Affairs

1/29/2008 - LUKE AIR FORCE BASE, Ariz. -- Members of the Craig Hewitt Chapter of the International Plastic Modelers Society donated 30 model aircraft and a miniature replica of the Luke water tower to the base library Jan. 26.

"The planes of Luke" represent every aircraft that has had a mission here at Luke. The chapter contacted Katie Gillen, Luke library director, looking for a home for the collection.

"The club wanted the collection to come to the base library because they wanted maximum exposure to a wide variety of base personnel," said Ms. Gillen. "Especially the young troops so they could get a sense of pride in their Air Force heritage."

The planes were built by 21 modelers, some of who are former military members.

"Some people say we're still those kids who didn't grow up," said Steve Collins, chapter member. "I like to think we've grown from those kids who built models to artisans, who now build realistic miniature representations, which are pieces of history."

The ceremony attended by Brig. Gen. Tom Jones, 56th Fighter Wing commander, was a culmination of more than ten months and 1,700 hours of work.

"Our original idea was to place an entry in the "group build" category at our society's national contest and convention," said Bruce Briggs, leader of the project. "We considered various subjects, but when one of our members suggested building the planes of Luke, we knew we had a mission."

The centerpiece of the collection is the Spad that was flown by the base's namesake, Lt Frank Luke. Anchoring the display is a model of the large water tower, which bears the 56th Fighter Wing motto: "Beware the Thunderbolt."

"Then came the most inspired idea of all: after we built the models, after we carried them to Anaheim, and after we either won or lost, we would donate the entire collection to Luke," said Mr. Briggs.

The group competed in the International Plastic Modelers Society national contest and convention in August and won first place in the group build category.

The display has F-16s representing all the fighter squadrons at Luke at the beginning of 2007.

"As best we could we matched the tail number to the plane that flew out of Luke," said Mr. Briggs. "To us, the details are important. Getting the details right shows respect for our subjects."

Charles Swanson, club member brought along his son Leif, 10 years old, to share in the ceremony.

"I like the guns on the plane, they are hidden underneath," said Leif. "This is the second show that I have been too."

The Craig Hewitt Chapter from Phoenix was founded in the 1960s and has 50 members.

"Thank you for the generous donation," said General Jones. "I was one of those modelers and the love of aircraft is a common bond we have. We are dedicated to teaching young men and women to fly and this collection will help them appreciate your hard work. You have become a recruiter; they will look at those models and say I want to do this."

The collection can be seen at its new home in the base library.

Thirty model aircraft and a miniature replica of the Luke water tower were donated by the Craig Hewitt chapter of the International Modelers’ Society are now on display at the base library.
Asif Shamim Editorial staff & Patch Gallery Administration


Elite 2K

Elite 2K

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Unread post05 Feb 2008, 07:49

I take it this is the collection that was IPMS Nats.
Do your homework, Tiger!


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Unread post07 Feb 2008, 00:06


It looked better on the black rasied bases that the models were on, which were also staggered in hieght.

Mike V
If it yanks, banks, turns, and burns, Crew Chiefs made it happen!

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