Back in the early 40s, WWII was supplanting the Golden Age of aviation and model aviation. Kids that grew up on models and dreams of Lucky Lindy were enlisting to become fighter pilots. They left behind little brothers, and modeling friends, and there was still a taste of awe regarding airplanes. Kellogg’s, the cereal manufacturer, marketed their PEP cereal (like Wheaties) to these youngsters enthralled with WWII and airplanes.
They included sheet silhouette models in boxes of PEP cereal. The collection grew to 20 different US and Allied aircraft. Kids were encouraged to cut out the models and use them as silhouette ID models
Recently, my brother (an antique dealer) gave me two of these hardwood sheet models. I decided to trace the originals and laser cut for fun.
I traced as close as possible to the original lines, not changing anything – not the shapes, not the proportions. Well, I did change the incidence of the wing to promote gliding, but otherwise, I cut the outlines and etched the markings – on both sides of the sheet.
To date, I have created three of these – the P-47, Sturmovik, and PBY. I have obtained eight others and have online images of five more. That totals 16 of the original 20. I’d like to have scans or even photos of the remaining four (Boulton Paul Defiant, Vultee Vanguard, Brewster Buccaneer, and Curtiss Helldiver), if anyone has these. I plan on producing all 20, if I can get these last models.
These are cut out of 1/20″ sheet balsa and are easily punched out and assembled. I glued in the wing and tail, but did not glue the props and landing gear – because I wanted to try them as gliders. I also cracked in dihedral.
I added a small pea of clay to the nose and these will glide across the room. The P-47, with a few minutes of tweaking actually glided about 50 feet across my back yard. These are small – about 6″ wingspan and weigh about 2 grams WITH the clay.
You can find these on my site for $4 each, and I have also placed some quantity discounts for these items.
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