My younger brother, Bob, is a
his 60s, is a prolific static scale builder
nationally recognized builder and
whose work has been displayed not only
painter of figures in the International
in museums, but also in local hobby
Plastic Modeler’s Society (IPMS).
shops and private collections. Gene has
He has won numerous awards for his
often given his models to friends such as
sculpting, detailing, and painting of
John and me to enjoy.
figures that include pilots. Bob created
Our hobby is enriched by the writings
a magnificent sculpture of Manfred von
of historians who have illuminated
Richthofen, which graces my collection.
the settings and backgrounds in which
His gift has long inspired me to create
pilots and their aircraft grappled to
pilots and crews for my models.
preserve our freedom and way of life.
Some FAC members scoff at
Many books, magazine articles, and club
including pilots in their models as a
newsletters inspire us.
form of “playing with dolls.” In my
Cross-pollination is a good thing. It
opinion, every flying Scale model should
gives us new ideas to consider while we
at least have a pilot in it. To not include
enjoy our great hobby.
a pilot defies logic.
Builders of wooden display
(nonflying) models also contribute to
our fraternity. Master builders, such as
Gene Klemanek and John Orris, often
spend hundreds of hours creating large
Dave Platt Models, Inc.
display models that show an amazing
amount of detail in their museum-
quality construction. Gene and John
have both donated some of their
creations to museums where other
modelers (myself included) marvel at
their detail and complexity.
The Toledo Show: R/C Model Expo
John is 91 years young and still
enjoys building, although his eyesight is
National Free Flight Society (NFFS)
beginning to fail. Gene, a youngster in
Gene Klemanek’s Spirit of St. Louis was given as a gift to his 91-year-old friend, John Orris. John
began building static scale models when he was 6 years old and he still builds them. Photo by
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