Monday, April 27, 2020

A Unique Hobby - Why Collect Model Airplanes

Wazzup Pilipinas!

Collecting airplane models can also be your hobby and passion. That is if you are awestruck by different kinds of aircraft. 

Besides, it’s enjoyable and not really expensive to be a collector of scale-model flying machines which are not meant to fly. Many airline companies actually allow their fleet of airplanes to be modeled as a PR and publicity tool.

This was a common practice even in the past as airlines ordered big models of their commercial carriers and gave them away as promotional freebies
Avid Collectors
Private individuals also collect plane models like the case of Michael Kelly, a resident of Farranshone, Limerick (Ireland), who has collected more than 1.500 diecast replicas and spend almost €25,000 every year on his prized collections. 

Would you believe that this amount of money is sufficient in paying for a posh manor or mansion for 10 years but he opted to splurge his fortune on airplane models?

Because of his enormous model collection, Michael’s airplanes have been on display at the Shannon Airport in County Clare, Ireland with an official opening scheduled last September 2018.

Before this public exhibition, Kelly kept his collections in a purpose-built display space of 65 feet in his renovated farmhouse at Limerick. All of Kelly’s airplanes were built on 1:200 scale. 

The young man recalled how his deceased father, a plumber, and fitter, bought 17 airplanes from a model aircraft store. However, his dad didn’t have enough money to buy more of these interesting models.

In the Philippines, Mark Lester Hao has been a hobbyist for over two decades. His dream is to remake Philippine aviation history using miniature plane models. Up to now, Mark has almost 1,000 units concentrating on commercial airlines in the country. 

Philippine Airlines aircraft dominate his office shelves. Before collecting model planes when he turned 17 years old, Mark accumulated coins, old batteries and bottle caps. 

He is a frustrated pilot not capable of pursuing an aviation course due to safety concerns. Instead, Mark studied architecture and learned how to make airplane models.

While Philippine aircraft comprise the majority of Hao’s collection, among his cherished small-scale units are foreign carriers such as a Cathay Pacific 747 (1:200 scale model) which he purchased for only US$100. 

He also owns a PSA Electra (1:200) sample that can be auctioned for thousands of dollars. His favorites are four diecast metal PAL aircraft (B737, B747, Fokker, and A300) which he got inflight in the 1980s. Mark keeps them at the vanguard of his collections despite the yellow discoloration.

Mark Lester Hao is now actively involved with the Diecast Aircraft Forum and after several years, they organized the Filipino Diecast Aircraft Collectors (FILDAC) in 2002. 

From only 12 members during the first few years, FILDAC membership has ballooned to 2,000 with some of them becoming popular personalities in the Philippine aviation industry. 

Their group has earned the support of diecast organizations across the world. FILDAC, the sole group of diecast collectors in the country, holds exhibitions of model airplanes in Manila contributing funds to their chosen charity.
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What does the Hobby bring to Collectors?
Collecting model planes is a guaranteed stress-reliever. It gives the hobbyists self-fulfillment as well as self-esteem. This kind of hobby will help you concentrate on selected goals and targets. 

It allows you to clear your mind of negative vibes. Moreover, you assimilate a sense of authority by choosing specific models that you either want to include or exclude in your collection. This kind of goal-setting produces a means of visualizing success and alleviating stress.

Of course, collectors of airplane models have a sense of accomplishment because this is not just an ordinary hobby.

You need to be patient and passionate about this pursuit. If you’re building the model aircraft, it would require exceptional craftsmanship, creativity and time for crafting replica units. 

At the same time, peers will start looking up to you and probably follow your footsteps as hobbyists and collectors.

How to Begin?
Do a lot of reading and research on the history of collecting airplane models. For example, you may want to know that this pastime goes back to the 1930s and through the years, models were made of wood, plastic and diecast. 

Most collectors marvel at the captivating moments in history and the progress of the aviation industry until the modern era.

When you shop around from model aircraft, it is important to find out the material each aircraft model is made from. 

Those fabricated from wood are typically hand-carved and sculpted before being assembled, painted and decorated. Plastic models call for lower maintenance while diecast models are a bit expensive. It’s all up to you to choose the material for your stately collection.

If you want some guidance in this hobby, visit the website of Modelworks Direct at

MODELWORKS DIRECT is owned and operated by Direct Model Fabricators with more than 20 years of experience in this trade. 

It is just a small enterprise but it can even surpass the top model builders in the world! Its business model and low overhead allow MODELWORKS DIRECT to provide the highest quality custom built model at a fraction of what larger corporations normally charge.

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