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Astonishing video: Most gigantic model railroad in the world

1/72 USS Enterprise CVN-65

Aircarft Carrier Aircarft Carrier Aircarft Carrier Aircarft Carrier

     This model is the best carrier model I've ever seen. Also I'd say, the most shocking scratchbuilt model as well. The effort Gabe put into it in 19 years, it's just something that is close the the limits a single modeler can achieve. It's nearly impossible to believe that someone can keep up his inspiration on this level to complete a complex, and huge modeling project like this. If I just hear it, I don't believe it...but it's here.

The model, mostly completed in 2003, represents the USS Enterprise and Air-Wing 11 during the ships' 1989 cruise. Top deck of the carrier is finished in rough grip surface. Over 6000 tie-downs are on the top deck and 5000 in the hangar bay. The tie-downs have been obtained from a British Company named PP Airoparts, unfortunately they discontinued operations in the early 90' s. Many other parts were die cast in New Jersey.

Starboard shows flight operations. Airmen in colored uniforms, tow and fire trucks , catapult operators, flight directors, safety officers, missile launchers, chaff dispensers, refueling lines, hoses and plumbing, various antennas, control surfaces and storage areas. This model is awarded by Editor's Choice - Excellence Award!

(Text & Photos from

To see more photos of USS Enterprise CVN-65, click THIS LINK


A.C.E.S. store


You don't have to be an officer candidate at US Air Force Academy in the Colorado Springs for a try in flight simulation. For 30 bucks and after a short brief of flight instruction, you can fly a WWII fighter aircraft or a modern F/A-18 jet at A.C.E.S. FLIGHT SIMULATION. The store is located on the Third Floor East of MALL OF AMERICA (Minnesota). If you are an aviation enthusiast and have a chance to visit Minneapolis (Minnesota), you will of course explore Mall Of America (dubbed as SUPERB MALL, the greatest Mall in America continent). I have tried but due to short schedule, I couldn't make it (reservation is necessary). No aviation experience required and no risk of ...death for crash-landing! Listen to an USMC pilot's remark:

"Excellent. I fly Hornets for a living and your simulator has better visuals than our...It handles very close to the real F/A-18!"

Click on the picture thumbnail on the left for larger picture on information.

      Yankee-Caribou (Hoa Long) is a familiar nick among the small circle of VNAf aircraft modelers in Australia. His VNAF H-34 has been presented before on the Model Aircraft Section, but today we relaunch this magnificent modeling work so you can see how he accomplished the dedicated task with his unflagging gusto.




• Crew: 2
• Capacity: 16 troops or 8 stretchers
• Length: 56 ft 8.5 in (17.28 m)
• Rotor diameter: 56 ft 0 in (17.07 m)
• Height: 15 ft 11 in (4.85 m)
• Disc area: 2463 ft² (228.85 m²)
• Empty weight: 7,900 lb (3,583 kg)
• Max takeoff weight: 14,000 lb (6,350 kg)
• Powerplant: 1× Wright R-1820-84 radial engine, hp (kW)

• Maximum speed: 123 mph (107 kn, 198 km/h)
• Range: 293 km (182 mi)


This is one of my recent works, the H-34 of VNAF 219th Squadron. The VNAF 219th Squadron official name is Long Ma. Long Ma is a mythical dragon-horse beast creature featured on the squadron patch. Otherwise known as King Bee to the men of Special Forces who often fought behind enemy line. These H-34's carried them into battle and brought them home.

The VNAF 219th Squadron H-34 camouflage was very interesting; they were painted in whatever dark drab colour the Air Viet Nam (then the maintenance contractor) technician could find, and in whatever scheme they fancied. As the the result, each of the VNAF 219th H-34 carried a unique camouflage scheme. The only thing common among them was that they did not have VNAF insignia and Republic of Viet Nam flag painted on the fuselage as they usually had to fly insertion missions across the border into North Viet Nam. The H-34 featured here had a King Bee art work painted by one of the US Special Force soldier.

The models is the H-34 1/72 Italeri model. Italeri has produced very beautiful H-34 in this scale; the finished product does look like the real thing. I built almost straight from the box, with small details added like hydraulic, electrical wire were detailed by small gauge copper wire recycled from a broken toy motor. The only major thing I had to fix was to correct the direction of tail propeller blades as they were moulded in wrong direction. For details I drew in those extra visible panel lines using real pictures as reference. Decals were home made, luckily there were not many for this aircraft.

I hope you enjoy my works. The crew featured in the digitized flying H-34 are from the 1/72 Italeri NATO pilot &crew, the Special Force men are 1/35 Dragon figures.

I would like to dedicate this work to the brave men of ARVN and US Armed Forces who had fought to keep my South Viet Nam home country free from communism, many of them still never made it home.

Text & Photo by Yankee-Caribou (Hoa Long)
(Source: ARC)

      On this website, we are going to introduce to you all the VNAF aircraft modeling "shining Stars" of the Free World. Today we are presenting Triet Cam with his extensively modified VNAF F-5A. You can see more Triet Cam's various types of VNAF model aicraft at the "Model Aircraft" page #1 on this website. And now, read on how he has built this magnificent model. If you have any particular VNAF model project, send in we will be glad to add it on.




•Span: 25 ft. 10 in.
•Length: 47 ft. 2 in.
•Height: 13 ft. 6 in.
•Weight: 20,576 lbs. loaded
• Two 20mm cannons, rockets, missiles and 5,500 lbs. of bombs externally
•Engines: Two General Electric J85s of 4,080 lbs. thrust each with afterburner
•Cost: $756,000

• Maximum speed: 925 mph
• Cruising speed: 575 mph
• Range: 1,100 miles
• Service ceiling: 50,700 ft.


This is the very old 1/48 scale Fujimi F-5A Freedom Fighter kit.

The kit had no cockpit interior details, other than a deformed pilot figure with a side peg that is supposed to glue to the side fuselage. The exterior details were almost non existent. What it lacked in details, however, it made up in shape accuracy, an important foundation to build into a respectable model. But to build it into a good standard would require a lot of scratch building effort.

I had originally planned to incorporate the F-5E Black Box cockpit since that closely resembled the F-5A's, and modified the instrument panel into the F-5A style. Since the Black Box kit was out of production, I used the 1/48 Monogram F-5E pit as the substitute. This was where the problems began.

The kit claimed to be 1/48 scale, but when the F-5E pit was placed in, it was too large to fit inside. I suspected the Fujimi kit was undersize. After obtaining information and dimensions for the F-5A on the web, I discovered that the kit scale was close to 1/52 scale. Oddly, the fuselage height was close to 1/50 scale. To enlarge the model into a 1/48 scale would be next to impossible due to the complex shape of the fuselage. Also, there was no way to add height to the fuselage. Instead, I decide to make it into a 1/50 scale by adding 14mm to the overall length. The extensions were added forward of the cockpit and fuselage aft. The cockpit was sanded down to fit in the opening. Not an easy task, but I was able to make it work. The wings were also extended 4mm on each side, and widened 1.5mm to match the 1/50 scale length. The model now stood 288mm in length, and 154mm wing span. Another big tasks were drilling out holes and vents at various locations; there were 27 of them. Panel lines and access panels were scribed with the UMM razor saw at appropriate places.

After the kit was assembled, a lot of sanding and filling with Mr. Surfacer 500 were done to get rid of the surgery scars before painting. I used enamel paints from Model Master FS color line and did a little tuning of the shades to match the SEA scheme. The T-O for Vietnam scheme was: FS34079, FS34102, FS30219 for upper, and FS36622 for lower surface.

The checker band, insignias and fin flags yellow background were painted first. After finished, they were masked and the rest of the fuselage was painted. I mixed the medium green FS34102 with 50% Testor olive green little bottle. The tan FS30219 was lightened with a mixture of insignia white and yellow. The dark green FS34079 was darkened with 5 eye-drops of flat black into the bottle. The underside called for FS36622; I added about 50% white because it seemed a little too dark.

Markings were done using Testors clear decal printed by the HP Photosmart printer. There were some trials and errors went into this task in order to make the marking more presentable.

After six months of on and off building, it was finally done. Even though the model was off-scale, it resembled fairly close to the original Skoshi Tiger.

(Photos & text by Triet Cam)

       Huy Nguyen is not only a modeler but also a model aircraft designer. If you had a chance to assemble the O-1 Bird-Dog 1/48 scale produced by Model USA Company, then you already was his customer! And if you had any problems in assemblying that L-19 model, now you know where to point your finger at :0) . Enjoying the photos and his article that explains in details how he has built the winning VNAF Bird-Dog.

Huy Nguyen's L19



Engine: One 213-hp Continental O-470-11 flat-six piston engine
Weight: Empty 1,614 lbs., Max Takeoff 2,400 lbs. Wing Span: 36ft. 0in.
Length: 25ft. 9in.
Height: 7ft. 3.5in.

Maximum Speed: 151 mph
Range: 530 miles
Armament: Four underwing pylons for mixed stores of smoke canisters and "Willie-Pete" white phosphorus marking rockets.
Crew: Two (typical)

Number Built: 3,431 - Number Still Airworthy: 120+:


The Project: This is the Model USA, L-19/O-1E Bird-Dog, in 1/48 scale.

The original plan was built straight OOB "Out Of the Box", and one thing leads to the others, I end up with a major plastic surgery, additions to the kit were modify, add-on detail and scrap building.
People say "picture worth thousand words", so let me brief on the construction progress, and let the pictures tell the story, here we go:

Add-on detail in the Cockpit area, using Styrene, Brass wire, and Milliput epoxy.
Scrap build safety seat belt, using Aluminum foil and PE buckets, reconstruct seat frame, using Piano wire and Brass wire.

Add-on detail in the Fuselage area, using Styrene, and Brass wire.

Add-on Engine detail using Styrene, and Brass wire, and lead wire, scrap build Oil cooler, carburetor intake duct using styrene and brass screen.

Separated cowling and reconstruct Fire wall area, using Styrene, Aluminum foil, scrap build engine support frame using Piano wire, brass wire, and lead wire .

Separate flap from the wing and reposition to flap down position, separate control surfaces and reposition, using brass tubing for rocket tube

Finish the model with Gunze and Tamiya Acrylic color, clear flat with Model Master Acrylic and pastel weathering, decorate the model with decal came with the kit, depict the VNAF O-1E Bird-Dog (51-14981), 124th OS, landing on the USS Midway, April 30, 1975
With all the hard work and crazy ideal, the reward is not too bad at Modelmania 2005 model show and contest.

Today the Bird-Dog (51-14981) resign at Naval Air Museum in Pensacola, Florida, if you have a chance to stop by, and say Hello to the old friend.

* Check on "Untold Stories Section / FLIGHT FOR FREEDOM (on this website) for a full true story about The VNAF L-19 serial # 51-14981.


     In October 1965, CDR Clarence J. Stoddard, Executive Officer of VA-25 "Fist of the Fleet", flying an A-1H Skyraider, NE/572 "Paper Tiger II" from Carrier Air Wing Two aboard USS Midway carried a special bomb to the North Vietnamese in commemoration of the 6-millionth pound of ordnance dropped. This bomb was unique because of the type... it was a toilet!