Any home-bound squadron passing through the P.I. or WestPac in general, would usually waste some hard earned drinking money on a cruise plaque commemorating their deployment. The picture above features cruise plaques hung in the Cubi Point O'Club, which now just happens to be inside the National Museum of Naval Aviation in Pensacola Florida. I chose that picture because it features both my fleet squadrons- VS-21 and VS-29. I always enjoy taking a long look at these in the various O-Clubs I pass through, although that opportunity presents itself less and less these days. I like to read the names of the squadron members to see if there are any I know, and laugh at the variety and creativity of the call-signs while doing so. I also appreciate the level of detail and craftsmanship given to each of them. The one below is a good example of one, in that it has a fine motto attached as well as adding a dimension via the Prowler extending out from it.
|Not sure where these plaques are located, but there's another VS-29 item!|
Speaking of craftsmanship, this next beauty is just dripping with it. Another product of the Philippines, this was a gift I got for myself for retirement. It features the VS-21 CAG-Bird paint scheme on the left side of the model, and VS-29's on the right, which I thought was a clever way of documenting my flying tours in the fleet. The level of detail doesn't end there though. The ruffles in the fabric of the drogue inside the tanker store are visible, and the windshield wipers look identical to the ones on the mighty War Hoover (a feature that just added to the cool-ness of the bird, making all the other jets in the air-wing jealous). The craftsman also took a long time painting the command emblems in the base so that they'd be a perfect match to the originals, which they are.
Speaking of fine craftsmanship and level of detail, here's another example of dedicated work on an airplane. I received it from a good friend of mine who shares my interest in aviation- he retired as the head of all ground operations and training for P.S.A. When I first saw the plane, I thought it was also made in the P.I., Manila to be exact, but I was wrong. It wasn't made in Manila, it's made from manila- manila folders.
It's being built by Luca Iaconi-Stewart of San Francisco, CA. It's a 1:60-Scale Boeing 777.
What is somewhat even more amazing is that it was built by a 16 year old high school student! Actually it was started by Luca when he was in high school, but he's still building it, 5 years later. The interior is basically complete, but the wings are still in progress. Luca was inspired to build it during a high school architecture class where he wasn't satisfied with the class assignment- making simple paper models using manila folders. He's using the detailed schematics of an Air India Triple-7 ER he found on the internet, by recreating the digital drawings using adobe, and printing them onto the manila folders.
If you'd like to see even more pictures, and some unbelievable detail that is even better than I showed you above, check out Luca's flickr photo-stream here. The engines, cockpit and first-class seats are outstanding.