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First Model Photos--Found the Prints


ewahl
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While searching for some Monogram model photos, I came across where I had stored most of my oldest photos of my models. In 1956 I was a sophomore in high school, and my camera of choice (the only one I had) was a Kodak Brownie Bulls-Eye. In 1961 I was a college junior, and my camera was a Minolta Autocord twin-lens reflex. Check these out:

 

I lived near O'Hare Airport, and aircraft on takeoff and landing had a flight path over my house. I use that fact to explain this Aurora F-86D flying low overhead. I had no good explanation for the rocket rack being extended at the same time that the landing gear was down. Photographed outdoors, the round cardboard drum supported the edge of a large piece of glass with the dark edge lined up with nearby telephone wires. The model is placed on the glass and not moving.

OldPhoto1.jpg

 

Here is a night shot taken outdoors with a flashbulb. I had two Revell Douglas D558-2 Skyrockets and a Revell Lockheed F-94C Starfire on the sidewalk with some grass in the background.

OldPhoto2.jpg

 

The Revell Boeing B-52A with the North American X-15 is resting on a piece of glass with edges outside the picture's edges. This was done outdoors. I do not recall having trouble with unwanted reflections on the glass I very carefully cleaned first.

OldPhoto3.jpg

 

This is the follow-on setup from the previous photo. The X-15 has been dropped (at a very low altitude if the clouds mean anything). Actually, the X-15 is positioned on the glass between the engines, having been aligned there through the camera's viewfinder to appear that it is below the B-52A mother ship.

OldPhoto4.jpg

 

This is one of my all-time favorite model shots. The camera has caught me pointing up to the sky just as a Lockheed F-104A Starfighter passes over the roof of my house. Remember: I lived near O'Hare, and the military base was still active. The closest object to the camera is the Revell F-104A. Everything you see is on the far side of the piece of glass and was lined up in the camera's viewfinder.

OldPhoto5.jpg

 

Coming up soon: models go into combat; models go to the Moon; models crash and burn; models in flight.

 

Ed

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Terrific photography! And the models look pretty darn good as well...the B-52 shots would have fooled me no question. Thanks for sharing!

 

Later,

 

Lee

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Thanks, guys,

 

All of these images today could be assembled in Photoshop in minutes. Back then, we had one shot to get it right on film on post-WWII mass-produced cameras that used roll film on spools that you hoped you loaded into the camera without exposing the film accidentally.

 

I have no clue where the original negatives might be, but I'm glad I still have the prints.

 

Ed

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Ed, I confess I jumped immediately to the photo of the F-86 and was jealous that you had lived so close to an Air Force base growing up. Remarkable work. The B-52/X-15 shots are amazing! Nice work in the technological stone age. Nick Filippone

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Good Stuff Ed - Thanks for sharing. I though the BUFF was real, until I read the caption!

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You where building some nice stuff way back in the day. I agree, without the explaination you could have easily passed these off as the real thing. Fun stuff.

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  • 11 months later...

Ed, great pics. I used to live in Des Plaines and our house was directly under the flight path to Ohare. When the 707s started arriving and flew over they looked just like your last photo. We felt we could touch them. And the Noise!! I like the way you used that glass. Innovative back then.

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