Airline History Blogging 101
Step 1 when I receive a model is to add it into my uber list of models. If you don't have a list of your collection - shame on you, call yourself a collector?? My list is in Excel format and has grown rather over the years. It has multiple tabs and helps me keep an eye on not just what I have but also organise my wishlist and see some numbers about how much is in my collection. Here's a couple of shots - of the front page and of the main model list tab. By collecting some simple metadata you can get some decent stats into tables and graphs automatically:
Step 2 is to add the same model details to DiMA's collection database. Why do I keep the same info in two places - well DiMA offers a more pictorial view and allows me to compare my model fleet to that of others plus see the popularity of models and average prices.
Step 3 is to start on the model history. This is a 2 sided A5 page done in Word to a standard templated format. I record the airline logo (typically can be acquired from a Google image search), the frame details including the start and end date in service with the airline plus a short text history. The history typically covers the story of the type with the airline and the frame's actual operator history. Then I fill it up with images of the actual aircraft in operation throughout its career. Checkout my links page for a list of resources which can help with this kind of data.
Step 4 is to print the model history, laminate it and add it to the box of model histories. I'm an old fashioned guy and its nice to have a physical copy of the information. I've recently acquired several plastic storage boxes to keep the histories in and I have created a history of each of the over 1000 models in my collection. You'll notice that I've also created laminated dividers for the major airline and continental groupings:
Step 5 is to photograph the actual model. I do this down in my airport room using a foldable table, white laminate shelf section and blue cardboard back section. There's no tripod or fancy stuff - just a standard digital camera with the macro function on and flash. I take about ten shots of each model from different angles.
Step 6 is to download the photos to the PC and use Picasa to crop each one and modify the lighting and contrast settings to improve the photo quality.
Step 7. Only after all these steps is a model ready for the start of a blog history post on the site. Usually writing the A5 history gives me a feel for the aircraft and an angle for a post. After that its down to researching online and in my aviation library of books and magazines for the details. Each blog post probably takes an hour to two hours to write without taking into account all the earlier steps. The whole thing can be quite time intensive but I enjoy it and I hope you enjoy reading the posts on my site too.
There's really very little skill to it all and anyone can be as nerdy as me if they feel the need - few do!
Below: This is about a third of my library on civil aviation. I also have all issues of Airplane magazine plus most of the run of Airliners and World Airline Fleet News, lots of Airliner Worlds and a load more books.
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I'm Richard Stretton: a fan of classic airliners and airlines who enjoys exploring their history through my collection of die-cast airliners. If you enjoy the site please donate whatever you can to help keep it running: