The section of my collection that represents the USA during the 1980/90s is mainly stored within an old-fashioned wooden cabinet with mirror back, two glass shelves and two sliding glass doors. I say mainly as in reality this cabinet is something of an overflow.
Where possible I try to keep airlines together and so this cabinet is probably better described as containing deregulation startups and chunks of other airlines fleets from the 80s and 90s where they can’t fit with the main airline fleet. Therefore often (US Airways, Alaska Airlines, Southwest Airlines, and Hawaiian Airlines for example) the elements from the 80/90s are not in this cabinet but disseminated in other cabinets.
Below are some photos of the cabinet prior to the clean and reorganization:
As I said the garage, although dry is not heated and so can be a bit damp. It is also only lit when I am in it and has no windows and so the combined atmosphere can be conducive to mould growth. I noticed that the wooden cabinet is particularly affected by this and it was time for it and the models to get a clean.
Cleaning the models takes ages and is not a job I particularly look forward to. I tend to keep it simple and use cotton buds dipped in water to clean the hard to reach parts, like the fuselage/wing join and along the horizontal stabs, which seem to provide the easiest areas for mould to grow and dust to collect. Models are dried simply with tissues. At times I’ve used compressed air also although this is mainly best against loose dust.
The cleaning also gave me the chance to rearrange the cabinet slightly in keeping with the larger reorganization that I’ll be discussing in a later blog entry. The top shelf is devoted mainly to the 1980s and has a decent selection of deregulation startups such as Midway Airlines, Air Florida, New York Air, PeoplExpress, Muse Air and Jet America.
The top shelf also has the whole of the United fleet from the 1990s covering the large titles Saul Bass rainbow scheme and the Battleship grey which sadly replaced it. As you can see the recent United NG Models 757 has found a home here alongside a Gemini 747-400 and 767-300. August's Aeroclassics will bring some additions here ;)
The middle shelf is mainly dedicated to Atlanta based airlines and America West. On the left are the leftovers of the Eastern fleet wearing the later 1980s low thin cheatline plus some startups like Valujet and Kiwi International. Next to them is Delta from the Ron Allen period.
America West takes up nearly half the shelf with a decent range of their fleet from formation until the early 2000s. It’d be nice to be able to display them alongside US Airways but the size of the US and PI fleets combined precludes that for now.
The lower shelf has changed the least since it still retains the Continental 90s globe scheme, American Airlines 90s fleet and Northwest 'bowling shoe'. A few AA aircraft have been able to move to the new American shelf so there is a bit more room than there was before.
All in all there is now more space for additions and a cleaner space than before - so for the sake of an afternoon I'm pretty happy with it.
I'm Richard Stretton, an aviation enthusiast and major collector of 400 scale model aircraft. This blog discusses ongoing events in the world of 400 scale.
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