"A friend here in the States emailed me about your article and the P-80 writing that he didn't know Monogram ever did that model. told him that they only did 17 kits up to the P-47 and that all the rest on my list are my own designs using the same techniques pioneered by Monogram.
I've tried to select subjects that I thought Monogram would have eventually done had they not abandoned the Speedee Bilts in 1964 in favour of all plastic injection molded kits.
I'm sure they did this because of economic reasons. It's my understanding that the plastic accessories in the original Speedee-Bilts were moulded by another company in Chicago, and eventually Monogram decided to invest in the equipment to do the moulding in-house.
Many of us modellers mourned the passing of the Speedees, and over the years a number of folks tried to get Monogram to re-introduce the kits. But the answer was always that the costs and demand were just not there to make it economical.
I think Ron has done a fantastic job with his replicas ... I'm now having to resist the temptation to buy the F-86 Sabre and the MiG-15.
Above: Ron's replica Monogram Speedee-Bilt jets. The MiG 15,and P.80 Shooting Star are Ron's designs; the others are replicas of original 1950's kits.
I'm sure the Panther could be turned into a Cougar. I did an Internet search to see what kits for the 'Cougar' were out there. This was a mistake.
Probably best to wait and see if I can get the P.80 to fly. It will probably need something like an L-2HP to get it motoring. These are, alas in short supply at the moment - I'm hoping Dr Z will be visiting us with fresh supplies soon.
The KK profile Shooting Star surpassed itself at the recent Old Warden event. As it weighs only 16-17 grams it flew well even with original ribbed (1950) Jetex 50 and ICI pellets. It climbed steadily and smoothly. And quietly without the smoke and noise of a Rapier L-2. And then there's the smell. I had many flights in the calm sunny afternoon and managed not to hit anyone on the crowded airfield.
True, my model did just miss a child's buggy coming in to land .... the mother opined, "it was dangerous!" I ask you, what does she expect at a flying event?
The Shooting Star's performance, and two orders for original kits stimulated me to refine the original scans of the Keil Kraft kit. These were quite 'tatty' and, in truth, I hadn't done that good a job with them:
So they did need a bit of cleaning up.
Note this is 'mirror image' ready for printing on T-shirt iron on transfer (I don't have a flat-bed printer that will take balsa sheet)
I've managed the removal of the balsa grain and the tidied up lettering and numbers. It now looks more like a Jetex.org proper product, and the definition is (dare I suggest) better than the silk-screen printed kit. On the wave of all this enthusiasm I have also been working on my 'Shooting Star' Mk 2':
I have kept the Keil Kraft pilot. I hope Cpt. Yeager likes his orange 'bone dome'.
The new kit will soon be available - if anyone would like to 'beta test' it, just let me know!