A good number of flight simmers are also modelers, whether real or virtual, so it wasn’t a big surprise to see the team from Pacific Aircraft at IFC Denver. It was my pleasure to meet and talk to Tyrone Wong, an executive with the company.
Well, for a minute or two, I couldn’t talk to him. As a matter of fact, I tacitly established a ‘safe zone’ about five feet away from him because he was in the process of gingerly extricating a frighteningly detailed model of the USS Ronald Reagan nearly three feet in length, doing so with all the care of someone dismantling a Minuteman warhead.
Pacific Aircraft makes mahogany models of any aircraft you can think of. No, seriously, anything you can think of. Want Grandpa’s Lancaster done up with his aircraft’s marking and numbers? As long as you have a photograph or some other guide for them, they can custom-make any aircraft and as you can see, they’ve recently begun to get into ships.
I asked Tyrone how many hours it took to finish one of these. “Thirty to forty, “he answered, a hint of pride in his voice, “just for the carving. That doesn’t count sanding, painting and sealing.” All models are done by hand, no machine work at all. “Oh, sometimes they might use a belt sander to get the curves right,” he chuckles, “but the whole thing is done by hand.” As you can tell, the results are nothing short of amazing.