Local Group Donates Replica Aircraft Models to 128th Air Refueling Wing

  • Published
  • By Senior Airman Ryan Kuntze
  • 128th Air Refueling Wing
Eight members of the Richard I. Bong Chapter of the International Plastic Model Society visited the 128th Air Refueling Wing here on Saturday, January 8, 2011, to donate 11 replica models of aircraft flown throughout the Wing's history.

The local IPMS chapter was approached by Col. Ted Metzgar, commander of the 128 ARW, to build the models, said Allan F. Jones, a chapter member. Col. Metzgar asked for the chapter's assistance because he received a similar model display from them when he was the commander of the maintenance squadron at the 115th Fighter Wing in Madison, Jones said.

The aircraft models were built to a 1/72nd scale--one inch equals six feet--and took between 20 hours and over one hundred hours apiece, said Paul Boyer, the local IPMS chapter president.

"The kind [of models] we make are historically accurate," Boyer said.

Regarding the construction of the model aircraft, Boyer said, "I think they're all a little bit difficult to make." Each model donated to the 128 ARW was accurate to the nose and tail art, which required research on the chapter members' behalf.

"We were able to go to the internet, find the markings, scale them and print them as custom decals," said Jeff Neal, the local IPMS chapter's graphic design specialist.

"We're amateur historians, and one of the things a historian does is pass on history," Boyer said. "We're teaching in 3D."

Donated model aircraft and their modelers are: an F-80 Shooting Star by Jeff Neal; a KC-97L Stratotanker by Thomas Foti; an F-89D Scorpion by Allan F. Jones; A B-25J Mitchell by John Frevete; a T-6G Texan by James Erfert; an F-51D Mustang by Andrew Keyes; an F-5 Lightning by John Plzak; an F-86 Sabre by Paul Boyer; a KC-135R Stratotanker by Christopher Oglesby; an O-47 by Chuck Davis; and a C-47 Skytrain by Aaron Skinner.  These models were built over the last year, and the aircraft types match those used throughout the history of the 128th Air Refueling Wing.

"It's nice to know that this chapter is the one who should do the models [when asked to]," said Boyer.

Regarding the assembly and donation of the aircraft models, Jeff Neal said, "There's pride in [building the models]; pride for our state and the men and women who serve."

The local IPMS chapter has worked on several other model projects, including a showcase at the Richard I. Bong Veteran's Historical Center in Superior, Wis., model aircraft displays for the Experimental Aircraft Association in Oshkosh, Wis. and Pensacola, Fla., and model Navy aircraft to accompany a to-scale model of the U.S.S. Enterprise, also in Pensacola, said Boyer.

The Richard I. Bong chapter of the International Plastic Model Society includes members from the Milwaukee area, Northeastern Wisconsin and Northern Illinois, and the chapter was established nearly 40 years ago.