Clark air station – the house to manufacturers of the Worlds Best Handmade Wooden Model Airplanes

Very few people realize the origin of these beautiful shiny and finely detailed aircraft models that they see in travel agents, airports and within the homes and offices of these involved , or crazy with, the Aviation Industry. Without eager to sound condescending, only a few people – particularly of the young generation would be ready to stick a pin within the map and point to the Philippines, including Clark air station .

Clark air station was a former U.S. Air Force base on one among the three main islands within the Philippines – Luzon and is now referred to as the Clark Special Economic Zone. it’s near the town of Angeles within the province of Pampanga and about 40 miles (60 km) northwest of Manila. Clark air station was arguably the foremost urbanized military facility in history, and was the most important American base overseas. the bottom was converted into a special economic zone after the American military left the Philippines in 1992. Clark air station was an American military facility from 1903 to 1991. the bottom covered 14.3 square miles (37 km²) with a military reservation extending north that covered another 230 square miles (596 km²). At its peak around 1990, it had a permanent population of 15,000. the bottom was a stronghold of yank forces during the top of war II, and until 1975, it had been a backbone of logistical support during the Vietnam War .

During the American occupation the military aviation activities gave birth to an area “cottage industry” which rapidly developed to cater for the local then international demand for hand carved wooden replica aircraft. The abundant and sustainable source of Philippine Mahogany – a hardwood ideal for its stability and simple carving, along side the highly artistic capabilities of the Filipino workforce gave birth to what’s today the worlds largest producer of custom handmade desktop wooden models

Many people upon viewing such model airplanes aren’t aware that they’re produced by hand and not mass made on machinery. the eye to detail is beyond comparison and even the littlest of logos are hand painted within the finest of detail. Many manufacturers like better to use hand painted logos in preference to “decals” because the latter have a bent to discolor (or discolor the paint underneath the decal) over age and also detract from the originality of the model. “Decals” are scanned images that are printed on film then attached by an adhesive film the body of the model. Naturally there’s competition today within the sort of plastic, resin or die cast desktop plane models but most discerning buyers and collectors will confirm that the design and feel of truly handmade model airplanes can’t be reproduced in artificial materials and positively through production . additionally to the assembly of ordinary airline and military aircraft many of the versatile manufacturers also produce “one off” copies of peoples own aircraft or rare aircraft from the past.

The lifetime of a “true aviation work of art” begins with the age old process of hand wood carving which is then followed by several key processes. beat all a model normally takes between 7-10 days to supply . the complete production cycle goes as follows:-

Molding / Carving

Skilled Carvers using only hand tools carve and shape the model. this is often a specialist art, requiring a few years of experience. The wood used is kiln dried Philippine Mahogany (commonly referred to as Lauan or Meranti) and isn’t on the endangered list as are many other woods like Philippine Teak (Tectona Philippinensis) or Narra (Pterocarpus Indicus / Red Sandalwood Tree). Wood carving may be a sort of working wood and during this case by using only hand tools. No power tools are utilized in this process. The Carvers work from actual aircraft drawing ensuring that the ultimate carved body is a particular scale replica of the first aircraft.

Puttying / Varnishing

Once the model has been carved, several coats of putty are applied to make a really smooth, flawless finish before painting. Varnish may be a finish applied to the wood so as to supply a transparent , hard, durable, protective finish. The varnish is typically a mixture of a animal oil , a resin and a thinner or solvent. As against paint, which contains pigment, and is opaque, varnish has little or no color, and is transparent. After being applied the varnish hardens either by evaporation of a solvent, or by a reaction . Oil varnish drying time depends on the ratios of oil to resin and turpentine and should be sped up by exposure to UV light.


Color schemes are applied by hand or air brush, following the small print or pictures supplied. to make sure the simplest color match to the particular aircraft we are modeling we normally use a Pantone color reference which is provided by the customer or the first aircraft manufacturer. The paint may be a top quality acrylic type which enables us to offer a really top quality custom finish that you simply would accompany that of a plane or maybe an automobile during a showroom environment. After carefully painting the aircraft body and wings the artist then finely paints the intricate detail of the aircraft within the areas of the control surfaces, doors, windows and cargo hatches, engine cowlings, undercarriage and really importantly the very prominent “tail fin” or empennage of the aircraft. No detail is spared, even the within of the engine cowlings are carefully finished and are complemented by authentic looking, within the case of jet engines, fan blades. Even propellers also are carved out of solid wood and eventually finished by the artist.

If you ever have the chance to seem closely at one among these aircraft models I hope you’ll now have an understanding for the massive number of hours that these craftsmen put into their art. These models are a testament to the creativity and innovation of truth Filipino entrepreneur! Even better, if you ever get the chance to go to the province of Pampanga and especially Angeles City and therefore the former Clark Airbase I can guarantee you that you simply are certain a true treat. Kapampangan’s are documented for his or her warm hospitality and that they also make a number of the simplest food within the country!

Stop by and say hi to us!

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