Skybirds.

Military ID models 1:72nd, 1:144th, 1:50th scale { Luftwaffe} and others like the Topping IDs. Bryan Brown Identification model specialist and major collector is the moderator.
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Skybirds.

Postby angelreader » Wed Oct 21, 2009 1:59 pm

I am going to sneak this one in as it is the only Skybirds in my collection,they did make them assembled and had a factory team of women workers making a good job of them at twice the price,I know this is a kit but think the range was so historically important to warrant a mention.
I know that collectors will appreciate the beauty of these accessories all produced from scrap,raw materials were not allowed to be used in wartime.

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Re: Skybirds.

Postby grwebster » Wed Oct 21, 2009 2:59 pm

Barry, I think you are quite right about sharing with us the Skybirds kit. It is probably due to their popular 1930s kits that the scale of 1:72 was used later by Frog/Penguin in their early plastic kits and even later with their IDs..... and from that the entire British ID model program was done in that scale, followed by the Americans with the school modeling program, later by Bronzart with their metal IDs and then Cruver, etc.....
I have one of the two beautiful die cast Skybirds toys that were not sold in kit form, but as a fully assembled toy model.....and I recall you have the other one. Now I have to try and find a pic of mine...
Their line of toy soldier pilots etc in the same scale are almost impossible to find, but work well with all 1:72nd scale models.
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Re: Skybirds.

Postby angelreader » Thu Oct 22, 2009 1:40 am

It is ironic that I passed some running pilots off as no interest,only to find out later that they were Skybirds ! the Lysander kit was an exchange for a Goodyear inflatable blimp and all of 7/6d old British money,in all of my collecting years this is the only example of a Skybird that has come my way,believe me they are rare as hens teeth these days even in their country of origin.
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Re: Skybirds.

Postby angelreader » Thu Oct 22, 2009 1:43 am

Skybirds did two cast metal subjects,a Percival Mew Gull and a Caudron single engine design the exact designation of which escapes me ?
Back in 1988 Messrs Aeroclub did a short run of repro Mew Gull's,when I made enquiries in later yearsthe owner could not even remember them ?
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Re: Skybirds.

Postby grwebster » Wed Feb 03, 2010 8:26 pm

according to legend, it was Skybirds which introduced the scale of 1:72 to the world.
Why 1:72nd scale you ask?
Well its was all due to an error at the very beginning when Skybirds wanted to make aircraft kits in the same scale as the popular Britains toy soldiers. They messed up.....Great model makers but poor math majors........
from that Frog et al wanted to make their products to complement Skybirds...and so it went.... when the first wooden identification models were developed in the UK 1:72nd scale was the standard so that is what they ordered....then the US government followed with their id program.....
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Re: Skybirds.

Postby MichaelB » Sat Feb 06, 2010 2:41 am

The toy soldiers are in 1:32?
I thought 1:72 came about because it is based on a typical approximate height of a man: 6ft, or 72 in. Easy enough to make everything in perspective as it could all be done on the English "foot" standard. On the other hand, if they wanted to make their toy aeroplanes in 1:32, they would have had some enormous models!
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Re: Skybirds.

Postby angelreader » Tue Feb 09, 2010 11:10 pm

GR thanks for the heads up on that Skybirds P-40,it looks to be a late issue bagged kit,spindled wood parts,a few accessories and a cockpit in celluloid,although these later issues were a far cry from the original offerings they do represent the end of the line when wartime intervened,note the spartan flimsy packaging,I have one kit which shows the use of a sweetie bag turned inside out for holding the parts !
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Re: Skybirds.

Postby ALetner » Wed Mar 17, 2010 5:03 pm

Here is one from my collection that came from a friend in England that I believe to be a Skybird. It has a metal prop hub, the wing and belly pan are one piece, the canopy and turtle deck another, as are the tail surfaces.

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Re: Skybirds.

Postby grwebster » Wed Mar 17, 2010 11:04 pm

AJ, I was doing some research for my next book and came across a reference which said
>" The war had a direct effect on Skybirds, as Holladay's showroom and warehouse were bombed in 1940, necessitating a move of premises. In 1942 production of toys or models containing metal parts was forbidden, to conserve strategic materials, and production of Skybirds ceased.<
there is also a list of all known Skybirds.
This said, Skybirds could have produced the model directly for the government, they certainly had the know-how, workmen, and machinery.
BTW, The material was in a book review on Skybirds written by the late A G Sinclair. I have a copy somewhere, and I knew Mr Sinclair, even visited his collection at his Wimbleton, UK home a long time ago. He was a bomber pilot in WW2, flew one of those uniquely British concepts - a single pilot, 4 engine daylight bomber. He was one of the few that survived and the first and only combat pilot I ever knew who openly admitted he just hated every minute of it. Just the opposite on my own combat experiences.
Here is the site
http://www.zeteo.com/avia-mini/News96.ihtml
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Re: Skybirds.

Postby angelreader » Fri Jun 11, 2010 10:25 pm

Some Skybirds publications from my collection,although not generally associated with Skybirds the Leigh book is a classic,it shows plans for many Skybirds models that were never ever kitted,I still build replica Skybirds,seen here is a batch that are destined for the Skybirds museum.
J.H.Stevens made enough money from his designing for Givjoy to subsidise his pilots licence,in later years he owned a DH.84 Dragon,DH.94 Moth Minor and a Leopard Moth,without realising it at the time I met him when he came up to Baginton for the air races in the sixties,if only I had realised at the time ! it would have been great to have chatted with him,he also did splendid drawings of models for the 'Air Stories' magazine,I am lucky to have those very plans.

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