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2017 Seattle Museum of Flight (MoF) Christmas Tree Project with Model Airplanes

By John DeRosia

Many many months ago (summer?) an email went around once again asking members of the Northwest Scale Modelers and Seattle IPMS members who would like to help build certain models for the MoF ‘Christmas Tree’ project.

Always eager to help, I volunteered to build the 1/32nd scale Mig-17. Not paying attention too much of the ‘purpose’ of hanging Vietnam planes from a Christmas tree – I thought it a little strange to hang a MiG on a tree – but knew I had lllllooooootttttttsss of time.

So a week ago (around November 7th),  we get an email saying the planes need to be at the museum on November 14th. Well of all things. Where did the time go??????? I did what I do best- emailed right back and told them the truth. Our pet penguin has had braces put on his teeth and I have been nursing him back to health to eat better for the last 5 months.

I got a prompt and friendly reply something to the effect of “do you think we are dummies? Pet penguins don’t need no dern braces!!!…Iguanas we can see- but penguins??!#?…get that model to us November 14th or we will forever apply 1000 degree heaters over your next orange collection display.

Geesh!!!!….well- not wanting my orange fleet melted- I did the impossible. I built the Mig-17 in about a day and a half (1 ½ days) from start to finish. Started Saturday Nov 11th after the Seattle IPMS meeting until Sunday night. Of course I slept, ate and played with the doggy. Monday night Nov 13 was to be the final touch ups.

I’ll let the pictures tell the rest. And WHAT A GREAT LOOKING TREE!!!!! (there will still be many models placed on it).

“…on Prancer, On Vixen, on Comet on MiG?…”

Have a great holiday to all!!


Click on any picture to make it large!

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  1. Theresa Theresa

    Soooooooooooo funny. John’s creativity and sense of humor always amazes me. It’s nice to see him have FUN. AWESOME JOB!

  2. Andrew Birkbeck Andrew Birkbeck

    You’re a truly gifted…………………or at least FAST……….modeler, John! Amazing speed, and heck, it looks just fine for a Christmas tree. I too wonder about a Mig on a Christmas tree. “Peace on Earth, Goodwill to all Men” doesn’t fit with a Mig fighter in my simple brain. But what do I know. I’m President, and we know you don’t have to have much of a brain to be one of those………………….Cheers, Andrew

  3. Mike Goldberg Mike Goldberg

    Toothy penguins?? MiG-17s??? You (almost) have the Christmas spirit! But you missed a great opportunity: Christmas and holiday decals on the airframe. Rudolph on the tail ? Holly & mistletoe, perhaps. It looks great!

  4. Herman Moore Herman Moore

    Stunning idea – think this should be adopted Worldwide by the IPMS End of year final meet. You have all been discussing how to get the younger generation interested in modelling ? Nothing better than to have a Model Xmas tree event with donated kits from the club members for kids. Every year chose a different school to be invited.

    To all those that have volunteered their time [some their 1.5 days] what a great effort.

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