5 Fun 1940s Solid Model Kit Ads

During World War II many modelers were only able to build static solid models.  There were several companies selling these kits and the ads for them varied widely – presented here are five staff favorites.

1) A Deluxe GIANT SIZE Solid!

Ad, Burkard Model Engineering Co.  Air Trails, August 1942, pg. 84.
Ad, Burkard Model Engineering Co. Air Trails, August 1942, pg. 84.

2)  Build “Eagle” Solids!

Ad, Eagle Solids sold by H&F Model Airplane Co. Air Trails, May 1943, pg. 63.

3) Every Day is Navy Day at Megow’s!

Ad, Megow Every Day is Navy Day.  Air Trails, September 1942, pg. 41.
Ad, Megow’s Every Day is Navy Day. Air Trails, September 1942, pg. 41.

4) Order Your Kits in Quantity, Buy Them Direct$

Ad, Mercury Model Airplane Company. Air Trails, June 1944, pg. 66.

5) You’re At the Fighting Fronts with MODELCRAFT Selected War SOLIDS.

Ad, Modelcraft. Air Trails, June 1943, pg. 54.


  1. What is available for the solid balsa scale models. I built many of them in the 40’s and 50’s. Are any of the plans or mags still available. I’m 86 and would like to teach my great grandchildren how to build them.

    1. Thank you for contacting the AMA National Model Aviation Museum regarding solid models. Sounds like a fun project to undertake with your grandchildren.

      Regarding kits themselves, they are few and far, with the best option being to purchase some of the old kits on eBay. These can unfortunately be very pricey. For example, if you search for “solid wood model airplane kit” on eBay, it will return quite a few old kits for sale from companies like Strombeck, Maircraft, Continental, Hawk, and Eagle to name a few.

      The best option might be to purchase balsa or bass wood from a local hobby shop or craft store and print plans off the web.

      There are a number of web sites that provide information on solid models, providing information and digital copies of old plans and instructions. Here is a good example: https://sites.ualberta.ca/~khorne/solid/solid.html

      On that website you can download the Scale Model Aircraft Construction Procedure manual circa 1942 by clicking here: https://sites.ualberta.ca/~khorne/solid/manual.pdf
      * While on this page https://sites.ualberta.ca/~khorne/solid/kit/kit.html there are numerous plans you can select and directly print and here are some examples:
      * Hawk Bristol Bulldog https://sites.ualberta.ca/~khorne/solid/kit/bristolb.jpg
      * EasyBuilt Spitfire https://sites.ualberta.ca/~khorne/solid/kit/eb-spitfire.pdf
      * Comet SPAD https://sites.ualberta.ca/~khorne/solid/kit/Comet_Spad.pdf
      * Comet P6E https://sites.ualberta.ca/~khorne/solid/kit/Comet-P6-E.pdf

      He also has a lot of the WWII Military Identification Model plans available on this page: https://sites.ualberta.ca/~khorne/solid/spotter/spotter.html
      Examples include
      * Curtiss P-40 https://sites.ualberta.ca/~khorne/solid/spotter/a-9.pdf
      * Boeing China Clipper https://sites.ualberta.ca/~khorne/solid/spotter/c-4.pdf

      There are a couple of sites that just offer plans, to include Solid models. These will take a bit more time searching though, as they are primarily sites for flying model airplane plans. The best option for these sites is to search for manufacturer

      I hope that helps and gets you started.

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