Large Scale Airplane Models – What are they? Do you need one!

Gold Watch
Gold watch

Recognizing achievement, loyalty, or a colleague’s career is a principal tenant in the management of personnel. The time honored ‘Gold Watch’ is passé. Technology has advanced far beyond an analog chronometer. The ‘Gold Watch’ of today should be an acknowledgment that will endure well past the ‘Gold Watch Party’. There are many gifts that can be given; make it a memorable one.

Large Scale Airplane Models can be displayed in private or public spaces. They appeal to the most discerning executive and usually garner questions of interest.

Large or Small Scale Models

Large Scale Static Models
Large Scale Static Models

According to Wikipedia – “A scale model is a representation or copy of an object that is larger or smaller than the actual size of the object being represented“.

What is an appropriate scale? If you are looking for a model to display in a public setting like that of a lobby or conference room, the scale should be larger than a desktop or display case model. Models can be displayed sitting on a pedestal. Generally, they are depicted as if in a state of flight.

Small Scale Model
Small scale Model

But smaller models, like that of ones we once built ourselves in our youth, will most likely be displayed on either a plastic pedestal or the model is sitting on its own landing gear.


Obviously, the ‘Large Scale Aircraft Models’ have a purpose. These models reflect a product produced or offered. In some cases, they represent the branding of the company.  Further discussion of ‘Scale’ is discussed in my other article, Large Scale Plastic Models – What are the scales?  Terminology and definition of scale are covered.  As an example, American        Airlines had on display a model of a Boeing 757 in their livery (corporate paint scheme).

Large Scale Lobby Model
American Airlines Livery

American Airlines does not solely fly the Boeing 757. This displayed model represents the visual branding of their flying fleet.

Custom – Commercial – Private – Military Aircraft Models

Military Philippine Hand Carved Wood Model
Philippine Hand Carved Wood Model

There are many suppliers of Aircraft models. They are located worldwide. When dealing with wood models, you will find most are built in the Philippines. There are no absolutes when it comes to availability of model types. But most models from the Philippines are hand carved and are extremely well done. Unlike plastic, resin, or metal models, wood models do suffer from time and humidity. The wood model will dry out over time and the over laying surface of paint will show cracks when the wood shrinks.

When you are in the middle of your decision making process, there will be a number of questions that will come to mind that will directly affect your outcome.  I discuss four areas that you will have questions about in my article ‘Commercial Model Airplanes – Large Scale‘.  Aircraft type, Size or Scale of the Model, Livery and Custom details.

Suppliers who work in plastic, resin, or metal have molds that are extremely accurate and replicate detail fairly well. A new technology, 3D-Printing is just now starting to make its way into the model industry. It’s still too early to evaluate the durability of 3D-Printed models.

Future 3D Printed Model
Future 3D Printed Model

In the ‘Custom’ category, future projects, hyper-designed aircraft, and aircraft of fancy, will most likely be served well utilizing 3D-Printing technology.

Some suppliers can model the interior of the aircraft. Generally, the interiors will replicate the actual aircraft the customer owns. Floor layout, seating, colors are just a few of the details that can be provided. But, that detail comes at a cost both in time and money. Custom orders can take as long as 6 – 8 weeks to build.

Large Scale Interior Model
Large Scale Interior Model

There are many suppliers for any of the above mentioned categories of aircraft. Prices will vary depending on how proud the manufacturer is in their production of models.

Recognizing Achievement, Loyalty, A Colleague’s Career, or a Personal Remembrance.

No matter what the reason, there are suppliers and sources that will cater to any whim in aircraft design.  There is a reason why model aircraft hold us all in a state of fascination. Our desire to acknowledge a love affair with a machine that has created dreams and delivered us to places and locations that we would not have visited.  Find the model that inspires and enjoy.

If you would like to learn more about Model Airplanes,
please look at the links below.

Best Gift Giving Ideas – Airplane Models
Executive Airplane Models – Large, Static, and Beautiful
Commercial Airplane Models
Large Scale Commercial Airplane Models
How to Clean a Model
Large Scale Plastic Models
Model Airplane Display Cases

Please leave a comment.  Let me know what more I can do for you or just reflect on your feelings about what you have read.  I appreciate, as do others that read these posts, your input and your opinion.

4 thoughts on “Large Scale Airplane Models – What are they? Do you need one!”

  1. Chris you have once again brought me to that place in my childhood when I thought there was nothing more cool than spending Saturday afternoon patiently and methodically putting together a model.
    I can see how, with personal memories and carriers attached, they make beautiful pieces in one’s home.

    1. I too, remember in my youth (Oh, so long ago) when I would go to the local drug store and look at the plastic models that where all in boxes. Assembly required. I would pick out a model, generally a Vought F-8 Crusader or a Vought F4U Corsair. I always wanted to put them together without any evidence that I used glue. That stuff, if used in excessive amounts would literally melt my model. Drove me nuts, but I learned had to use the glue correctly. But, now as an adult, I don’t have the time to build my models. But I have learned that I can buy models in different scales that are one piece in design and which share perfect decals or livery’s. I still have the dream.
      Thank you for your comment. Please come back.

  2. Very cool article! I come from a long line of pilots and I can remember my Dad having these scale model planes. I never knew if he had them commissioned, or they were given to him by the dealership that he bought from. I was fascinated by the idea of using 3D printers to make these. What kind of affect will that have on the price tag of the models (once it becomes the standard in manufacturing them)?

    1. Thanks David for the comment.  To answer your question, it really comes down to the cost of manufacturing.  Automation certainly does that. When 3D printing is perfected in constructing Model airplanes, I’m certain, that an entrepreneur will apply the technology to cut costs and exact a higher profit margin.  The concept will definitely impact hand built models like those that are built in the Philippines.   The difference there is the material used.  Wood.  3D printing is a synthetic material.  In either case, the model will need a Livery and that is an additional process that adds to the cost. 

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