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Real Old-Skool Cool! '50s FROG Collection!

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When I say “silver”, what comes to mind? Is it a very precious metal? Is it the hair on an elderly gentleman? Or, is it the streamlined shape of a prowling fish?

One thing that should come to mind is fast ‘50s jets, with their penchant for bare-metal silver chrominess! And, just like those real jets, there were a lot of kits from that time that tried to capture the look with silver plastic!

I recently came across a quintet of such kits, and they’re silver in that they are supposed to look fast, they are aged, being from the ‘50s, and they are somewhat precious! For some really classic, early-run-not-retro old-skool modelling excitement, check out my score of 1950’s FROG jets at the link below! Vote on your favourite, too!



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Underglass is normally an area for showing off finished models. I’d love to see anyone of these kits built and displayed here. I sincerely hope you post them here after you build them. 

Edited by unclescott58
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On 6/23/2022 at 8:46 PM, Faust said:

Vote on your favourite, too!

Another fun read, regardless of where it's posted. I'm sure the mods will move to correct location. Be aware there seems to be a problem I've never encountered on your linked site that won't let me vote. When I click on my chosen kit, I get a "server error" message. Anyone else getting that?

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  • 2 weeks later...

Hey Rusty!

Yeah, I wasn't sure where to put this, and sometimes, this site has trouble on my computer, too. 

That sucks about the poll. It has had lower than the usual number of respondents, so that must be why. Wordpress changed how they do polls, and I'm not tech savvy enough to figure it out (yet) but I guess I'll have to get there! I'm sorry about that, but I do appreciate you reading it, enjoying it, and letting me know about the problems!

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Never mind the problems, just keep the reviews coming! I'll tell you here, my vote is for the Javelin, 'cause you gotta love a Delta wing. The cool factor is off the scale, followed closely by the E.E. Lightning; that tail end reminds me of my uncle's Ithaca 16gage over/under shotgun, and that's a good thing. Very much a unique look. I sort of share your fondness for the underdogs, or the "also ran" guys, though not intentionally. That is, I can't help but be drawn to the design aspects of the plane, not technically, but aesthetically. I find myself thinking "that looks so RIGHT...", and then I learn the plane was a flop. Looking at you, F7U Cutlass. I mean, you inspired the '56 Chevy hood ornament, we had high hopes! I could do a service to aircraft manufacturers; the more I like it, the more assured they can be it's a bad idea. I don't care. I pick my kits solely based on the cool factor. I love my Monogram F-101s and F-100s. Rant over.

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The Javelin is one I love, because it's such a ball of crud. I mean, it's so fat, and thick, and it takes all the "high speed, space age"-ness of the deta wing and turns it into a caricature!

I hear on on "cool factor". I too love the Cutlass and the Demon. The Demon is so, sooo slick looking. Then you realize it has hardly any air intakes... that can't be good. Voodoos? Hell yeah! Loved them as a kid at air shows, still love them now! Ugly French bombers... can't not love those! 

Nothing wrong with the flying Dustbuster that is the Hun, either!

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  • 3 weeks later...

FROG were a fascinating company. Makers of the first injected plastic model kits with their Penguin range. The company made flying models before that. The Penguin name came about as these early plastic kits didn't fly, nor did Penguins!

Here's a few early FROG kits I've built over the years. Nice enough in their own way but dated compared with current kits. I like them a lot.



Their 1.96 Airliners build into really nice kits. Very simple, but they capture the look well. They tended to stick with Brit airliners but a Boeing 707 crept into the range. The Comet below is one of my favourites.





The FROG 1.72 scale range included this P47. The box artwork was typical of the rest of the range.



Their P40 had engraved lines for decal placement, much like Aurora and Revell at the time. Panel lines were also engraved rather than raised. Later issues got cleaned up a bit.



And to finish up, here's a restoration I did on a 1939 release FROG Penguin kit of a Mk1 Spitfire. The plane was just entering service when this kit came out.


I used 1940's cigarette cards for the colour scheme, authentic colours were a few years away yet.


Edited by TonyW
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Following on from the Spitfire restoration in the post above, I also backdated a 1960's release of the FROG Whitley to resemble a pre war wooden build. The '60's kit was not one of FROGs finer moments, backdating it was the only way forward for me. I used the same cigarette card colours for the build.





The early days of model making are a bit addictive for me. It's getting harder to find the kits now, they date back to the twenties in some cases.

Monogram followed all the modelling trends as they happened, from solid wood kits in the early days through acetate plastic and wood combined, ending up with all polystyrene kits as soon as the material arrived on the scene. 

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Very nice builds, Tony. Thank you for posting them! More proof here that model building need not be complicated to be enjoyable,and the results of careful crafting on simple kits can be quite impressive. I'm not one for civil air subjects, but your build of that Comet is a real looker, and I'd be proud to display that on my shelf! As a bonus, the box art is simply gorgeous, something lost on too many "modern" kits. (Who wants to pay artists, right?) That P-47 looks as nice as anyone's in your photo; very well done kit. It looks like FROG appreciated the most fundamental aspect of a model in that proportions and shapes must be correct first, or details won't matter.

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