Built Review
F4B-4 Boeing 99
AHM 'All the worlds aircraft - Historical Aviation in Scale Models' F4B-4
  • F4B-4 box

by: Frederick Boucher [ JPTRR ]

Associated Hobby Manufacturers (reincarnated as INTERNATIONAL HOBBY CORPORATION until IHC's demise in 2010) was a multi-faceted hobby powerhouse c.1960‘s-80’s. Modelers, especially model railroaders, of that era no doubt had some of AHM’s products.

Model railroaders and war gamers of OO [1/76] through TT [1/120] (including E and QO SCALE [1/96], OOC SCALE [1/100], 3mm SCALE and TM SCALE {a version of TT}[1/101.6]) desiring aircraft had, and still suffer, a small field to choose from. AHM filled the void with a good selection of common and popular aircraft c.1930-73:

AHM Airplane model kits

    AHM also released model kits of different aircraft in 87th scale*. They were in the 'All the worlds aircraft - Historical Aviation in Scale Models' product line. There have been at least three series of aircraft. All models were released in 1974 or later.* Information received from Wayne Calder: Several of the kits were actually made in 1/100. These later turned up as Roco models. Additional information received from Jens Mehner: Having almost owned all of them at one time or another, I can assure you that none of them was in 1/87 scale, with the possible exception of the "Spirit of St Louis", the only one I never had, they were all more or less in 1/96 scale.

    Information received from J.D.: I was the purchasing director Far East for AHM in the mid 70’s. We took over the Cox line of built-up planes and produced them in both kit and built-up models. I don’t recall just how many we did, but it included some like “Spirit of St. Louis” as well as the StuKa, P-38 Lightning, most of the famous WWII fighters (US mainly) and the F4 Phantom. The built ups were nicely done.

Series Name Kits

    1 'The Golden Era' (6)
    2 'The Famous World War II Fighters' (6)
    3 'The Classic War birds’ (?)

      SK-1 1 P6E Curtiss 'Hawk' 1/100
      SK-2 1 Grumman F3F-3 1/97
      SK-3 1 F4B4 Boeing 99 1/100
      SK-4 1 P26A Boeing 'Peashooter' 1/99
      SK-5 1 Ryan 'The Spirit of Saint Louis' 1/110
      SK-6 1 Lockheed Vega 'Winnie Mae' 1/100
      SK-7 2 Mitsubishi / Nakajima A6M 'Zero' / 'Zeke' 1/103
      SK-8 2 Kawasaki Hien K1-61-1 'Tony' 1/100
      SK-9 2 North-American P51D 'Mustang' 1/100
      SK-10 2 Messerschmitt BF-109E 1/100
      SK-11 2 North-American P51D 'Mustang' 'Miss America'-version 1/87
      SK-12 2 Curtiss P-40 'Warhawk' (Flying Tigers decals) 1/96
      SK-13 2 Bell P-39Q 'Airacobra' 1/102
      SK-14 3 McDonnell F-4E 'Phantom II' 1/90
      SK-15 3 Lockheed P-38L 'Lightning' 1/89
      SK-16 3 Junkers Ju87G 'Stuka' 1/85 ? ?
      McDonnelF-3B 'Demon' (announced but never issued)”**

    1/87 (HO scale) is 21% smaller than 1/72
    1/87 15% larger than 1/100

I have collected most of these. My F4B-4 built into a pleasing model. The kits are nicely molded with little flash. The little Boeing’s rivet detail is oversized and the airfoil parts are out-of-scale thick, but several parts are so fine as to be brittle. My F4B-4 had two propellers, two gunsights, two radio masts and two canopies. Unfortunately, the windscreens are a blue tinted plastic. The control surfaces are positionable--they just snap into place. Overall, the fit was very impressive. The landing gear struts are slightly thick.

Assembly was straight forward and trouble free. The 30 year-old decals came off the paper and settled onto the model without a problem. They were well registered but the command stripe on the upper wing has a slight dot pattern from the printing process of the era.

For aircraft modelers, these are niche models. For model railroaders and war gamers, they offer the opportunity to supplement vehicles propelled by the beast and engine of the steam and diesel era with aviation. While most of these kits are not rare, you will have to search to find these kits, and the vary in price, mine have been from a few dollars to over thirty dollars. I greatly enjoyed building the stubby Navy Boeing, and look forward to the other kits.

**Used with permission of 87thScale.info
Highs: Unique scale for aircraft modelers, ship modelers, model railroaders and war gamers. Control surfaces are positionable. Good detail for the scale. Good fit. Extra parts for easily broken pieces. Decals work well.
Lows: Thick airfoils. Blue tinted windscreen. Decal solid colors have some printing patterns, limited decal choices. Price and availability inconsistent. Oversized rivet detail. Scale does not exactly fit many genre.
Verdict: These build up well and look good.
Percentage Rating
  Scale: 1:96
  Mfg. ID: SK-3
  Suggested Retail: $9.00 +/-
  Related Link: 87thScale.info AHM Airplane modelkits
  PUBLISHED: Jun 26, 2007
  NATIONALITY: United States

About Frederick Boucher (JPTRR)

I'm a professional pilot with a degree in art. My first model was an AMT semi dump truck. Then Monogram's Lunar Lander right after the lunar landing. Next, Revell's 1/32 Bf-109G...cried havoc and released the dogs of modeling! My interests--if built before 1900, or after 1955, then I proba...

Copyright ©2021 text by Frederick Boucher [ JPTRR ]. Images also by copyright holder unless otherwise noted. Opinions expressed are those of the author(s) and not necessarily those of AeroScale. All rights reserved.


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