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OUT NOW: FROG Penguin plastic scale model kits
Topic Started: Apr 4 2017, 03:29 PM (666 Views)
Peter van Lune
Newbie
[ * ]
As anounced earlier...

I am contacting you to let you know that I have written a book about the history of FROG Penguin - plastic scale model kits 1936-1950, which is available from from my website www.frogpenguin.com.

The FROG Penguin range was the world's first range of all plastic model kits - a globally spread hobby in the 1950s through 1970s and made famous by manufacturers like Airfix and Revell. Until now the only available book about FROG was "FROG Modelaircraft", written by Richard Lines and Leif Hellström, published in 1989. My book is focussed on the Penguin range however, with over 250 pages and more than 400 full color/bw images.

It took over ten years to be completed and was written with the help of family members of the founders of FROG. It has many unpublished photos and includes practical information about recognizing and restoring these delicate models. The date of publication is no coincidence: it marks the 80th birthday of plastic kit modelling...
It includes many personal accounts of modellers now in their 80s and 90s, the wartime activities of FROG, a detailed price guide and background information.

You may find additional information on my website.

It is self-published, so I am doing all the advertising and promoting myself - reason for contacting you as well...

You may expect a review of my book in an upcoming IPMS Magazine.

Kind regards,

Peter van Lune
The Netherlands
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Peter van Lune
Newbie
[ * ]
For members of this forum my book especially may be interesting: 72nd scale aircraft. Most modellers who are also interested in the history of plastic scale modelling will know that the Penguin range was the first to introduce 1/72nd scale, adopted from the Skybirds range of construction kits, made of wood (with some parts made of metal or other materials).
The first one to introduce the scale may however be Peter Capron around 1917... And you can read all about how the scale was copied by other manufacturers... in my book - very entertaining to read, while waiting for the paint to dry on your model ;-).
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Graham Boak
Hero
[ * ]
Thanks for the information. My copy arrived this morning, I have only just put it down. It's a wonderful book, and I'm sure I'll find much more to enjoy when I pick it up again.

One addition: in the photo of the towed glider on a Trade Fair stand, the tow aircraft shown is a Miles Monitor.
Lancashire, UK
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Peter van Lune
Newbie
[ * ]
Very happy with this positive review in the UK IPMS Magazine:

"It was a real pleasure to review this eagerly awaited book from Peter van Lune, detailing the history of the Frog Penguin range of model aircraft - the undisputed precursors of all modern British plastic kits, aircraft and otherwise. In what is quite obviously a labour of love that took over fifteen years to bring to fruition, Peter van Lune tells the utterly fascinating story of the origins and development of the range, beginning with an account of how the two Wilmot brothers, Charles and John, together with their colleague Joe Mansour, started trading as designers and manufacturers of model aircraft in 1930, before registering in late 1931/early 1932 as a company called 'International Model Aircraft Limited', having by then also registered the original 'winged frog' trademark. The company name 'F.R.O.G' was registered soon afterwards in late 1932 (though Peter argues convincingly that these famous initials may not have stood, at that time at least, for 'Flies Right Off the Ground' - another urban myth destroyed!).
This lavishly illustrated book is packed from cover to cover with the fruits of the exhaustive research that obviously went into its making, and the author skilfully weaves the human interest elements of the story into the more technical details of the development of the materials used in the manufacture of the models. The key transition-to-plastic moment came it was realised that balsa wood was not the only material that could be used for the manufacture of static (as opposed to flying) model aircraft, and the pivotal decision was made to use cellulose acetate to make the first three kits in the Penguin range - the Gloster G.37 Gladiator prototype, the Blackburn Shark II and the Hawker Fury I. The rest, as they say, is history!
This splendid book, a landmark volume in the written history of plastic model-making, should find a place on every modeller's bookshelf, to be dipped into and read with relish whenever we need reminding of just how far our hobby has come in the last ninety years or so.
Very highly recommended."

Don Carrick - IPMS UK
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