Home' Aerogram : Aerogram 2008 1 March Contents Aerogram March 2008
Profile of a Modeller – David Law
Joe Finocchiaro is editor of the journal of the Victorian Model Aeronautical Association.
He interviewed David Law about his modelling career and his Vampire jet, linked to the
Museum’s Vampire T35
How do you know if you have too
much scale? Don’t worry, it will
This profile is on a modeller who has
been part of the Scale scene and
modelling since he was 12. His
passion for aviation goes even further
back into his childhood where his
fascination for flying took hold and
never waned. This passion eventually
took him to RC aircraft were he
became an established and well-
known flyer within the modelling
fraternity. This fascination with aircraft
finally led him to build in quarter and
His love of Scale and dedication to
produce realistic models has driven
David over the years to produce some
magnificent models. His desire to learn
and compete in Scale finally led him to
participate in competition at the
highest level of our sport. David
eventually became part of the
Australian team, competing in World
David has competed in the Poland
2004 (Vampire model), Sweden 2006
(Vampire model) and he is preparing
for the Poland 2008 World
Championships (1/3 Scale Pitts
Special S2A model). The Vampire has
been around for a while now but still
attracts a crowd on the ground and in
the air. The Vampire itself flies so
Scale-like and David, of course, has
finished the model with life-like
features. From a distance you would
think it was the real thing.
I was able to catch up with David to
ask some questions and get a
snapshot of his modelling and his
passion for Scale.
How long have you been
I have been modelling for 28 years in
radio control. The first four years were
learning and the rest spent on Scale. I
started radio flying in 1980 at the age
of 12 but have been passionate about
aviation from birth.
I am assuming Scale is your
favourite discipline – why?
YES. It has to be real so you can
capture the image and replicate the
model in its full glory.
What clubs have you been involved
with and which is your main club?
Doncaster is my main club where I
learnt, and still fly. I have also been a
member of MARCS, Greensborough,
LDMFA, VJAA, and RAAF Williams
What was your driving force to
build scale and the Vampire?
I build Scale because my passion is
full-size aviation and I like to be able to
replicate that. The Vampire was
chosen as a model to be built for world
championships, and, as such, it is
better to have a subject aircraft you
can see, touch, and measure, within a
reasonable driving distance.
The Vampire was built for the 2004
world championships. I chose the
Vampire because I felt the rules at that
time would support the project being a
jet powered aircraft and that there was
a score for realism of sound, which
meant I could use a turbine. The other
points that made it a good aircraft to
• As an early jet it had a conventional
• It had a wide tracking under-carriage
and sat low to the ground.
• The mix of metal and plywood gave
a good opportunity for replicating the
• There was a Vampire being restored
at Moorabbin to which I had free
• The Vampire at Point Cook had an
attractive colour scheme.
• Most importantly to me is that it had
an Australian colour scheme.
Was it a difficult project?
All scale projects have their difficulties
you just have to power through the
problems. Fortunately for me the
Vampire went together really well as I
had to build it in about six months.
Were did you get your information
to build a Scale Vampire?
I found that the commercially available
three-view drawings were very
inaccurate so, by using the Vampire at
Moorabbin, I measured and drew my
own in AutoCad. This was a
mammoth task but it had to be done.
Colour and surface detail information
was from photographs taken at Point
How long have you been flying the
Vampire and what is it like to fly?
The Museum’s Vampire T35 was restored by Maintenance Squadron East Sale in the mid-1990s, and
is a composite made from the wings and tail booms of A79-827 and the fuselage pod of A79-616.
After display at the RAAF's 75th Anniversary Open Day at East Sale, the aircraft was relocated to Point
Cook for display. The aircraft is painted as A79-616, an aircraft operated by Central Flying School,
and wears the colours of the "Telstars" aerobatic team.
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