Friday, February 03, 2017

Meet our Chapter Contact, Frank Colucci!

BPMS MEMBER INTERVIEWS: Starting this month the club will be treated to interviews prepared by a REAL journalist! Our IPMS Chapter Contact, and senior member FRANK COLUCCI will be interviewing members while I’m buried in tax returns at work. He’ll start with an intimate interview with himself! [~B2]

Introducing Frank Colucci 

BPMS Chapter Contact Frank Colucci has been building models since around 1960. “My father bought me some of the early Lindberg, Aurora, and Revell jets and a couple of the Strombecker space kits. It turns out he gave me a lifelong hobby and steered me toward a career.” As a professional aerospace and defense writer for the last 35 years, Frank has published technical articles in the American Helicopter Society magazine and many other industry publications. “My work centers on helicopters, but my modeling interests are still pretty much jets.” 

F-104 Starfighters, F-100 Super Sabres, and F-4 Phantoms are still at the top of Frank’s modeling favorites. “I finished another ESCI ‘104 last year in Canadian Cold War camouflage, and I’ve got an Italeri F-100D in the works to stick on a resin Zero Length Launch rocket booster. I’m drawn to build something by the history behind it. You learn an awful lot about world conflicts, politics, and aerospace technology just by building plastic model airplanes.” 

Frank grew up on Ocean Avenue and walked to PS-152, Hudde Junior High, Midwood High School, and Brooklyn College. The old neighborhood had Thrift Town on Nostrand Avenue, the Avenue S hobby shop, and discount stores on Kings Highway, Flatbush Avenue, and Mill Avenue, all with aisles full of plastic. “All the toy and hobby stores that sold models when we were growing up are gone, and today’s retailers such as Hobby Lobby barely bother with plastic. My wife can testify that the Internet is great for filling my basement with kits, but I miss browsing in stores.” 

Frank joined the Brooklyn Plastic Modelers Society in 1974 when the club met at Marcy Photo Studio on New Utrecht Avenue. “Joe Turner invited me to the Club when he was working at the Avenue S hobby shop. That one invitation gave me some of my closest friends, and it gave me something to do every third-Friday-of-the-month for 40 years. I learned modeling and airbrushing at the Club. If the BPMS wasn’t so worthwhile, no way would I drive in from New Jersey. We’ve got a very easy-going bunch of people in terms of modeling tastes and temperament. That’s why we’ve lasted so long.” 

Frank builds and enjoys the variety of combat aircraft available in all scales from 1/144 to 1/32 but still likes some of the older, simpler kits like the later Monogram jets. “I’m glad we have the accuracy, fit, and detail we do today, but some kits are too complicated to build for fun. I rarely use resin and photo-etch. I want to build an airplane and paint it in historic markings, not spend hours on wheel wells.” 

~Frank Colucci

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