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      Ken Miller


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      Post #69052, posted on 01-13-2018 GMT-5 hours    
      Trying to put together a small timeline on Minicraft's history.

      I found this reference online which is a good start.

      Minicraft is a manufacturer of model kits and acccessories. The company was founded by former Revell export manager, Al Trendle, and his wife Mary in Torrance, California in 1960.

      Minicraft worked closely with Korean manufacturer Academy for many years until 1999.

      In 2001, the Trendles sold the company to David and Norma Duff, who had represented Minicraft through their agency, Huff & Huff Sales & Marketing Associates. After buying the company, the Huffs moved it to Elgin, Illinois.

      David Huff passed away in 2008. In 2010, Norma Duff is owner and president of Minicraft, with Lewis Nace as vice president.



      I found reference that she sold the company in 2012 and stayed on as a consultant till 2014. Who owns the company now?

      Also a press release stating the Lewis Nace became company president. The release says effective immediately but there's no date listed.

      Management changes also accompanied the move. Lewis Nace, long active in International Hobby Industry activities and organizations, was appointed President of MINICRAFT MODELS (US) LLC.

      Sharon Blackwell serves as the company’s Operations Manager.

      “We’re excited by the new opportunities,” Nace said. “MINICRAFT will continue serving our dedicated trade and consumer customers with unique, new and existing model kits and hobby products.”

      For over 40 years, MINICRAFT has developed and marketed quality model kits at value prices. That tradition continues with both new and re-released products. The company remains a world leader in 1:144-scale model airplane kits. For details, visit http://minicraftmodels.com/. Or call +1-847-429-9676.



      Can anyone else add more pieces to this history puzzle?


      Ken

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      Jennings


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      Post #69053, posted on 01-13-2018 GMT-5 hours    
      Lewis Nace is the current owner.

      Does anyone know if Al Trendle is still alive? I haven't heard from him in at least 15 years.

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      Tango-Bravo


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      Post #69059, posted on 01-14-2018 GMT-5 hours    
      Not to be overlooked is the Minicraft-Hasegawa connection of the early-mid 1980s by which the latter's 1/200 airliner kits (as well as numerous military aircraft of various scales) were marketed in the U.S. under the Minicraft (of Torrance, CA) label.

      Todd
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      Jennings


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      Post #69064, posted on 01-14-2018 GMT-5 hours    
      Minicraft-Hasegawa goes back to the mid-1970s.

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      Post #69069, posted on 01-16-2018 GMT-5 hours    
      Thank you Jennings and Todd for filling in some of pieces of Minicraft history. I find Minicraft interesting as they aren't one of the big manufacturers and have certainly had some legendary big hits and misses through the years. The Hobbico bankruptcy got me thinking about Minicraft. I hope that they too are able to continue on.

      Ken

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      Mark Krumrey


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      Post #69070, posted on 01-16-2018 GMT-5 hours    
      I had heard that Al Trendle passed away several years ago. There is an AL Trendle on "Linked in", but who knows how current that is? I believe it was Al that pushed Minicraft to do 1/144 scale airliners. (per the late Bob Friskne, a.k.a. BTBF) Bravo Zulu to Tango Bravo for bringing up the Hasegawa - Minicraft connection, which could also be interpreted as the "East - West Connection." Lloyd Jones was involved in that as well as the Minicraft/Hasegawa kits were all decaled by Scalemaster, a Lloyd Jones enterprise, headquartered in Torrence CA.

      We Few, we happy few........

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      Post #69095, posted on 01-18-2018 GMT-5 hours    
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      Mark Krumrey :
      ...I believe it was Al that pushed Minicraft to do 1/144 scale airliners. (per the late Bob Friskne, a.k.a. BTBF) Bravo Zulu to Tango Bravo for bringing up the Hasegawa - Minicraft connection, which could also be interpreted as the "East - West Connection."...



      Brings back memories of the often heated rivalry within airliner modeldom that reached its peak around the mid-1980s as to which was the superior scale (for airliner models): 1/144 or 1/200 or any number of scales that "blend in well with 1/144" ...at times the rivalry even came to resemble the theatrics of professional wrestling;)

      IIRC, wasn't there an airliner modeling tagteam known as the East-West connection?;)

      Todd
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      Post #69100, posted on 01-19-2018 GMT-5 hours    
      It seems like both yesterday and 20+ years ago that we were having to make do with whatever old or imported box-scale kit reissues we could find on hobby shop shelves, or saving up and mailing off a check to Clint Groves to order a Welsh Models kit and a few sheets of decals. On the embryonic Airliner Modelling Digest, back when it was an e-mail list, you'd see serious discussions about how to convert an Airfix DC-9 into a Fokker 100. And then one day came the first reports that Minicraft was seriously going to get into the 1:144 airliner business. Genuine excitement and anticipation, and I still remember the thrill when I bought the first Super Constellation kit I could find. Then along came the DC-6B and all the rest, and what a sensation it was when word came of the 737-300.

      Time would reveal the imperfections of those kits, and time would also bring some Minicraft products that were genuine screamers as well as a few that were genuine marvels. I wish, though, there was some way to capture just what kind of a big deal it was in our realm when Minicraft introduced those first new airliner kits, and how exciting it was that somebody in a position of influence was paying our community that kind of attention.

      Jodie Peeler

      In 1924 Wien was Alaska's first airline. In 1980 it still is.

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      lichtjahre


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      Post #69101, posted on 01-19-2018 GMT-5 hours    
      Jodie, you made my day ..."you'd see serious discussions about how to convert an Airfix DC-9 into a Fokker 100."

      I fondly remember those old days when Microscale decals were the top of the world and obtaining a sheet was like unearthing a diamond.
      I still own an unbuilt resin ATP Boeing 377 Stratocruiser, what a beast )))

      And today? Sometimes I sit back in wonder and just can't believe I own all these outstanding high-tech models from Authentic Airliners and Zvezda. How many countless years I waited and prayed for a TU-134, TU-144, TU-154, IL-18, IL-62, IL-76, IL-86, An-22, An-12 ... and today we just don't know when to build them all ) Not to mention the plethora of outstanding decals.

      Its seriously modellers heaven these days!

      Cheers,
      Christian

      **off topic end

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      Post #69103, posted on 01-19-2018 GMT-5 hours    
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      Mark Krumrey :I believe it was Al that pushed Minicraft to do 1/144 scale airliners.



      Al Trendle *was* Minicraft, and it was his decision solely.

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      Post #69109, posted on 01-19-2018 GMT-5 hours    
      Thanks Jennings for that clarification on Al Trendle and his influence in the world of 1/144 Airline Modeling in particular and Minicraft in general. I also am in accord with Jodie about the excitement that was felt when Minicraft started releasing their 1/144 scale airliner model kits. As she mentioned, there were the screamers and marvels and I know of one individual who is no longer with us, who just couldn't seem to find anything good about any of them. My comment to him was that the Eastern Electra I built, albeit with some shape issues, sure couldn't be mistaken for a DC-6. Point being, building a Minicraft Airliner in 1/144 sure beat the vacuforms, and as Christian stated the ATP Resin 377 Strat, a nice attempt by Groves to get more people interested in 1/144 props, but a real dog of a kit, best left as a momento than trying to build it. Any of the Minicraft 1/144 airliner kits can be built into very nice and even outstanding models.
      To further the discussion of 1/144 vs. 1/200 during those days, I also recall a rumor from a realiable source who seemed to have his finger on the pulse of scale airliner modeling at the time, that Hasegawa wasn't happy with the sales of their 1/200 airliner kits and picking up on some of the chatter about the disappointment many dedicated 1/144 airliner modelers felt towards the Minicraft kits; teamed up with some fella in Australia to form Eastern Express (East West Connection) and garner further sales of superior quality 1/144 scale airliners through that enterprise almost in an afront to AT at Minicraft as if to say "I can do this and do it better." Anyway, we are definately living in the Golden age of 1/144 scale airiner modeling with the abundance of kits that are available and the plethora of quality and complete markings for them: no more pose downs as to which "Air Naru decal sheet is better than Brand X."
      As an aside, it's too bad that neither Heller nor Academy never exapnded their 1/72nd airliner models, a 1/72nd Electra with a variety of markings would be a best seller, I shouldn't wonder.

      We Few, we happy few........