How did we all get started in WHIF'ing?

Started by seadude, August 22, 2009, 05:04:36 PM

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What got everybody started in making WHIF's? Was it something you read or heard about long ago? Or did you just get tired of doing the "same old, same old" kit time after time?
For me, it was an article in the March 1990 issue of FineScale Modeler magazine titled "Modeling the Air Force that Never Was". It was just a 2 page article, but the pics they had of WHIF models that other people had built really got my imagination going. I can't show you pics of the WHIFs from that article or the article itself as my scanner is not working. But what was shown in the article was pics of:
Australian F-16 in anti-shipping role.
F-16XL in a SEAD configuration.
Israeli A-10 Warthog.
.....and a X-29 FSW aircraft in an aggressor Top Gun paint scheme.
Modeling isn't just about how good the gluing or painting, etc. looks. It's also about how creative and imaginative you can be with a subject.

Daryl J.

The Ben Franklin store didn't have the right color paint for my second ever model, the MPC boxing of the B-17G.   Since that fateful day in 1973, whiffing has been a source of much happiness for me as most of the 500+ models that were built in the next decade were whiffed in some way or another.

Daryl J.


It's all Radish's fault - he had his Roman airforce at one of the nationals and I ws hooked.


My first whifs were unintentional. Just using what was on the decal sheets that looked cool, hanging lots of bombs on the aircraft, colours that looked "about right" and so on.
Then there was a Leopard 2A5 that was built in Danish colours. Saw a pic of a Danish Leopard 1 in IFOR markings and just knew I had to build that one. Since I only had a Revell 1/72 Leo 2A5 available, that one had to do.
First real (as in intentional) whifs came much later with the release of the Revell 1/72 Eurofighter Typhoon and the desire to do something about the Typhoon's notoriously boring schemes, as well as the start of the WHAT-IF THREAD ON ARC. I had seen some whifs earlier, but never thought abut whiffing something of my own.

Quite some time later I found this site -  and was immediately hooked!  :wacko:

Here's that Leo from way back. It was built about a dozen years ago. Still love that paint scheme (but not the paintjob :lol:). Oh, and don't mind the missing barrel.


Must, then, my projects bend to the iron yoke of a mechanical system? Is my soaring spirit to be chained down to the snail's pace of matter?

Ed S

Damned if I can remember that far back.  I know I built an occasional WHIFF back in the 70's.  Most of my early WHIFF's were prototype/proposed versions of real a/c that I wanted to add to my collection.  But since joining this site, I've gotten a little more interested in building WHIFF's and coming up with some more offbeat stuffl.  My FV-12 (see here: http://www.whatifmodelers.com/index.php/topic,18584.0.html was originally built back in the late 70's.  Although it was damaged in a move and I repaired and repainted it a couple years ago.

We don't just embrace insanity here.  We feel it up, french kiss it and then buy it a drink.


My earliest whif used  the Model T Ford model from "The Beverly Hillbillies". After I'd played with it for a while, it started to fall apart. I noticed that I had a couple of broken down Airfix (or matchbox) 1/76 scale tanks, so I borrowed the barrels and made an armored body for the model T out of some thin cardboard. I thought it looked great! Other early Whifs were a Revell 1/72 Zero in Israeli markings; this was in October 1973 - I remember watching a news report about the Yom Kippur war on TV, and thought that a Zero in Israeli markings would look cool.


When I was 12-13 I lived next to another kid and we built lots of stuff.  One day we were looking at some leftovers, sailing ship hull, some parts from a 48th Revell Doolittle Mitchell, etc and just started putting pieces together to make a flying boat.  It never would have flown but we didnt' care, it was cool.

I also saw the article Daryl mentioned but it was just one day when I was reading about the Israeli Air Force that I suddenly wondered what it would have been like if the Czechs had sold them some S92s.  Kinda been hooked ever since.
Phil Peterson

Vote for the Whiffies


I started whiffing as soon as I graduated from bare plastic to painting models.  I remember one of my first being an MPC/Airfix F-15 which ended up white with RAF markings, bacause I thought the Vulcan looked cool that way.  I guess a lot of us model this way when we're kids, but I kept with it as I got older and my skills grew.  It just seems so much more fun to come up with backstory, markings, role, etc than to just copy the instructions.

So I got that going for me...which is nice....


I stumbled across a build here by accident a little while back. I can't remember who it was, but it was that super-Warthog, with four engines, an Avenger in each cheek, and a huge load of ordnance.
Some of my models can be found on my Flickr album >>>HERE<<<


I started building models when I was a kid, but most of them ended up broken or unfinished (I had a SERIOUS spares box). Then my mates and I got into sci-fi wargaming. Most of the (mostly white metal) vehicles available at the time were expensive and/or crappy and/or scarce, so we started making our own using tank and aircraft bits. This did nothing to endear me to my other set of friends, who were mostly IPMS strict-accuracy types, some verging on JMN status.

Then I stopped, did the "grown up" thing for a bit, and was "persuaded" to chuck almost all of my modelling stuff out (including that spares box.... :banghead:). Then I found this place during a slow period at work about 18 months ago, and it's all been down hill from there...... :wacko:
"Things need not have happened to be true. Tales and dreams are the shadow-truths that will endure when mere facts are dust and ashes, and forgot."
 - Morpheus in Sandman: A Midsummer Night's Dream, by Neil Gaiman

"I dunno, I'm making this up as I go."
 - Indiana Jones '


I started modeling about nine or ten years old, a buddy of mine and I used to slap together 144 scale fighters and run them around his junk yard, painted in the most riotous of colour schemes (we weren't realists then, we just did personal paint patterns).  That faded for a bit, but I still collected a few (mostly Fulcrums, I fell in love with the airframe) until about 14, when I got into Warhammer 40K, which is kinda where my whiffing got started - I couldn't help but customize my stuff, just for that extra bit of enjoyment - once I stepped past my Space Marines and Chaos phase into Tau, Necrons, Eldar and Guard, I did my own thing on paint schemes - grey over black ash camo, dark red and rich blue eldar, Grim Reaper style Necrons, my Tau got some natural-style camo patterns in white and gray, and had some Human Auxiliaries where I tried my hand at some Swiss Alpenflage for camo on their clothing - THAT was a fun piece to do, six colour camo on 1/48 scale troops (give or take) and I'd do it again in a heartbeat.

Then, Warhammer 40K started getting (more) expensive, and I started looking elsewhere.  I was also into Roleplaying, again a place where I had too much tendency to tune my own kit (.50AE chambered Thompson anybody?  How about a 120S upgrade for the M60 sourced from Leopard 2A6 stuff?  Hybridized Richielieu BBH concept in the modern era?)  and it was in a World War 2 setting, where I was pressed into strategic level control of Japan, where I would be first introduced, in searching and digging for information on the IJN, to www.combinedfleet.com - first to find information on the ships and aircraft, and then I would be forever damned as I looked into the depths of one man's creations - Furashita's Fleet.  I started digging up some of his stuff to use in that Roleplay, and bashing some of my own ship concepts from his material, and when I left Warhammer 40K collecting behind me (for the most part, I might still pick up something here and there maybe), I would go back to Furashita's Fleet, and I would sit there, looking at his ships images, scratching my chin as I studied them, lost in thought.  I'd actually turn around and open a communication line with the man who started the madness, and we'd discuss the concepts, and designs, and other ideas in my head at the time (often with him beating me with the reality bat a few times) until I brought myself to research prices, and think, and realize... I could Do this.  I started with his 38cm-armed Gneiseau, built as she'd been planned.  I bought the Trumpy Bismarck, the Tamiya Gneiseau, I bored the rings, I fitted the guns, I looked at her, and I loved it.  I dug up a good scheme, the leopard camo from the Channel Dash, and applied it with fervourous zeal - literally when the project gripped me it was Eat, Sleep, Build.  From then on, I was damned, and I haven't finished a project in colours that have been on the directions since at the very least.

Yeah ok, it's a long story, but I had to give the full perspective.
Putty-fu, Scratch-jutsu and Bash-chi, the sacred martial arts of the What-If. Mastering them, is Ancient Chinese Secret.

Just your friendly neighbourhood Mad Scientist and Ship-whiffer.

Overkill? Nah, it's Insurance.  So are the 20" guns.

Barry Krell

Started cobbling together some Luftwaffe 46 mash ups and had an interest in Luftwaffe prototypes which simply grew.  The rest followed quite logically.
Aston Martin  - Power, Beauty, Soul.

Martin H

Whiffing suited me down to the ground, ive never been one to conform to any form of standard (just ask my employer). never a problem in the what if world.
I always hope for the best.
experience has taught me to expect the worst.

Size (of the stash) matters.

IPMS (UK) What if? SIG Leader.
IPMS (UK) Project Cancelled SIG Member.


Started modeling over 30 years ago now, at the time it was mainly the old Airfix and Matchbox, split evenly between tanks and aircraft.

It has stopped and started over the years as other things took over, Ex-Wife, re-enactment and beer and most of the early kits were sacrificed to the God's of airifle and flame  ;D but it never went away.

I worked for a while for Games Workshop where all chipped in with ideas ( the Ultramarines and the Leeman Russ tanks are my idea.....sorry  :wacko: ) and bits of figures and kits were chopped up everyday.

After i got married for the first time i was forced  :angry: to give up all my foolish hobbies, apart from my re-enactment and the modeling and wargames died away.  :banghead:  :banghead:

I took it all up again during my harsh split and divorce and thats when i developed a liking for soviet aircraft and i also started to read alternative history fiction.

Was like this for a few years until i put glue to plastic, mainly tanks, just before i met my current love, whom doesn't mind my hobbies as they are what makes me me  :wub: :wub:.

I started a few What ifs based upon re-engined lend lease wwII aircraft but never did anything with them, though i was happy. Suprisingly i found this site whilst searching for alternative history fiction and lurked around it for a while.

My wife made me post my fist aircraft cause she thought it was cute........not stopped since, in fact it's the only modeling i now do  ;D ;D ;D
Everything looks better with the addition of British Roundels!

the Empires Twilight facebook page


"My country, right or wrong; if right, to be kept right; and if wrong, to be set right." - Carl Schurz


I started out modelling when I was about 8 or 9, the source for all my models was the news agents on the next block, the kits were all matchbox and airfix, and the paints all airfix tins of enamel that were very sparse in the choice department.
My best friend at the time was also into models, and we used to play with plastic soldiers and the airfix vehicles that were soft plastic. He used to have the ww2 stuff and I would buy anything jet powered and paint it in what ever camo scheme I thought up at the time, much to my friends disgust, who was a bit of a purist with his stuff. I also used to arm the living daylights out planes just so I could defeat his army.
My first wiff aircraft was a matchbox A-4, painted in wrap round sand and red brown and hi-vis decals, loaded out with 4 bullpups, 4 bombs and some sparrows  :lol:
The modelling came and went as I got older, then in the mid nineties whilst working away I started again, making everything US marines or Navy aircraft. I got hold of a load of cheap US marines and Navy low vis decals, so you name it it got drafted!!I never could be bothered with painting anything the right colour anyway or building it OOB. I once built a mitchel bomber I got as a present as a kid,into something I saw on Airwolf, armed it with cluster bombs Bullpups rocket pods and sidewinders, oh and I put the solid nose with the 75 mm gun on it and the side mount .50's. That was a cool plane, and it struck fear into my friends soldiers  :lol:
The dogs philosophy on life.
If you cant eat it hump it or fight it,
Pee on it and walk away!!