Man Turns Junk into Life-Size Models of Old Fighter Planes

Ian Baron, a nuclear plant mechanic from Bowmanville, Canada, has spent the last five years building life-size replicas of old fighter planes from various kinds of junk.

Ian started making his planes five years ago, after visiting the Ford Automotive Museum in Michigan where he saw what can be accomplished by bending metal. He had experience building dune buggies and restoring Model A Fords, and he truly believed he could create a fighter replica with stuff he already had around the house. The few things he didn’t have, like sheet metal from above-ground pools he scavenged from scrapyards and neighbors. He also became a regular at stores like Princess Auto and Home Depot, but all his hard work and expenditures paid off nine months after starting the project, when he finally completed his  1916 Sopwith Carnel, a replica of Snoopy’s plane, the one that shot down the infamous Red Baron. It had bar stools as bulkheads, farm gates as wings and metal pool walls as the skin.

Photo by Carola Vyhnak/The Star

He continued building his plane models, and soon completed replicas of the Red Baron’s Fokker DR1, a 1944 Messerschmitt 109-G and the popular Spitfire. The British fighter plane features authentic gauges in the instruments panel and the legs of his mother’s coffee table as 20 mm cannons. While other plane enthusiasts restore old aircrafts or build them from special kits, Ian Baron thinks his hobby of recreating them from junk is unique. As he doesn’t pay for most of the materials he uses, the self-taught artist’s biggest expenses are oxygen and acetylene for welding, paint and aluminum rivets.

Photo by Carola Vyhnak/The Star

Photo by Carola Vyhnak/The Star

via The Star


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