We get a lot of questions about our panels and how they are made. This page will go in depth step by step on the planning and work that goes into a new design along with photos of the process.

The first step is to have access to the aircraft in which a panel is to be represented. This sometimes is not possible, so we have to draw on countless reference books and photos availible. Measuring the desired panel and scaling it down takes us to the next step.

A drawing is done in full scale so we can get a good feel for the actual size of the panel before it is made. In this case we did not have access to measure an F-22 Raptor (for obvious reasons), so we managed to get as many images of the F-22's nose from photos and books on the assembly stages to come up with this drawing with all the panel lines and rivet hole placements.


At this stage, it is time to turn the original drawing into a CAD program. Bernie is real good at this stuff and with the aid of a slide rule and micrometer, he'll turn the drawing into a working 3-D model of the parts. He'll then print a disk and its ready for the parts to be made.


Here, Sam Henderson handles a sheet of .032" aircraft grade aluminum and is cut to its proper size for the punching machine.


Once the required blanks are cut and the computer program set, they are loaded one at a time to be punched out by the FC-1000. This machine punches out the shapes and holes using dies on a turret. On the average, it takes approximately 2.5 minutes to produce the parts.


This is how it looks after the STRIPPIT machine is done. The parts for a B-24 panel is finished and is degreased, cleaned and separated out of its blank.

Assembly for the B-24 panel takes about 45 minutes to an hour. Unfortunatly no aid from machines are used for assembly and all the rivets are hand placed.

Here a B-29 panel is undergoing assembly. The two halves are joined and riveted to form our panel. Rivet lines have been hammered as well.

The base coating has been applied to this P-51 panel and is undergoing the checkerboard process. Eventually, this will end up as Don Gentile's P-51B "Shangri-La".

For this panel all the stenciling is drawn in its proper places. Yellow markings are applied first and when dry, red stars are painted followed by the yellow swasticas. The 'girl' which is the focal point of the panel is done last.

At the shipping stage before the panel is wrapped, the data stenciling and national insignia decal is applied.