Frank Cuden

Frank Cudin The Main himself
1) How long have you been modeling? How long have you been a TCAH member?

I've been modeling without a break since 1949! Even managed to model a bit during my college years.

I've been a member of TCAH since 1971. I joined shortly after moving to Excelsior, MN. I had read Bob Nelson's and Jack Mugan's columns in "1001 Model Airplane Ideas" when I lived in Illinois and through Barry Rosch, I joined. I brought the Airfix 1/72nd Dornier 217 and the Lindberg 1/48th Stearman to the first meeting I attended at the Anoka County Library. Still have both of them!

2) What was the first model that you built? What do you remember most about it?

My first model was the Strombecker wooden kit of the Piper Cub. My Dad got me interested as he built solid wooden models during the late 30's and 40's.

What I remember most about that model was painting it yellow with a Q-Tip dipped in paint!

3) What was the last model that you built? What do you remember most about it?

The last model I've build is the Czech Model 1/48th scale kit of the T-34C Turbo Mentor.

During that project, one of the worst things that can happen to a modeler did indeed happen. When I pulled up the tape, some of the paint came with it, but of course, it was at the confluence of three colors which meant sanding everything and re-spraying three colors in a very small area!

4) Do you have a theme (or themes) to your modeling collection?

No, I don't have much of any theme to the collection. I have done 6 1/72nd F-4 Phantoms, 10 various scales of A-4 Skyhawks and 5 1/72nd A-7 Corsairs but thats as close to a theme that I've gotten.

5) What's your favorite aircraft and why?

I have a problem identifying one favorite aircraft as so many hold my interest. The P-51 Mustang ranks right up there with the A-20, BT-13, F-4 Phantom, Stinson Reliant and a few others. Variety is the spice of life!

6) What has been your favorite kit or model that you've built? Why?

My favorite kit or model is the one I've just completed, although some sense of "favorite" still exists for my Cavalier Turbo Mustang, having waited for a kit of that aircraft since 1971 when Air Classics had one on their cover. The upcoming challenge of a new "favorite" build project just keeps me coming back for more.

7) How many kits have you built?

Thinking back over the years, I've built somewhere in the neighborhood of 400 kits, with maybe 160 remaining in my three showcases.

8) Is there anything else you'd like us to know?

Having been President of TCAH in 1989 is one of the highlights of my membership. That year, I was fortunate to be a part of an excellent group of officers, namely, Ed Kueppers, VP, Len Peterson, Sec., and Ken Jensen, Treasurer. Another excellent "team" member is my wife, Marilyn. She encourages me, checks on progress by coming into the shop from time to time, asks questions about modeling, and oftentimes, gives me solicited opinions on just how to do something I'm trying to do in modeling. The best one was when she helped me figure out how to make four equi-distant red stripes on my 1/72nd AT-9 Jeep engine cowlings. Of course my three grown children, Brook, Joey and Frank also hold my interest.

9) What other hobbies do you have?

My other hobbies include playing guitar, piano and accordion, regular correspondence and phone calls to and from modelers throughout the world and I guess, visiting various modeling sites on the net.

10) How many kits do you have on your shelf of doom?

I have probably 100 kits on my "shelf of doom."