The Rivet King: Dave Ribbe’s MiG-15

Sep 03, 2013 12 Comments by

Congratulations to David Ribbe for placing 6th in the 20kg category while flying for the U.S. team at the Jet World Masters in Meiringen, Switzerland! His gorgeously detailed,  88.9-inch-span MiG-15bis is outfitted with a sliding canopy, speed brakes, flaps, sequenced retracts and doors, and it’s even more astounding when you learn that David designed this jet from the ground up, creating his own molds in his home shop.  (Of course, that’s a bit more understandable when you remember that in his work life, David is a designer for Horizon Hobby!) In the opener photo, you’ll notice David (left) and the model handlers wearing white gloves to avoid leaving fingerprints on the turbine jet’s Alclad II mirror-like polished aluminum finish over “very meticulously prepared” K36 auto primer. The rivets over the metal are custom rub transfers, spun into the finish (under the paint) with a Dremel tool … One. At. A. Time. (Hence our new moniker for Mr. Ribbe: the Rivet King!) David notes that the full-size aircraft he built his model after was an airshow jet that’s currently on display in the EAA Oshkosh museum.  Enjoy the photos (courtesy of David) and the video, thanks to Marcus Nussbaumer for taking it and posting it on YouTube. Stay tuned for a feature article on the “Rivet King” and his Russian bombshell in a future Model Airplane News!

The Rivet King: Dave Ribbe's MiG-15

The Rivet King: Dave Ribbe's MiG-15

The Rivet King: Dave Ribbe's MiG-15

The Rivet King: Dave Ribbe's MiG-15

The Rivet King: Dave Ribbe's MiG-15

The Rivet King: Dave Ribbe's MiG-15

Debra Cleghorn, Featured News, Horizon Hobby

About the author

Model Airplane News Executive editor. About me: I’m a publishing professional who has a passion for aviation and RC, and I love creating issues, books and a website that help RC pilots to enjoy this sport even more. I admire scale aircraft and enjoy the convenience of flying smaller electrics.

12 Responses to “The Rivet King: Dave Ribbe’s MiG-15”

  1. Yaela V says:

    this is an incredible model – if you could still call it that way! i was wondering whether builders of these sorts of “monster” models agree with my observation of model making in th 21st century?! …fiberglass-is-the-new-balsawood!

  2. Don Cloyd says:

    Fantastic modeling seems to be an understatement. Really enjoyed viewing.

  3. allen weast says:

    thats what happens when you got money

    • Bob says:

      He didn’t buy it, he designed and built it. Nothing wrong with that. Oh, and the money part, if that in fact is true, is all good.

  4. Cliff Filleau says:

    Very well done, new standers are being set each year, “We” need to have more how to instruction published so all may benefit from those that develop new skills and procedures….

  5. John E. Gompf says:

    I thoroughly enjoy these type of articles! Regardless of a person’s means, you can make and share your achievements with the “community”, this is needed encouragement to continue on my 1/5 scale Meister Corsair! Thank you

  6. Baron says:

    A really outstanding plane in looks as well as flight. It could easily be used in Hollywood films and it would appear to be the real thing. This beautiful Mig finished 6th then how awesome must the top five jets have been.


    very nice work and flies calmly.keep it up!!

  8. David Gregory says:

    This is another example of beautiful workmanship and engineering that we are seeing today. Anyone spending a few minutes surfing YouTube can find many examples of planes that we only dreamed about 50 years ago. The small jet engines of today are a miracle of tooling in themselves. Yes they all cost money but what doesn’t now days. These planes are a big asset to our hobby and industry.

  9. Tim says:

    Beyond fantastic!

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