1961 “Historic Collectors' Cards — The Air Power Series” (UM26-5)
Revell Inc., United States

  • Series Title: Historic Collectors' Cards — The Air Power Series
  • American Card Catalog No.: UM26-5
  • Issued by: Revell Inc.
  • Packaged with: Revell Model Airplane Kits
  • Country: United States
  • Number of Cards: 12
  • Card Dimensions: 3.95 × 2.50 inches (nominal-measured)
  • Circa: 1961
  • Checklist: Download Checklist

Overview [1,2,3,4]

Revell is the brand name today of two famous manufacturers of scale plastic models. The original American company eventually merged with Monogram, but now trades only under the Revell name. In 2007, American Revell was purchased by Hobbico. European Revell Germany separated from the American company in 2006 until Hobbico purchased it, thus bringing the two Back together again under the same company umbrella.

When collecting these series of U.S. Navy aircraft and warship cards, it is best to first understand the origin of the cards' artwork. During the 1950s, the plastic model kit builder Revell, Inc., Venice, California, issued numerous aircraft and warship plastic model kits. Since the steel die-molds for the manufacture of the plastic kits were still good, several of these kits were later repackaged with new artwork on the box top covers and the supporting kit decals, instructions, etc. updated.

During the early 1960s, Revell issued three series of U.S. Military Aircraft and Warship model kits that contained “Historic Collectors' Cards” The first of these series was in 1960 and was titled “Historic Collectors' Cards — 50th Anniversary of Naval Flight” (UM26-6). This series was based on Revell's 1960 “Famous Artist Series” of plastic molded model U.S. Navy aircraft and warship kits and focused on U.S. Naval air power. Included with each plastic model kit, was a 2-fold panel insert, which included two side-by-side collector cards. There were a total of 24 cards in this series plus one error card (#19 U.S.S. Saratoga). The series included fourteen U.S. Navy aircraft cards, and ten U.S. Navy warships cards. However, Revell ran into a problem with this initial series since the model kit boxes included the individual artist's signatures. Production of the “Famous Artist Series” lasted only one year because the Artist Guild sued Revell which resulted in the termination of the series.

Revell quickly turned lemons into lemonade by quickly changing the series name to “Famous Aircraft Series” and reissued the “new” set in 1961. The same box top artwork used in the 1960 set was used, however the artist's names were removed. Like the initial series, the new series included 24 collector cards. The new series of cards were titled the “Historic Collectors' Cards — Development of Naval Flight” (UM26-4). The #19 U.S.S. Saratoga error card was corrected and the set contained the same 24 cards and checklist that comprised the initial (UM26-6) set. The Backs of the cards were also the same except for the series title which was changed from “50th Anniversary of Naval Flight” to “Development of Naval Flight”. As with the initial (UM26-6) series, each plastic model kit included a 2-fold panel insert, which included two side-by-side collector cards. However, the format of the 2-fold panel inserts were changed which resulted in a slight change in the aspect ratio of the individual collector cards. The change in the card's aspect ratio resulted in a slight change in the card's dimensions, and minor cropping of the descriptive text area.

As mentioned earlier, the were three series of “Historic Collectors' Cards”. The third set was also issued in 1961 and was titled “Historic Collectors' Cards — The Air Power Series” (UM26-5) and featured twelve USAF aircraft cards. Again, the cards were issued as 2-fold 2-card panels included in Revell's “Air Power Series” of USAF model aircraft kits.

1961 “Historic Collectors' Cards — The Air Power Series” (UM26-5) Overview [5]

As noted above, Revell's “The Air Power Series” 12-card set is one of three series of airplane cards issued by Revell Inc. during the early 1960s. “The Air Power Series” card fronts feature high-quality detailed color artwork of USAAF and USAF aircraft. The aircraft cover the time span from World War II through the mid-1960s. The fronts of the cards have no descriptive text or numbering. The cards for the series are printed on heavy paper versus card stock. The American Card Catalog reference number is UM26-5.

The Backs of the cards are visually striking with a bright red border, and are divided into the following four vertical zones:

  1. A yellow panel containing the card number and the series identifier: i.e. “No. 1 of a Limited Edition of 12 Historic Collectors Cards THE AIR POWER SERIES”.
  2. Card title and affiliation: i.e. “NORTHROP F-89D SCORPION REVELL, INC. AND SCIENCE PROGRAM”
  3. Descriptive text: i.e. “Northrop Aircraft's Scorpion is the result …”
  4. A yellow panel with the copyright tag lines: “Reproduced in cooperation with Science Program, Garden City, L.I., from art created for the Revell authentic scale model of the Northrop F-89D SCORPION. Art copyright Revell, Inc., Venice, Calif.”

1961 Revell, Inc. “Historic Collectors' Cards — The Air Power Series” (UM26-5) Image-Guide [5]

The following 1961 “Historic Collectors' Cards — The Air Power Series” (UM26-5) 12-card set by Revell, Inc., USA, Image-Guide shows computer enhanced images of the fronts and Backs of all of the individual 12 cards plus the six 2-fold/2-card panels. Behind each thumbnail image is a 600-dpi computer enhanced image that you may access. In addition, directly beneath the Image Guide, in tabular form, are links to the original scans used for the images. At the bottom of this page, we've shown images of the original Revell plastic airplane box-top artwork that was used in this series.

Individual Cards (12)

2-Fold/2-Card Panels (6)

“Historic Collectors' Cards — The Airpower Series” (UM26-5)
12-Cards, Revell, Inc., Venice, California
Individual Cards (12)
2-Fold 2-Card Panels (6)
1 & 2
3 & 4
5 & 6
7 & 8
9 & 10
11 & 12

1961 Revell's “Historic Collectors' Cards — The Air Power Series” (UM26-5) Checklist [5]

We have provided two versions of the 1961 “Historic Collectors' Cards — The Air Power Series” (UM26-5) 12-card set issued by Revell, Inc., USA. An 8½ × 11 inch PDF version, and the web version shown below. Click on the PDF graphic below to access the PDF version.

1961 “Historic Collector's Cards — The Air Power Series” (UM26-5)
Revell, Inc., 12-Cards, United States
xCard Title
Individual Cards (12)
1Northrop F-89D Scorpion
2Boeing B-52 Bomber with the North American X-15
3Convair F-106A, Delta Dart
4Boeing B-29 Bomber
5Lockheed Hercules C-130A Combat Transport
6North American B-25 Mitchell Bomber
7Lockheed F-104A Starfighter
8Convair B-58 Hustler
9Convair B-36 Bomber
10Republic F-105D Thunderchief
11Boeing B-47 Bomber
12Boeing KC-135 Stratotanker
2-Fold 2-Card Panels (6)
1-2Northrop F-89D Scorpion / Boeing B-52 Bomber with the North American X-15
3-4Convair F-106A, Delta Dart / Boeing B-29 Bomber
5-6Lockheed Hercules C-130A Combat Transport / North American B-25 Mitchell Bomber
7-8Lockheed F-104A Starfighter / Convair B-58 Hustler
9-10Convair B-36 Bomber / Republic F-105B Thunderchief
11-12Boeing B-47 Bomber / Boeing KC-135 Stratotanker

The Card That Didn't Make the Cut [7]

During the 1961 timeframe, Revell issued two Northrop F-89D Scorpion model airplane kits. The two model airplane kit boxes are shown below. Before proceeding any further, we should keep in mind that the Northrop F-89D Scorpion was basically a “DEW Line” (Distant Early Warning) jet interceptor aircraft deployed in the Arctic regions. The box art used for the UM26-4/6 card #1 shows a Northrop F-89D at night diving towards the Hudson River with the New York City skyline as a Backdrop. This card should actually be named, “Miracle on the Hudson” because it would've been a miracle if the aircraft was able to pull up in time and not crash into the Hudson River. The “box art collector community” seems to feel that the Northrop F-89D Scorpion shown below in Arctic conditions would have been the better choice for the UM26-4/6 card #1 artwork. However, the Northrop F-89D Scorpion Arctic image also has flaws. The most glaring flaw would be the depiction of the Northrop F-89D Scorpion either landing or taking off with the canopy open. However, the artwork on the F-89D Arctic card is much more pleasing to the eye, and a such would've been a better choice for card #1. If the Arctic Northrop F-89D Scorpion box top artwork would have been used, the card #1 would have looked like the simulated #1 card shown below. We thank Jean Aker from The Boxart Den for sharing the following Revell box images with us.

Original 1961 “Famous Aircraft Series ” Box Top Artwork [7]

The box top artwork from the following Revell model airplane and warship plastic model kits was used as a basis for the artwork contained on the (UM26-5) “Historic Collectors' Series — Air Power Series” (UM26-5) 12-cards series. We would like to thanks Jean Aker from The Boxart Den for supplying us with restored images of the Revell “Air Power Series” box art that was used for this series.

“Master Modelers Stamps” [8]

In addition to twelve 1961 “Historic Collectors' Series — Air Power Series” cards, Revell also included a smaller “Master Modelers Stamp” along with the airplane non-sports trade card. These “Master Modelers Stamps” are also high collectable. Once again, we would like to thanks Jean Aker from The Boxart Den for supplying us with the following “Master Modeler Stamp” images.


John Shupek — John is retired Aeronautical/Aerospace Engineer that lives in Southern California. John's 36 year aerospace career/adventure started in the mid-1960s when he worked for Pratt & Whitney at their “FRDC” … Florida Research and Development Center, West Palm Beach, Florida. John was part of the P&W jet engine design team for the CIA/USAF's Lockheed A-12/SR-71A “Oxcart/Blackbird” engines (J58/JT11D-20). He also worked on the RL-10 rocket engine and the JTF-17A which was P&W's entry into the United States' SST competition between Boeing and Lockheed. Several years later, John moved Back to California and worked at the AiResearch Mfg. Company at LAX and Torrance. He originally worked on the thermal design of the HRE (Hypersonic Ramjet Engine) which was a supersonic combustion Mach 7 ramjet engine that was to be tested on the North American X-15. John did about three more years of jet engine design work before he disappeared for 13 years into the classified DOE “GCEP” (Gas Centrifuge Enrichment Plant) Atomic Energy program for the enrichment of U235. After the GCEP program was cancelled by the DOE in 1985, John was hired by Northrop Aircraft to do the thermal design for Northrop's entry into the ATF (Advanced Tactical Fighter) competition, the Northrop YF-23A “Black Widow II” stealth supercruise fighter. He also worked on the Northrop Grumman B-2A “Spirit” stealth bomber. After several years on a classified stealth missile program, John worked the remainder of his Aerospace career as one of Northrop Grumman's Program Directors on the United States Navy's F/A-18E/F “Super Hornet” jet fighter program.

During John's career at Northrop Grumman he served for five years as Northrop's “Vintage Aircraft Club” Commissioner and the Curator and Webmaster for the Western Museum of Flight in Hawthorne, California. Several years later, John was the volunteer webmaster (for about 3 years) for the Yanks Air Museum, Chino, California. He also served as President and webmaster for two different NPO's after his retirement. The Whittier Historical Society & Museum and Whittier Meals on Wheels.

John's love of aviation history and aviation photography lead to the establishment of this website in 1998. The site has continued to expand and will always grow and will never be completed. It's sort of analogous to a snowball rolling down a hill without any trees to stop it. In approximately 2002, John remembered that he had collected Topps “Wings” (ACC# R707-4) airplane trading cards while in High School. Somehow the cards had disappeared over the years. So at this point, he started to re-collect airplane trading cards via eBay and become an airplane card “Image Collector” rather than a “Card Collector” per se. After John scans an airplane card for the website, he has no further use for it and he puts it Back into circulation via eBay. John's mission statement for the is basically to restore and preserve high-quality card images/artwork associated with the various airplane card sets from the early 1900s to the present. These cards are wonderful historical “snapshots” into aviation history showing which aviation events and aircraft were important at that point in time. For the website, basically if it is a trading card collection that features things that fly, but doesn't have feathers, it eligible for the consideration on the website. John always welcome inputs and high resolution scans (600-dpi) that can be used on this website. John can be reached via the “Contact Us” navigation button on the left.

★ ★ ★ ★ ★

Jean F. Aker — Jean was a Cyber Security Officer and retired after 32 years in Federal and military Service. After high school he enlisted in the U.S. Army and trained as an Air Traffic Controller at Keesler AFB, MS. After graduation and ATC certification from the FAA, he received specialized training at Ft Rucker, AL. He completed a tour of duty in Viet Nam in 1968 and went into the Army Reserves until 1973. While attending college he was selected for a position as a Physical Sciences Technician with the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), Center for Experiment Design and Analysis (CEDDA) in Washington, DC. He worked on several environmental and earth sciences experiments. One of which discovered the primary source for hurricanes. In 1975, he took a position with NOAA's National Ocean Survey and spent several years converting the original hand drawn nautical maps into digital format and helping to develop the computer system to process them. In 1976, he joined the D.C. Air National Guard and renewed his FAA ATC certification. In 1981, he took a position as a Meteorology Technician at the U.S. Weather Service station in Cape Hatteras, NC and left the DCANG. After several years in Hatteras he was offered a position working for a private company that was trying to improve the computer systems employed by the Weather Service. During this period the company was approached by John McAfee for help in developing the documentation for his first anti-virus software. Jean was the lead writer for this effort and worked directly with McAfee.

After a couple of years he then joined the company that invented satellite distribution of weather data, Satellite Information and Services Corp. (SISCORP). During this time he collected and wrote the first comprehensive catalog of all weather data available, worldwide. This caught the attention of designer/pilot Dick Rutan, and SISCORP was asked to provide real-time weather data for his flight around the world with Jeanne Yeager in the Voyager aircraft in 1986. Shortly afterwards SISCORP was absorbed by Contel ASC. Jean was offered a position with the Department of Veterans Affairs in their IT department. He remained there for 22 years. During his tenure at VA he finished his BS degree at the University of Maryland University College, and in 2000, he was sworn in as a Cyber Security Officer after completing a rigorous training program.

Jean is a life-long modeler and has spent many years working in the retail hobby business. He was one of the early members of the International Plastic Modelers Society (IPMS).

Jean is currently one of the website managers for The Boxart Den website. This group prides itself in having the largest collection of restored model kit boxart ever assembled. A self trained computer graphics artist, he does restorations and enjoys producing model related images of what the manufacturers missed!

In retirement, Jean is very active with several computer projects and the Izaak Walton League of America. He enjoys building computers, riding motorcycles and training new shooters in firearms safety and use.


  1. Revell, Inc. website
  2. Bussie, Alan. “A Brief History of Revell Model Kits.”
  3. 4 September 2007, Web. 17 July 2014.
  4. Wikipedia. Revell
  5. Watson, James C., M.D. “Historic Collectors' Cards — The Air Power Series.” Non-Sports Bible (NSB). Vol. I. Chelsea, MI: Sheridan, 2007. 390. Print.
  6. Shupek, John A. “Historic Collectors' Cards — The Airpower Series (UM26-5) (Revell, Inc.).” The Skytamer Archive (600-dpi Image Scans). Skytamer Images, Whittier, CA, 2014. Digital Image Database.
  7. Aker, Jean “Re: Revell Box Art.” Messages to Skytamer Images. 19 January 2015 to 6 August 2015. Multiple E-mails.
  8. Aker, Jean “Re: Revell Box Art for Skytamer.” Message to Skytamer Images. 23 July 2015. E-mails.

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