1961 The Air Power Series (UM26-5)
Revell, Inc., Venice, California, USA

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


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., and 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 14 U.S. Navy aircraft cards, and 10 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.


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, CA.”


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, CA
Individual Cards (12)
2-Fold 2-Card Panels (6)
1 & 2
3 & 4
5 & 6
7 & 8
9 & 10
11 & 12


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

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 Box Top Artwork

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 [6,7] 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

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 [6,7] from The Boxart Den for supplying us with the following “Master Modeler Stamp” images.


  1. Revell, Inc.: Revell.com
  2. Bussie, Alan: OldModelKits.com email: 4 September 2007, Web. 17 July 2014.
  3. Wikipedia: Revell
  4. Watson, James C.: Historic Collectors’ Cards, The Air Power Series, Non-Sports Bible (NSB), Vol. I. Chelsea, MI: Sheridan, 2007. 390. Print.
  5. John A. Shupek: Card images via the Skytamer Archive Digital Image Database.
  6. Aker, Jean “Re: Revell Box Art.” Messages to Skytamer Images. 19 January 2015 to 6 August 2015. Multiple E-mails.
  7. Aker, Jean “Re: Revell Box Art for Skytamer.” Message to Skytamer Images. 23 July 2015. E-mails.

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