John Andrews, Model Kit Designer for The Testor Corporation
Dies After Battle with Cancer
April 7, 1999, Rockford, IL --- John Andrews, designer of some of the most famous model kits in the world, died Friday, April 2, 1999 after a courageous four year battle with cancer. John worked as Special Assignments designer for the Testor Corporation in San Diego, California. since 1977.
Johnís specialty was the design, manufacture and marketing of scale models highly controversial, conceptual models of stealth aircraft. Many of which remain classified to this day. The best known of those was the F-19 Stealth Fighter which was released two years before the Government acknowledged that such an aircraft existed. Johnís F-19 Stealth went on to become the best selling model airplane kit of all time.
Prior to working at Testor, John designed models for the Hawk Model Company. John worked on Hawkís best selling model kits including the infamous, best-selling Weird-Ohs line in the mid 1960ís.
According to good friend, Jim Goodall, "John Andrews was one of the finest men in the Hobby Industry or anywhere else for that matter." Anyone who crossed Johnís path was immediately charmed by his quiet, serious manner.
John was born in 1932 and raised in Chicago. He attended Northwestern University School of Business. His military background was with the US Army from 1953 through 1954. Although his Armed Forces Qualification Test scores had him being sought after by the Army Security Agency (which later became the CIA), and both the Air Force and the Navy; John elected to be drafted into the U.S. Army. Within 20 months, he received the rank of Sergeant E-5. A graduate of Leadership School at Camp Roberts, Calif., he declined to go on to Officer Candidate School (OCS). John chose to pursue his love of modeling.
Johnís work history included the making of master identification models for both the US Air Force and Navy . John also handled classified intelligence data which made the construction of the models possible, and acted as liaison with government services and aircraft manufacturers in the production of commercial plastic scale models.
John was considered by many, one of the best civilian aircraft researchers in history. His research and background history on the CIA U-2, A-12, D-21 reconnaissance drones, USAF SR-71 and F-117 Stealth Fighters spanned over four decades. He was a contributing writer for many trade publications, including the Armed Forces Journal. He had served on the Board of Directors of the Hobby Industry Association of America chairing the Manufacturers Section for four years. He was also a member of the Professional Aviation/Space Writers Association. John spoke frequently before consumer and fraternal groups such as the International Plastic Modelerís Society, on many topics including the aspects of scale modeling and itís contribution to our children, preservation of history and society as a whole.
Some of Johnís closest friends included: Clarence "Kelly" Johnson and Ben Rich of the Lockheed Skunkworks; Dave Menard of the Air Force Museum at Wright Paterson; Air Force Colonel Retired, Fletcher Prouty, writer of JFK; Jim Goodall; John Lear and many others. Johnís many friendships extended thoughout the world.
John is survived by his wife of 41 years, Darleen, San Diego area; their son Greg, the Director of Sales for Screaming Eagle Aviation; and daughter Kimberly, a Senior Sales Director for Mary Kay, Inc., married to retired Navy Lt. Commander Paul Lindsey of Austin, TX and his mother, Estelle, Zawiski-Harms of Niles, IL.
Johnís death is a tremendous loss to The Testor Corporation and to the hobby industry as whole. We will miss him.
THE TESTOR CORPORATION
1/32 Scale Guide $18.00
1/48 Scale Guide $25.00
1/72 Scale Guide $25.00
HH-43 Huskie Color
Reference Guide $15.00
Please add $3.20 Postage in the US.
PO Box 90933