The story of Guillow’s begins with Paul K. Guillow, a young man with a passion for aviation. Growing up in Wakefield, Massachusetts, Guillow was fascinated by the emerging field of aviation and spent much of his time building and flying model airplanes. In 1926, at the age of 20, Guillow turned his hobby into a business and founded the Guillow Model Airplane Company.

Sometimes, even an Historic Ship Modeler needs to take a break and build something different, which is why we carry a range of balsa airplane kits from Paul K. Guillow, Inc., an American manufacturer that has been making these kits since 1926.

From the Guillow’s Fokker triplane to the Sopwith Camel of WWI to the P-51 Mustang and P-38 Lightning of WWII to the modern day F-15 Eagle fighter jet, you will find that our balsa airplane models appeal to both the young and the “young at heart”.
Who doesn’t remember those shiny red propellers on a favorite toy airplane!

Note that many Guillows kits are designed for flight, but many are for display only.
Be sure to check the kit descriptions to make sure you get what you’re expecting.

During the war, Guillow’s shifted its focus to producing scale model kits of military aircraft for the US military. These models were used for training purposes and helped to familiarize pilots with the different types of aircraft they would encounter in combat. This partnership with the military not only brought in significant revenue for the company but also solidified Guillow’s reputation as a top-quality model manufacturer.

In the post-war years, Guillow’s continued to expand its product line, introducing new and innovative designs such as rubber band-powered models and flying gliders. The company also began to produce larger, more detailed scale models of popular commercial and military aircraft, catering to the growing interest in aviation among the general public

In the 1960s, Guillow underwent a change in leadership as Paul Guillow retired and passed the company down to his son, Paul K. Guillow Jr. Under his leadership, the company continued to thrive and expand, introducing new technologies and materials to improve the quality and realism of their models.

In the 1980s, Guillow made a significant move by acquiring the rights to produce model kits of famous World War II aircraft from the Smithsonian Institution. This partnership allowed the company to produce highly accurate and detailed models of iconic planes such as the P-51 Mustang and the B-17 Flying Fortress.