Donate Model

The USS LEXINGTON Museum On The Bay is still accepting fine quality model(s) to become a permanent part of this historic collection!

Located on the Lower Deck, Take tour 4 to find the Scale Model Gallery.

Q&A’s for Prospective Donors

Is the exhibit just going to be WWII USN models?

Certainly not. Our display is composed of aircraft and warships from 1940 to the present, all nations, all service branches. Our goal is 500 quality models.

What scales are acceptable?

Single-engine aircraft 1:48 or 1:32 scale. Twin-engine aircraft: 1:48 scale. 4+ engine aircraft 1:72 scale (with some exceptions). Example: B-36, B-1, B-2, etc. must be 1:144 scale. Warships: 1:700, 1:350 or larger scales.

How good does my model have to be to get in the exhibit?

It doesn’t have to be a contest winner or “Smithsonian” quality. Any IPMS Nationals place or win is a sure thing, of course. If your model has placed at an area or regional contest its almost certainly “good to go”, but that’s not a hard and fast rule either. As you know, a lot of really great models just miss placing at contests by a hair and some win because there were only one or two entries. If you’re ready to jump on board, contact the Project Coordinator. Please be prepared to e-mail a few detailed digital photos of your model(s). That’s all it takes to get the process started.

Who decides what models are accepted for the project?

The Project Coordinator usually makes the call. In addition, Lex-designated IPMS chapter representatives in your area may be asked to appraise prospective donations. These designees are expert modelers whose knowledge and opinion is well-respected by the Museum.

Can't I just lend my model to the museum?

Should you choose to donate your valuable work to this historic project it will become part of the Museum’s permanent managed inventory and collection. The Museum cannot afford to insure, or be liable for, loaned property.

Can the Museum pay me for my model?

Regrettably, No. First, establishing a market value is, well, almost impossible. Further, the Museum must rely heavily on donations and gifts to furnish an exhibit of this scope.

How long will my model stay with the Museum?

As long as the Museum is in existence. However, it is possible certain models may, on occasion, be loaned on a temporary basis to other established museums for special display purposes.

Does my model(s) have to have a display base?

No, but a well done base is always welcomed if you wish to contribute one.

Does the Museum only accept one example of a particular aircraft or ship?

No. Aircraft may have numerous variants and some ships may have been extensively re-fitted at certain times in their operational lives. The Museum will accept a single example of differing variants of a certain aircraft or of a ship that has been significantly altered in appearance during its service history.

If accepted, how do I get my model to the museum?

Here’s where we have to get creative. Please contact the Project Coordinator to discuss transportation arrangements.

How should I prepare a diorama?

They should be boxed for storage like any fragile item. Unless permanently attached, individual pieces should be packed separately and identified. The builder is always the best judge as to packing. A finished photo or setup diagram and a description of the subject scene should be included with your diorama.

What about including a figure(s) like a pilot or ground crewman with my model?

Well-finished figures are a definite plus and help give visitors a better idea as to the actual size of an aircraft or ship. Please include them.

Can I include ground accessories?

Ground accessories are desirable, but might not be utilized unless a base is included with your model. Aircraft boarding ladders will be used in any case.

How about collections of single model of a/c or warships? Example: Vought Corsairs: multiple variants.

Please contact the Project Coordinator to discuss your collection. 1:72 scale aircraft collections cannot be considered.

Who will make any needed repairs and maintain the collection?

The collection will be maintained by experienced model builders.

Do I receive any visible recognition?

Yes! Your name, as donor or builder, and your hometown will be printed on the display card that will accompany your model(s) and you’ll receive a certificate that you can frame for your hobby room wall. Individuals who donate 10 or more acceptable models will receive an engraved wall plaque recognizing them as “Distinguished Donors” and have their names included on the dedication plaque that will be displayed in the completed exhibit.

Can contest awards be displayed with my model(s)?

Regrettably, lack of available space will preclude displaying contest awards with your model(s).

What about the exhibit area? Is it hot and damp?

The exhibit is housed in an air conditioned area of the Museum.

Can I contribute wooden or cast resin desktop display models?

This exhibit will be limited to high quality, detailed plastic or multi-media scale models. Desktop wooden or cast resin models will not be considered for the exhibit.

Note: The Museum does not presently accept any military subjects other than qualifying aircraft and warships.

How do I know if the Museum already has examples of the subject I want to donate?

Please check our current inventory and Model Wanted list on the website or contact the Project Coordinator for the very latest inventory information.

I'm a skilled modeler. Can I build a model the Museum needs for its collection?

Absolutely! The Museum recognizes that there will always be gaps in any collection and skilled volunteer builders are needed to fill those gaps. If available, the Museum will gladly supply a qualified builder with a kit and the construction materials allowance, but regrettably cannot afford to pay a builder’s commission. When the finished model is displayed it will carry the builder’s name and hometown on its information card. A screening process is required of all prospective volunteer builders, though. This generally involves positive personal references by trusted builders or an IPMS chapter, or inspection of detailed photographs of the builder’s work.

Is my donation tax deductable?

Yes, however the receipt you’ll receive from the Museum doesn’t place a value on your donation, that’s up to you when you file your tax return.

When does the collection phase of the exhibit end?

In truth, never. The Museum will continue to welcome new subjects as long as there is a need for a particular model.

I'm not a modeler, but can I help establish the exhibit with a cash donation?

Certainly. Cash donations dedicated specifically for use in development of the Scale Model Exhibit are tax deductible. Individual contributions of $ 750 or more will earn the donor recognition as a “Distinguished Donor” (engraved wall plaque). Their name will also be included on the Exhibit’s dedication plaque.

Models Info

Download Scale Model InventoryDownload Wanted Model List


For more information or to donate contact:

Randy Barnes

(IPMS 34398),
Project Coordinator
Email Randy
P.O. Box 2416, Rockport, Texas 78381
Cell: (361) 463-1117
Work: (361) 729-2672

M. Charles “Rusty” Reustle

Director of Operations/Exhibits
USS Lexington Museum on the Bay
Email Rusty
P.O. Box 23076, Corpus Christi, Texas 78403-3076
(361) 888-4873 ext. 308



International Plastic Modelers Society


San Antonio, Texas

IPMS – Austin Scale Modeler’s Society

Austin, Texas

IPMS – Central Arkansas Scale Modelers

Little Rock, Arkansas


Houston, Texas

IPMS – North Central Texas

Dallas, Texas


Hammond, Louisiana


Rio Rancho, New Mexico


(10 or more models contributed)

Don E. Alberts – Rio Rancho, New Mexico
Achilles Avendano – McAllen, Texas
Randy Barnes – Rockport, Texas
Richard B. Kern – Houston, Texas
Rick Cotton – Houston, Texas
Gary Emery – San Antonio, Texas
Boyd F. Waechter – Katy, Texas
Lloyd King – Little Rock, Arkansas
Travis Offenberger – Hilliard, Ohio
Phil “Bondo” Brandt (1938-2012) – Austin, Texas
Andrew “Lynn” Jones Family – Mt. Olive, Alabama


Ready to come aboard? The USS Lexington is open year-round, seven days a week for touring and special events.


We have several options for self or group tours. Whichever you choose, touring this 16-deck, 33,000-ton aircraft carrier is something you have to see.

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