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William LavenWar Models is a series of photographs of unassembled model airplane kits of aircraft flown in the Iraq War (2003-2011).
Forty aircraft types have been flown in Operation Iraqi Freedom. This includes 30 types of airplanes -- fighters, troop transporters, aerial tankers, and reconnaissance planes -- eight types of helicopters and two kinds of unmanned aerial vehicles (UAV), one armed with missiles, the other with cameras.
Of the forty aircraft flown, model kits are made of twenty-one. The prints are scaled in proportion to the actual aircraft; each image is 1/50 the size of the actual aircraft. The AV-8 Harrier, for example, is small enough that two could squeeze into the typical San Francisco house lot, while two B-52 Stratofortress bombers would overcrowd a football field. The AV-8 weighs 14,000 pounds; the B-52 carries five times that weight in bombs alone. These images of children’s toys touch on the American fascination with symbols of power and acknowledge the complex relationship to the destructive power of the actual aircraft.
© William Laven (November 2006)