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“Eagle Eye” Mike Lampros

Yesterday (March 24th, 2010), my good friend Mike Lampros passed away quickly and unexpectedly at age 50 at his home in Northern Virginia, USA.  There’s a pretty good chance you’ve never met him or even heard his name, but I sincerely wish you’d had the opportunity to know him.  

Mike was an extremely nice guy, an avid modeler, superb historical researcher, and friend who would give you the shirt off his back if you needed it.  He also had a clever and well-developed sense of humor that often left everybody in the room collapsed on the floor from laughter.

At a glance you’d see a very humble guy, but his friends well know that camouflaged a truly first-rate mind.  Mike was utterly brilliant at those things that interested him.

He was blessed with an eidetic memory and owned a huge collection of aircraft research books, magazines, and videos.  He was known locally as the “go-to” guy for modelers who needed help with research on an obscure or not-so-obscure modeling topic.  Heck, he usually dropped everything when a friend in need called.

And not only on modeling subjects.  Mike was selfless with his time when a friend was having medical or other troubles in his life, too.  Many is the time he’d ferry a friend who couldn’t drive, or visit a friend too sick to get out of bed.

But modeling was Mike’s life-long love.  He could (and did) talk for hours about military aviation history, and he knew what he was talking about!   Many, many times he and I would sit in my office discussing (and sometimes arguing) about the shape of a “2” in an aircraft serial number, or the shape of an “m” in the nose art name, or the correct spacing between two characters in some name painted on a plane that was the subject of a PYN-up Decals or Cutting Edge decal set.  I called him “Eagle Eye,” and you’ll see his byline on many of our decal sets.

He was especially interested in WW I aircraft, and avidly studied the latest research on German and Allied aces and aircraft.  It was largely his motivation and research that led to the exhaustive von Richthofen Fokker Dr.I set we created a few years ago.  The WW I aero and modeling press was extremely impressed with the results of Mike’s work on that one.

Mike was a long-time member of the Northern Virginia Modelers (aka IPMS/Northern Virginia) and fixture at the various model shows and conventions in the area.

Mike, you were a good man and a good friend.  I know you’re in a better place now, but all your friends wish you could have stayed with us longer. 

Rest in peace, my friend.

Dave Klaus