In order to produce quick WWII planes and to reduce its stash I don't place any figures on them for a long time. Like this it's much quicker to have new aircraft as you only need to paint the exterior parts.
Somehow I started to do exactly the opposite for modern aircraft. The problem here is that many of the brands don't carry the pilots and this is specially true with the Die-cast models. Besides the surplus pilots you may have don't sit well in the cockpit forcing you to brake, heat or destroy them while trying.
So I made up this way in order to have the missing pilots:
1- Model the full body in cheap and fast drying two-part paste (the one you buy at supermarkets) as it dries quickly and allows you into next step;
2- Model the helmet in GreenStuff;
3- (This is really worthy of Hannibal Lecter's talent) carve off the face of a soft plastic figure and place it deep on the front of the helmet;
4- Model the helmet again, glasses or other details you may want to add and they are ready for painting.
As a proof of the crime I exhibit evidence number one on the top right side.
As confidence grew I made others without plastic faces. Soon I regreted it as the first ones with plastic faces are much better. Some of them are even better for Planet Of The Monkeys, as faces are really tricky to do correctly. Only the pilots of the F-16 got well as they have their faces completely covered.
Having found a reasonable way to make pilots I built a few more Altaya Helicopters. This Mil Mi-24 was repainted with Georgian colours with hand painted symbols and numbers.
Two more Hinds with added missile pylons.
And a Mil Mi-8 with no additions but the crew.
Next: Arab houses, Iraqi helicopters or Russian T-72's. At least its what I have closer to completion.