Well, I've just been to the cheap shop on Addlestone high street and cleared their shelf of 'Telescopic Pick-Up Tools'. I reckon they are the same as the aerials, but already have a magnet on the end. So at 99p each they might be more expensive but come with a magnet attached! Here is the tool as purchased:
I was a bit concerned at how easy it would be to remove the clip and foam covering, but the clip was easily levered off and onve that was removed, it was obvious that the foam cover was only held in place by the clip and easily slid off. Disassembled pick-up and partially extended tool:
The tool has six sections, each about 92mm long. I think that I'll probably scratch a line about half-way along each section to give me more altitude bands. When I have an aeronef model on the end, One complete section will look too big, if you know what I mean.
So I now have 17 of these and the next step is to make them into suitable stands for my Aeronef games, and probably for all those 1/300 WW2 aircraft I have sitting in a draw somewhere.
As a reminder, this is now my aeronef models are currently based:
At the moment - this may change once I start experimenting - I intend to put some magnetic sheet on the bottom of the model to adhere to the telescopic stand and create something similar to the hex-base above for the bottom of the stand, although I imagine it will need to be bigger. For the above stand, the name plate is glued on, but for the new stands I'll use magnetic sheet on the nameplate and the base so the names can be changed as needed (I'll only have 16 [maybe 17 stands as I might actually keep one of the tools as is in my toolbox] and more aeronefs than that).