Don’t you just hate it when the publisher asks you to write a brief biography? Like photographs, I’d prefer to be on the other side, rather than the subject!
So, where do I start?
Well, way back in 1970 as it happens, at the tender age of 4. We lived in rural Norfolk, in England’s East Anglia region, at the time and the area could best be described back then as a land based aircraft carrier. In every direction from where we lived there was an RAF, or USAFE, base, and fast jet traffic over the house was the norm.
One afternoon my dad took me up to RAF Coltishall, to the north of the City of Norwich, and we stood at one of the crash gates near the end of the runway to see if anything interesting was about. At this time it was home to Lightnings and, after a short wait, we were rewarded with the distant sounds of jet engines spooling up—followed by the loudest noise I’d ever heard and the sight of four English Electric Lightning interceptors barrelling down the runway and going almost straight into the vertical, their natural metal skins sparkling in the summer sun. To say it left an impression would, in this case, be a very major understatement.
Later that summer, whilst staying with grandparents in North Norfolk, I was taken to Starlings toy shop in Sheringham, leaving (after some time to consider my purchase) with an Airfix 1/72 Hawker Hurricane Mk IV and a box of RAF Personnel. That was the start of a hobby I’ve kept at to this day: through school, college, girlfriends, family and work—sometimes productive, often frustrated, but always learning!
A major shift in the hobby, for me, came in 1982 when we moved to Aylesbury, in Buckinghamshire, UK and, for the first time, was able to join a model club. Here I met one other member in particular that was to shape the way my hobby would develop. That person was a chap by the name of Edgar Brooks, a stalwart of the IPMS here in the UK, and a fan of larger scale aviation models. I couldn’t fight it for long and since 1985 have built almost exclusively 1/32 aviation subjects, leading to the founding of the IPMS (UK) 1/32nd Special Interest Group in 1998, before eventually joining staff ranks at the Large Scale Planes website. Once a year I can be found as part of the judging team at the IPMS (UK) Scale ModelWorld, Telford, the world’s largest fine scale modelling show.
I’ve been involved in hobby publishing since doing reviews for Alan Hall at Scale Aircraft Modelling, way back in 1983, which led to producing some of the earliest computer generated aviation profile drawings for that magazine in the mid ‘90s. These days I write the odd build article for a number of UK magazines and, of course, KLP Publishing.
My modelling is based on an interest in engineering and aircraft development, and I’m not afraid to dig out the saws and power tools when it comes to building them. Finding areas to improve, and thinking through how to achieve the desired result, is all part of the fun for me, as well as the hours of research that go into each build.
When not building models I’m working for a living in the IT/Internet world, enjoying life with my family out here in the Cotswold Hills, flying when I can (currently lapsed PPL), tinkering with my two Lotus cars and restoring 1980’s superbikes.
Whatever you build, however you build it, never lose sight of the fact the hobby is supposed to be fun!
Below is a selection of Iain’s models.