Like most young lads of my generation (I was born in 1948), I was an avid Airfix model aircraft builder. The fact that my father was an RAF pilot during WW2 and had himself been an aircraft modeller (balsa and tissue in his days!) made our shared modelling sessions an even sweeter experience.
But again, like many, girls, the Swinging Sixties, family and work got in the way for some decades. It wasn’t until 2005 that circumstances led me back into the model-making world. Dad had trained as a pilot in 1943 with Max Venton; Max sadly was killed in his Lancaster in 1945 but come the advent of the Internet I was able to find where he was buried in Germany. Following an emotional visit to his grave at the Reichswald War Cemetery I decided I wanted to model his Lancaster.
So a Hasegawa 1/72nd kit was purchased, research was started and Avro Lancaster PO-L (ME453) of 467 Squadron RAAF was built! My modelling nascence had commenced. I had a lot to learn because things had changed remarkably over the years with the introduction of unfamiliar materials such as photo-etch and resin that had to be stuck with different and new types of glue! And as for airbrushes, what a steep learning curve that was!
My inherent desire to detail, to make things as realistic as possible soon led me to 1/48th and ultimately to 1/32nd scale, now my (almost) exclusive scale. My focus is very much on the period of 1930 to 1960 or thereabouts and to aircraft of the Royal Air Force. A new build is always an exciting delight in which research gives me as much pleasure as the build itself, and I find it almost impossible to build OOB. I have built resin models (love Silver Wings biplanes of the Golden Era) and vacuform as well as standard polystyrene; to me the subject is more important than the media. The emergence of 3D printing is opening up a new and exciting chapter in our wonderful, satisfying hobby, I hope to keep modelling as long as my faculties allow.
I love flying, I have quite a few hours in on Tiger Moths but I’ve also flown in Harvards, Chipmunks and most recently, a Hawker Hurricane—what a thrill!