Aifix Collectors Club

 
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Home Page Picture

"The Model Makers" by kind permission of Trevor Mitchell.

 
I'm a freelance artist who does a lot of illustrating for jigsaw puzzle companies. I mostly do nostalgic rural scenes but a few years ago I painted an indoor scene for Gibsons called "Grandad's Attic", which featured a young lad and his grandad playing with a 1950s Hornby Dublo 3-rail layout. This puzzle proved so popular Gibsons decided to continue the hobby theme and asked me to create a similar scene where the participants are building plastic model kits.

This was a happy trip down memory lane for me, as like most lads growing up in the 60s and 70s, I was an enthusiastic builder and collector of Airfix kits, particularly the aircraft. For me the excitement and pleasure began before the bag or box was open, gazing at the wonderfuil artwork of Roy Cross on the header card or lid. His colourful action scenes brought the model to life and were guaranteed to fire the imaginations of small boys - and big boys too no doubt.

I think all my kits were Airfix apart from one that was the Revell Apollo Lunar Module. Many of my aircraft hung from a roof beam in my bedroom ceiling, the odd one or two being customised; I remember an ME 110 hung nose down having been drilled with bullet holes and paper flames and cotton wool black smoke attached.

My RAF bombers stood proudly on their plinths in the living room atop the sideboard. A Hampden, Wellington and Lancaster. I remember using them to launch a bombing raid on my dad's houses and hotels when he was beating me at Monopoly. I'm not sure that was allowed in the rules but it made me feel better. One kit even made it into the bathroom; a Sunderland Flying Boat hung over the bath, it seemed an appropriate place.

Sadly none of my models survived into adulthood, so gathering my reference material together for 'Model Makers' was a fresh start for me. I discovered the online forums and was pleased to see how many of my generation have continued to enjoy the hobby to the present day, and I was very impressed with some of the photos members had posted. And glad to see Roy's illustrations are still being appreciated too. I hope my effort is as well, I had almost as much fun painting it as I had building the kits back in the day. If you would like a print you can order one on my website at:
http://www.nostalgicart.co.uk/limited-editions/model-makers

 
Trevor Mitchell - January 2014


 

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