Monday, 9 December 2013


We didn't have the internet when I was young. Information was harder to come by. Much of what I knew of aeroplanes came not from books or television, but from that indispensable source of cherished information, the Airfix Catalogue. We got this magnificent publication every year, and I would spend hours poring over it and dreaming about the extraordinary hardware within.

The Airfix box-art was some of the best artwork I had seen, and it brought the planes and trains and cars and ships to life. I bought dozens of kits.

 My favourites were always the aircraft. Not the WW2 spitfires and messerschmitts my friends raved about – my delights were helicopters, science fiction models (a rarity then and now)... and biplanes.

I was never a desperately good modeller. My kits would never have won prizes. But I really enjoyed making the detailed models, painting them and putting on the decals (transfers, as I called them then).


I had a squadron of aircraft on my shelves in front of my books on my bedroom wall.

The pictures here show just a few
of the kits I had... the one I wanted, but which was out of production at the time. I wrote to Airfix asking whether the HP 0/400 would be released again. They told me it was unlikely in the near future – and sent me the current Airfix Calendar, which had the HP 0/400 as one of the monthly pictures.


Small wonder I thought Airfix were a great company.

And perhaps it was not surprising that the heroine of my novels is a pilot, flying just such a structure of wire and doped canvas...

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