Friday 28 January 2011


When your 75 year-old father presents you with the above and asks if it would be possible to build it for him, then it would ungracious to refuse.

I looked at the box with dread. At this moment I don't need another modelling project. I built this Airfix kit some ten years ago, the fuselage halves were stamped 'Airfix 1958' and the plastic moulding was awful. Thankfully this Indian-built modern kit is a far superior product and should go together pretty well. Dad probably picked this up in a January sale for £1.99 if past behaviour is anything to go by, but of course to finish it I will have to drive a 20 mile round trip and spend £5 on the correct paints which are not my usual colour's for my dad though.

It's easy to forget how important this sort of imagery is to his generation, To me (born 1964) it's a plastic aircraft kit, my father though as a small child had direct contact with the prototype in its working capacity during the second world war when this area was ringed with bases containing them, often piloted by Poles. These same small boy would cycle to the bases and watch the various fighters being serviced and operating. To him this is not just a plastic kit - it's a carrier of small bits of hot shrapnel to take into school and swap.

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