New box art by digital artist Adam Tooby
This month's Airfix calendar plane is the Vought Kingfisher, a model which Triple P remembers building in his very early days of model kit building. The actor Robin Nedwell, who starred in the TV series Doctor in the House, once said in an interview that he built many Airfix kits as a boy but had moved on from "model making to making models!" We have had rather more construction kits than fashion models (although there have been a few!)..
Original box artwork by Roy Cross
Triple P has always been fascinated by seaplanes, even though his personal experience of them has not been a happy one. Indeed, we would say that it is abosultely the worst form of aerial transport for a nervous flyer. Our last flight in a floatplane was flying back from Victoria to Vancouver in 90mph winds. It is not often that Triple P takes a Vodka Martini at 4.00pm but on that occasion it was sorely needed.
The first Kingfisher, which was designed to be launched by catapult from a warship, flew in 1938 and the last in 1958. Just over 1,500 were built but today here are just eight left (several installed on US museum battleships) but none in flying condition.
Triple P preferred to build models of fighters and bombers but made an exception for this observation aircraft due to its unique shape and the exciting original box painting by Roy Cross. The kit first appeared in 1967 and we must have built it only a few years later (indeed we recall building another one a few years after that). The model caused Airfix some design and moulding difficulties because of its complex shape.
Although Cross's version is more action packed we don't think Tooby's version suffers in comparison at all; it's a splendid rendering.