Our eldest son Callum had his seventh birthday recently and his Uncle’s family were kind enough to send him an Airfix model, a handful of enamel paints and a brush. After putting the Humbrol tins up on the mantelpiece (out of the reach of our inquisitive three year old) Callum and I examined the box contents with interest. His kit was the Spitfire PR Mk XIX which was a late war Spitfire adapted for high altitude photo recon with a pressurised cabin. Callum wasn’t disappointed it was cannon-less after I explained that photo recon involved secretly flying over enemy bases taking photographs.
The model was perfect for Callum, as it contained only four sprues to put together. He clipped pieces off, I cleaned them up with the Xacto blade and we dry fitted then and glued the parts together. The plane went together quickly over the course of a weekend and assembled into a tidy little Spitfire that Callum loved. We had to put it away for a week before we got a chance to paint it this weekend. A bit of blu-tack over the glassed camera ports and Callum learned how to spray prime plastic for painting.
I’ve never used enamel paints myself, as I started painting Grenadier D&D and Games Workshop 40k figures (beaky Space Marines) with Citadel acrylics back in ’82. So breaking out the Humbrol enamels was a learning exercise for both of us. Lots of mixing and a few lessons in brush control and directional painting and Callum was having a great time as you can see.
We’re half way through painting it at the moment and Callum is already talking about picking up another Airfix model to try. He’s keen on getting a tank next, possibly inspired by my collection of half painted 15mm FOW armor. I showed him the tank kits on the Airfix site and he was immediately taken with the Panzer IV, which is your archetypical armored fighting vehicle I guess!
Fortunately ModelAir, an excellent local model shop in Newmarket, have a wide range of the Airfix kits, including the Panzer IV for $17.90 which is perfectly reasonable. Although it’s out of stock at the moment – ah well I’m sure we can find a kit in store he’ll like. To be honest I no idea why we haven’t tried these Airfix kits earlier because they’re great fun!