by Maja Engström
Text and Images by Mats Engström
available online from Squadron.com
My daughter Maja built her first kit, a Polish Iskra,
when she only three and a half years old. The initiative and a great deal of
help came from her father. However, she cut the parts off the sprues, glued and
painted the model by herself.
Now that she is five years old she asked me about building
another airplane. I decided after a long search through the shelf’s that I could
part with an Airfix P-51D Mustang in 1/72 scale, bearing in mind that all
children deserve to grow up with some Airfix kits!
It looks like an airplane, no doubt about it. It also has the
greatly appreciated option of a pilot to sit inside.
It was decided from the start that this model was going to hang
from the ceiling with the Iskra. I then suggested a wheels-up assembly to make
it a bit easier.
But wheels were wanted so wheels it was going to be.
Surprisingly Maja didn't simply break the parts off the sprues
like her father did a long time ago building Airfix kits. She is very good with
the scalpel (mother is obviously not at home); placing the parts on the table
and cutting them off the sprues very precisely.
Reading instructions and dry-fitting is not of any interest. but
on the other hand applying glue is great fun.
The green/grey scheme was more colourful than the Swedish option
in bare metal.
The painting instructions were not followed precisely, but it
was totally OK according to me. This stage is one of the most fun, so that is
why her sister Malin also wanted to join in. She helped to paint new camouflage
schemes in red and yellow on some of her father's old Harrier, Viggen and
All made with enamels in the kitchen. Exciting activities.
They stuck to the kit, although it was a bit difficult to centre
the separate red circle in the roundels.
The builder was very patient with cleaning up the parts,
painting small parts like the pilot's face, (even though the painting of the
rims wasn’t considered necessary and therefore omitted), cutting out decals etc.
There was also an understanding for brakes in the building process, letting glue
and paint dry. All this necessary to build something decent of an old Airfix
When this model was finished another project was immediately requested. I
specially bought a DH Comet (Airfix of course) for this purpose and it is now
started. A red airplane is greatly appreciated. This time we introduce putty.
Like painting, it's a fun thing to do.
Article Copyright © 2002 by Mats Engström
Page Created 13 January, 2002
Last updated 04 June 2007
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