Biggles Modelling Site
About this site
Welcome to my site. I hope you're here because you have an interest in what I like to think of as "3D illustrations" of the aircraft from the Biggles stories.
As a kid, two of my interests were reading Biggles books and building model aircraft. The latter partly inspired by the former. I went through a renaissance in collecting the books and in scale modelling in about 2004. I have been at it on and off ever since. I've collected around 50 of the available Biggles stories. I don't bother so much with the Air Police stories since they got very formulaic fairly quickly.
After my resurgence of interest, I decided to follow through on my childhood wish to build as many of the aircraft from the books as I could. Scale modelling is already considered an odd hobby, so I figure why not go all out and make it as odd as it can be? I try not to take it too seriously.
I display the Biggles models on shelves in a bookshelf/cabinet below my book collection. Sometimes I pull them out to use as props for bedtime stories that I read to the youngest of the Lesser Vandals, who is still at an age to enjoy bedtime stories with simulated aerial battles.
Often I base my models on the illustrations (original/first editions only). If the book description differs wildly from the illustrations, I'll try to find some compromise. Sometimes I will ignore the illustrations altogether and go with what existed in the real world that best fits the description. If it's a real named aircraft (e.g. Spitfire), then I will of course build that, in whatever version/marque, scheme and markings I think would be most reasonable for the period and context.
There is an assumed familiarity with the stories in all my descriptions here. If you have no idea what I am talking about for any of these aircraft, check out the biggles.info site (see below) for a synopsis of any of the books or even better, find and read a copy of the book!
I also do other fictional modelling based on escapist stories such as those by John Harris and Neville Shute, plus I dabble in Tintin. I build conventional historical aircraft too. I have a thing for 1970s cars so I model ones that I owned at one stage or wish I had owned.
All aircraft models presented here are in 1/72 scale.
In my opinion the best combination of affordability, displayability and range of available subjects. I don't mix scales. You can't display a 1/72 spitfire alongside a 1/48 Focke Wulf. That's morally repugnant and everyone knows it. People who do that sort of thing will be the first against the wall when the revolution comes.
When it comes to model cars, 1/24 is the scale to use. Don't argue with this.
- Biggles - WW1
- Biggles - Interwar (1919-1938)
- Biggles - WW2
- Biggles - Postwar (Air Police era)
- Non-Biggles fictional models
- General aviation
Links and Acknowledgements
- http://www.biggles.info/ . "Dr Biggles" biggles.info website. THE most useful Biggles resource on the interwebs. Without this site, I wouldn't have access to any original illustrations.
- http://www.bigglesforum.net/forum/portal.php . The Biggles forum. I've been a site moderator or administrator of this from the very first days it was set up. "Von Zoyton" runs an excellent webforum and the members are all top notch.
- Most of my models are displayed in the forum model gallery, along with those of my talented co-forumers: http://www.bigglesforum.net/forum/gallery/album.php?album_id=18
- http://www.morvalearth.co.uk/Biggles/Biggles_intro.htm . "Dadlamassu"s list of aircraft in the WW1 stories has been invaluable.
- http://uamf.org.uk/index.php . The Unofficial Airfix Modellers Forum. The only modelling forum I am a regular part of. Fantastic community of people who don't get hung up counting rivets or arguing over exact shades of sun-faded olive drab, but just get on and build cool stuff. Most of my build threads are here.
- https://sites.google.com/site/themodellingmancave/ MerlinJones' modelling man-cave is a constant source of inspiration, because of a strong overlap in modelling interest and the fact that the man gets stuff built. He is prolific!
This is a work in progress. I build the models in no particular sequence but as and when the mood hits, or based on whether something fits into any group builds going. I also have a fair few models to post up and it takes time to do all the websitey thingos to make them appear for your viewing pleasure. Bear with me...
I don't use an airbrush so all painting is done with spray cans (usually cheapies from the auto parts store) or a brush. If you want to tell me how much I need to use an airbrush, then you'll get to see my "I have many other things in life I care about far more than this" face. I don't have a dedicated modelling workspace - I build at the dining room table and sneak out to the laundry to use my spray cans. There is no place for an airbrush in this arrangement. The paint finish on my models isn't amazing, but I'm satisfied with it so thats all that matters.
The photography is hit-and-miss (probably a lot more miss than hit). Again I don't have a dedicated setup. I photograph where I can using what I can at the time - my phone, an iPad, a not-very-good digital camera, Mrs Vandal's phone.....etc. The lighting in our place is rubbish, too. But anyway, the photos show the models. That's what matters right now.
Apologies that this website is kinda clunky. I'm not great at the internet and I'd rather be building models than amazing webpages. Let's lump it in with my feelings about airbrushes and dedicated photo booths.