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aircraftkit

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  1. Wonder if its 1/144 scale or " 1:44 " as it says above !!? Its big enough in 1/144........ Don
  2. Eastern express md87

    Wonderful ! Don
  3. What a wonderful thread ! The comments on here certainly bring back the memories - good memories - and my experiences of the venerable Frog kits seem to mirror the recollections of others, no doubt of similar age..... Frog models were to me always a bit more "exotic" than the likes of Airfix and Revell, and usually harder to find. Their choice of subject was at times questionable (from a commercial standpoint) but always interesting, and definitely worthwhile if you were a fan of British-built aircraft. The quality and breakdown of the kits' design was always well thought-out, the instructions clear and concise and the box (or header card) artwork was invariably colourful and action packed, giving plenty of scope for the creative minds of young modellers. I especially liked the full-colour painting instructions. Finding Frog kits was not always that easy, the company did not enjoy the same marketing arrangement with major retailers that others such as Airfix secured with Woolworths, so their network of retail outlets definitely suffered by comparison. Frog kits were often found being sold in the most unlikely of places - hardware stores, corner shops or local Post Offices. The last time I saw any Frog kit displayed for sale (other than at a Specialist Collectors' event) was in 1975 or 1976, it was a Frog Whitley and it was in the window of a small Grocer's shop in a twilight part of town, the dramatic artwork of the Whitley's box contrasting sharply with the tins of beans and packets of Cornflakes that surrounded it in the window display (there was only the Whitley displayed, and in all probability it was possibly the only model in the whole shop). My own introduction to Frog models came about in the summer of 1969, and at the time I didn't even realise the kit was a Frog product - it didn't have the name "Frog" anywhere on the packaging, not even Tri-ang, Rovex or "Airlines" or any of the other names associated with the Frog brand. Up to that point I'd had one or two "bagged" Airfix kits with the original header cards, together with larger boxed models received for birthdays and Christmas and which ordinary pocket-money wouldn't normally have afforded. In 1969 my family moved offshore from the UK and my Dad explained how the move meant it wasn't really practical to allow me to take any of my collection of (unpainted) and crudely-built models with me to our new home. However, as part of the deal to give up these models he promised that me and my brother would each be bought a new, unmade kit of our choice when we reached our new home. Sure enough, a few weeks later the three of us found ourselves looking around a well-stocked, dedicated model shop. (Remarkably, this shop is still in business 48 years later, and still run by the very same owner, albeit that the exact location of the shop changed around 30 years ago). That day in 1969 my brother chose a 1/144 Airfix BOAC VC10 to replace his "lost" models. I, meanwhile, found a 1/72 "Troop Dropping Herald" in a large transparent bag with header card lying on one of the model shop's shelves - that would be my choice, not least because as a family we'd travelled on a BUIA Dart Herald a few weeks earlier. Nowhere did the kit's packaging state that this was a Frog product, the price extension label simply had a "W31" code - I believe the "W" may have stood for "wholesale", although someone here will no doubt correct me if this is wrong. The Herald kit itself was actually rather in the style of Airfix more than Frog - suffering lots of rivet detail and separate rudder and flying control surfaces. Although supposedly depicting a transport aircraft of the Royal Malaysian Air Force, this edition of the kit still came with an airline Stewardess figure, a Steward, loading stairs and two smartly dressed pilot figures with peaked caps ! In fact I believe this kit, when originally released by Frog circa 1962, was their first aircraft to feature pilot figures (again, I'm sure someone will correct me if I'm wrong). Frog originally released the Handley Page Dart Herald kit with "Jersey Airlines" markings, the first airline customer for the popular -200 series aircraft. The Frog kit came in a box only marginally capable of holding the kit sprues and large decal (unlike some of the kit boxes today, which seem to be excessively large for the size of kit inside). The box even had a couple of separate compartments to house the small tube of glue and paint phials which were included. As usual in those days, the instructions included details about the full-size aircraft and the airline depicted by the model. A later version of the kit, released in the mid 1960s, featured the then new "British United" livery, and this edition is now highly prized as comparatively few were ever produced by Frog. The "Troop Dropping Herald" version appeared in 1968 although the plastic wasn't entirely accurate for that version - the kit lacked the "thimble" radar nose and the rearmost blanked cabin windows of the Malaysian machines. Remarkably, these Troop Dropping Heralds are still readily available for sale on internet auction sites......... at a price. Of course the same plastic was later available from the likes of Novo and Maquette when produced in the former Soviet Union, decal options including BIA and Channel Express. VHF Supplies of West London even made bagged versions of the kit available with British Midland decals, featuring aircraft G-BAVX. Frog made several other airliner kits too, but usually in 1/96 (Viscount, Britannia, Caravelle, Comet, DC7C, etc) as well as an impressive rendition of the Super VC10 in 1/144 scale featuring flashing lights ! The latter was obviously a competitor to Airfix's Standard VC10 kit in the same scale, although it retailed at several times the price of the Airfix example. Different editions of the same Frog models were sometimes produced for different national markets - the "Airlines" series for the USA, a New Zealand series, whilst some kits sold in France had "Tri-ang" on the kits' boxes - perhaps due to French sensitivities over the name "frog" ! Although Frog kits under that branding ceased production in the mid 70s we have been fortunate that many of their kits have continued to be made available under a succession of different names - Eastern Express, Ark Models, Novo etc. A testament, perhaps, to their original quality and (on the whole) wise choice of subject matter. But who else would have had the character to produce kits such as the Dennis Ambulance in 1/16 scale, or 1/72 Bleriot (depicted on the attractive artwork flying over Dover Castle) ? As a youngster, I was always interested to compare Frog kits with their contemporaries from other manufacturers - whilst the Frog Gipsy Moth was on a par with Airfix's Tiger Moth, I always thought the Frog De Havilland 88 Comet Racer was much superior to the earlier Airfix version. I guess we're still comparing the respective merits of different kits even today (Hasegawa vs Tamiya, etc). Of course there are the "what might-have-beens ?", too; apparently Frog had firm plans to produce the BAC 1-11 jet airliner in 1/72 scale - as an airliner modeller I have to say that would have been nice ! It says something that several of the kit subjects which Frog were producing in the early 60s were not seen in other ranges until other manufacturers caught up with them decades later - the British "V" bomber trio, for instance. And its only recently that Airfix have provided us with a state-of-the-art 1/72 Shackleton and Whitley - Frog were producing them half a century ago. Well done Frog, and thanks for the memories......and thanks Adey for starting this thread ! Don
  4. Matchbox HS (Folland) Gnat T1

    Very nicely finished, well done ! Don
  5. DC-7C TO 1/144th.

    Very nice rendition of this Classic prop. Thanks for sharing ! Don
  6. Excellent work there, Tim, and an interesting subject beautifully presented. Don
  7. Interesting project. Will be following this keenly. Don
  8. Another treat for us to look forward to and enjoy ! Like everything about this - the old box art (hadn't realised the subtle differences in scheme until you pointed them out), the personal memories and photographs, extracts of Airfix catalogues, etc. The Dominie was always one of my favourite models. I have to say, that's a very tidy and clutter-free work bench ! More please ! Don
  9. Airbus A300-600ST BELUGA Revell 1/144

    Coming along very nicely ! Don
  10. Thanks Wally. Really enjoyed following the Britannia build thread; almost feel I've been on a journey of discovery with you, sharing your ups and downs along the way. Your Whispering Giant certainly turned out great. Please continue to share your adventures with us. Don
  11. 1/72 Meng F-106A Delta Dart

    Beautifully built and finished. Don
  12. Novelties Roden 2017

    The 1/144 C5 Galaxy and the C133 Cargomaster will be VERY welcome here ! Don
  13. What a great build. The words "silk purse" and "pig's ear" spring to mind, you've certainly achieved a very nicely finished model from what was always a basic kit - as you say, Airfix's newer mould is vastly superior. Like you, I enjoy the nostalgia aspect of building these old kits, allied to the fact that they usually have so few parts (albeit that they're often ill-fitting); that's much of the challenge, as well as seeing how much better you can build them today, rather than the efforts made all those years ago as a teenager over a single weekend. I'm impressed that your 40 year old decals worked so well..... Don
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