Plastic model kits are often cited as an ‘entrypoint’ for many a classic military vehicle enthusiast. Craig Allen completes an exercise in nostalgia, revisiting his youth by modelling a Tamiya SAS Jeep
Growing up in the 1970s, like all my friends, I was a huge fan of Airfix plastic model kits. Spitfires Hurricanes and Messerschmitts, I had them all. I also enjoyed building their classic 1:76 scale tanks and armoured vehicles.
As I got older I made the switch to Tamiya. The Japanese model maker’s larger 1:35 kits included a set of English language instructions, although the dodgy translations sometimes caused unintended mirth. The kits themselves included a wide range of both German and Allied vehicles with accompanying figures and featured a pleasing amount of detail. I turned the attic room of our house into a model workshop and spent many a happy hour building and painting my kits.
In the process, I learned a lot about World War Two and post-war AFVs, and could soon tell a Panther Ausf.A from the later Ausf.G variant. I progressed to building realistic dioramas on which to display my models, using my dad’s Polyfilla and accessories from the likes of Verlinden.