Andrew Johnson

I was born in Manchester in 1963 and after some persuading, my Mum bought my first kit for me at the tender age of five. I had been captivated by the box art of the Airfix 1/72nd scale Halifax. Goodness knows what the poor Halifax looked like after my Mum and I had finished with the glue, but I was hooked! I recall insisting that my reward for going to the dentists was a new kit, and as someone with a sweet tooth my collection soon growed!

When I was seven we moved to Newcastle and I made friends with another model kit fanatic. My Dad had to put up several shelves in my bedroom to accommodate the growing air fleets! Then at twelve years old we upped sticks to live on a farm in Northern Ireland where I started to build 1/35 armour (bless you Tamiya) and seriously grown up 1/24 Airfix Stukas and Hurricanes. But with the arrival of late adolescence the kits started to develop an ever increasing layer of dust and were finally relegated to the attic. Perhaps that would have been the end of the story.

But about eight years ago my Mum asked me to clear the attic in the old family home. Rather like the end of WWII, I decided a fitting end for the old warhorses was to be sunk in the Lake at the end of my parent's property. But in a dark corner of the attic was an unbuilt kit still in its box, a Tamiya Schwimmwagen. Curiously it was my five year old daughter who insisted I build it. The seed had been dropped into some fertile soil! My return to the fold was helped by the Wallingford and Thames Valley ATC model clubs (now Earley Risers). I'm particularly gratefully for the patient advice and encouragement from fellow club members Hugh and Steve, boy, what a change had occurred to the hobby over the past twenty years!

Over the last eight years I have explored aircraft, ship and now military modelling. As someone interested in history I am always keen to portray a model as accurately as possible to its original. Are the colours and markings right, is the weathering appropriate? The internet has helped this quest for accuracy which to me is a great part of the interest and reward of the hobby.

Click here to see some of my models