My usual process when it comes to a project begins with the choice of a point/people in history and a question in my head around that ‘moment’. In recent media versions of the evacuation from Dunkirk the RAF and its command are often viewed in a mixed light at best (see ‘Dunkirk’ and the 5 minute scene continuous ‘take’ from ‘Atonement’).
The chaotic action at that port and the fall of France are the point of history at which I’ll be setting this build.
My research has started with 2 books – there are more on order.
I plan to build 2 kits of specific iconic planes, flown by well-known pilots that were present over Dunkirk, and to learn about the value of their contribution and that of The RAF.
So, I will be building ‘Sailor’ Malan’s Spitfire and Willie McKnight’s Hurricane, as used during May 1940 in the skies above the retreat of the British Expeditionary Force from France.
Apart from admiration for the pilots who flew these aircraft, and of course the theme, a practical reason for building 2 planes is that the paints to be used are identical for these new Airfix kits.
As part of my preparation for Airfix models I tend to annotate the instructions with paint colours, as I need to find substitutes for the Humbrol paints that are detailed in the instructions (I prefer the brands)
During this part of the process I use other sources to check the accuracy of the chosen colours. I find ‘Pinterest’ to be really useful as you can usually find and organise photos and drawings there by a simple search and save. I also use youtube to look for historical footage.
I collected the relevant decals and some photo etch for the interiors (my normal pre-build routine these days).
This choice also meant I had the perfect excuse to rewatch ‘The Battle of Britain’ as Robert Shaw’s character ‘Skipper’ is loosely based on Sailor Malan!
Taka taka taka taka taka…..