From the age of about 8 to about 16 I was a prolific builder of plastic model kits, mostly of aircraft. In the last few years I've returned to this hobby, 'though so far I've mostly been collecting kits and all the necessary bits and pieces and have yet to actually finish a model...
A project that I started way back when, and am now continuing, is to try to build plastic model kits of all the aircraft that took part in the Spanish Civil War (1936-1939). This is a major undertaking that will take at least the rest of my life, but "the point of the journey is not to arrive"... Below are pictures of two of the surviving planes that I built all those years ago... I hope I can do better these days (eg. the colours of both models are completely wrong..) .
Messerschmitt Bf 109b 1:72 scale
built from the Heller kit in about 1980
Henschel Hs 123a 1:72 scale
Built from the Airfix kit in about 1980
So, why the Spanish Civil War? This conflict happened at a very interesting time in aviation history - during a period of transition of military aircraft from the biplane to the monoplane, and during a period of general European rearmament prior to the second world war. This meant that old, obsolete aircraft served alongside the latest, experimental models. The Spanish Civil War also saw intervention, overt or covert, by several of the world then major air powers - specifically Germany, Italy, Russia and France - allowing the testing of early models of many of the aircraft which were to become important in WWII.
The Spanish Civil War also attracted idealistic volunteers of many nations, particularly on the republican side. Aviators were no exception, and many unusual privately owned aircraft got involved in the conflict, usually together with their owners.
From a modelling point of view, the Spanish Civil War therefore represents a unique opportunity to model many unusual aircraft types, convert many others from later versions, and apply unusual, and often striking colour-schemes.
There were some 160 or so different types of aircraft involved in the Spanish Civil War, and I've constructed a separate site dealing, briefly, with as many of them as possible. This can be found by clicking here or on the picture below.