At the start of 2013 Jon Plumb sent a new Airfix kit to his friend Stu Bradley in France, thereby starting the money raising project now known as “Round the World in an Airfix Kit.”
The plan was to circulate the Airfix kit around an international group of 15 modellers of varying abilities, each to complete their own part of the build and pack the kit ready to forward on to the next modeller. Jon chose the 1:48 English Electric Lightning because it was the next model he planned to make from within his existing collection. It was an ideal choice as, based on the parts included it offered an even spread of parts for each user.
This well-travelled Airfix kit has met modellers in the UK, France, Germany, Croatia, Greece, Romania, Spain, Italy, Australia, California, Illinois and Northern Ireland. “Initially we felt there was a risk of people letting the team down; only two of the team knew each other previously but regular communication helped to build a relationship and trust. Surprisingly there have been no breakages. Bryan Finch in California had to start putting the wings on so he took responsibility for the creation of a lightweight transit case. When Erica Rose sent it from Illinois to Northern Ireland, the HMRC charged us £115 import duty to release it; thankfully Chris Spalding of the Modellers’ Nook Model Shop came to the rescue!”
James May completed the final pieces on 7 August 2014. James is a long standing fan of Airfix having begun modelling kits as a child and was delighted to help this worthy cause by donating his time and additional publicity. He patiently applied tiny parts under the watchful gaze of the team.
James said “I’ve been involved in the Help for Heroes cause before, they do some excellent work and I was delighted to be able to help Jonny raise money for them. I think Airfix is an important part of childhood and it’s interesting to see it develop into something more mature, when I was young it was the birthday present for all my friends, teaching us all patience! With Airfix you can have your own aviation museum on your table top.”
“The brief to the team was to treat the kit as their own using their skill and materials. The only rules were... post lots of pictures, make sure the build is done to represent XR770. If they wanted to use aftermarket and additional bits or super detailing they could. The final rule was to enjoy the build. This was not supposed to be the best ever lightning Airfix model, but the team has produced a world class model!”
Jon Plumb who has been the driving force behind the project is proud to announce that the idea has already raised over a thousand pounds for Help for Heroes. The final sum will be announced after the completed model, with decorative plinth, is presented as a raffle prize at Scale Model World Exhibition in Telford.
“I also have a remarkable admin team, of which Stu Bradley, Alan Hooker and Mark Davey. Over the project we’ve become a real team, really supportive of the aims of the project.” said Jonny, “We chose Help for Heroes as it supports Royal Navy, Army and Royal Airforce Serving personnel and veterans and our project aims, by its very nature, to be inclusive of all.
"We raised additional money by getting companies to donate modelling kits and supplies, and selling raffle tickets and anyone who would like to get involved can donate via our charity giving page.”