There was this time when I really felt the need to go out and hunt something down, not in the stalking through the woods in beastly weather at indecent times of coure, I'm far too much of a wimp for that, but in the seeing how long it would take me to track down a bunch of things on the big bad internet for not entirely silly money. Somehow, the 1981 Matchbox kit catalog caught my attention. The model in this booklet pretty much defined my early days as a modeller, and, while I now realise the kit are rather crude and clunky, I still have an enormous fondness for the brand as it was in those days. The sad decline that followed was still a number of years in the future, as was the zombie existence under Revell. I don't mind Revell re-popping their collection of Matchbox mouldings every now and then, but the Revell style Matchbox branded offerings with their single colour plastic contents were just wrong somehow.
So, Matchbox 1981 it was. I have no affinity left with armour, although I built loads of the Matchbox vehicles it in the past, and I never had any to begin with with the other non-aircraft lines, so I limited my hoarding to the 1/72 aircraft. What was supposed to be a quest taking years, turned out to take just over half a year, after which I actually got them all. It really was too easy around 2014..
Despite this being essentially a collector's project, I do intend to build them. This poses a dilemma: should I build them bare plastic, in all their multicoloured glory of yore, or paint them up (super detailing the heck out of them was of course sacrilege however I looked at it..). I finally settled on having my cake and eating it; it should be possible to complete them bare first, with some pieces reversably attached, and then paint them up in a second stage. Most of the kits still have their decals, which may or may not have remained usable. Where possible, I'll build them in kit markings, and where given the choise, in British, if unavailable Empire/Commonwealth, and only when neither is available, as anything else that comes to mind. A certain degree of Brit chauvinism is part of the gig.
So, the dramatis personae: