Possibly the first production model of a Miles aircraft was the Miles Hawk Major produced by the International Model Aircraft company (IMA Ltd) under the FROG (Flies Right Off the Ground) brand in 1935. Only advertised as a constructional kit, it appears that a built version could be bought for 49/6 (c.£2.50)
The earliest post-WW2 new plastic kits of Miles aircraft were the Miles Magister I and Miles Master III issued by FROG in 1963. Transfers for the Magister were supplied for G-AFBS, which was active at the time, going into preservation in 1965 and which is now on display at the Imperial War Museum at Duxford.
The FROG Magister was in production from 1963 until 1971 when the company went into receivership and export versions were produced and sold in France and the USA. Ultimately the company Novo was set up by the receivers and the moulds were sent to the USSR where a new company Novoexport would handle production. Since then several companies in the former Eastern Bloc have produced these models, latterly with different RAF liveries. These companies are known as 'Frogspawn' amongst collectors.
Eastern Bloc Frogspawn are moulded in grey plastic.
Victor's young son Brian with a selection of WAM models including a Sparrowhawk perhaps, understandably, his favourite!
The Master III kit had a parallel existence to the Magister and the table below displays the box art.
When I first saw the three photos below I had difficulty believing they were the FROG model, it must have taken a lot of work and considerable photographic skill to obtain this result.
The Penguin Magister was catalogue number 62P when first issued (63PM for the factory built model), changing to 062P from 1946-1949.
It is a real pleasure to be able to introduce a new model of a Miles aircraft that has not been produced before as a 1/72 scale injection moulded kit. The Aerovan has until recently been neglected by manufacturers, 60-odd years ago a 1/72 scale plan was produced and a few years ago Dujin in France announced it was producing a resin kit but as far as we know this was never issued (if you know different, please let us know). Last year Kiwi Resin produced a 1/72 scale resin kit which, whilst welcome, cost 80 NZ Dollars (c.£45) + p&p and had many of the shortcomings expected with resin (although an improved version was subsequently issued). Now MIKROMIR, a Ukrainian manufacturer has introduced a fine injection moulded kit which is illustrated below. It can be bought from the manufacturer via ebay for less than £28 including p&p. The decals provide several alternative schemes, although Peter Amos advises where it states 'light grey' for the UK-registered aircraft they should be silver (personally I fancy the cream and red G-AISL as shown in Miles advertising), and they include miniature Miles hawk logos.
The paper RAF roundels look to be original, typical of toy aeroplanes of the period.
A change from the history - here's something brand new!
Probably the first diecast model of a Miles
aircraft dating, I estimate, from 1936 given
the record breaking flights and air race successes of Tommy Rose. A Miles Falcon marked METRO NOVELTIES under the starboard wing, it is thought to be intended to be fitted to cycle handlebars and the propeller would spin in the slipstream. Wingspan c.10cm, various colours inc red & green, two-tone versions rumoured.
A superbly restored Penguin Magister by Bill Matthews
To be added in this space more information on wooden kits issued in the 1940s.
A restored Peguin Magister (Vectis Auctions)
Model above is a replica constructed in 1985 by David Carpenter(Frog Model Aircraft, Lines, Hellstrom 1989)
A flying scale model Miles Hawk Major built by RFL Gosling in 1935. www.antiquemodelaircraft.co.uk
1940 FROG Penguin Catalogue illustration
IMA provided a plan of the FROG Hawk Major kit to assist in building the model.
This plan can be downloaded from:
Victor Woodason who's model making company was based at Heston Aerodrome seen above with a Magister. WAM were prolific makers of aircraft models in the 1930s for manufacturers, airlines & the Science Museum, see www.collectair.com/woodason.html
The earliest 1/72 scale production model of a Miles aircraft I know of is the Skybirds Miles Master I wooden kit introduced in March 1939.
Skybirds also sold factory built versions of their kits. (Vectis Auctions)
The first 'plastic' kit of a Miles aircraft, the 1/72 FROG Penguin Miles Magister issued in 1940. Sold either as a kit of factory built.
Shown 'as found at a Sandown toyfair and after cleaning up and adding a propeller.
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