Born under a low-flying route of the NATO in the mid '60s I literally grew up with fighter aircraft. Starfighters, F-5s, Phantoms and Jaguars were overhead almost every day. Later to be replaced by Tornado's, Eagles, A-10's and F-16's. Most of the time at low level, but sometimes at really low level! Scaring the local people and me running to the nearest window. There were weeks of big exercises with mock-fights overhead and exotic aircraft. That were the better days of my life.
Like almost every other boy I wanted to become a pilot, specifically a fighter pilot. Destiny decided becoming a fighter pilot was impossible. What left was a great love for everything that flies. Always looking for stories and in-depth books about fighters and air warfare. There was no internet, so foreign magazines were the only good source for me. Travelling to Germany and Switzerland with my parents were great times. Seeing the A-10's and Lightnings in Germany and Vampires doing shooting-exercises in Switzerland.
When a local photographic shop started selling plastic models I knew that this was it, I wanted to build one of those magnificent flying machines. Before I knew it I had a new hobby. The list of models build those days is long, and I can not remember all of them, but some of theme I still do. Some of them I still have a picture of, you will find them in “the old days”.
Growing older means also other interests. Work, (girl)friends, and seeing more of the world made me loosing interest in modeling. It took me almost twenty years to pick up my old hobby again. I soon noticed nothing had changed. The shops I used to drop in, the manufactures of the models and paint and the people who build the models. But I also noticed everything had changed. The techniques, the impact of internet on resources and communities, the high-tech add-ons and yes, the prices.
Getting older normally means getting wiser, getting more money to spend and getting more patience. Wiser may be discussable, but the other two are true, and I use both of them for my hobby, building models.
Enjoy my site and feel free to drop me a message.
Rob van Driel, 2010