The impact that Jackson’s emporium has had upon the modelling world and, in particular, for fanning the flames of enthusiasm for aircraft from the 1914-18 period, has been profound. The man who brought Middle Earth to life has made many and varied steps to keep the First World War readily-accessible to new generations, of which Wingnut Wings was a small but hugely meaningful part.
Jackson’s passion for these machines has seen him build a full-size Jurassic Park of WW1 aviation, with tool room copies of original aircraft flying with authentic restored or recreated engines from The Vintage Aviator. Although the full-size business took a break it has been operational again, and the same research that went into the full-size machines was translated into the 1/32 versions.
Working in the hitherto unfashionable 1/32 scale meant creating highly detailed and yet sensibly-sized models of small fighters such as the Sopwith Pup, S.E.5a and Albatros D.V initially, before branching out into ever-larger and more expensive fields. The highest profile releases have been a range of 1/32 Lancaster bombers from WW2 (tied in to Jackson’s ongoing battle to remake The Dam-Busters), and the similarly-sized biplane bomber, the Handley-Page 0/400 from the First World War.
Hindsight may suggest that these were possibly a step too far in terms of size, price and complexity for all but a minuscule proportion of the potential model-makers out there. However, the official notices on the firm’s website are hold the Covid-19 pandemic responsible.
There is still hope that the astonishing array of talents that he has discovered in New Zealand will be able to ply their trade elsewhere and that the all-important toolings for the models might be sold on to a company who will cherish and maintain them.