Aviation Books > Golden Years of Matchbox Art
Golden Years of Matchbox Art
Publisher: Red Kite Publications
In 1973 an exciting new range of ‘pocket money’ model kits was launched in the UK, much to the delight of schoolboys up and down the country. These Matchbox kits were cheap, simple to make and moulded in two or three different coloured plastics so that the younger modellers didn’t even need to paint them. The most memorable thing about them however, wasn’t the multi-coloured plastic or the slightly eccentric choice of subjects, it was the dynamic and action packed box-art, painted almost exclusively by Roy Huxley.
Roy’s style was part comic book and part aerospace illustration which perfectly captured the imagination (and the pocket money), of thousands of schoolboys around the world. As the boys grew, so did the kits, with ever bigger and more ambitious projects including four engined bombers and ultimately a huge 1/72 corvette, HMS Bluebell.
Now nearly 50 years after those first kits were created and the first bits of artboard painted, this book brings together Roy’s exciting paintings for the very first time. Remarkably, although many of the original paintings were lost over the years, Roy managed to keep a very comprehensive transparency archive of his work, allowing us to reproduce these classic pieces of box-art in the vibrant colours last seen in the 1970s.
Featuring over 100 large paintings and many more smaller illustrations, this book is a long overdue journey down memory lane, not just for those long lost schoolboys but also for any fan of military art.
Roy produced paintings for Matchbox for nearly 20 years making him one of the most recognised box-artists in the world.
After the demise of Matchbox, he worked for several leading companies such as British Airways, Marconi, The Bradford Exchange and Rothmans. His work is renowned for its detail and accuracy, especially his aviation subjects, which has resulted in him being the three times winner of the coveted Guild of Aviation Artists “Aviation Painting of the Year” award.
Roy and his wife Sue have always been keen sailors and would go to their sailing yacht in France to unwind whenever time allowed. Although their sailing days are now over, they still travel extensively from their home in a quiet Kent village.
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