Early Modeling

I always enjoyed scratch building models in my youth. No 3D back then, and no high quality digital cameras! These photos were taken on my Kodak Instamatic on Kodak VP-126 b/w film…. back in the days when we would take the film to the chemist to be sent off for processing, and then having to wait a few days just hoping that the prints were going to be OK.

Click mages for a larger view (but sadly, not better quality… 1970s Instamatic photos, after all! The 1980s colour photos at the bottom aren’t much better.)


Apollo Lunar Module. Cardboard. Descent stage covered in crumpled gold-looking paper. The real LMs had real gold foil. Approx. 1.3m high. c1971.


Lost in Space. Cardboard Robot ‘suit’. Approx. 1.7m tall, made for me to get into! The robot’s head does not have it’s iconic clear plastic bubble, as I couldn’t figure out how to make it. Hey, I was only a 13 year old! c1973.

Below: Me inside the robot, just before a school ‘friend’ set fire to it, causing me to break my way out  to avoid getting burnt. I was OK, but the robot was destroyed. The friend became an ex-friend rather quickly! I’m still puzzled to this day as to why he thought it was a good idea to set fire to the robot… especially with me in it!

A bit different from my Lightwave 3D robot! Originally created in 2000 and modified with some fixes in 2020.

Lost in Space – Jupiter 2 flying saucer. Cardboard, with legs made from leftover model aeroplane kit sprue. Approx. 600mm diameter. Early 1970s.

Bell Jetranger helicopter. Cardboard. Early 1970s

Saturn V / Apollo rocket. Cardboard. Approx. 1.5m tall. Early 1970s

Model skyscraper. Cardboard. Approx. 1.5m tall. Made as a prop for a foyer display at a school film night, to advertise the 1974 movie ‘The Towering Inferno’.


Below: Some models made while I was a student at the former Melbourne College of Decoration, King Street, Melbourne. 1978-79.

An Ansett Airlines model Bell 206 Jetranger helicopter. Cardboard and Plaster of Paris. Approx. 400mm long, tail to nose, not including rotors. 1978.

General Dynamics USAF F-16. Cardboard and Plaster of Paris. Approx. 400mm long. I didn’t know how to make a clear bubble canopy, so bought one from a model shop. I think it was for a WW2 P-51 Mustang fighter plane, but I was able to modify it to fit the F-16. 1978.

Apollo Lunar Module. Cardboard, gold foil paper and spot-welded wire reinforced legs. Approx. 700mm high. Expanded Polystyrene astronaut carved using a hot wire machine. 1979.