company that made balsa wood model airplanes kits like airfix in 1960s

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chinadoll | 23:33 Tue 31st Oct 2006 | History
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can anyone tell me the name of any company that made balsa wood kits for assembly that were on sale in the UK during the 60s and 70s? not Airfix though.


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Not sure if all of these were still around in the 60s and beyond...

Frog, KeilKraft, Skyleada/Skyrova, Club, Drome, Aeromodels, Wilmot & Mansour, Airyda, Contest, Jasco, Astral, Halfax and Cloudcraft.
Keilkraft were definately around then as I used to help my father make their balsa aircraft at that time.
Just as an aside, did anyone have a brother who labouriously spent time in the garage making balsa wood planes, glyders i think. also ships, Royal Naval Frigates with motors onil his boats!!!!! Boring for girls!!!
I remember making up some kits by Vernon, who did some flying model and plywood river boat kits They did various fighters in 1/72 scale from WW1 era up to the Swift jet. Balsa block body, balsa sheet wings and tails.
A tip of theirs I've never forgotten was to mix talcum powder with cellulose paint to use as a filler. You could also use it on the body and wings to get a super-smooth surface for finishing, once it was finally sanded with the finest sandpaper.
I remember in the early 70s having a Jet with an engine strapped to the under carriage, a sort of metal tube with a screw end, we had to buy these white tablet like things with a brown fuse wire, ram the tablets into the metal tube with the wire poking out, clip the whole mechanism under the plane and set a light to the fuse wire.
The plane would shoot off over the mountains. We were only kids but could buy all the stuff we needed at the local hardware shop.
Can anyone else remember these engines?
I forgot to say that the Jet was from a balsa wood kit with Asbestos lining.
As I recall, KeilKraft were probably the biggest in the '70s. Were they from Dereham, in Norfolk?

I remember the little jet engines - were they called Jetex? I had several over the years. Really nifty little things! Didn't half make a model shift.
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thanks so much for ur answers....but none of the names spark a memory.... i used to do lots of Airfix models in the late 60s and 70s and once or twice had a go at the balsa wood models....ones with a rubber band propeller.... though I think an engine could be fitted.... does anyone know of a site that has pictures of these makes....perhaps if i saw the brand logo / trademark it might bring it all back... blissful saturday mornings ....thanks
They were called JETEX Catso, I was only about 12 or 13 then.

Wouldn't be allowed to buy dangerous things like that now at that age.
I believe Testor made balsa wood airplanes with the rubberband driven propellors. You wouldn't really call them kits as they assembled in a only a couple steps.

I'm not sure Testor is or was in the UK, but in the States I have fond memories of watching several of those things destroy themselves.

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