Wednesday, July 23, 2014


The auction house Vectis has a sale that will include the last major tranche of original Roy Cross Airfix artwork, selected by Roy himself from his personal collection. The Vectis sale is on Thursday July 24, 2014.

SMN report: 90-year old Roy Cross was the principal artist for Airfix during the 1960s and 1970s, when plastic kit popularity was at its peak. He created hundreds of images of the world’s most famous aircraft, and other subjects.

This week’s sale is quite a haul that includes box art, printer’s proofs, sketches, drawings, tracings and watercolours. For the keen modeller, perhaps the most interesting items are illustrations that never made it to the printer - rejects, roughs, and other original stuff which has never been seen in public.

Why has Roy decided to put his work up for sale? It’s mainly to clear studio space, though the prospect of a £20,000 sale total can’t be too off-putting either. Rest assured, any collector who buys a Roy Cross item is on to a winner - his work is iconic to the brand, and in our view, will make a fine investment.

Here are some examples of what’s on offer: 
Original watercolour and tracing for the rare Series 2 1:72 scale RAF Control Tower. They are signed by Roy, and have an estimated price of £300-500.

Watercolour on art board 260 x 280 mm for the Series 2 1:32 scale Beach Buggy. Biggest differences from the final version are that the number plate reads ‘BUGGY’ and there’s no female passenger.

Charcoal/pencil study 340 x 310 mm for the Series 5 1:72 scale Lancaster B1 from 1963. It differs from the final version with a differently posed figure, an unfeathered outer prop, and a Lancaster on final approach behind.

Watercolour study 420 x 340 mm for the Series 2 1:72 scale Saab Draken. Seen in the 1970 catalogue, the design was changed for the final box art (bottom pic).

There are plenty more Roy Cross originals at the sale, including the RAF Chipmunk (below).

Powerful perspective angle for the Harrier (below) ended up as the box art for the 1:24 scale kit.

Roy's art features on this box proof for a little-known Airfix toy concept. 

Click here for full details at Vectis.

And click here for an article at the Daily Mail online edition.

Thanks for the heads up to Martin Postranecky.