1/32 Matchbox De Havilland Tiger Moth (MAAF)

Gallery Article by David C S Teo on Nov 7 2011


Hi Everyone,
This is the Matchbox kit of a 1:32 D.H. Tiger Moth and was modelled after one that was operational in the Malayan Auxiliary Air Force (MAAF) - Singapore Wing in the 1950s after the Second World War.
This plane was stationed at Seletar Air Field (Fka RAF Seletar) which a handful of Tiger Moths, Harvards and Chipmunks were used to train local and British pilots to fly these aircraft.  It is believed that this squadron was the birth of the Singapore airforce in which the first Singaporean pilot, Jimmy Chew, was trained and awarded his "wings" in the MAAF by the Royal Air Force based in Singapore. More historical information and reference material can be obtained from the following websites:


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The kit used is an old 1:32 Matchbox but it still packed with details that's good enough to model a Tiger Moth that served in the MAAF.  The kit came with various colors that is typical of Matchbox kits and it was sprayed over with several coats of Gunze Silver to capture the look of the bare metal Tiger Moths that were in the MAAF.  I was considering using Chrome and bare metal but decided that it maybe too bright as most operational Tiger Moths during that era were not that well polished or silvery; except during inspection parades by VIPs. Reference pictures were obtained from websites and from personnel who served in the MAAF.
The most painstaking task of building this model was mounting the wing wires of the biplane with thin metal wires with small blobs of super glue on its ends and carefully holding them with tweezers to position them accurately at various positions on the wings.  Other than this, it was a pleasant build and a trip down history lane as the pieces of the Tiger Moth started coming together...

This model was built for a Tech. Sgt., Mr. L.M. Mani, who served in the MAAF in the 1950s and in appreciation for his service and being one of the pioneers of the Singapore Airforce and in Singapore aviation history.
Hope you enjoy my artwork and the pics!

David C S Teo

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Photos and text by David C S Teo