When artist Terry Pastor wanted to relax from creating album covers for the likes of David Bowie, he turned to making plastic kits.
But he was collecting them faster than he had time to make them and no longer has the space at his Lavenham home to keep them all, so his surplus unmade kits will be part of a toy and model auction at Lacy Scott & Knight in Bury St Edmunds tomorrow.
Terry, 69, confesses he was hooked from the moment he bought the first Airfix Spitfire kit in the early 1950s, being struck by the detail in something essentially aimed at children.
“Even those early kits were far more than toys,” he said. “Anyone could put them together, but if you could do them really well, they became something else.”
His tastes and the kits grew more sophisticated with time, so those in the sale are far more complex than that early 1/72 scale Spitfire, with many highly detailed, large scale models of cars.
Terry’s work included a lot of commercial airbrush work and, later, digital work.
He did the covers for Bowie’s Hunky Dory and Ziggy Stardust as well as albums for the Beach Boys and lesser known groups.
The book covers he created included ones for Arthur C Clark, Jeffrey Archer, Mickey Spillane, Colleen McCullough, Len Deighton, Brian Aldiss, Michael Crichton, Ed McBain and Leslie Thomas.
But he said: “As an artist I didn’t like sitting around doing nothing. By making models you’re doing something but there’s no deadline and there’s no stress other than pleasing yourself – you’re not having to please a client.”
Yet some of the finished kits were used in artwork he produced professionally. There will be a sale of finished kits later in the year.
Lacy Scott & Knight’s toy and model specialist auctioneer Oliver Leggett said: “What’s special is the quantity initially and he’s got some very rare examples. The quantity, quality and rarity makes this a very special sale.
“The Formula One cars and classic cars do sell very well – there’s a strong collectors market for car kits.”
As the star lot, he picked out a 1970s one-eighth scale Eidai Grip kit of a McLaren M23 Formula One car which is expected to reach £500 to £700, but there are also Tamiya one-twelfth and one-sixth scale F1 cars expected to fetch £70 to £120 for two.
The auction lots also include Corgi, Dinky and Matchbox diecast models, Britains figures, model trains, steam models and tinplate toys. Viewing is today from noon to 7pm and tomorrow from 8.45am, with the sale starting at 10am in the Risbygate Street saleroom.