192-194 KINGSTON ROAD
Tel: 020 8393 3232
Mon, Tues, Fri, Sat: 9.30-5.30
Closed Wed and Sun
Mick with He 111s and Spitfires in the "band room" at Pinewood Studios prior to flying.
Two of the five DC-3 models built for the film "The Adventurers".
Mick in 1970 celebrating his world championship.
Mick with a Caudron model used in the film "The Little Prince". He is outside our first shop at Canbury Park Road, Kingston.
Dave with his scratchbuilt electric powered "Hiperbipe". Model has full interior detail.
Dave's new 1/5th scale Spitfire Mk9 built from the Brian Taylor plan. This has an 85in span and an A.U.W. 19.5 lb. It is of balsa construction, glass skinned and painted. The model has flush and raised panel and rivet detail, a fully detailed cockpit and a scale functioning exhaust. Also in flight glow power and adjustable needle valve. Powered by a Laser 150, Futaba FX40 R/C with 9 channels. Build time approx 1000 hours.
Closeup of the Spitfire's tail during construction.
Closeup of the Spitfire's fuselage.
Inside the Spitfire's cockpit.
Dave's 1/18th scale Gloster Gladiator has a 21.5" span and an A.U.W. of 8 oz. Of all balsa construction, it has a 4 ch micro R/C with brushless motor and lipo battery. Covered in Solarlite and then airbrushed with enamel paints.
The 1/18th scale Gladiator "naked".
Mick Charles Models is a family business established in 1970 on the strength of Mick Charles winning the Radio Control Aircraft World Scale Championships.
Mick had been model-making all his life, starting with solid-wood static models, through free flight and control line aircraft. He then progressed to radio control, right from is earliest days of single channel, Galloping Ghost and rubber escapement systems.
Mick´s interest lay mainly in flying scale replicas and to this end he started entering scale competitions using early reed operated radio control and later, proportional systems. Radio control in the 60´s was very expensive and notoriously unreliable, so to commit several thousand hours of work to the air was a very brave thing in those days!
His success at R/C scale aircraft modelling at this time led him to getting involved in making and flying models in feature films, one of the first to do so on a major basis. He spent two years building models for the film "The Battle of Britain", for which four built eighty two models, of which only one survived! This led to many other film jobs over the years including "Force Ten from Navarone", "The Adventurers", "The Little Prince", "Thunderbirds are Go!", "Aces High" and "The Lion of the Desert".
In between all this Mick still managed to construct many top class scale models to enter in National and International competition, winning him many top honours culminating in winning the World Scale Championships in 1970 with the highest ever static score.
All this model making was as an aside to his profession as a house builder, carpenter and shop fitter (something had to pay for all the models) and to looking after a family with five kids!
In 1971 the family home was sold to finance the setting up of Mick Charles Models in Kingston upon Thames. We lived above this shop for the first couple of years whilst building up the business, but were soon able to move to larger premises in Kingston and to a detached house near Esher.
It was at about this time that David and Jonathan joined the business straight from school. David is interested mainly in aircraft modelling, although dabbling with most other aspects of the hobby such as cars, boats and helicopters. He started flying R/C aircraft at around six years of age and for the next ten years flew mostly fixed wing power models. Later he got very involved with R/C gliding, competing successfully in F3B and F3J gliding classes at National and International level, becoming National Champion on several occasions and representing the UK at World and European championships numerous times.
With the advent of much more efficient electric flight equipment in recent years, he has reverted back to power flying, both electric and engine powered as well as some helicopter flying.
Jonathan Charles began model car racing at twelve years old. Competing at club level, at first with 1/12th scale electric tarmac cars and later with the increasingly popular 1/10th scale buggy class. Later he competed successfully at regional and national level competitions.
In 1980 we moved to larger premises in New Malden. This gave us a shop floor area of 2000 sq ft plus a similar area of storage, workshop and office space. Over the period of ten years we were at New Malden, parking restrictions and access through New Malden high street became more and more of a problem, so we moved again to our current premises in Ewell. The priority with choosing these premises was that it was easy to find and easy to park, so not in a town centre.
To this end we now have a double fronted shop facing a main road, with the access road to the shops to park in, as well as a free council car park to the rear of us.
May 10th 2003 was the saddest day of our lives, with the death of Mick Charles after a short illness. He will be greatly missed by all of us. David and Jonathan resolved to continue with Mick´s legacy, started thirty three years ago on the back streets of Kingston.
We specialise in selling all things radio controlled:- aircraft, helicopters, cars and boats. However we also stock many other items including plastic kits, die cast cars and planes, model rockets, free flight aircraft, static wood ship models. Not only that but we have all the associated materials and tools such as balsa and other woods, plastic and metal sheets and sections, coverings and paints, as well as masses of spares and upgrades for everything we sell.
Mick at Pinewood Studios with one of the Hurricane models used for the "Battle of Britain".
Models being prepared to be flown in the 1966 film "The Battle of Britain" at RAF Duxford.
Mick with his Supermarine S5 model.
Mick with Bristol F2B models used in the film "The Great Question", outside the New Malden shop.
A view of the inside of our previous shop at New Malden.
Dave with one of his contest gliders at Richmond Park.
Seidel 9 cylinder engine 90cc 4 stroke radial engine. This is the power plant for Dave's next scale project, a 1/4.5th scale Gloster Gladiator for F4C competition. Don't hold your breath though, because in order to get every detail just right he anticipates it taking 2000-3000 hours work over about 2-3 years!
Dave's 1/9th scale Pitts Special has a 24" span and an A.U.W. of 9 oz. Of all balsa construction, it has a 4 ch micro R/C with brushless motor and lipo battery. Covered in Solarlite and then airbrushed with enamel paints.
Dave's Pitts Special with a transmitter for scale.