Saturday, March 03, 2018

Saturday Film Club: KeilKraft factory tour

KeilKraft will be a name familiar to many older modellers for their massive range of aircraft and boat kits. Here, we tour the factory in the late 1950s looking at the office, production and then distribution areas. 

At the time, the firm employed around 200 people but this gradually fell as they failed to move with the times. According to John Parker in Model Boats magazine, the fim was finally wound up in 2003 after years of dormacy. You can still buy some of the aircraft kits from the Vintage Model Company, but these are laser rather than die-cut and probably use rather better quality materials. 

The film is fascinating - a proper look around an old factory. At a guess, the film maker was a member of a cine club, they have taken the job seriously shooting lots of expensive film and used a tripod. My Dad reckons it's early Kodak and probably 10ASA, so getting shots in a dark factory was impressive. Since the factory and offices haven't been tidyed up, this wasn't a professional outfit making a marketing film.

Looking around, the lack of health and safety is amazing. Pushing lumps of wood through circular saws by hand? It's worth counting people's fingers as there must have been some bloodied kits caused by a moment's inattention. Smoking in amoungst piles of balsa doesn't look to clever either. 

Finally, look at the stacks of kits - ready to head out in signwritten vans (come on Oxford, you know what to do) - to model shops around the country.

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