Passion is plane to see

Leon Smith with one of his handmade model planes.
Leon Smith with one of his handmade model planes.

The Carramar grandfather started making stainless-steel, scale models of aircraft in 1985, just a few years after moving to Australia from the UK.

He is now on his 53rd model and will show the techniques to anyone who stops by his table in the Wanneroo Library and Cultural Centre during the school holidays.

‘They are all historical aircraft; every plane has a story,’ he said.

‘Depending on the design and the intricacy of the parts that I have to make, it can take anywhere between two or three months for each plane.’

Mr Smith said he planned to leave the planes that he carefully cut, filed to shape, ground and polished to his grandchildren.

‘They are a legacy for my grandkids. It has been an interesting hobby project of mine; I love showing them off to kids.’

That passion for planes reflects throughout his life, as Mr Smith worked for the aircraft industry for several years, building engines on fighter jets.

To hear his stories or see how he crafts the model planes from lumps of metal, visit the Wanneroo Library and Cultural Centre between 11am and 1pm daily.