|The Tudor Art Agency
Thanks to Dean at Seven Wonders for the following
Derek Stowe was Creative Director at Tudor Art Agency during the golden era of Matchbox plastic kit production.
When we started Matchbox Kits back in the 70s, despite being at the Factory on a regular basis, we didn't know
what was to come. Indeed Matchbox themselves were testing the water with the first 'Purple Range' Kits.
It was to be a big investment for them.
Roy (Huxley) had been working for us freelance at Tudor Art on the MATCHBOX Die-cast Auto products;
then when we were commissioned to produce the first few aircraft kits for the Brighton Toy Fair. Roy,
with his magic ability to paint distances (recession) combined with his draftsmanship,
was my immediate choice for the kits.
Then came AFV's! Matchbox loved his work (Roy started his career working in the advertising of British Automobiles)
but as the kit volume increased - and also bearing in mind all the other work associated for the Studio with each kit
Roy and the Studio were swamped. So with the later PK numbers I was able to bring Doug Post in
(we had worked together in the 50s 60s on Film Posters). He did PK16 and 21 aircraft.
Dougie then also did most of the early 'Orange Range' AFV's. Roy had also worked with Doug, who is his hero and mine!
If you look at Dougie's PK171 to PK174 - they are superb, wonderful backgrounds and figures.
As you can imagine all this artwork required a lot of planning and discussion.
Ross (Wardle) was also working for me at Tudor on advertising accounts but was an excellent illustrator.
He never however, quite reached the heights of Dougie or Roy.
We just had to get all this work out on schedule, and the work was always demanding and very
labour intensive. MATCHBOX made the plastic- we did everything else!
Roy and I are finding now that there is a great deal of interest in MATCHBOX Kits,
so we are just starting a comprehensive book on the subject.
"At the time we commercial artists thought getting paid was thanks enough. Most people seem to believe that
painting was a relaxation and could be produced for the joy of it. However, the reality was slaving away over a
hot drawing board far into the night!
More information about Derek's work for Matchbox can be found here.