Made From Scratch Model Airplane

Phillip Isohe is a metal fabricator in the jua kali, non-traditional industrial sector, in Kenya. In his spare time he builds models of airplanes and buses. This seems to be an extension of what many of us did while growing up in Africa – building wire, or tin can, cars. What’s most interesting is the excruciating attention to detail that he puts into each one. In fact, they each have motors with working lights, steering, engine and interiors.


Phillips model airplane in kenya

Phillip had just sold one of his buses, so the only other one I have a picture of is only half-built (picture). However, he did have a finished and working model airplane. It was amazing to see how each piece, engine included, was built from scratch. It’s not every day that you see this kind of detail work on hobbies, no matter where you are in the world.

The models take him 30 days to make and goes for about 25,000/= ($370). That’s likely just his “starting price” though, and they probably sell for a good deal less when he really wants to move it.

Here’s a short video of the model plane:



More pictures:


Made From Scratch Model Airplane

model airplane engine

More pictures like these can be found on the AfriGadget Flickr group.

Author: Erik Hersman

Erik is the owner of White African, a blog about technology and Africa. He is the co-founder of Zangu, a new web and mobile phone application that he hopes will change communication in Africa. AfriGadget is another web project of his, not that he doesn't have enough of those already...

44 thoughts on “Made From Scratch Model Airplane”

  1. I think hes just not good at the English language or the word wasn’t just popping out. English is a foreign language man! Also he seemed to understand English pretty well just abit slow or the take his time type. But props to the guy i’m impressed by the detail to his work.

    Imagine if he could make it fly add a remote to it and even add stuff like gyroscopes to it. Talk of a home made predator.

  2. Wow, Hash, this is fantastic! i have always wondered how these folks are able to make such amazingly detailed replicas. Great video you did too, by the way. Bravo!

  3. Hi Alex,

    I’ve received a couple of emails asking that same question. I’ll have to get in touch with David and see if there’s a way that he can take orders. I’m not sure what the best way to handle the transaction is though, so standby…

  4. These are great toys, I really like the Vespa. I’ve got a great collection of these kind of toys, would like more. Is there a site to see and buy African toys?

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