Customer Spotlight: The success story behind one COBI collector

Customer Spotlight: The success story behind one COBI collector

BREAKING NEWS: Before I launch into this week's blog, I wanted to let you know BrickTanks is moving warehouse this weekend! After nearly 3 years of using a third party fulfillment service (thank you, Stowsafe), we've decided to bring the operations side back in house. This will give us more control, more personalisation and enable us to have a (by appointment only) shop on site. It will also mean we will be a little bit busier than usual, fulfilling orders ourselves until we get some extra help. But overall, I think this move will bring many customer benefits which I will report on once we've settled in. We don't anticipate any distruptions to our service but we'll keep you posted.

Also, this week COBI gave us further details of the latest releases, so they are now available to pre-order. Check out the full list on the Pre-orders page below.
Check out the latest Pre-orders

Customer Spotlight: Stephen Davies

Without further ado, I would like to introduce a very clever customer of ours - Stephen Davies. Steve has been collecting COBI since 2018 and, I recently discovered he also has an amazing career, having combined his passion for military vehicles and aircraft with his talent for drawing. When I saw his work, I felt the BrickTanks community would appreciate it too. Below is my Q&A interview with him and some examples of his work. Pictured: Steve Davies.
What first inspired your interest in aviation and in particular military aircraft?

My fascination and passion stemmed from my late father. Whilst growing
up, I remember when being young he took my brother and I to the air museums
(when we were in the UK) as well as to the annual Battle of Britain September
Jersey air shows. Plus I was always fascinated by technical and aviation history mostly World War Two and I studied and read the Airfix catalogues my father gave me as well as books, comics and magazines.

How long have you been collecting brick models for and how many do you have in your collection?

My first Cobi kit which my son bought for me as a Christmas present was
in 2018. I made this during lockdown and then it started from there. I
discovered BrickTanks online and started ordering and building from then on in
2020 as I found this a great way of relaxing and switching off.
So far collection wise, I have:
14 kits still to build (1 ship / 5 aircraft & 8 tanks)
3 BuildArmy tanks (made)
16 Cobi tanks (made)
When and how did you realise you had a talent for drawing?

This started after some major eye operations which left me with double vision
(a condition I still have after 40 years) when I was 14. Whilst convalescing
and recuperating I discovered a renewed passion for drawing which helped me
pass the time as well as help with my recovery and my style of drawing was born
from there.
What’s your favourite military aircraft and why?

Probably the De Havilland Mosquito, a highly versatile aircraft as sleek
and fast.

If you could invite a famous military figure (dead or alive) to dinner, who would it be and why?
Field Marshall Erich von Mainstein, as it would be interesting to ask
him if he had the resources, freedom of command/manoeuvre on how this would
have affected and changed the battles on the Eastern Front in World War Two.

If money was no object and you could commission COBI to produce one replica model kit just for you, which one would you choose and why?

Either a 1/12 scale Panther or Tiger IIB as these are iconic armoured
vehicles or one of the Luft46 secret project Luftwaffe aircraft in 1/32 scale.
Supermarine Spitfire MKVIII with downed A6M5c Zeros's - The Grey Nurse - NEW Ver.
Avro Lancaster's B.1 & B.X - 'Vera & Thumper'
1934 Albion Merryweather Braidwood Fire Engine
Alfa Romeo
Corbiere Lighthouse, Jersey, UK
How long on average does it take to create one of your drawings?

Excluding research time, to start and complete a drawing and depending
on the size (as I work either in A5 / A4 / A3) from 30 hours for smaller works
and up to 100plus for larger pieces.

Do you listen to music while you work? If so, what do you listen to?

In the past I used to but for a long time now I have the television on
in the background whilst working at home. If working at an event then one of
the local radio stations.

What’s your favourite COBI model to date and why?

Probably the Tiger II Ausf B as I really enjoyed building this one as I
did this in a few stages. The Sd.Kfz. 234/2 ‘Puma’ was a good build as well as
I did this over Christmas.

As an artist, what has been your greatest achievement to date?

Being made an associate member of the Guild of Aviation Artists in the
UK is one of my greatest achievements. In addition, I have had ten successful
submissions to the Guild’s Aviation Paintings of the Year Exhibition’s, six at
the London Mall Galleries from 2011 to 2019, three online events in 2020, 2021,
2022 and also at the Guild's 'Live' Exhibition at the Conservation Space IWM
Duxford in Cambridgeshire in June 2023. Pictured below: Sherman Firefly IC 'The Tiger Tamer'.
Aside from building COBI models, what do you do in your spare time?

Reading and mostly research for new artworks but more importantly
spending time with my Wife, going to the cinema, walks and walking our fox red
Labrador/retriever Lilly on the beach / costal paths.

What’s next for Steve Davies Art?

The focus for 2024 will be on producing more new A5 scenic works of Jersey,
classic cars, WW2 aircraft including fast jets as well expanding the product
ranges I have on offer. In addition to start and complete my own self portrait
something I have never done as an artist but would be an intriguing project of
how I view myself.

For more examples of Steve's military artwork please visit his website:
Hope you enjoyed a slightly different style of blog this week, either way please let me know what you think in the comments below.

Warmest wishes,



  • Paul Wright

    Really enjoyed this – great artwork, lovely to hear from someone with a passion for their interests. Good luck with your warehouse move!

  • Phil Tucker

    I really enjoyed your blog this week. Very well done. Thank you.

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