PHOTO | Independent   Michael Kelly is an airplane model collector, with over 1,500 diecast model planes

There are people with interests that make them happy, and give them something to smile about. There are also people whose interests move them so much they can’t help but hoard and collect everything related to that interest.

This was the case of Farranshone native, Michael Kelly, who has collected over 1,500 diecast airplane models by spending up to €25,000 a year on it! That amount was enough to pay for a luxury mansion for 10 years, but this guy chose to spend it on airplane models instead!

Giant display on Ireland

If you have an airplane model collection as big as this, it only makes sense to open it to other people who will appreciate and love it just as much. Michael Kelly’s huge collection has gone on permanent display in Shannon Airport, where his obsession for collecting these pieces first began. The man shared the story of a long time ago, when he was a little boy, “My Dad, God rest him, used to bring me to Shannon Airport…. whatever was between me and aircraft, it was just magic.” When he turned 16, he visited a model aircraft shop, and bought 17 planes. His career was as a plumber/fitter, and that didn’t stop him to save as much money as possible so he can continue buying more model planes.

All his collections are 1:200 in scale. Until this very year, Kelly just kept his precious collection in a purpose-built 65-foot display space at his restored farmhouse in Janesboro, Co. Limerick. His collection just got its official opening at Shannon Airport last September 25, 2018.

What’s good about airplane models?

Some people won’t get the passion and love collectors have for the items they are collecting. Some think it’s a waste of money, or just madness. But for those who share the same love and interest, it’s definitely heaven.

And that’s what it is. Shannon Airport’s Operations Director, Niall Maloney, describes Kelly’s haul as an “aviation enthusiast’s heaven.” I certainly couldn’t agree more! This was the largest diecast model collection in the world, and it’s something to take pride of! The collection already attracts huge attention from the passers-by.

To make things clear, you can eliminate burnout from work by collecting different things such as K-pop albums and posters, nautical items and model boats, vases and China antique, bags, shoes, or whatever it is that really piques your interest. But of course, airplane models are just extra fascinating, because having one airplane model built by skilled model makers, requires a high level of craftsmanship just to assemble it completely.

Can collecting airplane models help you relieve stress?

Collecting things give a personal satisfaction, and a great sense of pride, especially if you see your collection start to grow. If you are an aviation enthusiast, airplane models will surely be something very interesting and “amazing” for you.

This will help you eliminate burnout, or relieve yourself from the stress of day-to-day activities. How?

It will make you focus on a particular goal. If you are going to collect airplane models, obviously, you have a goal. That is tens, and hundreds, and thousands of precious pieces you’d soon be stocking in a special room. By putting your focus on this interest, you are clearing your mind of the negative things in life, as well as those out of your control. You get a sense of power for choosing which airplane models you want to add to your collection, and which to omit. Remember, goal-setting creates a structure that will allow you to visualize your success and mitigate stress.

It will give you a sense of achievement. Not anyone can simply be collectors and collect airplane models. Only those who are passionate, committed, and dedicated can build a collection that will last a lifetime. This is why collecting these items will give you a sense of achievement. “Not everyone can,” which means you are special.

This sense of achievement – of finally succeeding in your goal to collect models – will certainly reduce your stress and anxiety, and even eliminate the burnout you feel from work. Work is a big stressor in life. And while all things cannot be controlled there, you can most certainly control and manage your airplane model collection.

It will make you more interesting to your friends. Again, not anyone can simply collect airplane models. If you are an aviation enthusiast, what better way to show your interest and love for the aircrafts by collecting models? You can share a story about your favorite model, you can show your friends which items are James Bond-inspired, or you can tell the tale of the mysterious events involving the particular airplane model that you have. By speaking of the things that are close to your heart, you are subconsciously getting rid of the negative things in your life, stress and burnout included.

Who knows, you might just be the next Michael Kelly!