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Supporting Artists

Bazil Kriel
Bazil Kriel

Ben Jonkers
Ben Jonkers

Pieter Grobbelaar
Pieter Grobbelaar

Bazil Kriel
Bazil Kriel


Bazil Kriel

Bazil Kriel is a Wildlife and Aviation artist who concentrates mainly on leather pyrography.

He started practicing art in the 1970’s with pastel and oil paintings and leather pyrography in the 1990’s.

After retiring as a Colonel in the SANDF he has done over 500 paintings of which many have ended overseas.

His passion remains aviation art, wildlife art and occasionally portraits.



Ben Jonkers

Ben Jonkers, an artist, from Hillcrest in Kwazulu, Natal recently contacted the Project and offered a beautiful painting by himself, depicting Spitfire 5518 K-AX, offering this as a gift to the Spitfire Restoration Project.

Ben and Colleen, donated a framed version of AX-K, to the Project. Ben’s extremely generous donation includes the framed depiction, as well as a collection of prints, signed by Lt Col Knoesen, as well as a pencil sketch of 5518’s restoration.

We hereby wish to thank Ben and Colleen , for their support and very generous donation.



Brent Best

Brent Best has always had a passion for the military and aviation. His particular interests are World War 2, The North African Campaign, South Africa's involvement, and the Spitfire.

From a young age Brent loved building model aircraft and tanks. He was always particular about making sure the details and decals were correct. In adulthood the internet made it so much easier to research the history of particular aircraft though he still has quite the book collection. When we ran out of space for models and after several run-ins between the cats and the models, Brent looked into profile drawings and the computer software needed. From that point on profile drawings became his passion. Brent could easily spend hours making sure the colour scheme was correct, the aircraft had the right number of rivets in the panelling (even though you can't actually see them when the image is reduced in size) and each profile represented a specific plane or pilot. As his researcher, many evenings and weekends would find the two of us at our desks (side by side) him doing the drawing and me researching the details he was looking for. Every profile drawing had to be specific on colour scheme, numbers and letters on the fuselage and there needed to be details of the battle or event the plane was involved in.

Profile drawing led to Brent making friends online with several other people who do the same thing and often led to an exchange of ideas and information. Conversations could go on for hours.

Unfortunately at 54 Brent is no longer able to indulge in his passion for profile drawing. After suffering an ischemic stroke in June 2020, the right-sided hemiparesis, cognitive deficits, and expressive and receptive aphasia are permanent.

See some of his profile work here .

The Spitfire Restoration Project, and all Brent’s colleagues in the Friends of the SAAF Museum express our enormous gratitude to him for all his support over the years, and wish him all the best in these trying circumstances which he now has to endure.



Don Bell

Don is a multi-faceted artist, illustrator, Senior Professional Architectural Technologist, former advertising exec and keen photographer.

His creative works include oils, watercolours, charcoal, pencil, pen and mixed-media including digital art. Subject matter includes aviation, wildlife, landscapes, seascapes, portraits, architecture and contemporary art.

During school years he was privately tutored in fine art by well-known artists Andre’ Vancoillie and Paul Lavender.

He matriculated in art at the Port Elizabeth Technical College in 1968 and joined an architectural firm as in-house illustrator. He was then trained in architecture and eventually opened his own design firm, expanding into graphic design marketing and advertising at which time he opened his own business which handled local, national and international clients.

Don is a Senior Professional Architectural Technologist based in Port Elizabeth, Eastern Cape, South Africa and still runs an architectural practice.

His aviation studies are well researched and the aircraft and locations are accurate as possible so as to provide a historical record for others to appreciate.

He is a Member of the South African Guild of Aviation Military & Maritime Artists (SAGAMMA) and The American Society of Aviation Artists.


Don has an exclusive aviation art gallery based in the Port Elizabeth SAAF Museum where he displays his works.



Don accepts commissions from all over the world and all his works are available as prints.


All his works can be viewed at http://www.southafricanartists.com/home/DonBell

As well as his Facebook page: @DonBellArtist

T: 27-41-367 3999

C: 27-82 691 8755



Pieter Grobbelaar - Flybywire Aviation Art

Pieter H. Grobbelaar, has been creating custom made aircraft models for the aviation industry and private clients for almost 25 years. Models are sculptured from wire, and presented in classic wall frames, or contemporary Perspex frames. There are five frame sizes available, closely resembling standard sizes A4, A3, A2, A1 and A0. Frames of a unique size can also be manufactured, if required. The models can also be purchased loose, if so required. Models are made from Copper wire, and available in four finishes, namely natural Copper, Nickel, 24Ct gold or Rhodium/white gold plate. Models are also made from solid sterling silver wire, solid 18Ct gold wire, or solid platinum wire. Almost any aircraft or product can be presented in this unique style, and customized to suit your companies need for exclusive corporate gifts or decorative artwork. Models can be shipped to anywhere in the world, and are packaged accordingly, if needed. Clients include Boeing, Bombardier, ExecuJet, Airbus and Airbus Helicopter, Absolute Aviation, Fireblade Aviation, Pilatus Aircraft Ltd. and many more.

Click here to visit Pieter Grobbelaar's website. Pieter can also be contacted on +27 (0)836753147 or by email at Flybywire49@hotmail.com

Pieter also offers a framing service for cast models, or any other 3D sculptures or items. Most items are framed with our unique 3D mirror layout, to enhance the visibility of the piece. Feel free to bring your own models to be framed in this unique way..