A story featured in the Rotorua Daily Post has led to a unique gift and an unexpected friendship.
When Richard Lyons picked up the paper on January 18, 2019 a story on page 3 captured his attention and imagination.
The story was about Ivan Douglas, a Rotorua man who was just 1 year old when his three elder brothers went to fight in World War II.
Ivan's brother Adrian was involved in the fatal crash of the Stirling bomber near Ludwigshafen in Germany on the night of September 5 or 6, 1943. His brother Wallace Douglas also died in World War II.
After years of yearning to know more, Ivan had been informed of the final moments of Warrant Officer Adrian Vincent Douglas' life by a crash site researcher.
Lyons, who has a keen interest in aircraft and history, said when he saw the story, in which Ivan was pictured holding a photo of Adrian, he wondered why there was no insignia on Adrian's uniform.
He tracked down Ivan who went to his house and brought some photos to show him. The simple explanation was the photo was taken before Adrian left for war.
However, the pair struck up a conversation during which Lyons asked Ivan if he had a model of a Stirling bomber, the type of plane his brother died in. He did not.
The 81-year-old has been building models since he was about 18.
"I thought about it and I wondered if I could get a kitset and eventually found one in Christchurch," Lyons said.
Yesterday, almost two years after their first conversation, Lyons presented Ivan with the completed model, a full diorama of a Stirling bomber being readied for war.
Every detail of the diorama, which comprises 507 hand-painted pieces, was researched to ensure it was historically accurate - right down to the original squadron insignia and even a chemical toilet on board the plane.
The Douglas men were three of about 30 people in the extended family who went overseas to fight in WWII. Six, including Adrian and Wallace, were killed.
"I wanted to give it to Ivan so he and his family have a tangible memorial to Adrian, so the children, grandchildren, great-grandchildren can appreciate what Adrian and Wallace would've encountered during the war," Lyons said.
"I got this started in about April 2019 and finished about a month ago. It's the type of hobby that as you get older you can only really do it when you're in the right frame of mind.
"I wanted to make it right, especially. I thoroughly enjoyed doing it and having researched the family and the brothers, in particular, I've come to feel as though I know them."
Ivan said the diorama of the Stirling bomber and Lyons' gesture were "amazing".
"It's amazing how Richard put this together, the hours he spent getting information about the aircraft and the crew," he said.
"When it comes down to it, I think Richard knows more about my brothers' lives in the Air Force than I do."
Ivan said the diorama would take pride of place in his home.
"It's fantastic. I'm really thrilled to be taking this home and being able to show all my family members.
"Now I have a friend I didn't have before. It's been a pleasure to meet Richard and get to know him."