Gordon Stevens basically invented the vacuform kit. You can read about it HERE in his own words. We corresponded in the early 1980s (long before email) after I ordered a Douglas F3D Skyknight kit that he had advertised in Finescale Modeling. The result was that he binned his A3D Skywarrior masters that were essentially complete since, as he put it, "my A-3 was something of a caricature", and created replacements using Douglas drawings that I provided. I was very pleased to be of help to him and the resulting kit (except for the canopy, which has become discolored over time) is excellent. We lost touch thereafter when my career took precedence over my hobbies.
It was a happy day when I finally was able to buy one of his very rare Box-Kites XFT-1 kits, basically completing a 1/72-scale kit collection of U.S. Navy carrier airplanes.
A few years ago, I referred to him as late and great in a post on a modeling website. I was very pleased to be corrected. I regret to report that the statement is now true.