Why I love Airfix Model Kits

Airfix Model  KitsI thought it about time I mention Airfix model kits. The company has been around in one guise or another for as long as I can remember.

For me these kits are nostalgic, I built them as a youngster. They were cheap easy kits to build and were easy for me to purchase as a young lad. As was the glue, roughly one or two kits per tube if I remember correctly! I built around one a week with my pocket money.

Imagine my delight when I found my school had an “Airfix Club” I could join and do in free period! It was an excellent chance for me to tell my mother that I needed one for school and not just one of the cheap ones but one I could never hope to afford!

The kits themselves were reasonably accurate in outline but had plenty of raised detail with, in some cases, grossly overscale rivets. Did this matter to me as a child? Hell no! it didn’t and if I’m honest still doesn’t. In my book if looks like a duck, quacks like a duck, it’s a bloody duck!

So basically if it looks like the aircraft and it looks right for the scale I’m happy! I’m no rivet counter and I doubt I will be! For me modeling these kits has always been about the challenge to build them and make them look as good as I can.

Some of the Airfix moulds have been around since Adam was a cowboy and are showing their age. A few had an indifferent fit to start with (see my post on the Airfix Gosling/Widgeon)and as the moulds have aged it’s gotten far worse!

Airfix was never big on interior detail especially in their 1/72 scale kits but in the era they were built none of the major manufacturers did! Revell, Heller, and Frog all had the same basic level of detail. The kits were designed for kids to be built by kids and Airfix made thier molds accordingly. I personally love Airfix they still are the cheapest models to buy and in most cases the easiest to build and get a model that at least looks like the aircraft it’s supposed to be.

I recommend these kits to any youngster or parent who wants to buy their child a cheap kit to make on a weekend that will hopefully wet their appetite to take to the hobby and, perhaps in time become one of the next respected names in our hobby. As for me I’m going to keep building these kits not only are they fun to build and challenging at times. But the nostalgic good feeling I get at building these exceeds the poor fit and heavy handed detail associated with Airfix’s old moulds.

I think it timely to mention Airfixs new moulds – these are excellent kits with recessed panel lines and in most cases good interior detail. It does however look like the man that did the recessed panel lines for Matchbox kits has been employed by Airfix! They are unfortunately way over scale but still acceptable in my books! I’ve got the new Airfix Canberra model (I know it’s not World war 2 but the RNZAF flew them!) and the detail is awesome! The price increase in my mind is however excessive for some of their new kits.

And lets be honest who among us dedicated die-hard model fans wasn’t quietly wetting themselves when the new 1/24th scale Airfix Mosquito was released? It’s so very much on my MUST have list. (Sorry hunny don’t look at me like that!) But with a price tag in New Zealand dollars of around $350.00 dollars it’ll be a long while before I do!

 

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by

Avid WW2 aviation enthusiast and modeller. Been making model kits since age nine and I now model mostly ww2 model airplanes. (my wife is an understanding one!)

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