Airfix Model Kits

Airfix Model Kits

Airfix Model KitsAirfix Models, what can one say? I have a real soft spot for these kits! I built them in the formative years of model building. They are not the most detailed of kits and most of the old kits have raised panel and rivet detail as opposed to the accepted recessed type now. This kind of detail is easily removed by sanding and gluing, care needs to be taken to ensure that little or no detail is lost. But for a beginner they are ideal, easily built (Usually) mostly accurate that with a little imagination can be built into wonderful models.

See my article on building a 489 Squadron Bristol Beaufighter TFX. Airfix has been rescued from certain death again by Hornby and is again somewhat secure after restructuring. I personally am pleased to see their continued existence and am supporting them by buying models from my youth which I will build and detail later in my blog.

Airfix model kits have been around in one guise or another for as long as I can remember. For the long time modeller like myself, these kits have a sense of nostalgia.

I built Airfix model kits as a youngster mainly because they were easy to build and I could afford them on my meager allowance. At the time I was building about one every week and although my pocket money couldn’t stretch to all the kits that were available, there were plenty in my price range to keep me busy.

My school had an Airfix “Club” and I was delighted when I find out I could spend my free periods doing what I loved – building model kits. (It was also a good excuse to beg mum for extra money so I could get the kits I never dreamed affording on my own.)

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Classic Airfix Model Kits

The old “classic’ Airfix kits that I loved as a kid are well into 40 years old or more and both of us are showing our age. For me my lines are more pronounced as I get older but for the poor old Airfix kit the level of detail is diminishing over time.

The kits themselves were reasonably accurate in outline and had plenty of raised detail externally. Although looking back now, I realise that the rivets were way over scale but that didn’t matter to me then.

Airfix was never big on interior detail, especially in their 1/72 scale kits, but within 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 the Airfix moulds were made accordingly.

These old Airfix models are still a personal favourite as they are still the cheapest and simplest kits to build and you get a model that at least looks like the aircraft it is supposed to be.

I still highly recommend these kits to parents looking for a good entry level kit for their kids to build. Even my girls have had a go and if you are looking for a rainy weekend project to keep the kids amused, a classic Airfix kit is the way to go.

As for me I’m going to keep building these kits. Not only are they fun to build, but offer a challenge at times too. The nostalgic good feeling I get at building them exceeds the poor fit and heavy handed detail associated with Airfix’s old moulds.

Airfix Model Kits in the 21st Century

The new Airfix molds are excellent kits now with recessed panel lines and in most places good interior detail however again the detail is way over scale.

(If I was a facetious man I could say that the detailing was done by an ex ‘Matchbox’ employee)

Probably not up to spec for the purist “scale Nazi” but I was quite delighted with the detailing of the new Airfix Canberra (not strictly WW2 but the RNZAF flew them)

The new kits come with a new price tag which I feel is a little pricey especially when compared to other kits with better detail.

But lets be honest here… who amongst us dedicated, diehard, model fans wasn’t quietly wetting themselves when the new 1/24th scale Airfix Mosquito was released?

This Airfix Model kits is very much on my MUST have list, but with a price tag of around NZ$350.00 (Sorry hunny, don’t look at me like that!) it’ll be a long while before I buy it!

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