What if a Kit Part is Missing or Short?

Model ManufacturersAs I was working on my latest model I struck a problem with one of the resin detail castings being missing from the kit.

Now the kit has been wrapped in the manufacturers cellophane since I bought it some many months ago, so I know that I didn’t simply lose the piece when I opened the box to inspect it a little while later – so what to do?

Most mainstream manufacturers have kits put aside for just this eventuality and the kits come with a form or some means of informing them of lost or short shot parts. {Short shot parts being those parts where the plastic or resin didn’t fill the mould completely).

The simplest and easiest thing to do is INSPECT your kit at the store BEFORE you buy it. Most hobby stores are more than happy to let you do this –  just take the kit up to the counter and ask them to open it so you can. (they get very very miffed if you don’t!)

Remember this is to their advantage too. What modeler can resist the temptation of all that plastic? (or resin and photo etch!) So I will generally ask to inspect a kit I want to buy.

The problem arises when there is only one of the kit you want and it’ll take some weeks to get a replacement. You now have a choice to either buy the kit and scratch build the missing/deformed part (or raid the spares box for something that’ll do the trick); or, get the hobby shop to source the part for you. They do, after all, have a good relationship with the supplier in your country or contact with the model company direct.

Airfix used to have a card in their kits for missing parts which you could post to them with your address and the missing or defective part numbers; they would then send you what you needed. I’ve had a look at a few of the Airfix models I currently have, and no card!

I’ve checked out a couple of other manufacturers websites and there is no place or page to inform them of missing parts so my best guess is that they would prefer you to talk with the supplier in your country or area, they both have suppliers pages in their websites.

So it would appear the best recourse is to talk with the model shop you purchased your model from. Just retain the receipt from the purchase of the model as some suppliers and model manufacturers require proof of purchase.

Most model suppliers are happy to supply the parts as it generates good will, and the cost of the replacement parts has already been factored into the cost of your model! It will of course take sometime for this to happen. If like me, you live all the way at the bottom of the world and are miles from anywhere, the model manufacturer/supplier will send it the cheapest method possible! – Think surface snail mail!

As far as my model project goes… to my joy I contacted Airfix through their website, and got an automated reply stating that (and I quote):

This is an automated response to your email.

We acknowledge receipt of your email  and thank you for contacting our Customer Care Team.  We will deal with your enquiry as soon as possible. Airfix and Corgi spares requests can take up to 28 days and we would only contact you again if we cannot supply the part or require further information.

So there you have it! Airfix is still supplying spares direct if you contact them through their website.

I’ve taken a screen capture to show you guys and there on the page is a note about spares! (Helps if you READ the page first!)

I’ve also included the link to take you  directly to Airfix’s contact page

So there you have it straight from the horses mouth so to speak, have I mentioned I love Airfix kits? Especially the new mould kits!

That’s all for now Cheers’


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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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