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About AWFK10

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  1. This was the one that sprang to my mind as well. It was a real treasure trove in its heyday, I remember the anticipation of climbing the stairs from the street to get to the kits. Yes, it had some great books: I still have a copy of Harleyford's "Von Richthofen and the Flying Circus" that I bought there about 40 years ago. Time has certainly done a thorough job of obliterating it - there's no trace of Blenheim Street, never mind the shop.
  2. I've seen similar concerns expressed about the National Army Museum, which is reopening after a complete revamp which I've got to admit I hadn't realised was happening - I've not been out that way in many years. It must be at least a decade since I was in the IWM but a quick google suggests that not everybody is happy with its last makeover. Museums that I do visit have most certainly been 'dumbed down'. I've commented before on the Manchester Air and Space Museum (as was). I call in fairly regularly at the Discovery Museum in Newcastle, for no other reason than that it's near Central Station and convenient when I've got time to kill waiting for my train. Compared to the wonderful old Museum of Science and Engineering of my childhood, which it absorbed, that element of its collections is the palest of shadows - interesting exhibits, the ones that haven't simply vanished, are displayed with no interpretation and/or in a way that makes them impossible to view properly, as if the museum resents being lumbered with them. Same with the so-called "Great North Museum" on the other side of town, which swallowed the old Hancock Museum (natural history) and the university's Museum of Antiquities but isn't a patch on either. I'm all in favour of museums developing in a way that captures people's imagination: staying on Tyneside, the Roman sites at Wallsend and South Shields have done it very successfully with reconstructed buildings. But aiming them at the lowest common denominator is counterproductive: they end up neither challenging casual visitors to increase their knowledge nor appealing to enthusiasts.
  3. That brings back some memories. I built quite a few of the Series 1 aircraft when they were in polybags with the Roy Cross artwork on the header. Our local newsagent used to have a good selection of them on a hanger; I was in there every weekend sorting through them with my 2s 9d burning a hole in my pocket. They sold Airfix glue and paint (in little glass jars then) as well. I even bought the Cherokee Arrow (that wasn't in a polybag, they'd moved on to blister packs by then). I have no interest in the aircraft now and I hadn't then, I bought it just because it was new and I could afford it because it was in Series 1.
  4. Definitely the O-2.
  5. Yes, it was tooled by Inpact and later went on to Pyro and Lindberg. They also made the Bulldog, Fury and Gladiator: all four were superb kits for the 1960s. A kind relative bought me the last pair one birthday. I built a Lindberg boxing of the Gladiator about 15 years ago, and I've got a Fury and the Flycatcher to do.
  6. The Seafox box art is here. The HS126 box has a sunset (or sunrise?) scene on it, maybe after all these years your memory is a mixture of the two?
  7. You might find you get a much better result if you tried one now, though. I thoroughly messed up a Merlin DH9a (and a Pegasus Snipe) in about 1990; after a further 25 years of practice, I built another Ninak and it turned out quite well.
  8. There is a model shop on Nile Street, which is the same road that the Metro station's on - Phill's Models. I've never been in, as a quick glance in the window led me to think (maybe wrongly) it was largely R/C stuff but it did have some plastic kits, IIRC. I haven't been past lately but I assume it's still there. Back in the 1970s, there was a model shop in almost the same place but that closed decades ago.
  9. Me too. Years ago, I used to buy it every month. Then I stopped buying it altogether and I'm now back to buying it occasionally, when there's an article that interests me, as I think the standard's picked up significantly. But there are many issues in which there's nothing that appeals to me at all, so no way would I subscribe.
  10. There's Kitbox on Station Road in Whitley Bay, only a couple of miles from North Shields. Well worth a visit: it's small but it's a good, old-fashioned model shop stocking both current and secondhand kits. Frank, the owner, really knows his stuff. Down here in York, we have Monk Bar Model Shop (right next to one of the medieval city gates) and P&S Hobbies and Models on Fossgate, who also have a shop in Scarborough. Rather scarily, I've been a customer at all three for over 30 years. There were others that I used before that: I can think of half a dozen on North Tyneside, all long gone.
  11. Also see the AirTanker contract.
  12. I'll stick my neck out and say that I think (and I may be wrong, I'm no businessman) that in this case, anyway, the stock was owned by Hornby and the franchise holders had custody of it on a sale or return basis. Whereas a stockist has bought the stock from a wholesaler. If Hornby had sold the products to Boswell's (etc.), they would have recouped the investment they'd made when they produced the kits and also made some profit: result, as far as they're concerned. However, if Boswell's were just leasing the stock, Hornby were not only having to wait to recover their investment and make their profit; they were also carrying the risk that it wouldn't sell at all and would at some point be returned to them. The whole thrust of Hornby's financial recovery strategy is to reduce the amount of stock they hold, because it's dead money (indeed, it costs money to hold, which is why the MOD slashed its stores inventory some 20 years ago). And Boswell's bore some risk as well: if the Hornby stuff wasn't selling, it was costing them money because that shelf space could have been occupied by other products that would. So it wouldn't be in their interest to, potentially, lose even more money by buying the stuff and becoming a stockist. Happy to be shot down by someone who actually understands economics! But I agree with Graham: whatever the short-term imperative, removing Hornby products from general circulation isn't going to help them maintain their market, let alone grow it.
  13. I don't think you're bursting anyone's bubble, as that's pretty much what we were saying: if the franchise had been a roaring success, it's unlikely Hornby would have terminated it. If, as it appears, they're pulling out of every such arrangement they've entered into, it indicates that the whole initiative was a miscalculation on their part or that they've made mistakes in implementing it. Sure, it's going to save them money right now but it's also going to lose them an opportunity to engage youngsters who might have gone on to become lifelong consumers of Airfix products (in other words, its future 'core market'), like we did. If they want the brand to endure, they've got to engage somewhere with people who aren't already part of the hobby, because a great many of us are getting on in years. Moreover, from conversations with one model shop owner, the fact that stock of some Airfix lines he and his peers have paid full wholesale price for has then been offloaded to bargain shops and retailed at a price massively undercutting the one they're able to offer has disenchanted some specialist outlets with Hornby as well. (Not to mention being another indicator of poor sales forecasting by Hornby, losing them money through the cost of producing and holding excess stock.) Enthusiasts like us aren't the core market for Fenwicks' toy department, that's absolutely true. I doubt it's going to matter in the least to the store when Hornby clear out; in fact, the apparent slow turnover of stock makes me suspect Fenwicks might well have asked Hornby to leave sooner or later, if they hadn't been pre-empted. Nor am I bothered at the prospect of losing access, during a brief visit to Tyneside every couple of weeks, to a restricted range of Airfix kits that I can easily buy at home in shops that stock a good deal else besides: picking my way through the cosmetics department and up three escalators to eyeball the stock and the Humbrol paints that I've not used for 15 years hasn't usually been that much of a temptation, to be honest. It seems to me that it's only Hornby who are going to lose by this, in the long term. If there is one.
  14. Well, the shelves certainly hadn't been swept bare in Fenwicks, despite the generous discount. On the face of it, most of the same kits I'd seen two weeks ago were still sitting there. Of course, it's possible more boxings are being brought out of the stockroom to replace kits as they sell but in either case it does look as though the shop has been holding a lot of stock that nobody coming through the door wants to buy. Significantly, relatively complex and expensive new moulds appeared to be over-represented. I've heard it suggested (I don't know whether this is correct) that the concession might have been on a 'sale or return' basis: if so, I can see why it wouldn't make commercial sense to have 1/24 Typhoons priced at £120 sitting gathering dust somewhere it's becoming apparent they're not likely to sell. Whether those are the kits that should have been in that outlet in the first place, and whether by closing it down you're throwing the baby out with the bathwater, are other questions. Personally, I bought a JP3 the first time I was in: the full retail price is perfectly reasonable but the subject's on the periphery of my interest and the reduction tipped the balance. Yesterday, I bought what was probably the same Comet IV I noticed 2 weeks ago. I bought another one a few months ago, from a model shop, for £12 and converted it to an RAF Comet C2. The second one will fit into a small theme of 1960s RAF transport aircraft: I paid £10.50 for it. That price bracket, in my opinion, is acceptable for the rather crude 1961 kit in the box. When I first considered buying a second example, the retail price being charged by the shop I saw it in was (as recommended by Airfix) £17 - which is a bad joke for a few pieces of scantily-detailed plastic from a mould that's over half a century old, building into a fairly small model. The kit itself, arguably, is a pretty good choice for a toyshop but at that price, again, it becomes a pretty dubious one to my mind.
  15. I gather this is the reason for the sale: I don't know Boswell & Co but like it says, "Hornby who own Humbrol are in the process of withdrawing all their store concessions and we will therefore stop selling Humbrol products in mid January 2017". Which confirms what I heard from another source this afternoon. Shutting down every non-specialist retail outlet for their products doesn't seem to likely help Hornby to increase the number of people who buy them, or even to sustain it, given the age profile of people in the hobby.