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AWFK10

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About AWFK10

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  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.
  4. I gather this is the reason for the sale: http://www.boswells.co.uk/humbrol/b230. 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.
  5. Sounds like a great place. When I was a kid (before the Frog Vengeance came out......) the old guy who ran my local model shop used to wrap purchases in crisp brown paper, which added to the magic of it all: I know what you mean about the smell of cardboard. The shop had glass counters, too.....
  6. Did she collaborate with Albert Ball on the design of the Austen Ball Scout?
  7. You're welcome, I'm pleased it helped you net a bargain Whitley!
  8. Anybody who's going to be in Newcastle city centre might like to know that when I called in this afternoon Fenwicks had a 30% markdown on their (very limited selection of) Airfix kits - and I guess on railway stuff as well, as the signs say "Hornby". IIRC, there were only single examples of a lot of items (e.g. 1/48 Defiant, the new B17G) but multiples of the Whitley V, Dakota, Hawk and Kate. The Whitley had already been reduced to £20; the 30% is off their normal retail price, so it should now be £17.50.
  9. A quick dip into Les Rogers' "British Aviation Squadron Markings of World War 1" turns up photos of 46 Sqn and 54 Sqn Camels wearing numbers, for example, and a reference to 71 Sqn using letters for A and C Flights but numbers 1 - 6 for B Flight.
  10. It's decades since I read "Biggles of the Camel Squadron" (which inspired me to buy my very first model, the Airfix Camel), so treat this with caution! But I seem to remember that, in the story where a German pilot drops a pair of boots through the roof of a hut belonging to a character whose name I can't remember, killing his pet goldfish, there's a small clue in the description of the ensuing dogfight. Biggles witnesses a Camel making a ferocious attack on a German aircraft, which is shot down, and assumes it's flown by Algy. Then "the victor zoomed high" (I definitely remember that bit) and Biggles recognised the number of Whatsisname's machine. Kind of implying that the Camels carried individual ID numbers. I can't remember which flight Biggles commanded, A, B or C but if the books say, you could assume that each flight would have had 6 aircraft and that as the leader Biggles' aircraft would have had the lowest number in his flight - so 1, 7 or 13. Nobody could prove you wrong! Unfortunately, I'm pretty sure the books didn't specify whether Biggles' Camel was actually built by Sopwith or by a subcontractor such as Boulton Paul, which would have given some more clues about its finish......
  11. Because, in this country, every two bit organisation with an overdeveloped sense of its own importance would feel the need to prove it by inventing a pretext for requiring you to produce your ID every time you interacted with it. And because such organisations tend to attract employees with the same deficiency. Example: Tyne & Wear Metro. There's an interchange between two lines at Monument station provided so passengers can, guess what, change lines to continue their journey. Unsurprisingly, you don't need to pass through a ticket barrier as you transfer from one line to the other because, why would you? Except that one of the guys employed to lean on the barriers stopped me and demanded to see my ticket. I emailed his employers and requested an explanation, pointing out that you're not required to have your ticket checked when, say, you switch from the Northern Line to the Piccadilly Line at Leicester Square. The place to check tickets is on entry to or exit from the system, so what are they trying to achieve? The answer, so typical of British officialdom, was essentially "We don't have a rational argument to justify it; we don't have to explain ourselves to the people who pay our wages, we do it because we can". I don't much want to be legally obliged to reinforce the ego of inadequates, I know that would be the inevitable result of being required to carry photo ID in this country and so I'm against it. And that's without going into politics, which as the OP said are off limits.
  12. More to the point, over a period of 6 years in the 1970s, the price of Airfix kits increased substantially - quite possibly by 75%, which some Airfix kits have risen in price by over the last 6 years. However, my parents' wages rose with inflation. Mine haven't. I'm taking home less money - in absolute, not relative terms - than I was in 2010. While few other things have gone up by 75%, they've still gone up and many of them have to be paid for. Plastic models don't. Not a whinge, just cold, hard fact.
  13. Far more than I'm prepared to pay, that's for sure. But as the Airfix Victor also costs more than I'm prepared to pay, the question's academic as far as I'm concerned. As it happens, I do want to build a Victor B2 with Blue Steel, so last week I bought a Revell boxing of the old Matchbox kit for less than 40% of the Airfix price: I already have a spare missile and I can make the other changes. I was fully aware of what's in the box and how it compares to the Airfix kit but, with work, it'll give me what I, personally, want. Airfix are pitching their new releases at people who have a different approach to modelling and I honestly hope they've called it correctly. I've been buying their kits for over 45 years; I've bought a lot of their recent 1/72 releases (which are very good) and I want to see them prosper. I'll continue to buy new kits when they're of a subject that I want a kit of in that scale (having regard to what's already in my stash) and the cost is within my budget. But, at their new prices, there will be no more impulse buys. I hope other people feel differently and can afford to keep putting money in the Airfix bank account.
  14. Some discussion of this on PPRuNe.
  15. For what it's worth, I was told by a model shop owner last weekend that Barclays have called in part of Airfix's [more likely Hornby's] debt. Hence this year's second price hike.