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About Denford

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    Obsessed Member
  • Birthday 08/29/1937

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    Wandsworth: the birthplace of Airfix kits

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  1. I'm happy to disagree: I think it (ie Ju-88A1) would sell! - Firstly the Airfix 60's kit is long overdue for re-tooling. -Secondly Hasegawa, Italeri and others have covered most of the later variants, leaving only the A1 untooled. So the general kit buying public will buy it for the reasons they buy any kit. But the real cognescenti, who probably already have later variants in their collection, will buy it because it's diffent from all the other 88's. Some may buy it to complete their BoB line up. A win-win situation and a very smart choice.
  2. Not sure if you mean the SA-2 should be 'paired' with an Israeli F-4: 'Dogfigtht Double' would stretch credibility beyond breaking point! However, so I'm told, that although Airfix still have the SA-2 mold it is too badly damaged to be re-used.
  3. If by the kit designers you mean those who sit at a computer screen designing the molds from measurements probably by others, I very much doubt that they have any freedom at all to 'create what they would like to do'. From Telford, Airfix have an (annual?) budget presumably from Hornby Hobbies. From this they must work to get the best financial return they can: there may be some restraints\requirements on cash flow too. There's no magic in this and I suspect most manufacturing businesses face similar issues. For this, they have to estimate both sales revenues and production costs of their choices. Again from Telford, the designers have to provide estimates of screen hours, which together with other costs ranging from License Fees to Shipping and Company Overheads, make up the initial investment. There are other variables such as do more parts (and hence costs) pay off in increased sales? Or would new computer software to enhance design speed/accuracy be worth it? Costs would have to come from the budget meaning less money spent on kit design. As for forecasting sales, they probably have a pretty good idea for their 'core area'. To move outside this would, for me, be like going into a Betting Shop. Hence no 1/144 as suggested above. As if that's not enough there has to be variety. I've seen postings here calling 10 or more 1/72 single-seat fighters all in urgent need of (re)tooling ! However by all accounts Hornby Hobbies, though still 'in the red', seem to be recovering with Airfix paying its way. This all suggests their current way of working and more particularly subject choices are correct. To be sure there will be disappointments: Helicopters don't sell nor seemingly does WWl or we'd have seen more of them. Despite choice restrictions eg availability of data, there is still a huge pool, no ocean, of potential subjects being reduced at the rate of at around 5-6 per year! No wonder one's 'pet subject' never seems to come up.
  4. The requirement on data is comparatively recent. For dating, the Do 17 was slightly modified on the basis of the recovered wreckage. There are two Wellingtons: one at Brooklands but recovered from Loch Ness in two parts and re-united. The one now at Cosford? had been converted to a trainer: not sure how it is now. I believe that is the one Airfix used for data: it may have been under restoration at the time and so somewhat more accessible. There is an extant Whitley fuselage and enough data according to Simon Owen, Airfix's researcher. The car door Typhoon: Airfix obviously felt data from existing a/c was sufficient. In a sense, Airfix set their own rules, though again according to Simon Owen, 'there are lots of subjects they would like to do but can't' Aside from the commercial viability of a Manchester, I'm really not sure if surviving data (is there anything other than photos?) is sufficient. My own view is that there are many, many more worthwhile subjects. Do I hear cries of Beaufort and Venom?
  5. Most of these have been answered elsewhere save: - TSR2. An old chestnut: the 'Airfix' that tooled it went bankrupt soon afterwards. - On the basis that Manchester was developed into the Lancaster, the Supermarine Type 224 should surely be tooled as it was a precursor to the Spitfire. - Nobody has yet shown where there is Manchester data to the standard Airfix currently require. - That something ' ..might make a loss but wouldn't be a disaster..' I don't know whether to laugh or cry. Hornby Hobbies, though financially 'recovering' have still not paid off their debt. Others may be better able to inform how far they have yet to go.
  6. I'm afraid I can't get the multi-quote to work (always happens to me) but why should/shouldn't Airfix tool a new P-47 when there is already one available from Tamiya? Firstly, new toolings of the types you list are almost invariably 'improvements' over what has gone before. Usually detail\accuracy but sometimes cost, snap together etc. Hannants list the Airfix P-51 at £6.99 vs £12.99 for the Tamiya P-51: midway are Academy and others. So why not the same for P-47? Quality: some have contended that the Tamiya P-47 is the best ever 1/72 kit! My example gives no dates, but it must have been around 10+years yet the quality is 2020 and unlikely ever to be bettered. Yes, a 'new' P-47 could have some fewer parts (and so be cheaper) but that would bring it in competition with the likes of Hasegawa, Academy etc so it would have to show some other advantage. You say ' ..the market is big enough for another P-47.' How do you know? Have you conducted any research? Your not having seen the Tamiya offering (if I read your post correctly) I can assure you that it does not have a 'huge parts count'. Yes, there is a selection of underwing stores, the engine could be part of the main cowling and a few other short-cuts could made which would bring it 'into line' with other available kits over which it would have no real advantage. I'll agree with accessibility, easier build etc with the junior modeller in mind but that isn't the way Airfix currently make their kits. Were this required, they could re-issue their 60's kit.
  7. Why should Airfix tool a new P-47 when there are perfectly good kits already available from Tamiya? It would either have to be very much cheaper, or at the same price of significantly better quality: neither very likely. Come to think of it, didn't they issue one in the late 60'? Series 1 as I recall, and with almost enough parts to qualify it for Series 2. Can anyone recall how 'good' it was or put another way, was it of sufficient quality to re-release as a cheaper alternative to Tamiya? Again to quote you, there are many, many 'subjects in need of a modern kit taken care of'. More likely than a Hampden is a Boston\Havoc: far more users, colour schemes and variants than the Hampden ever had. Whilst not doubting the sincerity of 'Hampden lovers' nor the readily available data at Cosford, surely a Boston\Havoc makes better world-wide commercial sense.
  8. I'll reword my original post and say: 'Can those who call for a Manchester confirm that there is data to the standard of accuracy which Airfix NOW require'
  9. Can those who call for a Manchester confirm that there is data to the standard of accuracy which Airfix require.
  10. Surely this all belongs in the Members' Wish List section
  11. Following the recent posts, I'll concede that a T-33 from Airfix is unlikely though nonetheless credible. Still can't understand why Revell Germany haven't tooled it though. In talking of Silver Star wasn't aware that GWH had already tooled it. I was really talking of it as a classic 'development' by Airfix from an 'straight' T-33. I was also thinking 1/72, though there's no reason Airfix couldn't produce it 1/48.
  12. Trying to get back on topic: Rumourmonger! About to issue a Tiger Moth, I can't see Aifix tooling another 'simple' trainer soon. And of course the Tiger Moth has to sell well for any hope of tooling more trainers. I've always been a little surprised that Airfix (and even more Revell Germany) haven't tooled a T-33! Lots of colour schemes and users, one of which was the West German Airforce! It might even be possible to 'modify and re-issue' as Silver Star: the T-33 airframe adapted to use a Nene, and used by RCAF. Others will be better informed on how easy this would be. And if the new Tiger Moth did sell well then perhaps some more same era subjects? A 1/48 Dragon Rapide (which would exceede all that I perceive as Airfix's selection criteria) might persuade me to try my first ever 1/48 and Biplane builds!
  13. Recent posts speculating on what the next 'big' Airfix subject might be have speculated on large aircraft such as Halifax, Vulcan and completely forgotten that the last 'large' subject was the Hellcat! The only thing we learn from History is that we never learn from History. What about the 1/24 Mosquito? I'm told that the toolings for Bomber and 2 Stage variants were all completed at the same time as the original issue. If so, it's always been a bit of a mystery to me as to why they were held back: to make way for the Hellcat perhaps? If there is to be a 1/72 tooling of a large aircraft, there have been some pretty wild suggestions in earlier posts! Realistically, and following their perceived criteria, it could be: - Privateer - Halifax - Liberator (if the Fortress sold well) - Sunderland - Catalina - Lincoln - Neptune - Vulcan (if the Victor sold well) - Hercules As outsiders/second rank I would put - Horsa - York - Commando - Superfortress - Atlantic - Orion Or of course there may be nothing at all! But above all, it has to be something that will make money, not satisfy the whims of a few individuals.
  14. I doubt very much if anyone (other than those sworn to secrecy) knows the Airfix list for 2020. Do you remember a posting some years back when the individual's cleaner's babysitter's boyfriend's dogwalker' drinking companion was a Security Guard at their offices and had seen a 1/24th at Lysander there ? Per earlier postings, I would expect all save one of the 2020 releases to be announced just ahead of the Trade Fairs at the turn of the year. Workbench and Aeredrome postings will be limited to progress on what has already been announced. Something totally new for Telford and it can't be too small, a new variant, or a re-issue. A new 1/72 Chipmunk would be a joke and another Wellington variant hardly news, likewise reissue of the Anson. At the very least a totally new/retool 1/72 twin or 1/48 single engined subject. Even with their perceived selection criteria (which I won't repeat) there are just too many possibles. Wishes aplenty, hard facts none. Painful though it may be, it's down to waiting for Telford, now only some 8 weeks away.
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