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DaveCS

Airfix Beaufighter Now Due End Of September 2015

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Not just a problem affecting Airfix, the Hornby group got screwed slightly when the factory they had lined up to do stuff in China got taken over by someone else who prioritised their products over Hornbys. Others companies and organisations have experienced the same with their products in similar circumstances.

Whilst delays are mildly annoying, I'd rather the product was top notch and came out, rather than rushed, poorly executed or cancelled. Just need to accept that these dates have to be fluid due to the nature of the beast.

It'd be a nicer situation if Hornby bought ALL their Manafacturing capability back to blighty. I mean if most of Europe, North Africa and beyond is trying to get in, and the economys doing so absolutely amazingly, according to the drongos in charge, then the UK should be the best place to make the darn things AND export them from. At least the indiginous population could have a chance to be proud of producing an Iconic British product.

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Ayup

And are you an expert on overseas wages ? I would say that the Indigenous populations of china AND India DO NOT work 'for a bowl of rice' a day as we used to stereotype them as doing. Rather I would say that the new populations coming on stream as it were would expect and get better wages, and only dont get them fully because theyre not allowed to unionise as some of us are here. Plus, If Hornby can bring back the production of paint and other comsumables to keep a grip on Quality, then they could do so with kit production.

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Ayup

And are you an expert on overseas wages ? I would say that the Indigenous populations of china AND India DO NOT work 'for a bowl of rice' a day as we used to stereotype them as doing. Rather I would say that the new populations coming on stream as it were would expect and get better wages, and only dont get them fully because theyre not allowed to unionise as some of us are here. Plus, If Hornby can bring back the production of paint and other comsumables to keep a grip on Quality, then they could do so with kit production.

I have a great deal of experience of offshoring and the comparative costs of that activity and whilst on a personal basis I too would like to see such work brought back in the UK economy the costs of production would very likely be much higher. The difference in wages costs would very likely outweigh any advantage gained in shipping costs. Wages are certainly not a bowl of rice but in my experience maybe 10-20% of the UK salary.

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I have a great deal of experience of offshoring and the comparative costs of that activity and whilst on a personal basis I too would like to see such work brought back in the UK economy the costs of production would very likely be much higher. The difference in wages costs would very likely outweigh any advantage gained in shipping costs. Wages are certainly not a bowl of rice but in my experience maybe 10-20% of the UK salary.

It's not just the wage bill that is cheaper offshore, it's all the other stuff required by manufacturing like power, water and raw materials...

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However, wage and infrastructure costs are rising as the overseas economies develop, so their competitive advantage is continually shrinking. We have also seen dramatic drops in quality (notably paint) because of the lack of local quality control, and this has to rebound to extra cost, reduced sales and lost reputation to the company here.

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However, wage and infrastructure costs are rising as the overseas economies develop, so their competitive advantage is continually shrinking. We have also seen dramatic drops in quality (notably paint) because of the lack of local quality control, and this has to rebound to extra cost, reduced sales and lost reputation to the company here.

I always wondered about that. Being in the IT industry and seeing many jobs go "off shore" I often wondered: "What happens when those off shore economies become booming enough that they too are 'too expensive' for corporations to afford? What then?" - I mean, the world is only so big right? Currently most off shore is India, China, perhaps other parts of Asia/South Asia etc. But those economies are really impacting the global one. Where to next? Africa? Parts of Eastern Europe?

Should make for interesting times.

But... regardless.. I haven't ordered my Beaufighter yet even though it's now in stock at the overseas stockists (It won't make it to Canada for about another 2 months I bet *sigh* :( )

Cheers,

Dave

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Airfix told me that the canopies for the 1/72 Mustang were moulded in pairs to make better use of the machine.

Somebody was give the sole task of snipping them apart! Definitely not economic here, though presumably so in India where they were moulded.

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At least the indiginous population could have a chance to be proud of producing an Iconic British product.

who precisely are the indigenous population of Britain? Picts? Leprechauns? :)

on a slightly more serious note, I always wondered about almost complete lack of shortrun or resin kits or aftermarket industry in Britain, or in western Europe in general, compared to central/eastern Europe. Out of my head, I can think of Mach2, who are French iirc and aren't exactly a synonymum for quality, Freightdog in Britain, White Ensign, who recently went bust afaik, and not much else.

If you need so much to be proud of genuine british products, don't rely on Airfix, go ahead and produce something on your own ;)

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What "almost complete lack"?

Britain had vacforms, notably Rareplanes but also Elliot, Formaplane and Ron Firth. Plus early short-run plastic from Merlin, Pegasus, Skybirds 72 and others. Resins from DB and Magna. For aftermarket and kits there was and still is the magnificent Aeroclub, but other stuff from the likes of CScale. I'm sure I can find others - the very early Harrier and Hunter trainer conversions, for example - but I think the point is made.

If you move out of aircraft there is the massive range of AFVs from Milicast, Matador, MMS (white metal), SHQ, and Wee Friends. That's just 1/76....there are larger ones and an immense range of smaller wargaming ones. For ships there was until recently the Len Jordan range, which I suspect is not alone.

Western Europe had Airmodels and Frankmodelbau in Germany, Dujin resins from France. Huma was really a garage operation at first, although did expand somewhat. That's aircraft: similarly there are large ranges of 1/72 resin AFVs and 1/700 warships.

Edited by Graham Boak

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honestly, all I know from your list is Merlin and Pegasus, and afaik, those are a distant history, aren't they?

As for present, clear picture can be made just by looking at Hannants and origin of the products they offer. Mind you, key phrase in my post was "compared to eastern/central Europe".

anyway this is far from being important, I didn't want to start a trollfest about who produces most kits is the bestest country.

I just find it a bit amusing, how it's often seen as some duty of Airfix, to hold alone the flag of british modelling industry and national pride. or am I reading between lines too much? nevermind.

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My apologies for not being born yesterday. I'm not being uber-patriotic, because there is a long history and a not-inconsiderable current presence of such products in the UK and Western Europe. If you want to restrict the discussion to today's Hannants list and aircraft, then there isn't as much around as there used to be but I can immediately add several.

Welsh Models - which is massively larger that the restricted list in Hannants - for the UK and FResin for France.

Hannants themselves now own and push the Airwaves range.

Sanger (i.e. Sutcliffe, Contrail, Elliot and Formaplane) are still available, I believe.

Look at DJParkin's Flightpath range - he also does AFVs (ok mainly softskins and airfield accessories) and ship aftermarket.

Away from aircraft, the old Skytrek ranges are now reappearing from different sources, and Finewaterline do 1/700 ships. HP Models do 1/700 ships in Germany. L'Arsenal various scale ships/accessories in France.

Then there are transfer ranges and paints, of course, but that's perhaps stretching matters.

If you don't recognise even the modern names, look outside the box. There is a lot more around than appears even in the Hannants list. Not a lot for Beaufighters yet.

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Being in the IT industry and seeing many jobs go "off shore" I often wondered: "What happens when those off shore economies become booming enough that they too are 'too expensive' for corporations to afford? What then?"

"reshoring" (although that may be more wishful thinking than reality)

(also in the IT industry and also looking forward to when the Beaufighters reach Canada :) )

Edited by ksc

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"reshoring" (although that may be more wishful thinking than reality)

Not necessarily. I remember not that long ago listening to a programme on the World Service in which the owner of a Chinese factory (can't remember what they built) was looking into shifting production to Vietnam as it could be done a lot cheaper there.

And so the circle turns...

Anyway, back to the Airfix Beaufighter. Cracking model, what?

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Airfix told me that the canopies for the 1/72 Mustang were moulded in pairs to make better use of the machine.

Somebody was give the sole task of snipping them apart! Definitely not economic here, though presumably so in India where they were moulded.

Not uncommon, these days it's often the number of 'shots' needed on the IJ machine rather than the number of parts in a kit that is the prime factor in production costs. So if you can make 1,2 or more parts on one 'pull' then it's more cost effective than having to have one pull per canopy. Not just canopies, the 'G2' parts of AZ's Bf109G kit are 'paired'

I beleive there are some smaller kits that are similarly paired, so you get two or more kits off one IJ operation.

Regarding production costs - look at Korea, costs rose there so many modelling companies moved production to China. Airfix moved to India because it was cheaper than China, which was becoming more expensive

Edited by Dave Fleming

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Anyway, back to the Airfix Beaufighter. Cracking model, what?

Indeed it is... got mine today and it looks lovely. Looking at the way it broken-down (the extreme nose and tailplane/ rudder are seperate), I think it'll be easy for Airfix to make other versions.

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Indeed it is... got mine today and it looks lovely. Looking at the way it broken-down (the extreme nose and tailplane/ rudder are seperate), I think it'll be easy for Airfix to make other versions.

Very glad to hear that as well as the other positive comments I've seen.

I know delays can be annoying but it is worth putting up with if at the end a quality kit is delivered to modellers. Definitely will be building at least one Airfix Beau if not more.

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I see that the single Beau kit is now available yet there is no sign of the three which I pre ordered from Airfix several months ago even being dispatched yet,.....bit of a dissapointment really!

Tony

Edited by tonyot

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The proof will be in the building as there have been some QC issues with recent Airfix releases. Hopefully it will be a nice kit to build but then I do have a couple of Hasegawa Beaufighters, so I'll see how they compare. Hope the HeIII is good too.

thanks

Mike

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I got mine today along with the Heinkel He-111P-2, both kits are LOVELY - it's a good job the very first thing I did was to put the decals in a zip-lock bag because I've been drooling over the Beau ever since (it's going to take hours for the instruction sheet to dry out though)!

Seriously, if you have any interest in the Beau I'd recommend this kit, I reckon you could make a late Mk.VI as well as the Mk.X.

Wez

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