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Vintage Airfix Kits


Crossiant Oliver
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30 minutes ago, Giorgio N said:

But are they that many ? I can only think of a few Airfix kits that have not been replaced at some point. Granted, I may have forgotten some interwar type but I doubt that the total number is beyond 10 to be optimistic and some of these are not what are generally considered "vintage airfix".

Looking through the link from BlackKnight, the list is surprisingly long eg Basset, Belvedere, Ford Trimotor, Bulldog and a whole slew of WW1 types (Pup, D.H.4, HP O/400. Hannover, R.E.8).  Is the Heller Puma a different mould from the Airfix one?  I shall add the first 4 of those to my earlier post: IIRC the D.H.4 in particular is a little gem that would give the new B.E.2c a very good run for its money, even for things like fine trailing edges).

30 minutes ago, Giorgio N said:

 

As for kits that have been replaced but not surpassed, I can only think of a couple that have not been surpassed for certain aspects. Any suggestion ?

Hmm, trickier.  A couple of possibilities: Devastator (the Valom kit's canopy is a different cross section and I concluded the Airfix one was more accurate (I may be wrong on that)).  And I didn't see anything in the Octopus Kingfisher that commended it to me over the Airfix kit. 

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Among WW2 1/72 subjects, the Spitfire Mk I and Vb, and FW 190A and D, are nice ones as already mentioned.

 

My personal all-time favorite, though, is the 1/72 Bristol Bulldog. Lovely fabric rendition, very petite small detail parts, nice engine. When carefully built it holds up to most modern stuff quite well IMHO, and I don't know of a better kit of the Bulldog that has appeared in the meantime.

Edited by MDriskill
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Actually Seahawk has reminded me, the Pup isn't a bad little kit either. The wing ribbing is arguably a tad over the top but there's plenty of room for scratch building and adding to the cockpit. That's definitely one of Airfix's early ones where you could make a lovely little model and with just some plastic card, tubing you could really turn it into a real beauty.

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Well, I would not be doing this, building a vintage Airfix model.

 

As I remember, vintage Airfix kits has been surpassed a long time ago and trying to fight one into submission would be a worthless case.

 

The only resonable excuse would be to build one to prove the point, namely that it's not worth the time and effort.

 

Just my 5 cents.

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The fact that we are even talking about these kits, some of which are nearly 60 years old, shows that some still have merit.  If I were OC Airfix, I would be more worried about the number of Hornby-era Airfix kits which have already been overtaken by alternatives that are more accurate/more highly detailed/better moulded/cheaper (sometime all four), eg

 

MiG-15 (Eduard)

Spitfire IX (Eduard)

Bf 110 (Eduard)

Fw 190A (Eduard)

Hurricane IIc (Revell)

Dornier Do 17Z (ICM)

Edited by Seahawk
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2 hours ago, Seahawk said:

Looking through the link from BlackKnight, the list is surprisingly long eg Basset, Belvedere, Ford Trimotor, Bulldog and a whole slew of WW1 types (Pup, D.H.4, HP O/400. Hannover, R.E.8).  Is the Heller Puma a different mould from the Airfix one?  I shall add the first 4 of those to my earlier post: IIRC the D.H.4 in particular is a little gem that would give the new B.E.2c a very good run for its money, even for things like fine trailing edges).

 

Hmm, trickier.  A couple of possibilities: Devastator (the Valom kit's canopy is a different cross section and I concluded the Airfix one was more accurate (I may be wrong on that)).  And I didn't see anything in the Octopus Kingfisher that commended it to me over the Airfix kit. 

 

As I suspected, there were a few more early types that I didn't think of. The Pup though was recently covered by HR Models with a kit that looks good in the pictures I've seen. Not being knowledgeable about WW1 subjects I'll leave comments on its quality to others.

Checking on thr web, there's also a Choroszy kit of the R.E.8. This is in resin so maybe hard to find. Choroszy though generally offer very high quality kits.

The Heller Puma is indeed the Airfix kit, the Puma cousins are IMHO better served but it's true that the original one is not

Among those possibly still not bettered I have been tempted by including the Lynx, however the HB kit may be less accurate but is honestly a better kit.

 

1 hour ago, Seahawk said:

The fact that we are even talking about these kits, some of which are nearly 60 years old, shows that some still have merit.  If I were OC Airfix, I would be more worried about the number of Hornby-era Airfix kits which have already been overtaken by alternatives that are more accurate/more highly detailed/better moulded/cheaper (sometime all four), eg

 

MiG-15 (Eduard)

Spitfire IX (Eduard)

Bf 110 (Eduard)

Fw 190A (Eduard)

Hurricane IIc (Revell)

Dornier Do 17Z (ICM)

 

I'd add the Hawk to this list.. while the new Revell kit may be less accurate in some shapes, it is undoubtedly a nicer build. It's also more accurate in some areas.

Of course the Bf.109G, don't know how Hornby could let that thing hit the market...

Not sure about the Revell Hurricane. It's older than the Airfix kit by many years, it's indeed a nicer kit in terms of details but accuracy leaves to be desired.

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46 minutes ago, Giorgio N said:

Not sure about the Revell Hurricane. It's older than the Airfix kit by many years, it's indeed a nicer kit in terms of details but accuracy leaves to be desired.

Of course you're quite right but I couldn't pass up a chance to give the appalling Airfix kit another kicking.  Also agree re Hawk and Bf 109G.

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GiorgioN, good points as always, but you are not comparing like for like.  Saying the Airfix F-86D has been bettered by the Hasegawa, well, I should hope so when it costs 3 times as much in the UK than the Airfix.  If I brought a 1/1 scale BMW to replace my Ford to run the family around, allowing it will cost a damn site more, it better had be a better product.

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1 hour ago, Giorgio N said:

As I suspected, there were a few more early types that I didn't think of. The Pup though was recently covered by HR Models with a kit that looks good in the pictures I've seen. Not being knowledgeable about WW1 subjects I'll leave comments on its quality to others.

Checking on thr web, there's also a Choroszy kit of the R.E.8. This is in resin so maybe hard to find. Choroszy though generally offer very high quality k

But again, HR and Chorosky not available at my local model shop, or at a similar price to a Airfix (or Revell) equivalent.

 

The Airfix F-80 on here recently was really nice.

4 hours ago, Lawzer said:

and of course @Crossiant Oliver you could always join the Airfix golden age group build (if we get through...):

 

Will be adding my name to that.

 

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If you can get hold of an early noughties reissue of the 1/72 P1127, it is a quick and easy build.  The years of wear and tear on the mold work to your advantage, as the rivet detail had worn off (mostly) on my copy.

 

 

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36 minutes ago, PLC1966 said:

GiorgioN, good points as always, but you are not comparing like for like.  Saying the Airfix F-86D has been bettered by the Hasegawa, well, I should hope so when it costs 3 times as much in the UK than the Airfix.  If I brought a 1/1 scale BMW to replace my Ford to run the family around, allowing it will cost a damn site more, it better had be a better product.

 

32 minutes ago, PLC1966 said:

But again, HR and Chorosky not available at my local model shop, or at a similar price to a Airfix (or Revell) equivalent.

 

 

Cost was never discussed in the posts that led to my mention of these kits. We were wondering which kits had been bettered and these have been.

Regarding cost and availability in hobby shops we also have to keep in mind that some of the kits mentioned here have been OOP for years. The HR Pup may not be available in your local hobby shop but neither is the Airfix F-86D. "Vintage" kits are not easily available in shops unless recently reboxed. If I have to search for an Airfix F-86D or an F-80 I have to go to model shows and check online dealers in the same way I have to find some more "exotic" brands. If I have to go through this to get my kit, then why spend to time to get an older kit when I can get a more modern one ? Ok, cost may be an issue, but is it really ?

An example about cost: the Hasegawa Sabre Dog is quite expensive in the latest "limited run" boxes, however it can be found for better prices. I've seen a while ago a far eastern dealer selling a brand new JASDF combo for something around €40 posted. That is around £18 per kit, a reasonable price. Even with VAT on top it's IMHO an acceptable price. The Airfix F-86D can be found online from around  £15 before delivery but I've seen boxes reaching the £30 mark. The same kit seem to be easily available for little money in the USA in both Airfix and MPC boxes, however postage to Europe makes the deal very unfavourable (as the OP is in the US however he may be interested in knowing this). Sure I may pop into the next model show and search for the kit at the many club stalls. At the latest local show though I found a brand new Special Hobby F-86L from a shop for £11 ! Ok, it's not a D but it's a close cousin with all the parts for a D in the box, including a nice PE sheet. In the end the vintage kit would have been the most expensive choice.

Said that, I still like the Airfix F-86D, built one as a kid, still have one in the stash and will build it. Would I search for another one ? No, I know that I can get better kits with less hassle and paying less. With other subjects things would be different as there may be less alternatives around of course

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4 hours ago, Seahawk said:

The fact that we are even talking about these kits, some of which are nearly 60 years old, shows that some still have merit.  If I were OC Airfix, I would be more worried about the number of Hornby-era Airfix kits which have already been overtaken by alternatives that are more accurate/more highly detailed/better moulded/cheaper (sometime all four), eg

 

MiG-15 (Eduard)

Spitfire IX (Eduard)

Bf 110 (Eduard)

Fw 190A (Eduard)

Hurricane IIc (Revell)

Dornier Do 17Z (ICM)

I would not put the ICM Do 17Z over the Airfix kit in terms of accuracy or detail.

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The second version of the Westland Whirlwind fighter is quite nice

I think the F-84F is reasonable as is the AMD Super Mystere

MBB Bo 105 is good and the Ka 25 Hormone

I like the U-2, although that is from the 1980'same

There is the CA-12 Boomerang  (if you can get an early edition)

The Cessna O-1A is a little gem, the O-2A less so

The Fokker F-27 still holds up too.

 

 

 

 

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Giorgio, there were at least 5 Airfix Sabre Dogs for sale at the Middle Wallop show, generally for around a fiver.  I nearly went for one with the "new" on the box as it would be a great moulding (and I loved building it when it was new new), but fell for a Hase USN biplane instead, pushing the boat out at six quid!

Cheers

Will

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I agree the classic F86D kit is very nice. I built this one with a few tweaks but no aftermarket bits...

 

38549260506_ca0961f379.jpg

 

It uses the kit decals... Appllogies for the quality of the photo it predates my current photo set up..

 

If you approach any vintage kit with  a view to it being as good as a more modern tooling of the same subject then 99.9% of the time it will fall short. Market demands have driven new kits to deliver better fit and detail for the most part. If you approach a vintage kit from the perspective of nostalgia or simplicity of build then they are satisfying to construct and paint generally at low cost if you fossick around for one at a swap meet or show.

 

If you want inspiration of what can be done with classic Airfix kits then a quick search for Mike Grants ‘circuits and bumps’ articles is well worth a look. He built a whole host of the classic Airfix kits in a modern  style and produce some stunning models that compare very favourably with modern offerings.

 

Cheers

Plasto

 

 

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I find these old Airfix kits are more rewarding and enjoyable to build than a lot of the more modern ones that cost several times as much money. I have had Azur kits that looked as though they were moulded under a hedge by a bloke drunk on cheap cider. 

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22 hours ago, stevehnz said:

Fair enough, even though I've seen some nice jobs made of it, maybe not so much OOB, I did ponder this one. Maybe too by your standards they're still trash incorporating those inaccuracies into an otherwise nicely made model. To me, I don't know what I'm looking at Phantom wise without consulting references so I think they look great, one mans food another poison & all that. In fact no older kit can compete with the best modern ones but many can have a decent job made of them. How would you rate this one, trash or treasure, I know what I think?

Steve.

It looks nice and shows that a lot of work has gone into it to bring it up to something like the real aircraft, but it would not do well at a model contest.  Airfix made the stab a swiveling assembly and you will note that there are large gaps around it that allow it to swivel.  These gaps are not there on the actual aircraft.  The model was also done as a B model F-4, which is really the only model it could really represent.  I have lots of classic Airfix kits in my stash, and for some kits, they still are the only game in town.  As an example, the F-84F.  Far superior to the Italeri kit, and I recently picked up a second hand kit from Rebel Hobby in Sweden, so now I have three of them. 

Later,

Dave

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4 minutes ago, Plasto said:

Another nice old kit is the defender/ islander...

 

This one is OOB with a mild rescribe...

 

37722441995_26078081f4.jpg

 

That does look nice!  I imagine that you had to scrounge around for the decals and maybe threw in some home made decals.  I don't ever remember the kit coming with Philippine Navy markings, but you never know.

Later,

Dave

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12 hours ago, Plasto said:

I agree the classic F86D kit is very nice. I built this one with a few tweaks but no aftermarket bits...

 

 

 

It uses the kit decals... Appllogies for the quality of the photo it predates my current photo set up..

 

If you approach any vintage kit with  a view to it being as good as a more modern tooling of the same subject then 99.9% of the time it will fall short. Market demands have driven new kits to deliver better fit and detail for the most part. If you approach a vintage kit from the perspective of nostalgia or simplicity of build then they are satisfying to construct and paint generally at low cost if you fossick around for one at a swap meet or show.

 

If you want inspiration of what can be done with classic Airfix kits then a quick search for Mike Grants ‘circuits and bumps’ articles is well worth a look. He built a whole host of the classic Airfix kits in a modern  style and produce some stunning models that compare very favourably with modern offerings.

 

Cheers

Plasto

 

 

 

Fully agree on the nostalgia builds, it's a good way to enjoy modelling. More typical of people like me who have passed their 40th of course... :D

 

I loved the circuit and bumps articles, they were a very interesting source of ideas. It should be said though that Mike is a very talented modeller with above average skills. Most important though, he has mastered a series of techniques that are not everyone's cup of tea while also having access to tools not immediately available to everyone and he put these to good use in many of his builds of Airfix classics. Not everybody casts resin parts or has an ALPS printer

 

7 hours ago, old thumper said:

I find these old Airfix kits are more rewarding and enjoyable to build than a lot of the more modern ones that cost several times as much money. I have had Azur kits that looked as though they were moulded under a hedge by a bloke drunk on cheap cider. 

 

Azur kits are short run, made with different manufacturring techiques. The less than perfect fit is a consequence of these manufacturing techniques. Another consequence is that they can make kits with potential markets in the couple thousand pieces, something that allowed them and similar manufacturrers to give us kits of subjects that mainstream companies would have never touched.

A fair comparison is not with Airfix or revell, a fair comparison is with "vintage" short run kits, for example Merlin and Pegasus. And here the superiority of the more modern kit is clear.

(It can also happens that short run kits fit better than certain mainstrema ones as I found when I built my RS Re.2005.... but this is another story)

 

3 hours ago, Plasto said:

Nah it came with the Philippine Navy Decals. I just rescribed it and added the underwing stores. I got a bronze in 1/72 Props in a local contest with it...

 

Nice model! My copy also has Philippine Navy decals, now unfortunately useless.

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