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jenko

Airfix 2019

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21 minutes ago, Ratch said:

which is why Airfix now ask for proof of purchase - like Revell and Italeri have always done.

The only proof I've ever been asked for that I recall was with the current Sea fury - I was asked for the batch number. 

 

Revell have never asked me for any proof before supplying parts on the three (I think) occasions that I've had to request them.


Cheers,

Bill.

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Some fair points being raised here.

I would say that in defence of the 'Retailer', perhaps they should inspect every Airfix kit prior to accepting any kit from the distributor. Going back one layer, perhaps the Distributor should inspect each kit prior to accepting them directly from Airfix? The images of Roman's B-26 are really unaccaptabale and I can imagine that not every 'Retailer' would be prepared to stock this companies products if the odds of finding defective parts is this high. I think I will ask to see what's inside the box before I buy another Airfix product from my LHS, however that's not exactly possible if a kit is ordered via mail.

 

Cheers.. Dave.  

 

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33 minutes ago, Heraldcoupe said:

The only proof I've ever been asked for that I recall was with the current Sea fury - I was asked for the batch number. 

 

Revell have never asked me for any proof before supplying parts on the three (I think) occasions that I've had to request them.


Cheers,

Bill.

I have only contacted Revell once, it was some time ago but I didn't get my replacement part because I couldn't prove where I bought it. I had a similar experience with Italeri and didn't get the part because they said they were out of stock. On the few times I've had a problem with an Airfix kit they've always delivered - quickly.

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I’ve only built 299 +/- 10 Airfix kits but have had short shot or other QC related issues with about 7 kits  in total ranging from the missing 2 stage Merlin Sprue on the 1/48 Mosquito (probably the only reason you’d buy that kit). To cracked canopies on the new 1/48 Ju-87b to short shot fuselage 1/2s on the PRXIX Spitfire, badly warped fuselage 1/2s on the 1/24 Typhoon etc.... I’m probably just unlucky. However my luck increases exponentially when I buy Tamiya go figure...

 

Unfortunatley my experiences definitely cloud my view on Airfix QC....

 

Airfix were really great to deal with on Spares now since the change of policy far less so... 

 

I think all manufacturers have issues with kit parts from time to time. I had a Meng P-51D with a short shot fuselage 1/2. But they were really quick to resolve the issue.  

 

I think the real issue is the change of tack on spare parts at Airfix hasn’t been really communicated that well to the modelling community if at all by Airfix directly..  We’ve sort of discovered it.  They are pretty quick to tell us all sorts of news apart from some stuff like this...  Which is odd given they were for a while in a co creation mode on social media. 

 

 

Edited by Plasto

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4 hours ago, Heraldcoupe said:

 

Revell have never asked me for any proof before supplying parts on the three (I think) occasions that I've had to request them.


Cheers,

Bill.

Back in pre-internet days, Revell required the instructions be sent in; some 20 or so years ago, they wanted the barcode cut from the box. No idea how they do it today. 

It‘s true the immediate responsibility is with the seller, but the seller has a seller, and ultimately the kit will return to Airfix. Unless someone down the line has excluded warranty. As the kit industry has always worked with a replacement service, there will be a reason for it - possibly some kind of filtering. However, this fails if there are „systemic“ faults like the canopy problems of the past few years when the requests are much above the number calculated. A return to the seller isn’t better either if they end up with a quarter of a run returned.

 

Anyway, if they find the money for a mould, Fury would be logical. I‘d also like a smooth wing Hunter, but the parts layout may be against this.

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I found an Airfix F-86D Sabre from 1975 a while ago. It is well moulded and the fit of the wings and fuselage parts seems very good. Even the small parts and the only clear part are well moulded.

 

That's make me wonder what happend with Airfix and quality? What about small parts, clear parts and attatchment points? I have four new Airfix P-51D Mustangs where small parts as antennas, rudderstick and landinggear are almost destroyed because bad moulding and bad attatchment points. And I have never seen that kind of damages on the older Spifire Mk. I/II/V kits or the older P-51D/K Mustang kit.

 

Looking att the mould damages of the Maurader wich is an "old kit" made with an old mould makes one wonder what people, employees working with producing kits today feel about their work?

 

Do they feel proud and responsibility or do they not take care att all? It is only just another "toy" for a kid in an country far away...

 

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It can work both ways though I have found. Take the Airfix 1/24 Spitfire Mk 1a. I have around 12 boxings of this kit, ranging from the Red Stripe box up to the latest Red box issue and everything in between. Now, the transparencies in most of the older boxings that I have are pretty bad. Even in the original issue, there are flaws and imperfections actually in the plastic which no amount of buffing out will clear, and this applies to nearly all the kits I have from 1970 through to the 1990s releases. The most recent Red box release that I have is a different story. The transparencies are very clear indeed and very usable. I found the same thing with the 109E. Just an observation.

Edited by fightersweep

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22 hours ago, Seahawk said:

Yes, the idea that Airfix have (apparently) consciously adopted as a planning assumption the premise that only a financially insignificant number of customers will complain if Airfix palm off faulty or substandard products on them leaves a nasty taste in the mouth.  If such a decision has been made, they deserve to be bitten in the bottom by it.

I don't think it's a conscious decision at all. There have been issues with scheduling and planning at Hornby in general, which the CEO alludes to in the recent report:

http://otp.investis.com/clients/uk/hornby/rns/regulatory-story.aspx?cid=1477&newsid=1057137

 

Manufacturers are like sharks - they survive and thrive by moving at pace. We must keep them busy. If we don't they will look elsewhere for orders, which is what they did, further delaying production of our products.

 

After the delays in submitting orders and specifications last year, the situation was similar to trying to book a table at a restaurant at the last minute. As you might expect, most of the restaurants were unavailable, so we desperately rang around and booked the best available table we could find.

 

We then arrived late with less people in the party than we'd promised, we didn't order all of the meals, forgot to tell the kitchen how we wanted our steaks cooked, changed our mind on the side dishes and then complained when we found the restaurant was closing and there was no time for a dessert.

 

Airfix/Hornby have basically been unable to secure the services of their preferred manufacturers, to get their products made they have had to work with lesser suppliers. This is completely understandable and the report makes clear the intention to avoid this kind of situation in future. 

 

Cheers,

Bill.

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Problem with passing the buck back to the retailer, as they are legally entitled to do, is that in most cases the margins are so small that it's not worth the retailer's effort to return the models that they have to refund/replace, so its the retailer who takes the hit.  result, they choose to reduce their risk by reducing their Airfix orders.  I have it on good authority that this has happened recently with one well known national retailer (from someone in the buying department of that organisation).

 

It should be very simple to ensure that the supplier improves his QC.  The contract should contain a KPI to say that if there are more than a certain percentage of complaints from any specific batch, payment for that batch should be reduced/withheld. 

 

Anyway, we're getting off the subject.  What do we think we'll see in 2019...

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1 hour ago, Chewbacca said:

Problem with passing the buck back to the retailer, as they are legally entitled to do, is that in most cases the margins are so small that it's not worth the retailer's effort to return the models that they have to refund/replace, so its the retailer who takes the hit.  result, they choose to reduce their risk by reducing their Airfix orders.  I have it on good authority that this has happened recently with one well known national retailer (from someone in the buying department of that organisation).

 

It should be very simple to ensure that the supplier improves his QC.  The contract should contain a KPI to say that if there are more than a certain percentage of complaints from any specific batch, payment for that batch should be reduced/withheld. 

No passing of anything, that's on the statute book.

In the UK (England and Wales) the correct way to do it is:-

In a case of complaint the item is to be returned to the

place (retailer) it was purchased from.

 

If the problem is as big as is being made out, the number of returns will be that big the courier companies doing the

pick up/drop off to Hornby will be jumping up and down in glee.

 

I would strongly advise against withholding or reducing a payment, the only thing QC you'll be bothered about is a Queens Council, because the place you'll find yourself is in front of a judge, as it's a crime, something along the lines of

"obtaining goods by deception."

Pay your bill's and your fighting from a position of strength.

 

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I am pretty sure Chewie wasn't referring to modellers witholding payment to Airfix or the retailer but to Airfix witholding payment to the injection-moulding faciility, though I would agree that this would be inadvisable without some provision in the contract to back this action up.

 

Nevertheless, while it is clear the issue of flawed mouldings is one Airfix need to address, I am not convinced of the scale of the problem - as a dog owner I will provide this metaphor; you do not see all the dog poo that is picked up, only the ones that are left on the pavement

 

Cheers,

 

Stew

 

 

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Nice Dog Poo metaphor.

 

Problem with the poo on the pavement is when you step in it, it tends to stick in the memory and all dog owners are then fair game for your ire.... 

 

If you reduce the instances of wayward poo on the pavement then everyone treads normally and the odd dropping is seen for what it is an odd occurance..

 

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On 7/16/2018 at 9:08 AM, Heraldcoupe said:

 

That's sadly not been true for some years. I've had to wait several months to receive replacement parts for newly released kits. After a year of waiting for replacement transparencies for one of my Blenheims, they sent me a full replacement kit as there were still no spare parts available...
Currently awaiting clear parts for my Sea Fury, requested in April.

 

Cheers,

Bill.

In the pre-Hornby days, Airfix had an extensive stock of kits, including kits long out of production, that they were able to use to provide spare parts. Many people will recall dealing with the fabulous Rita who filled requests for spares and replacements. But Hornby no longer has its own warehouse space; instead they use a third party to receive kits from the moulding company, package them up, and then ship them out to retail and wholesale customers. That means they only have access to parts of kits that are in stock at the time of the request. There has been a significant downgrade in the quality of service from what we were used to, but it is also a significant cost savings to Airfix. If I were in Airfix management, I would be seriously concerned about the bad PR from these duff kits. It's hard to tell what fraction of any given kit is bad but the problems with the Sea Fury fin and cowling certainly seemed to overshadow the positives about what is otherwise a super kit. And I can go back and look at other brand new releases that had significant problems: the Swift with the ejector pin problem, cracked canopies on the 1/24 Typhoon, warped landing gear parts on the Do17Z, and other things I have probably forgotten. When taken together, these things give the impression of a company not in effective control of its supply chain. I cannot recall ever getting a Hasegawa or Tamiya kit with short shot parts. That's the standard Airfix needs to be aiming for.

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On 7/16/2018 at 3:38 PM, Plasto said:

I don’t think it matters where the product is made. The issue is Airfix kits have a higher than average chance of being delivered with a fault. If that’s down to old tools on new machines, non existent QC, factoring in a reject rate into the goods you supply is to a degree moot... If you want enthusiasts to buy your product and pay top tier prices for it then the quality of the finished goods needs to improve. It’s been poor for a number of years and it’s not seemingly improving..

 

My view if Airfix were to release anything for 2019 it would be a comprehensive quality improvement and customer support plan...

To be fair, we don't actually know the defect rate. We assume it's higher than typical because it seems to disproportionately affect the new releases and people immediately post here about it, but the Revell kits I've bought have had their share of issues, including a short shot fuselage on the recent Tornado F.3.

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I agree we don’t know how big the issue is. What we do know is that forums ( the mouthpiece of the modelling public) have a number of ‘war stories’ on Airfix quality these issues are tangible..

 

The issue then becomes what’s the perception of the problem??

 

More so if your policy for dealing with issues is now changed ( for possibly good reasons).

 

 

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