Jump to content

As a result of the close-down of the UK by the British Government last night, we have made all the Buy/Sell areas read-only until we open back up again, so please have a look at the announcement linked here.

This site uses cookies! Learn More

This site uses cookies!

You can find a list of those cookies here: mysite.com/cookies

By continuing to use this site, you agree to allow us to store cookies on your computer. :)

jenko

Airfix 2019

Recommended Posts

There is a chain that covers most of the country that deals in crafts and hobbies perhaps Hornby should look at them with new eyes. That company is Hobbycraft and they have been going for a few years now. I do not know their financial situation and I have no dealings with them. Just saying.

 

Robert

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Already stockists, but they have been shrinking their modelling stock for a while.  At one time they had a decent range of kits of several brands, plus a good stock of scenic materials, Hornby railway stock and...  Evergreen!  By the time I needed some, up I went, and [sob, sob] it was gone.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
On 04/02/2018 at 9:13 AM, Dave Batt said:

 

 

.  I am sure though that this has to be a long game and cannot be won by some sort of "Grand Slam" strategy.

 

 

You're right, another Lancaster variant won't  help... :D

 

My suggestion for Airfix  ?  Never underestimate human laziness and make sure you have a web store front on Amazon to catch all that traffic that can't be bothered looking anywhere else....

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
On 2/3/2018 at 8:25 AM, Wez said:

Me neither, although my preference is for an AD-4N...

An AEW.2 would get my money.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I'd like to see Airfix be bold and make a new market for themselves with subjects in scales not (or rarely) covered before.

How about large scale (1:6) cutaway  aircraft cockpits or 1:4 aero engines?  a double kit of a Spit forward fuselage and a Merlin for

What about large scale railway subjects? Locos (with cutaway options) in O or 1 gauge (or larger) as mantle shelf models but with an eye on the railway modeller who wants to save mega pennies compared to the metal kits they buy by motorising the Airfix kit.

Heller have broken the ice with the Ferguson tractor(s) and the Routemaster seemed popular for Revell so there appears to be a market for odd ball vehicle subjects to exploit.

I have a cottage industry JCB excavator kit from years ago but why no mainstream kit other than the ancient Kitmaster/Airfix/Dapol JCB 3? Contractor's plant seems to be popular in die casts but not plastic, why? 

Bandai did the two Traction engine kits years ago so there might be interest there.

Its time to think out of the box, there can't be many versions of Spitfire or Me 109 left to kit and they already have the market for such subjects, its time to tempt others into the fold.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
On 04/02/2018 at 9:13 AM, Dave Batt said:

....................If I understand it correctly Airfix simply could not provide "a major supermarket" with any sort of range of kits to provide the variety as they have adopted a "biscuit factory" approach where the kits are produced, packed and shipped to leave a clear floor before the next project comes along.

 

.....I am sure though that this has to be a long game and cannot be won by some sort of "Grand Slam" strategy.

Dave, I'm sure that if the chance presented, Airfix would fulfill a large order from a high street 'name' first, and everyone else would have to wait.

Having said that, it's the WRONG way to do business, and something about "all eggs in one basket"? NOT a good business model.

Remember, it's the 'bean counters' that run business, NOT the people that know.

 

As has already been pointed out, "time's have changed", and with this one long term, it'll be 'sink or swim' for Hornby.

On 04/02/2018 at 11:52 AM, MikeR said:

......sell kits, regardless of manufacturer, in a supermarket environment is workable. From my own knowledge everything in that branch of retail is predicated on as fast a turnover of stock as possible with quarterly range reviews to refresh the product on sale.

 

1. A three pound markup on what Airfix sold them for.

 

The Lego style easy-kits are another kettle of fish - much more suited to that particular bracket as the child can build it by themselves and no glue or paint required. Relatively cheap as well, though it would depend on the degree of markup slapped on!

Mike I agree. 'Market dynamic' for a traditional high street supermarket is 'get 'em in, get 'em round and get 'em out' Oh, and take as much off 'em as possible!

Two retailers are bucking that trend, Lidl and Aldi, and look who's selling kits!

Believe it or not, all the main supermarkets started with the adage "stack it high, sell it cheap", what happened?

 

The £3 mark up over RRP is greed on the part of the supermarket, but then isn't it always.

 

Good thought about the 'Lego' style kits. All of these are relatively new to the market, due to 'Lego' not renewing the copyright.

Price? Ahh, ask a 'bean counter'!

On 04/02/2018 at 8:32 PM, TEXANTOMCAT said:

Plus Airfix needs to rebuild their relationship with their retailers...who were majorly hacked off with their slash and burn sales of recent years leaving them with stock they paid more for wholesale. I had an interesting chat with one yesterday who simply refuses to purchase from Hornby directly. Amazingly he buys in from Europe, circumvents the Uk completely and can buy in cheaper that way and still make a profit! So that’s stuff being made in India, sent to Uk, shipped to Europe and shipped back to Uk at a price point cheaper than buying it direct from the uk manufacturer. Bonkers. 

 

As as previous poster says, they have the brand, the name, the social media presence, the goodwill and the artwork. They have 90% of the product- 1/24 Tiffie, 1/48 Walri etc- but crap trade relations, cash flow and apparent management and logistics...?

Sorry, it'll never happen. The new CEO has said there will be no more 'flash' sales, and excess stock will be offered to the trade first.

However, many of the smaller retailer's DON'T buy from Hornby, but from a wholesaler. Remembering that the wholesale company has to make a profit too,

that's why many retail outlets try to charge full RRP, purely to make sufficient to pay business rates, heating, lighting and the wage bill.

Good luck to the retailer you mention, I'd say that "he's making hay, while the sun shines".

 

I'll say it again................bean counters!

If the management is 'fit for purpose' and were allowed to get on and do the job they were hired to do,

my feeling is most companies would do far better, sometimes it's NOT about £££ but maintaining good will.

20 hours ago, AWFK10 said:

I echo TT's point. I recently had a conversation with a model shop owner who isn't at all happy with Airfix selling new releases direct to the end purchaser before dispatching stock to retailers, so that people who would otherwise have bought the kits from him have got hold of them before he's able to put them on the shelf.

Sorry, THAT don't float! It's just 'sour grapes', tell him from me, welcome to the wonderful world of retail!

If he'd put himself into Airfix's 'shoes', WHY should they sell through a third party, when they can sell direct? Simply put, it's more profit for Hornby.

Would he be willing to pay part of HIS profits back to Hornby, if they didn't have a direct sales arm? :whistle:

19 hours ago, Robert said:

There is a chain that covers most of the country that deals in crafts and hobbies perhaps Hornby should look at them with new eyes. That company is Hobbycraft and they have been going for a few years now. I do not know their financial situation and I have no dealings with them. Just saying.

Robert, as has been pointed out, the Hobbycraft chain is running down their kit stock, as it doesn't 'move' fast enough, i.e. make enough money.

Remember, their unit's are mainly on 'out of town' developments, with hugh rent's, so they are dependant on high volume, fast turnover.

One large(ish) model seller said to me some years ago, when asked about doing more shows in the North, WHY? you lot up there like to look,

but don't like putting your hands in your pockets! Yup, he'll go far.......but NOT far enough!! :wicked:

17 hours ago, IanHx said:

My suggestion for Airfix? Never underestimate human laziness and make sure you have a web store front on Amazon to catch all that traffic that can't be bothered looking anywhere else....

Ian, doubt they have, however, Amazon ain't the 'be all and end all' (thank the Lord!) in the retail 'sandbox'..............

remember, we ALL like to look and fondle the plastic first..................

3 hours ago, Aeronut said:

I'd like to see Airfix be bold and make a new market for themselves with subjects in scales not (or rarely) covered before.

How about large scale (1:6) cutaway  aircraft cockpits or 1:4 aero engines?  a double kit of a Spit forward fuselage and a Merlin for

What about large scale railway subjects? Locos (with cutaway options) in O or 1 gauge (or larger) as mantle shelf models but with an eye on the railway modeller who wants to save mega pennies compared to the metal kits they buy by motorising the Airfix kit.

Heller have broken the ice with the Ferguson tractor(s) and the Routemaster seemed popular for Revell so there appears to be a market for odd ball vehicle subjects to exploit.

I have a cottage industry JCB excavator kit from years ago but why no mainstream kit other than the ancient Kitmaster/Airfix/Dapol JCB 3? Contractor's plant seems to be popular in die casts but not plastic, why? 

Bandai did the two Traction engine kits years ago so there might be interest there.

Its time to think out of the box, there can't be many versions of Spitfire or Me 109 left to kit and they already have the market for such subjects, its time to tempt others into the fold.

Er, WHY? Airfix were the first company to make aircraft in 1/24th, that was VERY bold, as upto that time the largest had been 32nd,

also the marketplace will not take kindly to any 'new' scales, I can hear the 'trade' moans from here!

You say "rarely covered", there's your answer, not covered because their 'niche' = no money.

Like Hasegawa's 1/6th W.W.I aircraft or the 1/8th Minicraft / Hasegawa aero engines?

Wonder how many units got sold? Hasegawa aren't bothered, as 85% of their market (and Tamiya) is Japan.

Airfix could be classed as the "Easy Jet" of the modelling world, they need to sell in large numbers, guaranteeing profit, rather than going off

at a tangent into niche markets where sales are in hundreds and loss making, rather than the 10s of thousands needed.

Railways? Airfix have made a conscious desicion to move away from OO/HO scale, also the following for O and 1 gauge is primarily the U.S.

Since when have railway modellers worried about price? They think nothing about spending £500 on a couple of OO/HO items.

Contractor plant, niche again.

Bandai traction engines, 1/16th and 1/72nd, in 16th scale they produced three, the Showman's engine, steam roller and the Dennis Fire engine.

Fantastic when built, think I've seen about three in the last thirty plus years.............................

As my Mother would have said, "dust traps, VERY expensive dust traps" when compared with Mamod working engines.

With the Hornby 'bottom line' being in a particularly poor state, the LAST thing they need to do is think anywhere other than what can bring in money!

 

Paul

 

No 'bean counters' (apart from feelings :whistle:) were hurt in the writting of this tome! :wicked:

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
2 hours ago, PhoenixII said:

 

Ian, doubt they have, however, Amazon ain't the 'be all and end all' (thank the Lord!) in the retail 'sandbox'..............

remember, we ALL like to look and fondle the plastic first..................

 

 

 

Plastic-fondlers already catered for with model shops, if you're looking to expand your customer base then you have to be where the customers are. Like it or not, those casual consumers (not hardcore modellers) are online or in the supermarket. 

 

As for Hobbycraft... let me give you a tale of 2 shopping experiences :

Experience 1

--------------------

Go to Coventry Hobbycraft at weekend. No Humbrol Clearfix on shelf. Following Thursday look in Northampton Hobbycraft. Empty shelf-space. Following week look again in Northampton branch. This time ask at counter when next getting stock - 'monday' is the answer. Following week go back to Northampton branch - still bare shelf, this time told that 'ordering is done centrally'.  Try the following week - you guessed it, no Clear fix. This time some troglodyte has put clear varnish in the rack to disguise the lack of product, so spend 5 mins rearranging display into proper slots. 

 

Experience 2

---------------------

Go home, log into Hannant's, postage is a bit steep so order more bottles than I strictly need, checkout. Job done.

 

 

Which of these 2 retailers do you suppose I am going to use next time ?

 

For commodity goods, bricks and mortar is dead as far as I'm concerned !

Edited by IanHx

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
16 hours ago, PhoenixII said:

Dave, I'm sure that if the chance presented, Airfix would fulfill a large order from a high street 'name' first, and everyone else would have to wait.

Having said that, it's the WRONG way to do business, and something about "all eggs in one basket"? NOT a good business model.

Remember, it's the 'bean counters' that run business, NOT the people that know.

 

As has already been pointed out, "time's have changed", and with this one long term, it'll be 'sink or swim' for Hornby.

 

Paul, thanks for taking the time.

 

I'd agree with the tone of your response. Locally I know of (foodstuff) providers that were at first elated to be signed up to one of the 'big four', and then they learned just how helpless they had become.  Although there's a gulf between producing milk or lamb and developing and manufacturing plastic kits (essentially complex toys) I am sure that there are some significant similarities.  However, I'd like to point out that my contribution to the topic was that (if my third-hand removed hearsay perspective is correct) Airfix could not supply any new retailer of any size because they simply do not hold stock of their own range of kits.  IMHO that's something that might be changed for the better.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
14 hours ago, IanHx said:

Plastic-fondlers already catered for with model shops, if you're looking to expand your customer base then you have to be where the customers are. Like it or not, those casual consumers (not hardcore modellers) are online or in the supermarket. 

 

As for Hobbycraft... let me give you a tale of 2 shopping experiences :

  (Deleted for space - it's only two up!)

 

I'd agree with that and add another.

 

With the demise of T-7 ( :crying:)there's another stockist with a major holding of kits in Truro.   Toddled in to see if they had one of these rumoured Airfix Walri.  Answer to obvious question "No, most are going online, but other manufacturers make exactly the same thing . . ."  Toddle off again.  OK, I'll keep on visiting as their range is really very extensive, but Saturday help does have very limited value (or self-awareness, it seems).

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Hi Dave,

thanks for getting back to me.

Agreed, about the food chain, it's got to be remembered that as far as the supermarkets are concerned it's 'boxes' of product, their not bothered what's in 'em, just that they move through in timely fashion.

With stock, unfortunately there in lies the rub.

No manufacturer or retailer wants to sit on piles of stock,

as the trade view this as 'dead money', it's been paid for but remains unsold.

The analogy lies in a number of industries, primarily automotive,

with the Japanese system of JIT (just in time) meaning you have minimal stock on hand, but the order from the supplier is in make. Great when it works, BUT, the smallest thing goes wrong......

 

Paul

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
23 hours ago, Aeronut said:

I'd like to see Airfix be bold and make a new market for themselves with subjects in scales not (or rarely) covered before.

How about large scale (1:6) cutaway  aircraft cockpits or 1:4 aero engines?  a double kit of a Spit forward fuselage and a Merlin for

What about large scale railway subjects? Locos (with cutaway options) in O or 1 gauge (or larger) as mantle shelf models but with an eye on the railway modeller who wants to save mega pennies compared to the metal kits they buy by motorising the Airfix kit.

Heller have broken the ice with the Ferguson tractor(s) and the Routemaster seemed popular for Revell so there appears to be a market for odd ball vehicle subjects to exploit.

I have a cottage industry JCB excavator kit from years ago but why no mainstream kit other than the ancient Kitmaster/Airfix/Dapol JCB 3? Contractor's plant seems to be popular in die casts but not plastic, why? 

Bandai did the two Traction engine kits years ago so there might be interest there.

Its time to think out of the box, there can't be many versions of Spitfire or Me 109 left to kit and they already have the market for such subjects, its time to tempt others into the fold.

Couldn't agree less.

I find it inconceivable that HH Management and the Banks would be prepared to underwrite such a scheme.

As a modeller with a 'substantial store' of unbuilt Airfix kits, I wouldn't buy a single one of the above.

But I would buy subjects (and there are lots of them) either not previously tooled by Airfix eg Me410 or in their range but in need of re-tooling to modern standards.  I'm still hoping for a folding wing Avenger or a Sea Fury both in 1/72

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
8 hours ago, Dave Batt said:

However, I'd like to point out that my contribution to the topic was that (if my third-hand removed hearsay perspective is correct) Airfix could not supply any new retailer of any size because they simply do not hold stock of their own range of kits.  IMHO that's something that might be changed for the better.

The supermarkets plan promotions especially non foods way way in advance (they have to if sourced from China, got buyers etc out there searching the best deals from the cheapest sources) so with enough notice anything is possible, even now they'll be checking out Christmas stuff, whether they'd want to is a totally different of kettle of fish.

 

 

Edited by Toe

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
On ‎06‎/‎02‎/‎2018 at 5:18 PM, PhoenixII said:

Railways? Airfix have made a conscious desicion to move away from OO/HO scale, also the following for O and 1 gauge is primarily the U.S.

Since when have railway modellers worried about price? They think nothing about spending £500 on a couple of OO/HO items.

And here's one coming now...

 

There is still a market for kit builders in 4mm scale but this is served by specialists (Parkside, Dundas, Dapol, Cambrian, Ratio...) and 'cottage industry' operations such as Genesis or Rumney.  Parkside has been bought by Peco, who are attempting to make the brand more prominent in model shops.

 

These kits are reasonably priced, and my taste for oddities better served by a kit which I can convert rather than RTR items which can be less accurate, certainly harder to work on and much more expensive.  This also fits in with an income which has never broken the UK average wage.  If I had £500 to spend on railways, I'd get more than 2 items out of it, that I can promise, even if I were shopping for the most expensive part of a railway layout/collection - motive power.  I certainly don't 'think nothing of' any spend at any price, because - like many modellers - I can't afford to.

 

0 gauge, by the way, is increasing in popularity in the UK.

 

Now, back on topic; yes, Airfix abandoned the term 00/H0 for the scale of their (military)* subjects (which nowadays are marked with the appropriate scale), but only because they also shed their railway kits and RTR stock altogether.  Besides which the term is obsolete; that scale/gauge combination is now known as 00, with more correct scale/gauge models designated P4.  Either way, accessories and every part of the stock except wheels and track are the same scale, usually known as 4mm (to the foot = 1/76.2).

 

*i.e. Mudlegs/Groundpounders/The Poor Bloody Infantry (and their supporting vehicles) etc.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Looking at the Hannants website today, it is interesting to note that the top three of the ten bestsellers are Airfix kits.  Of the remaining seven entries, four are aftermarket sets for the Sea Fury.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
43 minutes ago, Enzo Matrix said:

Looking at the Hannants website today, it is interesting to note that the top three of the ten bestsellers are Airfix kits.  Of the remaining seven entries, four are aftermarket sets for the Sea Fury.

Is that a best sellers list, or stuff they want you to buy?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I wish you hadn't said that, 'cos now I want to buy them all!  :frantic:

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
3 hours ago, Chillidragon said:

.......There is still a market for kit builders in 4mm scale but this is served by specialists, Parkside, Dundas, Dapol, Cambrian, Ratio and 'cottage industry' operations such as Genesis or Rumney.

 

....If I had £500 to spend on railways, I'd get more than 2 items out of it, that I can promise, even if I were shopping for the most expensive part of a railway layout/collection - motive power.

 

0 gauge, by the way, is increasing in popularity in the UK.

 

Now, back on topic; yes, Airfix abandoned the term 00/H0............

.......only because they shed their railway kits and RTR stock altogether.  Besides which the term is obsolete; that scale/gauge combination is now known as 00, with more correct scale/gauge models designated P4.  Either way, accessories and every part of the stock except wheels and track are the same scale, usually known as 4mm

Hi Chillidragon, 

Sorry I've clipped your post, was done to save space.

 

I have no doubt that there is an active market for the rail modelling fraternity, but as Hornby have ratified a decision taken some years ago for Airfix to divest itself of OO/HO (1/76 -1/84?)

and as the thread is about Airfix!

Benefit is you evidently know your market, which I don't.

 

Glad you get value for your money, however you do know of the people I speak.......

Me? last time I played with a train set was when my eldest lad was about 14, he's now 33. Eldest Grandson is 9 and in the instant gratification brigade and the youngest is only 16 months,

if it tastes nice great! otherwise, not bothered!

Youngest Granddaughter I can see as a train driver 1:1 :thumbsup:

 

O gauge may be becoming more popular over here, but, as you know, it's primarily in the US, as most in this country simply don't have the space. Now if you were talking N or Z gauge..........

 

Not a rail modeller so didn't know that OO/HO was old hat,

I bow to superior knowledge :thanks:

 

ATB

Paul

 

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
12 minutes ago, PhoenixII said:

 

Sorry I've clipped your post, was done to save space.

 

A bit ironic really as you've put line breaks in mid-sentence and empty lines between sentences.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Na, not really Ratch, you reread the original to see what I'd deleted!

 

Paul

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
41 minutes ago, PhoenixII said:

 

Not a rail modeller so didn't know that OO/HO was old hat,

Only the term is old hat, not the scale/gauge combination (1/76 everything but track gauge at 1/87).  I have no layout but my rolling stock collection is to P4, because having everything in scale looks right to me.  I hear the running can be awful.

 

Why would Hornby waste time in ratifying Airfix's decision to leave the railway market?  All their dies are already gone, the kits for example to Dapol. 

 

The last stab Airfix had at this scale (1/76) was the Bedford QL double (nice) or perhaps the Churchill Bridgelayer (vintage Airfix military i.e. inaccurate in places, and what version is it?).

 

More stuff in this scale would be good, but 1/72 makes more sense.  Especially since Airfix bought the JB Models range, which put them back years in quality.

 

Aviation modelling became Airfix's core business from the beginning, after the comb market (IIRC) offered no possibilities for expansion.  I think they may have made buckets as well.  But in these times, the core business is where they ought to concentrate.

 

(Addendum: my Father in Law knows more 7mm (0 gauge) modellers than I do 4mm).

Edited by Chillidragon

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
49 minutes ago, PhoenixII said:

Glad you get value for your money, however you do know of the people I speak.......

Sorry, forgot about this bit.  No, I don't know any such people personally, but I am sure they exist, though in a minority.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
11 hours ago, Patrick Martin said:

My Airfix Me 262 ran out of plastic on the fin to.

PM

 

Patrick, return the kit to the place you purchased it, and ask for a replacement but tell them you want to check it first.

Also, send an e-mail to Airfix telling them of the problem, if they aren't aware, they can't react.

 

Paul

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

This conversation sounds like its just going round in circles...

 

Anyone for a New Tool Vulcan?  :-)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
On 2/16/2018 at 1:55 AM, At Sea said:

This conversation sounds like its just going round in circles...

 

Anyone for a New Tool Vulcan?  :-)

So long as it is accompanied by a Venom NF.3 and a 2 stage Mossie I have no objection whatsoever.  

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Guest
This topic is now closed to further replies.

×
×
  • Create New...