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Graeme

New Airfix 1/35 armour?

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9 hours ago, Julien said:

There is this one of your feeling flush

 

1136950-14477-63-720.jpg

Is that the Accurate Armour one?

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14 minutes ago, Karlj72 said:

Is that the Accurate Armour one?

No that’s the KFS one 

, AA’s is out of production at the moment and Firing lines won’t be back till the spring!

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5 hours ago, Karlj72 said:

Is that the Accurate Armour one?

No KFS. AA is 1/35 while KFS is 1/24. their kits are expensive but worth it once you see in the box.

 

Julien

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On 1/25/2019 at 1:10 PM, Julien said:

Not from Airix but one of the Easter European guys is looking at these. Certainly the Armoured Cars.

 

Julien

Come on don’t be a tease 😀

what do you know?

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I can see that the five Tiger kits all seem to be from Academy. The more recent Academy Tigers (Mid and Late) have been OK but not so as accurate as Rye Field or Dragon. However, with three Early Tigers in this lineup, we will probably be getting at least one of Academy's 1990s kits.

 

At the Nurnberg show, Airfix presented one of these kits built up. It had decals that were never in any Academy kit. Obviously Airfix had commissioned somebody to design new decals for this one kit at least, and perhaps for all of these reboxes.

It's with regret that I notice these new decals were for a slightly different Tiger version than what the kit provides.

 

David

 

Edited by DByrden

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46 minutes ago, DByrden said:

I can see that the five Tiger kits all seem to be from Academy. The more recent Academy Tigers (Mid and Late) have been OK but not so as accurate as Rye Field or Dragon. However, with three Early Tigers in this lineup, we will probably be getting at least one of Academy's 1990s kits.

 

At the Nurnberg show, Airfix presented one of these kits built up. It had decals that were never in any Academy kit. Obviously Airfix had commissioned somebody to design new decals for this one kit at least, and perhaps for all of these reboxes.

It's with regret that I notice these new decals were for a slightly different Tiger version than what the kit provides. Poor research.

 

David

 

Seen some shops taking pre-orders now,I'll stick to the more expensive and accurate kits thanks.

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8 hours ago, DByrden said:

IHowever, with three Early Tigers in this lineup, we will probably be getting at least one of Academy's 1990’s kits

 

I have the Academy early tiger ‘Operation Citadel’ boxing. It has a lot of upgraded parts to bring it up to a more contemporary standard.  I suppose Airfix will get the same sprues.

 

The Academy kit is not bad and while it’s not ‘as good’ as a RFM or Dragon it’s less expensive and probably more suited to Airfix’s distribution channel. Airfix will sell to a far wider customer base than  dyed in the wool armour modellers.

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On 2/6/2019 at 10:39 AM, DByrden said:

..........

At the Nurnberg show, Airfix presented one of these kits built up. It had decals that were never in any Academy kit. Obviously Airfix had commissioned somebody to design new decals for this one kit at least, and perhaps for all of these reboxes.

It's with regret that I notice these new decals were for a slightly different Tiger version than what the kit provides. Poor research.

 

David

 

 

Hi David,

 

Airfix have posted some additional info and an early peep at the box-art for the Stuart Tank on the Airfix work bench blog: https://www.airfix.com/uk-en/news/workbench/new-2019-airfix-range-unleashed 

 

It does look from the box artwork that the Stuart kit has markings not previously kitted by Academy, and the published first look at the two scheme options which will be included with the release of kit A1362 Pz.Kpfw. 35(t) German light tank, seems to be as you surmised, not the schemes in the original Academy release, so it does look as if Airfix (or somebody) have decided to offer alternative schemes, I know very little about Panzers so cannot comment about the authenticity of the proposed markings. 

 

Lets hope the kit at Nurnberg was a mistake and that the others are better researched, I am aware that you are the go to authority on Tigers so maybe you should give them some pointers.

 

Ant 

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Oh, I offered to help them out, as soon as I heard about these kits. But it was too late.

 

David

 

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I was just reading Airfix' marketing page about the  Kursk Tiger

 

To quote; "SS divisions withdrew, leaving 400 destroyed tanks behind, including between 70 and 100 Tigers"

 

The quite reliable Ron Klages book reports only 50 Tigers lost on the whole Eastern Front in this entire period !

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Posted (edited)

Off a redirection to Hornby's website, I headed over to Airfix's website for a bo peep as I hadn't visited in an aeon. Until then I wasn't aware Airfix were planning an excursion into 1/35 armour. I was excited... for all of about 90 seconds until that excitement drove me to check and see if the announcements were new tool. Academy? o.O !!!!!! 

 

OK so I'm aware the other toy store brands e.g Revell, do loads of excellent aircraft reboxing collabs e.g. Hasegawa's 1/72 He-111H-6, B-25H, 1/48 F-4E, Eduard's 1/48 Fokker Dr.1, Albatros D.V, Bristol F.2B, & even Tamiya these days delves into those muddy waters with Italeri, but I had thought Airfix of recent were at least trying to make serious attempt and inroads into inviting and hopefully enticing the adult (majority) modeller away from Eduard, Hasegawa, Tamiya, MENG and even Zvezda with an increasing number of their new tool releases in aircraft.  As a 1/35 armour modeller & (predominantly) 1/48 air, I don't see this announcement as a positive/good thing, either for the modeller or Airfix.

 

Checking my stash in Scalemates, In 1/35 armour, compared with 11 Dragon and a smattering of Trumpeter (2), Tamiya (3), MENG (1), CyberHobby (2) and Zvezda (1), the sole 1/35 Academy armour model I have bought in the past five years is their Hetzer times two in an early and late along with Artvox's PE for the late and Eduard's for the early.  Arguably the Hetzer is one of Academy's best (accurate dimensions, decent mouldings) armour kits, and the decent enough Honey will possibly do OK too especially in the UK domestic market if offered for an equivalent to lower price than the Academy boxing or with some unit decal et al value adding enticement. Yes we know that sexy German WW II era armour sells, and everyone's seen "Fury" for that Sherman. As for the T-34/85? What can Airfix be thinking. I really wanted to love Academy's new mould T-34/85 released just a few years ago given the dearth of current availability of that type presumably because Soviet WWII era armour doesn't sell, but just couldn't. Fortunately, Zvezda came to the rescue a year or so ago with an amenable new tool offering if still not up to the excellence of their recent 1/48 aircraft kits e.g. Yak-3 and Pe-2 or kind of slide moulded precision  I'm seeing from Dragon these days in for instance their Type 95 Ha-Go. Way not to go Airfix. Dragon, Tamiya, MENG, Zvezda will continue to get my armour kit money. IDK how Airfix HQ think they're going to compete even with CyberHobby's Orange box, many of which e.g. PzKpfW IIIE/F, early Ausf A/B StuGs, with a modicum of work scrub up very nicely and even without OOTB build quite respectably to the lay eye if not to the level of detail and latest slide moulding releases. And they include Magic Tracks and a value adding set of older release but quite decent moulding Dragon figurine kit. Almost a diorama in a box at about two thirds the street price of a basic Academy kit.

 

Going in the direction of reboxing Academy kits in any foray into 1/35 armour seems a not even attempting to kick between the goal posts effort to me.  Just my 10/- bob's worth. 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Edited by Julien
so swearing or avoidance of the filter pls

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If you’re a 1/35 armour enthusiast then Airfix’s reboxing effort possibly holds no interest.

 

I tend to think of it along these lines.

 

Reboxing Academy’s  kits is pragmatic. It gets a range of reasonable kits into the market under your brand at relatively little cost and no R+D  or tooling investment.

 

It enables Airfix to compete in the entry level market reasonably well. Couple that with the distribution model they have and sales could flow. 

 

So viewing it with a 1/35 purists hat on while sort of valid is a bit blinkered as it misses the wider context.  If you think academy kits have ‘issues’ then the Airfix kits will be no different.  The issues you perceive they have as a purist are probably not the same as a novice or occasional builder would perceive. 

 

Airfix don’t  want to own the 1/35 Pie they just want a small slice.

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I take on board your point about Airfix, their entry target demographic and the low cost entry for the brand that the concept offers.  In counter argument, I'd point out that Hornby tried a similar thing reboxing old Lima, Dapol and Triang era toys as Railroad for today's buyer. How'd that go? Even though British outline is my thing, I don't buy Railroad either. And there's a lot less competition in gauge British outline than there is in plastic modelling, the armour genre in the particular. 

 

Sure an occasional or entry level modeller might opportunity buy the occasional kit, but they would IMV make up a small proportion of A. plastic modellers buying 1/35 scale armour today in general, and B. the all important consistent repeat buyer modeller.  

 

I'm not a "purist" by a long shot compared at least 60%~70% of the participants in this forum gauging by the builds, but like most adult modellers who have been modelling over a lifetime since plastic's heyday, we make up are the majority of plastic modellers by far today. I think the word is that we don't have to put up with also rans nor paying more for a red box. Google, forums like this and everyone's an expert and critic review sites quickly reveal to anyone not bone idle lazy with an IQ at least the numerical equivalent of their shoe size what's what. And so UK market through brand familiarity comfort excepted, why would anyone buy an Airfix reboxing over an Academy original unless on price or inclusions which amounted to significant value adding? 

 

I was merely expressing disappointment with Airfix taking that path, not wishing them ill. I have my doubts it'll fly well financially regardless the relatively low investment because that's not where the pockets are IMV. Airfix's market research may indicate differently.     

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If you want to enter the 1/35 market then you need some product to sell. 

 

To get this you either need to invest in tooling and the associated R+D or Re-box another manufactures product. 

 

Hornby are basically strapped for cash so they are not likely to invest in R+D or tooling. They also have little in the way of design experience with 1/35 armour especially to current standards.  That leaves re-boxing. Once you’re down  that route you need to find a company who will supply you and has a range of stuff. 

 

Clearly Academy are the pick. While the kits might not be cutting edge they are not entirely terrible. 

 

I agree the the market is now centered on enthusiast buyers in middle age with disposable income. 

 

But the market also comprises of new folk starting out , youngsters ,gift sales and all manner of sales to non core buyers who might want a tank kit in an Airfix box. 

 

This latter catergory probably don’t care that the Airfix Tiger isn’t as detailed as the RFM Tiger or WHY. To influence them you need market presence, compelling packaging  and stock to sell them along with something inside that isn’t hideous to build and doesn’t have 1000 parts of which 800 are track parts..

 

Personally I hope it works out for them. Good sales may result in an increased range or perhaps investment in R+D and tooling.

 

If sales are not good then you exit that market segment having made a minimal investment..

 

As a marketing and ranging strategy based on relatively little investment it’s pretty sound.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Except for their reputation. Easily lost.

 

I recall the occasion of my collision with Airfix reboxings of their ancient mould kits. I built most of them when they were in hanger bags, in Series One at least which I could afford with my pocket money and quite a few Series Two and above as grew into adolescence and had a paper run. The afforded me great pleasure and much playtime ... 55 years ago.

 

Unfortunately for Airfix when I returned to plastic modelling a decade or so ago, my expectations had changed since then, and so had my pocket. But nostalgia kicked in and I bought some bright red boxes. Ugh! It was ugly. Hampden, Comet, Stirling to discover nothing inside the box other than the decals had changed in 50 years, except the box and the price. Best advertisement to buy Revell et al instead Airfix could have done for them.  I didn't buy any more Airfix for quite a while. Airfix did their reputation with me there and then where they might have held me loyal. I'm sure others have 'enjoyed' a similar experience. I haven't really returned. Even though Airfix subsequently lifted their game a decade later and started producing some cracker models and great choices IMV, e.g,  the Whitleys, Blenheims, Dornier 17 it was too late. I'd moved elsewhere and discovered Eduard, preferring Hasegawa or Tamiya generally as first choice unless there was a compelling reason enticing me to buy a red box. Admittedly, it doesn't help Airfix that old eyes don't like 1/72 as much as 55 years ago, and although there's a smattering of 1/48, 1/72 is where Airfix's focus is in air.

 

Hey I don't enjoy 1200+ part count armour kits either. Personally I like Magic Tracks, but appreciate most don't. Dragon have learnt that too, replacing Magic Track with continuous run DS Track because of the new millennium's ADHD modeller, with slide moulding replacing the need for much fiddly PE and great new features like moulded on Zimmerit. Most such as Trumpeter and Academy have gone for the compromise of link and length which I don't mind, although Trumpeter still put in 'orrible continuous run things too for those who find even link and length attention challenging.

 

I think you're possibly right about Airfix selling well enough off toy store shelves to the casual buyer and first timer if the price is right.  

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Airfix have been reboxing 1/35 scale kits for decades - starting with the Max/Peerless range in the 1970s and more recently some Italeri and Trumpeter kits. Airfix have never wished to invest in their own development of 1/35 scale kits - the development costs are huge and the risks too great for what to them is not a market of primary interest. The casual modeller market buys the greatest quantity of kits and that market is rarely interested in the origins of the plastic in the box. What they want is a kit to build that looks like the picture on the box. They enjoy the project for what it is and accuracy/refinement comes second to that basic enjoyment.

 

9 hours ago, Bigglesof266 said:

... & even Tamiya these days delves into those muddy waters with Italeri,...

 

Tamiya has been reboxing Italeri kits for the past 50 years - they do it for a very specific and pragamatic reason to cater for their domestic market in Japan (Tamiya sells more stuff in Japan than in the rest of the world combined so it remains their primary market). Until the Internet opened up the visibility of the global model market, most modellers outside Japan did not realise that Tamiya did this.

Reboxing is standard industry practice - why should Airfix be criticised for doing what many other major manufacturers are doing?

Regards,

John

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Posted (edited)

Tamiya hasn't been reboxing Italeri "for the past 50 years". Hyperbole for the sake of parochial prejudice anyone? 
 

Complete product lines as Airfix is doing in this instance with Academy isn't "standard industry practice" unless you're referring to defunct company and mould buyouts like Academy of Minicraft or Arii of Otaki, and a line of justification reasoning along the lines of "but they're throwing rocks too" is ....quaint. 🙄

 

2 hours ago, John Tapsell said:

The casual modeller market buys the greatest quantity of kits

 

Casting aspersion upon your perspective, I don't think Airfix's new 2019 front cover of catalogue boasting rights 1/24 scale 600 part Hellcat kit with its size, high detail and whopping price is exactly targeted at "casual modeller market" ...is it??? o.O

 

I'd be most interested to see if you can present hard factual evidence which substantiates this claim, other than your opinionated speculation, or explain your exceptional insight into how Airfix management intend to run their future business model through 2019 and beyond - other than by your current apparent remarkable clairvoyance?


Eduard don't seem to have done too badly catering to the adult market prepared to pay for and demanding ever higher detail and fidelity. Nor MENG, Dragon, Tamiya and even Zvezda. It's a bit of a laff that Russian economy based Zvezda can afford to invest in new contemporary tooling for 1/48 air and 1/35 armour, but Airfix can't apparently.  

 

I suggest it'd behove you to go and watch the documentary "Big Trouble in Model Britain" and assimilate why and how Hornby dug an even deeper hole into mega debt in recent years by not delivering to the real world buying demanding adult demographic opening up opportunity for all kinds of new entrants who identified it and were prepared to. i.e. Oxford Rail, Hattons, expanded Helijan, expanded Dapol, special commissions from Rails of Sheffield etc.  Hornby didn't offload the Thomas franchise because the kiddie market was highly profitable, and the "casual (railway) modeller" doesn't seem to be getting then back in the black buying Christmas and birthday train sets or Railroad product.  

 

The point is Airfix started down the right road with their new tool high detail and fidelity aircraft kits even if pricing on their new tool kits is astronomic. Their decision to go with reboxing Academy in 1/35 armour is what it is. I was merely expressing my surprise and disappointed expectation at their obverse strategy. Ultimately the market will decide.    

 

Edited by Bigglesof266

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The BBC4 programme is one I'm well aware of as I facilitated the filming at Scale ModelWorld.

 

My level of involvement in the hobby means I get to talk with manufacturers, distributors and publishers of all shapes and sizes both officially and informally on a semi-regular basis - something I've been doing for the past 20 years. Therefore my views and opinions are influenced by what I've learnt about how the industry operates over those years.

Regards,

John

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Posted (edited)

One of the points of the, re-boxing is the low investment into the 1/35 market, but in the UK it is not the main point.  The main point is the Brand Name AIRFIX, which in the UK is very powerful.

 

Most of you on this forum into your 1.35 armour will know your stuff and the difference between a Tiger 1 Early and and Tiger 1 Mid Production, but most folks who will buy these kits it just a Tiger Tank in a big red Airfix Box for a reasonable price.

 

As the Importer of Rye Field, which we do a number of Tigers which have had some fantastic reviews, the Airfix ones are not competition, and I would be very disappointed if any one of you, thought you were going to get a better kit in a box of £35.00 compared to a Rye Field or Dragon costing close to £70.00.  This is very much like Hattons 66 and Hornby 66 aimed at a different collector.

 

But come next years Tiger Tank day at Bovington, when loads of dealers will be knocking the Airfix Tigers out in big numbers to members of the general public,  due to the fact they have  seem Tiger 131 trundling around the  Arena, then Airfix have done their job.

 

Our Rye Field Tigers are aimed at the specialist modellers, and we will sell them in their Hundreds, but Airfix will sell theirs in the thousands, and if they did not i would be disappointed in their marketing.

 

We sell Airfix retail only, and guess what I will be selling some of these Airfix 1/35 kits, only a fool would not,  remember if they buy a Airfix Tiger next time they may well look at a Rye Field Tiger and if they do well it is job done.

 

We all often live in our own bubble, but as a businessman you need to look outside the bubble,  bottom line they start with an Airfix £9.99 Spitfire and hopefully end up one day with a £150.00 Zoukie Mura kit from Captain Tiger, thats how the hobby works.

 

All kits are good

 

Edited by TIGER HOBBIESLIMITED

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3 hours ago, TIGER HOBBIESLIMITED said:

The main point is the Brand Name AIRFIX, which in the UK is very powerful.

Precisely! Mention to someone that you build models, and invariably they reply "Oh, what, like Airfix".

I do wonder why though, Airfix can't scale up some of their 1/48th military kits.

 

John.

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Absolutely agree with TIGER HOBBIESLIMITED, there is definitely a place for easier and cheaper models.  The price of some kits now is reall daunting, not even the sheer cost but also the anxiety that you couldn’t do it justice.  For example, I could afford a £70 Tiger but I wouldn’t buy it because I don’t think my modelling skills are good enough to do it justice.

 

And f we are trying to encourage beginners there needs to be accessible models to get them into the hobby.

 

BUT and it is a big BUT, kits are very expensive these days, and when I see new Airfix releases I am quite taken aback at their prices.  To be honest, if the Airfix tanks are £35 that seems too expensive, I think I need to see them at £20-£25.  But I appreciate that model industries are findng it harder to make a living so I can understand the prices.  But realistically, if you want to attract someone new to the hobby I think £35 for a tiger is too expensive.

 

Cheers,

 

Nigel

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FWIW I tend to look at it like this...

 

In the model industry there are broadly 3 types of company. 

 

Enthusiast centered , Legacy Toy industry and Japanese corporation.

 

Airfix and Revell and italeri are legacy toy industry have been around forever started out when model sakes were predominantly to the toy trade and a some of there Chanel to market (B2B) will be based around supply into that legacy customer base.

 

Eduard, RFM,Meng,Takom etc are specialist enthusiast centered companies that design and cater for the enthusiast market only there Chanel to market is via specialist retailers who sell to you and me and our ilk.

 

Tamiya and Bandai and Hasegawa are Japanese corporates with strong home market sales and wide complex product ranges and international presence.

 

Airfix’s Brand recognition in the UK is phenomenal both with enthusiasts and the general public. Also it’s sales (b2c) while skewed to the enthusiast also include non enthusiasts. So if any brand can carry off sales if a range of reboxed 1/35 armour kits. Airfix can..

 

It isn’t complex and it isn’t brand damaging as the brand is so strong.

 

I hope the armour goes well. 

 

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Posted (edited)

Tamiya and Hasegawa have been around forever too.

 

When I think back to the 70s when I was buying kits as a child.  I could go into any toy shop and there would be a large selection of Airfix kits, almost guaranteed.  I lived in a relatively small village yet I could buy plastic kits in (1) the toy shop, (2) the bicycle shop (3) the newsagent.  The toy shop carried airfix and hasegawa, but only airfix paint (yuck).  The bicycle shop carried airfix and humbrol paint (yey). The newsagent carried Matchbox.

 

If I went to the nearby bigger towns and cities I would find independent model shops and Beatties where I could find Airfix, Revell, Monogram, Tamiya, Hasegawa and  Heller (and a few Frog and Novo).

 

Back then, I would lust after Tamiya, usually out of my price range except on special occasions, typically 2x or 3x more than Airfix.  Back then I considered Monogram as terrible, and Revell not much better.

 

The problem now is that the high street toy shop chains do not stock plastic models at all, or at best they might have a handful of gift sets with glue, paints and brush included.  Now there is not a single shop in my nearby towns that sell models at all, not even Airfix.  Can’t get paint or glue either.  The only localish option is Hobby Craft but being in a retail park that isn’t somewhere I go often.

 

We still talk of Airfix as if it is a huge brand that you will find on the high street, in all the toy shops, but actually it is really hard to find.  Maybe the few remaining independent toy shops, hobby craft, toys r us, but realistically you are looking at proper model shops if you are lucky enough to have one local.  For me, practically everything has to be purchased online, even Airfix if I wanted it.  

 

And because Airfix isn’t in every toy shop like the good old days, it has become expensive, still cheaper, but not that far behind Tamiya any more.

 

Cheers,

 

Nigel

Edited by nheather

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Toys R Us went to the big retail park in the sky last year, and even they had given up stocking kits over the last couple of years.

 

These days unless you have a specialist model shop nearby, kits are very hard to come by on the High Street.

 

 

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Posted (edited)

Airfix have now released details on some of the armour kits, so I looked closely at the Tiger which is my area of expertise.

 

It's an Academy rebox as we deduced: their "early" Tiger without an interior.  It's a little crude in all details, with a couple of "bloopers" that a modeller could fix (e.g. bolts out of place at the hull MG). There's one big error : the "late" style cable on the hull side. Tigers of this vintage had a very different cable layout. Academy's cable is a single plastic part, so this is not easy to fix.

 

Airfix apparently left Academy's plastic as-is but they designed new decals and two paint schemes, for the same Tiger on different dates.

 

This new work is poor.

 

Both paint schemes have wrong colours. One of them resembles the B/W photos reasonably well, but the other is pure fantasy - the subject tank only ever had a single camo scheme.

 

The schemes are labelled with approximate dates and places. One of them is totally wrong.

 

The decals are for a slightly different version of Early Tiger than what the kit builds. This need not have happened - there are plenty of good subjects and photos.

 

This information is not obscure. Two years ago Revell made all of these same mistakes with their Tiger "812" which was a stablemate of the Airfix "832". The colours and features of these Tigers were therefore discussed online and the correct info was published.

 

David

 

Edited by DByrden

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