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jenko

Airfix 2020

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On 1/9/2019 at 11:59 AM, Denford said:

Airfix don't issue subjects merely to 'complete a line up'.  It has to sell, and sell well to enthusiasts and non-enthusiasts alike.

 

To most the Battle is known for the horrendous losses and the bravery of the crews.   Excluding conversions to trainers, target tugs or engine test beds, there were essentially no variants.   Though seeing limited use by others (eg Belgium, Greece), there's little in the way in variety of markings apart from Squadron Codes and letters.  Any tooling would perforce have to be a one-off without follow on different users/variants.  Not the way Airfix operate.

 

Trainer and target tug versions as well, which gives you versions for a future release. You also have Australian, Turkish and Irish aircraft (Airfix like Irish subjects). The VC winner gives that extra interest. I've also heard one of the design team express an interest in the aircraft. And the RAFM one was restored just down the road. And it was deemed an attractive enough subject to put the horrendous old kit back in production in 2010 ( with a Greek option)

There is every chance that some of the 2020 new tools exist as 3D printed or even fully tooled kits at the moment - this has happened before, remember when they started announcing the tools mid-year a few years back.

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14 minutes ago, Dave Fleming said:

 

There is every chance that some of the 2020 new tools exist as 3D printed or even fully tooled kits at the moment - this has happened before, remember when they started announcing the tools mid-year a few years back.

Don't you think that if Airfix had a fully tooled kit right now it would have been in the 2019 catalogue? Why would they want to hold a fully tooled kit back and not earn money from it? The mid-year announcements were of kits that they knew when they would be available in the shops, and that projected date was announced. They don't have a production run, store all the kits in a warehouse (having shipped them from India), and then decide when to release them. They know in advance when the tool will be ready, when production is scheduled and how long they'll be on the water before they dock in this country.  When they've cleared Customs they'll be transported to the Distributors and the kits released to the public.

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On 1/16/2019 at 1:39 PM, Ratch said:

The omission of the 03019 1/72 Mossie from the catalogue may indicate a new tooling is on the cards. It was tooled in 1972 and has been continually in the range since 1989.

I'm sure Airfix is aware that both the 1/72 and 1/48 Mosquito kits are subpar compared to the competition. Although I believe the 1/48 kit is still the most accurate externally, even compared to the Tamiya kit. Airfix obviously has plenty of research material since the 1/24th was developed under the Hornby regime.

 

I don't know if the absence of the 1/72 kit in the 2019 catalogue presages a new kit in 2020 but I have to think it's in their near term plans.

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On 1/9/2019 at 5:59 AM, Denford said:

To most the Battle is known for the horrendous losses and the bravery of the crews.   Excluding conversions to trainers, target tugs or engine test beds, there were essentially no variants.   

Yes, but what a glorious engine test bed it was!

 

(I don't think Airfix will make a Battle.)

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1 hour ago, Procopius said:

(I don't think Airfix will make a Battle.)

 

I don't want to rule it out, it might be wishful thinking on my part, but it's a good-looking aeroplane with a rich, if rather tragic, combat record and the old kit sold well enough to keep it in the catalogue regularly over the years. I don't know how relevant it is, but there is no real competition for it either, maybe Special Hobby will, eventually, release their long-promised new tool of the Battle, maybe not - it's been in the 'Future Releases' section of Hannant's website for at least five years now. I understand the Hendon Battle has a cobbled-together centre section but there are a few other survivors or restorations going on... plus everything @Dave Fleming said above :) 

 

And while I'm indulging my wishlist, a new Lysander and Anson would not go amiss, I know Dora Wings are rumoured to be doing a Lizzie but let's face it. you'd buy the Airfix one in preference, wouldn't you? 

 

Cheers,

 

Stew

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5 hours ago, Ratch said:

Don't you think that if Airfix had a fully tooled kit right now it would have been in the 2019 catalogue? Why would they want to hold a fully tooled kit back and not earn money from it?

 

Generally I agree with what you say but (coughs) 1/48th Spitfire XIV (coughs loudly, chokes, then exits stage right to get a firm slap on the back)

 

59 minutes ago, Stew Dapple said:

I know Dora Wings are rumoured to be doing a Lizzie but let's face it. you'd buy the Airfix one in preference, wouldn't you?

Absolutely yes. 

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3 hours ago, Wez said:

 

Generally I agree with what you say but (coughs) 1/48th Spitfire XIV (coughs loudly, chokes, then exits stage right to get a firm slap on the back)

Are you saying they sat on a fully developed kit for a year?

That's a nasty cough, try some Covonia!

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10 hours ago, Ratch said:

Don't you think that if Airfix had a fully tooled kit right now it would have been in the 2019 catalogue? Why would they want to hold a fully tooled kit back and not earn money from it? The mid-year announcements were of kits that they knew when they would be available in the shops, and that projected date was announced. They don't have a production run, store all the kits in a warehouse (having shipped them from India), and then decide when to release them. They know in advance when the tool will be ready, when production is scheduled and how long they'll be on the water before they dock in this country.  When they've cleared Customs they'll be transported to the Distributors and the kits released to the public.

 

4 hours ago, Wez said:

 

Generally I agree with what you say but (coughs) 1/48th Spitfire XIV (coughs loudly, chokes, then exits stage right to get a firm slap on the back)

 

 

 

Wez stole my example, but there may have been other examples of them shuffling the releases. Not saying the Spitfire was ready for a 2018 release, but it must have been down the dveelopment path

 

These days, the tooling isn't always the deciding cost in manufacturing, production costs (Manufacture, packaging etc) can be significant.

 

Added to that the fact you are contracting a production slot in a factory that one week might be making light switches and the new Airfix kits, then mobile phone holders, so you have to book your production run a long time in adavance. You need to do your initial test shots, finesse the design if possible and allow time for that. (Remember the first test shots shown of the Jet Provost were incomplete) Then you have the things that need done to a kit before release - the instruction sheet artist needs a copy to work form, the decal artist needs a copy to base his/her work on etc.  Obviously a bigger more complex kt needs longer for these areas.

 

It's plausibe that a kit scheduled for release in early 2020 could exist as a test shot at present. I wonder when the first test shots of the Hellcat mould were made?

 

Edited by Dave Fleming

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59 minutes ago, The Tomohawk Kid said:

Really?

 

Tommo.

 

Just something I was told, but it's not as expensive as it was in the 70s - amended my OP on reflection and two cups of coffee!

Now, my wishlist for 2020....

 

1/72 Battle

1/72 Ju88A-1/5

1/72 Seafire F17

1/72 Scimitar

Edited by Dave Fleming

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I've just bought a Novo Javelin FAW.9 off eBay, so I think that we can assume Airfix will release one next year!

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On 1/13/2019 at 8:12 PM, Sundowner14 said:

You missed ‘they won’t do that because someone else is doing, will do, has done it’...

I guess that the decision of doing not doing something, e.g., like the Battle, will depend on the break-even principle: How many copies to be sold to pay for the expenses? That's the way in other business. I know it from books. So if Airfix is going to produce a Battle -- the subject under discussion -- they will have to have a guarantee that it will sell enough to pay for itself. Some of the choices in recent years point in this d

direction: Not a huge bargain, but a safe winner. They seem not to be afraid of the less known subjects.

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My point was that even if the mould is complete today, doesn't mean we'll be getting kits in the shops tomorrow. There are many things to factor in to the lead time.

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Didn’t someone once mention that you may have the moulds and you may have the demand, but getting someone with the time to mould x amount for you may mean having to wait until there is capacity. Now that Airfix outsource moulding, they are in a queue along with everyone else for production slots.

 

Trevor

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3 hours ago, Max Headroom said:

Didn’t someone once mention that you may have the moulds and you may have the demand, but getting someone with the time to mould x amount for you may mean having to wait until there is capacity. Now that Airfix outsource moulding, they are in a queue along with everyone else for production slots.

 

Trevor

Trevor,

 

It has been mentioned, several times but people still don't get it so in the best traditions of military humour it bears repetition, I say again, it bears repetition!

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The  real truth is unless your an Airfix employee no one actually knows what the decision factors are around a number of business processes Airfix have.

 

1. We don’t know what the actual criteria are for subject selection.

 

2.  We don’t know the complexity nor the working patterns of the 3P manufacturer in India or WHY nor the actual lead times.

 

3. We don’t know what the ROI criteria are for Airfix which drives a lot of decisions.

 

4. We don’t actually know the R+D process nor the timelines this actually runs to and where in this process tooling is cut. 

 

5. We don’t know any actual costs involved in any of the R+D process..

 

So so given the relative paucity of actual info which isn’t surprising given its not in the public domain and is confidential to the business. 

Therefore a lot of the business analysis we undertake on the forum is probably fundamentally incorrect.

 

What we do know as the info is published and in the public domain.

 

Airfix has a new management direction. 

Hornby are investing in R+D

Financially they are not out of the woods. 

 

In 2019 they have delivered a range with a new feel but with a relatively low number of new tool kits. This is achieved with re releases, reboxing of other manufacturers kits and re imagination of older toolings.

 

I suspect 2020 will be much the same...

are any of the 2019 new tool kits left field subjects?

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Good points Plasto.  I suspect the likes of the Sea Vixen and Javelin  were statements of we are back and this is what we can do.

 

So on that basis can I have my Gannett please ??

 

Dick

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12 minutes ago, Plasto said:

Airfix has a new management direction. 

Hornby are investing in R+D

Financially they are not out of the woods. 

I get the impression from this and similar comment that Airfix have been playing New Order to Hornby's Factory for some time.

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On ‎1‎/‎16‎/‎2019 at 6:39 PM, Ratch said:

The omission of the 03019 1/72 Mossie from the catalogue may indicate a new tooling is on the cards. It was tooled in 1972 and has been continually in the range since 1989.

Not necessarily so: the 1/72 Spitfire Vb (with a comparable time in the catalogue) is also no longer there.  There are surely others.

 

A more likely reason is that Airfix are trying to reduce their catalogue range.  Dealers, I'm told, don't like too large a range as they would be expected to stock it.  If not, they would be required to buy low-demand items against a 'minimum order quantities'.  As new items are added to the range, so older ones must be removed. 

 

Absence makes the heart grow fonder they say, so the reissue of 'old' subjects such as the B-26 is presumably aimed fulfil demand for something previously hard to find. 

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14 minutes ago, jenko said:

I suspect the likes of the Sea Vixen and Javelin  were statements of we are back and this is what we can do.

 

The other dark reality is if a kit is very accurate, has great detail and engineering, left field subject   but doesn’t sell then is it a success. 

 

On a forum we’d view it as a success as it ticks our boxes for success as enthusiasts. 

 

Accurate, tick

good engineering, tick

great detail, tick

quirky subject, tick

low sales, well I bought 5 for the stash so I’m sorted...

 

In this regard if a 40+ year old tool of the P-61 sells better than a new tool of say your Gannet which meets all of the enthusiast criteria which is the more successful product????

 

Is Airfix in business to keep enthusiasts happy or return a healthy EBITDA??

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13 hours ago, Stew Dapple said:

 

I don't want to rule it out, it might be wishful thinking on my part, but it's a good-looking aeroplane with a rich, if rather tragic, combat record and the old kit sold well enough to keep it in the catalogue regularly over the years.

Re Battle

Or it could just be that it was a slow seller and took ages to clear.

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1 hour ago, Denford said:

Re Battle

Or it could just be that it was a slow seller and took ages to clear.

What, more than 50 years? 

 

Yeah, that'll be it <_<

 

Cheers,

 

Stew

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2020 : Airfix release a range of 1/12 figurines of Star Trek characters.

Press release says "we listened to the modelling community, and they kept asking for

a new tool Vulcan"

 

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^^^^^

 

With the added comment...…………. Airfix boldly going where no other kit manufacturer has gone before.  :hypnotised:

 

Q music...……………….  :whistle:

 

It's modelling Jim …...but not as we know it. 

 

Dick

 

 

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Wonder if they have considered the Douglas Skyraider. They could do the AD-4W to start with as the AEW.1 version then have US markings as well then do the AD-6 version, providing the necessary conversion parts in 1/72 of course.

 

Robert

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