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Sturmovik

How good is Airfix at following product suggestions?

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I requested Airfix if they could upscale their A-4Bs in 72nd to 48th, and suggested making a brand new tool Pulqui II in the same scale. The first one is sorely needed IMO, and the second one would be great to have. For me at least.

Is Airfix good at following customer suggestions?

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I have made only 2 requests over the years to Airfix by email to make the following kist in 1/72 

 

Westland Commando HC.4 and;  

Westland Wasp

 

they made the Commando at least - that is a 50% rating!

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Funnily enough, the latest Airfix Workbench blog mentions something about this after they attended last weekend’s Shropshire Model Show at the RAF Museum, Cosford. 

 

"We are grateful to everyone who took the time to fill in our Airfix suggestion forms, the content of which will certainly be collated and discussed during future planning meetings – we are always interested to hear what modellers have to say and from some of the discussions we had last Sunday, we know how long many of you have been Airfix supporters". 

 

Seems like the idea to produce a new tool  1/72 Buccaneer probably started from the flood of public suggestions so one would think a 1/48 Vulcan might also be on their 'highly wanted' lists as well. If we ever end up getting one is another matter altogether. Now if anyone is listening, can we possibilty suggest a good family of Vampires and Venoms in both popular scales? Thanks. 

 

Cheers.. Dave  

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34 minutes ago, Rabbit Leader said:

a 1/48 Vulcan

Like what Revell did with their 1:48 big planes? I read on Modeling Madness that many people had requested a 1:48 Catalina, but it ended up being a poor seller.

I wish more people would ask for a new tool A-4B (P/Q) in 1:48, the Hasegawa kit is not available. The Pulqui II would be an absolute favourite.

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3 minutes ago, Sturmovik said:

Like what Revell did with their 1:48 big planes? I read on Modeling Madness that many people had requested a 1:48 Catalina, but it ended up being a poor seller.

I wish more people would ask for a new tool A-4B (P/Q) in 1:48, the Hasegawa kit is not available. The Pulqui II would be an absolute favourite.

You never know your luck. 

Hasegawa recently reissued their 1/48 A-4C, so perhaps the 'B' may also get a re-release if sales of this kit are good. I bought a 'C' so that might help!  

 

Cheers.. Dave

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Just now, Rabbit Leader said:

so perhaps the 'B' may also get a re-release

The B, but I´m after the P/Q, that's why Airfix would be a prime candidate, they already released them in 72nd.

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They are probably pretty good at it - if they get enough suggestion on their forms for a subject that they can scan or get drawings for then they would probably do it, but I would think it would have to be quite a high number of suggestions as they are trying to make money after all.

 

I would say the A-4B would have small chance of being done and the Pulqui II no chance - you're asking the wrong company. It's just not something Airfix would do because the sales would be quite small, you would be better off suggesting it to a resin company that make kits in small numbers.

 

Now a 1/72nd Beaufort would be right up Airfix's street so lets all start suggesting that ;)

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They have also said (or it has been said that they have said) that they are only interested in subjects for which they can get high class original documentation, or that they can go out and measure themselves (my phrasing not theirs).  As said above,  the Pulqui is totally unrealistic.  To be honest, the Beaufort would be difficult too, wouldn't it?  I suspect that they are less likely to be influenced by any particular request than for a trend in a less-specific area of interest - 50s British jets for example.  The fact that a subject is a glaring omission from current model shop shelves (eg Venom, Beaufort of even the never done by anyone Manchester) is less important to them than whether they can get good access to reliable information.  Never overlooking the size of the potential market - we will get Lancasters out of our ears but not (yet) a Halifax.

 

Personal preferences aside, it's difficult to blame them, but it does result in a closed loop of available subjects generating popular interest which results in more and more toolings of the same subject which leads to more popular interest which....  and by a corollary those subjects not covered become less and less likely ever to be covered, at least by mainstream manufacturers.  If you see this as a problem, the answer is to buy kits from manufacturers that do produce less familiar or even exotic types, and not just from the familiars from the big names.  This should not only reward the more adventurous makers but hopefully also tempt some of the more conservative.  Good luck.

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1 hour ago, Graham Boak said:

They have also said (or it has been said that they have said) that they are only interested in subjects for which they can get high class original documentation, or that they can go out and measure themselves (my phrasing not theirs).  As said above,  the Pulqui is totally unrealistic.  To be honest, the Beaufort would be difficult too, wouldn't it?  I suspect that they are less likely to be influenced by any particular request than for a trend in a less-specific area of interest - 50s British jets for example.  The fact that a subject is a glaring omission from current model shop shelves (eg Venom, Beaufort of even the never done by anyone Manchester) is less important to them than whether they can get good access to reliable information.  Never overlooking the size of the potential market - we will get Lancasters out of our ears but not (yet) a Halifax.

 

Personal preferences aside, it's difficult to blame them, but it does result in a closed loop of available subjects generating popular interest which results in more and more toolings of the same subject which leads to more popular interest which....  and by a corollary those subjects not covered become less and less likely ever to be covered, at least by mainstream manufacturers.  If you see this as a problem, the answer is to buy kits from manufacturers that do produce less familiar or even exotic types, and not just from the familiars from the big names.  This should not only reward the more adventurous makers but hopefully also tempt some of the more conservative.  Good luck.

Why would the Beaufort be difficult? Hendon's got one and there's the one they are restoring in Australia.

 

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12 hours ago, Sturmovik said:

I requested Airfix if they could upscale their A-4Bs in 72nd to 48th, and suggested making a brand new tool Pulqui II in the same scale. The first one is sorely needed IMO, and the second one would be great to have. For me at least.

Is Airfix good at following customer suggestions?

 

When I read the thread topic I said to myself, someone would suggest please build your kit in ### scale.

Suggestions from modellers are dime a dozen. Costs such as accessing drawing. Creating usable CAD drawing. Tooling creation are the meat and potatoes of their work. Countless hours of this type of work that needs to be paid for. As just up-scaling doesn't quite translate and there are others who can better address that.

 

Companies are now producing "EGG" kits. So that tells you how much they are prepared to venture something new. Oh another 1/48 Bf-109 for sure but little in the way of new, don't hold your breath.

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If Airfix occupied their time by producing 1/48 models of everything they've only done in 1/72 and vice versa, especially cold war jets, they wouldn't need suggestions for a year or two.

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If there is one era or subject that i think should be covered as far as practicable by a company like Airfix, as well as being what i would think is a popular choice area in the market, then its WWII RAF. I would hope that research has been done to see what that list would contain, who already provides some of the lesser types, the ones that would be the only game in town, and the ones that should make some money for Airfix. If they have made the Whitley, then surely the Manchester, Beaufort and Lysander have a place in the market.

 

Wonder if Airfix could see their way to using their Workbench to expand a bit more on what people are asking for, maybe taking that even further to say yes, no or maybe and if only we had..... There is also "You asked for xxxxx, which we gave you and it flew, but more of you asked for xxxxx and we had to off-load them in the end!"

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13 hours ago, Sturmovik said:

I requested Airfix if they could upscale their A-4Bs in 72nd to 48th, and suggested making a brand new tool Pulqui II in the same scale. The first one is sorely needed IMO, and the second one would be great to have. For me at least.

Is Airfix good at following customer suggestions?

 

I like to believe I'm reasonably well up on my aviation subjects, but I had to Google to find out what a Pulqui II was, I venture I'm not on my own. That tells you what chance that has of being kitted by Airfix.

 

Tommo.

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13 hours ago, Sturmovik said:

Is Airfix good at following customer suggestions?

Putting it like that makes it seem more like is Airfix good at following customer instructions.  You don’t really think that you need only drop them a name and pop, up comes a kit to match it?  Them, or anyone else?

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There have been many similar postings on customer suggestions and why is such and such a subject has been seemingly ignored.

To repeat, Airfix's purpose IS TO MAKE MONEY.  Nothing else. 

The fact that such and such an aircraft is:

- Iconic

- No line up would be complete without it

- An important subject in (British) aviation

- Such and such an anniversary will soon fall due.

- "I know it would sell" ie I would buy it.

Are all totally irrelevant: it must make money.  True (no cynicism intended) they say they consider customers' requests, but then they could hardly say otherwise!

 

If you look at their output, roughly 5-6 new toolings per year, and the number of subjects they have yet to tool (to say nothing of re-tooling), it is clear why so many subjects seem forgotten.

 

So for the UK  alone, and in WWll, (which one could suppose is their 'core' area and so of priority) and in 1/72, they have yet to tool:

Tempest, Beaufort, Griffon Spitfire, Albacore, Barracuda, early Firefly (do they have something against Fairey ?), Seafire, York, Oxford, Rapide, Horsa, Roc/Skua (assuming the available data is adequate), 2 Stage Mosquito and 'stretching the boundaries a little' single seat Vampire, Lincoln and probably a few more!

 

Add to that, 'retooling', other scales, Post War,  and other Air Forces is surely clear why any particular subject remains seemingly ignored.  How long 'to clear' even the above somewhat restricted list?  Surely decades!

 

Whatever has been chosen but not yet announced, can only be at the expense of something else.  One could say that 'many be called but few be chosen'.

 

 

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8 hours ago, Denford said:

Tempest, Beaufort, Griffon Spitfire, Albacore, Barracuda, early Firefly (do they have something against Fairey ?), Seafire, York, Oxford, Rapide, Horsa, Roc/Skua (assuming the available data is adequate), 2 Stage Mosquito and 'stretching the boundaries a little' single seat Vampire, Lincoln and probably a few more!

What about the PR.XIX and F.22 Spitfires? The PR.XIX certainly saw service in WWII. 

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On 4/12/2019 at 7:36 PM, Uncle Dick said:

I have made only 2 requests over the years to Airfix by email to make the following kist in 1/72 

 

Westland Commando HC.4 and;  

Westland Wasp

 

they made the Commando at least - that is a 50% rating!

Could you make two separate requests for me?

 

Here they are:

 

1. 1/72 C-130 H Hercules

2. 1/72 C-130 H Hercules

 

That should do it. 😉

Edited by Scooby

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Well...

Just wonder where are the accurate 1/72 P-51B Mustang's?

 

Or should we send our hopes to Arma Hobby?

 

 

One tought I have is if a company makes an well known aircraft type like the Spitfire Mk.I/II/V and/or Mustang P-51B or D do they really have to do any research concerning markings with so many nice decals available in the aftermarket today?

 

Producing an more rare kit as an Scimitar or an SAAB 18  (as example) för sure demands more also when it comes to research  correct markings.

 

And in any case if a company like Airfix, Revell or Italeri comes up with an highly wanted kit these days it would never sell in big quantities if it's not accurate and buildable with an decent effort. It ends up being killed in reviews long before it sells in big volumes...

 

Cheers / André

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4 hours ago, VMA131Marine said:

What about the PR.XIX and F.22 Spitfires? The PR.XIX certainly saw service in WWII. 

Yes: you're quite right.  I was thinking of Spitfire XlV which 1/48 builders are now lucky enough to look forward to.

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5 hours ago, VMA131Marine said:

What about the PR.XIX and F.22 Spitfires? The PR.XIX certainly saw service in WWII. 

But they did the PR.XIX and MK.22 a few years ago. Yes they might not be up to their latest standard but they are not going to retool everything every few years. I suspect they will do the rest of the Spit family before retooling ones they already have modern tooling of. 

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48 minutes ago, Tbolt said:

But they did the PR.XIX and MK.22 a few years ago. Yes they might not be up to their latest standard but they are not going to retool everything every few years. I suspect they will do the rest of the Spit family before retooling ones they already have modern tooling of. 

Yes, my post was pointing out that Airfix has recently done a couple of Griffin Spits in 1/72 (with the 1/48 Mk.XIV coming this year).

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23 minutes ago, VMA131Marine said:

Yes, my post was pointing out that Airfix has recently done a couple of Griffin Spits in 1/72 (with the 1/48 Mk.XIV coming this year).

Sorry I misread Denford's post. Having said that the 1/48th Mk.XII could do with a retool when they do it in 1/72nd.

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Airfix has been bitten once or twice in the past by following modellers' suggestions. Their 1/72 Supermarine Swift and Nimrod kits were cases in point.

 

People got misty and nostalgic for a kit of the Swift to round out their early Cold War RAF Germany collections. Airfix took a loss on that kit as the sales didn't reflect the demand that was there.

 

Same story with the Nimrod kit, lots of energetic talk on the forums and lots of suggestions of it made to Airfix. What happened when the kit was released? Shops anded up having to sell it at deep discounts just to move them out the door.

 

I'd rather see Airfix scale down their 1/48 Sea Vixen and Javelin kits to 1/72  before putting out a new tooling.

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2 minutes ago, upnorth said:

Airfix has been bitten once or twice in the past by following modellers' suggestions. Their 1/72 Supermarine Swift and Nimrod kits were cases in point.

 

I was told by an Airfix rep once that the reason for the sheer amount of Nimrod kits left over was due to the production run quantity being doubled by mistake. Of course, how true this is is anyone's guess, but just relaying the info I received from back when I was in the trade.

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25 minutes ago, fightersweep said:

 

I was told by an Airfix rep once that the reason for the sheer amount of Nimrod kits left over was due to the production run quantity being doubled by mistake. Of course, how true this is is anyone's guess, but just relaying the info I received from back when I was in the trade.

 

If I recall rightly Nimrod was marketed as a limited edition with pre-orders only securing the kit. If someone doubled the order quanity, that is a heck of a mistake and completely undermined the original marketing strategy. I imagine a P45 followed.

 

Tommo.

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