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New tool Gloster Javelin in 1/72?


OutcastJoel
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21 minutes ago, Work In Progress said:

Quite likely someone who is not longer in a position to make such decisions

 I don't personally know what the sales figures were like. 

However, if it was the case that poor sales led to its withdrawal, its something that every manufacturer will have experienced at some point.

For all the shouting and screaming from modellers for a1/72 Scimitar, Javelin, & Sea Vixen I guess Airfix will err on the side of caution.

I admit to being very surprised they even did the Swift...!

 

John

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2 hours ago, Work In Progress said:

Quite likely someone who is not longer in a position to make such decisions

 Regarding the Swift I seem to recall talk about there having been some damage caused to the moulds during the production run which limited availability and therefore sales of the kit , as a subject it would seem neither more nor less obscure than some other Airfix postwar British aircraft although if my recollection about the damage is correct maybe not a subject that would merit doubling the costs and creating a new set of moulds for.

 

Would be good in 1/48 scale though.

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Perhaps the ‚Äúwishful thinking as Airfix won‚Äôt do a new mould [nsert small production run British 1950‚Äôs - 1960‚Äôs jet]¬†as limited appeal‚ÄĚ point reflects the change in the buyers over time? ¬†I‚Äôm old enough to remember the heady days when Airfix/ Frog/ Revell could push out all sorts of esoteric subjects in 1/72 that got sold pretty smartish. ¬†Grumman Gosling, Duck, Hotspur Glider, Blackburn Shark, and others. I suppose the heyday of small and big boys running to Woolworths for that fortnights latest release is history (apart from Woolies demise of course)

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I have no idea of how well or not the Swift sold, but there is someone who sure know and this is Airfix ! On the basis of this they will be able to assess the viability of issuing another similar subject in this scale. If we'll not see any more 1/72 British '50s type for a while, maybe will be an indication that they have found that the market for these kits is too small to justify the investment.

And here's the problem with a lot of our speculations: we modellers like to think that this or that subject would be a great success, the famous "license for printing money" and we wonder why the manufacturers don't see this.

On the other hand the manufacturers are the ones who know in detail what items in their catalogue have sold and the ones that have been poor sellers, they are the ones that constantly see the changes in the market and have to act accordingly. We can claim that our favourite subject will sell on the basis that we'd buy at least three or four, they are the ones who know how a product is actually received by the market.

This of course does not prevent us from speculating on kits that we don't see issued as we'd like and from claiming that companies should follow our advice, afterall it is good fun. And it's not our money anyway... ūüėĀ

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I'd love to see a new 1/72 Javelin and have been putting it top of the want list that Airfix handed out at Telford every year, they obviously didn't pay any attention to me though. However the rational part of my brain knows full well that the demand for a 1/72 scale Javelin would be very small in World terms so is probably not likely to be top of Airfix's wants list, doesn't stop me wanting them though :)

I am not so sure that 1/72 scale is now the top selling scale for aviation models with the shift in popularity towards 1/48. Could that be because the average age of the average modeller is getting older and with that the collective eyesight is getting worse? That's certainly the case for this average modeller who previously was exclusively a 1/72 scale builder.

 

Duncan B

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11 minutes ago, Duncan B said:

I am not so sure that 1/72 scale is now the top selling scale for aviation models with the shift in popularity towards 1/48. Could that be because the average age of the average modeller is getting older and with that the collective eyesight is getting worse? That's certainly the case for this average modeller who previously was exclusively a 1/72 scale builder.

 

Duncan B

 

In those places where model kits are still sold in generic stores, 1/72 kits are generally the wide majority and in very large markets like Japan 1/72 scale is still the most important. The same from what I understand happens in countries like the Czech Republic.

I would say that considering the number of new issues in 1/72 scale each year compared to the same in 1/48, 1/72 still rules. With of course the potential exception of the US, where 1/48 has always been immensely popular.

It would be interesting to see some statistics on the builds in this same forum, even this is clearly a very small slice of the whole modelling world. I bet that 1/72 is still the most popular scale here as well

Edited by Giorgio N
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3 minutes ago, Duncan B said:

I am not so sure that 1/72 scale is now the top selling scale for aviation models with the shift in popularity towards 1/48. Could that be because the average age of the average modeller is getting older and with that the collective eyesight is getting worse? That's certainly the case for this average modeller who previously was exclusively a 1/72 scale builder.

It's weird - you may be right, but at the same time, I see far more 1/144th scale kits which 30 years ago was pretty much the preserve of airliners and other large types - now there seem to be loads of single engine types available. Perhaps it's just that everything has been done in 1/72! (obviously it hasn't but possibly everything that would shift more that a dozen boxes has). A more cynical explanation might be the profit margins are better in 1/48th. Capital costs can't be that much different, material costs negligable, but bigger boxes = bigger prices.

 

As a die hard 1/72nder it's disappointing to see so many new models released initially (and maybe only) in 1/48th - Tamiya P-38 and Airfix Walrus spring to mind.

 

I get that 1/48th has a lot of advantages with regard to detailing and possibly buildability, but for those of us who are themed collectors 1/72 still seems the ideal scale as it is practical for both the largest and smallest prototypes. 

 

Cheers

 

Colin

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6 minutes ago, Giorgio N said:

In those places where model kits are still sold in generic stores, 1/72 kits are generally the wide majority and in very large markets like Japan 1/72 scale is still the most important.

Well my local Hobbycraft certainly favours 1/48th. As does at least one of my dedicated local model shops - indeed its quite depressing as the space allocated to 1/72 seems to be increasingly encroached upon by the 1/48th section every time I visit.

 

I suspect that 1/72nd may become the niche scale within a generation of modellers.

 

Cheers

 

Colin

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2 hours ago, ckw said:

Well my local Hobbycraft certainly favours 1/48th. As does at least one of my dedicated local model shops - indeed its quite depressing as the space allocated to 1/72 seems to be increasingly encroached upon by the 1/48th section every time I visit.

 

I suspect that 1/72nd may become the niche scale within a generation of modellers.

 

Cheers

 

Colin

I certainly sell far more 1/48 aircraft kits than I do 1/72 scale. Fair to say that I don't carry as much 1/72 scale now as I did when I first opened as many of the kits just sat on the shelves. The imbalance in stock does pain me as I'm a 1/72 scale builder at heart but my money has to go where the customers appear to be spending theirs.

 

Duncan B

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25 minutes ago, Duncan B said:

I certainly sell far more 1/48 aircraft kits than I do 1/72 scale. Fair to say that I don't carry as much 1/72 scale now as I did when I first opened as many of the kits just sat on the shelves. The imbalance in stock does pain me as I'm a 1/72 scale builder at heart but my money has to go where the customers appear to be spending theirs.

 

Duncan B

It is good to have feedback from someone who knows rather than just the rest of us speculating. 

 

Gutted though, I was hoping that you we going to set us straight and let us know that 1/72 was in fact the king of scales!

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Sometimes it can be instructive to see what you find in the remainder bins - there is a chap at Telford each year who has a massive stack of Airfix and Revell kits (and paints) at discounted prices- IIRC he had a load of 48th Furies, Lynx, and Op Herrick Stuff last year.

 

At present, the Kate,  post war Beaus, Whitley and Daks have all appeared at The Works - my local has an absolute stack of Whitleys - and they're now down to £20 a pop - together with B-17s. Maybe its a sign of what didnt sell?  IIRC they whacked some extra decal sheets in with the Canberra perhaps to move stock and again IIRC the Motorhead Heinkel was a plan to shift remaining kits too but it turned out to be - cue Borat 'great success'!

 

TT 

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57 minutes ago, ivand said:

Frankly, as Airfix just recently have done a brand new Buccaneer in 1/72, I can't see why they wouldn't do a Javelin sooner or later...

 

Bit of a difference between the two, starting from the 12 years of service for the Javelin and 31 for the Buccaneer. The Javelin served with little distinction without really hitting the main news, the Buccaneer served into an era when news coverage was totally different and during the Gulf War everybody saw the pink painted ones on the TV.

The Buccaneer is a pretty well known aircraft, the Javelin is not

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14 hours ago, Duncan B said:

 

I am not so sure that 1/72 scale is now the top selling scale for aviation models with the shift in popularity towards 1/48. Could that be because the average age of the average modeller is getting older and with that the collective eyesight is getting worse? That's certainly the case for this average modeller who previously was exclusively a 1/72 scale builder.

 

Duncan B

I would have to respectfully disagree with this.

Obviously, I can only speak as an average modeller myself but, with over 50 years of (mostly) 1/72 building under my belt, I would not want to see an increasing emphasis on 1/48. With an increase in scale comes an (often hefty) increase in cost as well as a decrease in the amount of available display space.

I consider 1/72 also to be the most practical scale for even the largest types.

It's disappointing to note so many otherwise appealing subjects being produced in 1/48 only. I didn't buy the Airfix Javelin because it was unaffordable when first released and, its still unaffordable. I haven't bought the Meteor, Canberra or Hunter kits for the same reason.

1/72? You bet I would! In multiples because the smaller scale keeps 'em affordable!

I might agree with  your comment about the "shift in popularity towards 1/48" were it not for the seeming plethora of new kits in what I term the "silly scale" - 1/144.

Maybe it's going the other wayūüėČūüėā.

I/144 is a scale I don't personally like but, I'm a practical bloke and, if I want an affordable Beverley, Argosy, VC-10,IL-76 (to name a few) I have to go with what's on offer.

I couldn't afford them if they were in the one true scale! ūüėā.

As long as my 63 year old eyes and, large (but still quite dexterous) fingers can cope, I will stick with (primarily) 1/72 and, I hope the manufacturers continue to stick with this scale.

In the end of course, it all comes down to personal choice.

I have absolutely nothing against 1/48 (or larger) per se. 

John

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6 hours ago, Beermonster1958 said:

I would have to respectfully disagree with this.

Obviously, I can only speak as an average modeller myself but, with over 50 years of (mostly) 1/72 building under my belt, I would not want to see an increasing emphasis on 1/48. With an increase in scale comes an (often hefty) increase in cost as well as a decrease in the amount of available display space.

I consider 1/72 also to be the most practical scale for even the largest types.

It's disappointing to note so many otherwise appealing subjects being produced in 1/48 only. I didn't buy the Airfix Javelin because it was unaffordable when first released and, its still unaffordable. I haven't bought the Meteor, Canberra or Hunter kits for the same reason.

1/72? You bet I would! In multiples because the smaller scale keeps 'em affordable!

I might agree with  your comment about the "shift in popularity towards 1/48" were it not for the seeming plethora of new kits in what I term the "silly scale" - 1/144.

Maybe it's going the other wayūüėČūüėā.

I/144 is a scale I don't personally like but, I'm a practical bloke and, if I want an affordable Beverley, Argosy, VC-10,IL-76 (to name a few) I have to go with what's on offer.

I couldn't afford them if they were in the one true scale! ūüėā.

As long as my 63 year old eyes and, large (but still quite dexterous) fingers can cope, I will stick with (primarily) 1/72 and, I hope the manufacturers continue to stick with this scale.

In the end of course, it all comes down to personal choice.

I have absolutely nothing against 1/48 (or larger) per se. 

John

 

I wouldn't worry ! Just have a look at the number of new 1/72 kits issued every year, there's plenty enough to keep anyone busy for a lifetime. There are still many more subjects done in 1/72 and not available in 1/48 than the opposite and really I can think of very, very few combat aircraft that have not been made available in plastic in thi scale while there are plenty not done yet in 1/48.

Airfix may have made a Javelin and Sea Vixen in 1/48 but these subjects have been available for decades in 1/72 and kits of both are still easy to find even if some are OOP. Granted, being older kits the quality may today not compare with the state of the art, but that's the price to pay for having been able to build a 1/72 Javelin when 1/48 lovers could not.

1/48 has become mcuh more important than it was in the past (mind, not that this happened in the last few years, it's a trend that worldwide has been going on for 20 years...) and Duncan experience shows that 1/48 kits are more requested by some buyers... but we wouldn't see the continuous flow of new 1/72 kits we see every year if the scale was selling poorly. The fact that a single subject may not have been offered tells little about the popularity of the scale, tells more about the popularity of the subject. And the presence of an existing kit, even if old, can sometime be a reason good enough for a manufacturer to avoid it.

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10 hours ago, Giorgio N said:

Bit of a difference between the two, starting from the 12 years of service for the Javelin and 31 for the Buccaneer. The Javelin served with little distinction without really hitting the main news, the Buccaneer served into an era when news coverage was totally different and during the Gulf War everybody saw the pink painted ones on the TV.

The Buccaneer is a pretty well known aircraft, the Javelin is not

Probably true for most of today's modellers but those of us of a certain age will recall it at "the end of empire" with its use in the far East and east Africa. As others have said this is why the 1/48 model did well the eyesight of those who remember those days is better suited to that scale. Having said that I prefer 1/144.

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8 hours ago, Beermonster1958 said:

I would have to respectfully disagree with this.

Obviously, I can only speak as an average modeller myself but, with over 50 years of (mostly) 1/72 building under my belt, I would not want to see an increasing emphasis on 1/48. With an increase in scale comes an (often hefty) increase in cost as well as a decrease in the amount of available display space.

I consider 1/72 also to be the most practical scale for even the largest types.

It's disappointing to note so many otherwise appealing subjects being produced in 1/48 only. I didn't buy the Airfix Javelin because it was unaffordable when first released and, its still unaffordable. I haven't bought the Meteor, Canberra or Hunter kits for the same reason.

1/72? You bet I would! In multiples because the smaller scale keeps 'em affordable!

I might agree with  your comment about the "shift in popularity towards 1/48" were it not for the seeming plethora of new kits in what I term the "silly scale" - 1/144.

Maybe it's going the other wayūüėČūüėā.

I/144 is a scale I don't personally like but, I'm a practical bloke and, if I want an affordable Beverley, Argosy, VC-10,IL-76 (to name a few) I have to go with what's on offer.

I couldn't afford them if they were in the one true scale! ūüėā.

As long as my 63 year old eyes and, large (but still quite dexterous) fingers can cope, I will stick with (primarily) 1/72 and, I hope the manufacturers continue to stick with this scale.

In the end of course, it all comes down to personal choice.

I have absolutely nothing against 1/48 (or larger) per se. 

John

 

2 hours ago, Giorgio N said:

 

I wouldn't worry ! Just have a look at the number of new 1/72 kits issued every year, there's plenty enough to keep anyone busy for a lifetime. There are still many more subjects done in 1/72 and not available in 1/48 than the opposite and really I can think of very, very few combat aircraft that have not been made available in plastic in thi scale while there are plenty not done yet in 1/48.

Airfix may have made a Javelin and Sea Vixen in 1/48 but these subjects have been available for decades in 1/72 and kits of both are still easy to find even if some are OOP. Granted, being older kits the quality may today not compare with the state of the art, but that's the price to pay for having been able to build a 1/72 Javelin when 1/48 lovers could not.

1/48 has become mcuh more important than it was in the past (mind, not that this happened in the last few years, it's a trend that worldwide has been going on for 20 years...) and Duncan experience shows that 1/48 kits are more requested by some buyers... but we wouldn't see the continuous flow of new 1/72 kits we see every year if the scale was selling poorly. The fact that a single subject may not have been offered tells little about the popularity of the scale, tells more about the popularity of the subject. And the presence of an existing kit, even if old, can sometime be a reason good enough for a manufacturer to avoid it.

As a modeller I agree with both of you wholeheartedly, the bulk of my built model collection and my stash is still 1/72 scale. Over the last 18 months I appear to have been sidetracked into 1/48 by some specific subjects that I wanted to build that either were not available in 1/72 or there weren't the decal options however my next private purchases will most likely be the Special Hobby 1/72 Bf109Es (as if I don't have enough 109s already!).

 

As a model retailer my thoughts are quite different though, as I've said already, many 1/72 scale kits just don't sell at the same rate as the 1/48 scale kits (in my case at least but I do appreciate that it will depend on the actual subject). As an example the Tamiya 1/72 Bf109G-6 has not sold in anywhere near the same numbers as the Tamiya 1/48 Bf109G-6 has (for me), the same story goes for the Eduard Spitfire Mk.IX kits. There are examples that we can point to that buck that trend of course. I doubt there are as many 1/48 B-29s built as there are 1/72 versions so it's too sweeping a statement to apply my experience to all 1/72 scale aircraft kits as it will depend on the subject of course.

 

Diversity and choice are positive things and I hope that my argument doesn't put Airfix off producing a Gentleman's scale version of their sublime 1/48 Javelin and Sea Vixen. My Retailer alter ego would happily stick some on  the stockroom shelves if it meant my Modeller alter ego could make a few of them :) .

 

Go on Airfix, you know it might not make sense (but think of all the oldies like me who remember them flying around that you'd make happy)!!

 

Duncan B

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1 hour ago, Paul821 said:

Probably true for most of today's modellers but those of us of a certain age will recall it at "the end of empire" with its use in the far East and east Africa. As others have said this is why the 1/48 model did well the eyesight of those who remember those days is better suited to that scale. Having said that I prefer 1/144.

I am one of those who remember the Javelin with affection as they provided our air support in the Far East.  I am also an avid 1:144 scale modeller but only have one Javelin kit in that scale, by Anigrand.  It would be great if someone could produce this aircraft in plastic to 1:144 scale, I would buy at least six.  I would even buy a few at 1:72 scale.

 

Mike

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I agree about the practicalities of 1/72 and about the greater choice available in 1/72.  And I would also add that a 1/48 kit will take longer to make than a 1/72, thus reducing the potential range of interest.  However there has long (tediously long) been a campaign by supporters of the American scale for more 1/48 kits in the UK, sometimes using ill-informed insults such as "modellers use 1/48, 1/72 is for children and beginners".  There are more 1/48 kits available than there used to be, and I suspect that in terms of current production choice the two scales are about even.  But 1/72 wins hands down on variety.  The aircraft on top of my present make list are an Avia B.35, Bf.109X, and I-17,  Waiting below them is an Avia B.135, two Fleet 10s, an FK.52 and three Nardi 305s,   Eat your heart out, 1/48.   I admit this is rather more exotic than my usual run of kits, that several of them are likely to return to the shelves unfinished, and the actual next one made is to be a Bf.109F.  (Not a complete weirdo.)

 

However, I suspect Duncan is in a position of a specialist provider, and that the surviving "High street" shops sell a much larger number of 1/72.  Supermarkets appear to be entirely 1/72...  I would expect specialist sellers (in which I include Hannants) to sell more exotic models, in scale and subject, than walk-in stores.  Even so, it isn't that many years ago that David Hannant answered the same question by listing sales (or was it choice) in the different scales, and showing that 1/72 was the more popular. As another measure, are 1/48 transfer sheets now available in greater choice and selling in greater number than their 1/72 counterparts?  I suspect not, but don't have figures.  A check of Hannants catalogue should help - are there as many 1/48 Xtradecals as 1/72?

 

However, I must admit that as an older (ok, old - 74) modeller with poor eyesight, my interest is turning more to 1/144 than 1/48, mainly driven it is true by larger subjects such as 4-engined airliners not otherwise of any particular presence in my stash,  Wouldn't a Halton and a series of Halifaxes be wonderful in 1/144?  1/48 kits may be larger overall, but have more parts and the smallest parts are no larger individually than the smallest parts in 1/72 scale, or indeed 1/144.  Just a whole lot more of them.  (Or indeed 1/700, despite Flyhawk's attempts to boost the market in microscopes.)  There are, after all eyepieces - I don't see poorer eyesight as a bar to any scale, only to the limits that you can reach in that particular scale.  I'm every bit as poor a modeller in 1/144 as I would be in 1/48.

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I think the eyesight argument may be true to certain extent, in that it initially motivates people to try 1/48 but is also a misnomer. The smallest part in 1/72 cockpit will be the stick whereas a 1/48 cockpit will have two parts for the stick, trim wheels, rudder pedals etc, that is the physical parts are the same size regardless of the scale. 

 

In a crowded market where most things have been kitted in 1/72, 1/48 is a niche to carve some sort of profit from. 

 

- a committed 1/72 & 1/144 scale modeller

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I build 1/48 as a preference and only drift into 1/72 when physical size is an issue, such as bombers.  Rather than down scaling the Javelin I'm hoping they up scale the Buccaneer!

 

My own take is that having no knowledge of the Javelin as an aircraft until a few years ago (Bill Waterton's book) and then buying the Airfix 1/48 kit on a whim I was delighted by it.

It remains one of Airfix's great kits in terms of it's engineering and construction sequence and really set the tone for those that followed such as the Gnat & the Hunter,

I am now building another one just because it was so much fun the first time!

 

It doesn't really matter what the subject is if it is done this well. 

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On Javelin rumours - I would expect that some weird kitmaker releases it - like ClearProp or maximum MPM/SH (they did Vampire family and Meteor family now). Airfix will not do it. Swift was a one-off deviation from norm. 

 

On scales - I guess 1/72 still rules being a truly universal scale for everything from Hughes OH-6 helicopters to Cold War Tupolev bombers and even some airliners. I actually do not understand 1/48 as it seems to be a compromise between detail level and model size. 1/32 really allows great detail level so that if I want to get a true representation of e.g. Spitfire or MiG-21 I'd go 1/32. Some manufacturers seems to like 1/48 more, but only 1/72 allows to build real huge collections. I do not see how it fades away.

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