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For your agenda - Monday 10th January - 4.PM - Airfix 2022 range launch


Homebee

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20 hours ago, Adam Poultney said:

 

 

I'm 18 and have been into this hobby for quite a few years so I think I have a pretty good perspective of what it was like only a few years ago for the pocket money modellers, and yes that is very much a demographic which still exists. They just rarely frequent forums like this (you'll find most with an online presence on Instagram and Reddit)

 

You can't afford to buy a lot of kits, so you choose carefully what you want. You most certainly cannot afford huge kits like this one. Maybe as a Christmas present for the ones who are really into scale modelling but most younger modellers won't be seeing this kit, so it's definitely not aimed at the general public. Only the 1/72 starter sets are, they are the gateway to the hobby.

For the nostalgia modellers who did this in the 1970s, 80s or 90s and are deciding to give it another go, does anyone really think they're going to go and buy a £100 superkit straight away? Of course they won't. Again, this kit is not suitable for the market of the general public.

 

I think the reality of why less young people are into scale models is partially down to competition from other forms of entertainment. The world moves on and forms of new technology and entertainment replaces the old. But I also think a large part of it is many of the younger people who start it feel priced out. I know it's a small sample size, but when discussing the recent Airfix price hike on Instagram, many younger modellers said that they aren't planning to get kits they otherwise would have now.

Certainly the 16-18 demographic where you might get your first job, be earning a bit of money and are then able to afford kits that are a bit more expensive (this is how I started building bigger expensive kits a few years ago) is feeling very much priced out. Since the beginning of 2021 the price hike has been just over 20% on the vulcan (I keep using that as an example just because I know vulcans), the minimum wage for under 18s was £4.55/hr at the beginning of 2021, then was raised to £4.62/hr in April. In April this year it will be raised again to £4.81. That's an increase of only 5.4%. The 18-20 bracket is only marginally better with an increase of 5.56%. It is indesputably becoming more difficult for younger modellers to afford hobbies like this. 

 

 

 

 

Really things weren't much different when I started in the '80s: "pocket money" could buy a few kits but there were already kits that were completely out of reach for a kid or a teen. I could only hope to have certain kits if my parents or uncles got them for me at Christmas or Birthdays, others were so expensive that I didn't evern consider asking them to buy one for me.

Even as a college student, a time when I did also work part-time, the idea of spending certain figures on a kit was beyond me and really I only started looking into high-end kits after I got my Ph.D and a real job.

Said that, I believe that it is possible to enjoy the hobby "on the cheap" today in the same way as it was in the '80s, exactly as there were very expensive kits in those years as there are now. I just tried searching on Hannants for 1/72 aircraft kits sorted by price and there are 12 pages of results under £10 ! At 25 results per page that makes it around 300 kits selling for under a tenner at a shop that generally is not one of the cheapest.

Of course these 300 kits include a bit of everything, some are very old kits, eastern European repops of Frog or Heller stuff and so one, others are very rough and cheap kits from the likes of PM or Smer, a number are Hobbyboss easy-kits. However there are also recent kits from companies like Airfix, Revell, Academy, there are some short-run kits of very unusual subjects, there are a few kits currently for sale that would generally be a but more expensive... Of course most will be single seat aircraft, many WW2, several WW1, some helicopter.. there will never be a 1/72 B-52 on the market for a tenner and a 1/72 Vulcan will always be an expensive kit in the same way as the old tool Airfix kit was too expensive for me when first issued. Yes, back then we had Matchbox that made a cheaper Victor, today there's no such thing but in turn we have the web that allows a modeller to find kits at much cheaper prices searching the pre-owned market and checking special offers from retailers.

 

Where as a modeller I'm a bit more concerned when it comes to Airfix is that their recent price increases may put them at a disadvantage against other manufacturers that are providing superior products for similar prices. I really hope that today they will announce something I am interested in (the big Spitfire IX looks very nice but I don't build 1/24) but at the same time I wonder if that something will satisfy my own cost/quality criteria. Unfortunately I believe that there will be no way for Airfix to be able to reduce their costs as these are on the rise everywhere for a number of reasons, they should however be careful to keep their quality in line with the increasing prices otherwise more and more modellers may start moving toward other brands. Of course the very good distribution and marketing that Airfix have gives them a huge advantage over everybody else so they may not feel this problem for a while, at least in the UK.

 

I apologise for having straddled off topic, let's see what else they'll announce today, as a 1/72 enthusiast I hope for something interesting in this scale too,  Don't hope for anything particularly unusual, really though what I'd like to see from Airfix is a better distribution in my country, their kits used to be very easy to find up to a few years ago while now even in hobby shops they are not always available.

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12 hours ago, Adam Poultney said:

@Julien - could we have a pinned thread with links to each of the new Airfix announcements' individual threads tomorrow just so we can avoid the chaos of multiple threads popping up on the same subject :)

 

Im Sure @Homebee will work it all out, its his corner of the forum and we like to leave it upto him as far as possible. 

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58 minutes ago, Adam Poultney said:

Wow without being a Spitfire expert it looks very well set up to perhaps have the retractable tail wheel. The wings are tooled seperately, so other variants using the same fuselage would be possible right? Did any Seafires use that fuselage I would love to see those in such a big scale

 

Yes and no...

Yes because what they have moulded is a pretty "generic" Spitfire fuselage centre section, something that changed little over the Spitfire life. What changed in shape was the are around the windscreen, to accomodate a number of variations. Seafires mostly had the same windscreen of the IX so no problem here

No because Seafires featured a number of modifications that meant changes to the fuselage,for a starter the hook under the rear fuselage. This was then followed by the catapult spools (both on the rear fuselage and under the wings) and reinforcement plates on the fuselage. The latter disappeared on the Seafire XV and some of these also did not have the hook under the fuselage, so a late XV would be the easiest to build from that fuselage.

Of course a Seafire XV would require a new front fuselage section, engine, wings..... can it be done ? Sure can and maybe some aftermarket company will issue a set.

Other variants can be made with different modifications and for example a Seafire Mk.IIc would be a relatively easy conversion using a few parts from the previous Mk.Vb in the same scale. I'm sure we'll see someone doing this in the next few months

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4 hours ago, Julien said:

Im Sure @Homebee will work it all out, its his corner of the forum and we like to leave it upto him as far as possible. 

 

Thank you for your confidence and support Julien.

Done since yesterday.

Have a look at my 09/01 update in the 1st post from this thread: link

Do I've to say that I'm really excited to discover what Airfix will announce this afternoon. And I am pretty sure I am not the only one. 😉

 

Please post now your comments about the new tool 1/24th Spifire kit in the dedicated thread: link

 

The new banner with THE Spitfire Mk.IX

 

271722790-10159579596871271-299203277407

 

V.P.

Edited by Homebee
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I preferred it when they unfurled the banner at Telford. Who doesn't like a good old fashioned banner unfurling?

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If it has the early style ailerons and elevators, as well as both types of intakes and fins, does it have the early wing cannon blisters as well?

I can't see them on the sprues, so maybe not?

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How about taking the spitfire questions, comments and chat to its own thread that’s has been there now for 24 hours. Otherwise it is just duplicated effort here that will be culled from this ;)

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