Does anyone here remember Airfix?

Discussion in 'Archived Threads 2001-2004' started by Jeff Ulmer, Dec 11, 2002.

  1. Jeff Ulmer

    Jeff Ulmer Producer

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    How I got on this topic, I don't know, but as a kid we used to play with these HO scale Airfix men, and looking it up on the net I found this site which lists all of the collector's sets available.
    Looking through these pics brought back a lot of memories. My best friend Eric had a lot of these sets, including Tarzan, the Sahara Fort/Foreign Legion, Astronauts, Cowboys, and many of the WWII sets. These go down as some of those toys that just vanished over the years. Too bad modern kids can't get stuff like this that required them to use their imaginations in their play. Many hours of my childhood were spent with these little plastic figures.
     
  2. Rob Gillespie

    Rob Gillespie Producer

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    The mainstay of Airfix was it's model aircraft kits. I shudder to think how many of those I did in my younger years. Sit there for hours glue plastic bits together in the (often vain) hopes that it'll look like one of the professionally done models hanging from the toy shop ceiling.
     
  3. Jeff Ulmer

    Jeff Ulmer Producer

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    I don't remember that many aircraft kits over here (at least when we were playing with these, in grade 3-4 I'm guessing), but looking through that catalogue I've seen a LOT of those sets. Most were tan plastic.

    Of the playsets or buildings, I don't recognise most of them, the same goes for the battle vehicles.

    By the time we got into model building, it was mainly Revel and then when we became fussier, the Tamiya stuff, primarily tanks and land craft.
     
  4. Rob Gillespie

    Rob Gillespie Producer

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    Tamiya kits were usually very expensive compared to Airfix, but the quality was also higher. They were the sort of kits that had more parts than the damn thing they were modelled on!
     
  5. Jeff Ulmer

    Jeff Ulmer Producer

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  6. Walt N

    Walt N Second Unit

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    Yes! Thanks for bringing it up, I had completely forgotten about them until I looked at the website. I had lots of soldiers of various armies that came in the cardboard boxes. I used to blow my allowance at the local hobby shop where I also purchased my model airplane kits.

    Speaking of which, do you remember when a modeling glue called Non-Tox came out? The lemony smelling stuff? Didn't work worth a darn but that's all they'd sell us little kids locally in the late 70's because those "crazy teenagers" were huffing the good stuff!
     
  7. Jeff Ulmer

    Jeff Ulmer Producer

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    Yeah, I vaguely remember the lemon glue, but I was too busy sniffing the...uh, wait a minute. [​IMG]
    The Airfix stuff my friend had was shipped from his relatives in England. There was a hobby store that carried it, but it was out of range for us at that age. I had a couple of sets (Tarzan was one, cowboys was another I think), but like most of the cool stuff, my friends had more than I did. We never painted our Airfix, never even thought about doing that.
    I was part of a group who would hang out at the local model shop in high school, where we were pursuaded to part with our limited cash for things to build. Being into railroading, much of it was buildings, but the military vehicles from Tamiya got pretty popular.
    A friend's older brother was a model expert building large scale planes, with all the airbrush equipment. I got into doing mods on the kits I had, such as melting the sides and some kitbashing on the buildings. It would be nice to have the time to play with all this stuff again.
     
  8. Stevie O

    Stevie O Agent

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    Ah yes, Airfix.....

    The "Series 1" models used to come in clear plastic bags with a cardboard "foldover" the top.

    Series 2 and up used to come in increasingly larger boxes.I think Series 7 was the biggest, that was mainly the large 4-engined WW2 bombers (Lancaster, Halifax, Stirling, B-17 Flying Fortress, Sunsderland flying boat)

    Most of the kits used to come in 1/72 scale, but I remember the uproar when the first 1/24 scale aircraft came out (Spitfire Mk1 first I think), I know I spent one blissful summer constructing the 1/24 scale P-51D Mustang, thought about trying the Harrier GR1 but didn't have the cojones....

    Many happy hours were spent browsing the Airfix Catalogue, and the range of kits was quite amazing, aircraft, tanks and other armoured vehicles, (never did get into those, too many ridiculously small pieces), trains, spaceships, cars, historical figures, even anatomically correct (almost!) male and female figures

    As one previous poster mentioned, a really neat series was the small scale military figures, mainly WW2 from various armies, which came in cardboard boxes with about 30-40 in a set, I used to have a "D-Day" playset with fortified bunkers, landing craft etc which I played with a lot

    I think they ended up being bought by an overseas company, and being re-invented several times in the 70s and 80s, but I am not sure if they are still a going concern.

    Several of the model and hobby shops here in Ottawa sell original kits at exorbitant prices, mainly for the nostalgia value

    Thanks for the chance to reminisce!
     
  9. Jeff Ulmer

    Jeff Ulmer Producer

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    Anyone else have trouble getting those horse figures to stick in the bases? [​IMG]
    While I can see that there is a collector's market for a lot of these things now, I can't see buying models or figures and not using them for anything. I was also looking at what's available in the model train world these days, and can't believe how many thousands of kits there are!
    If I recall correctly, the normal Airfix kits were in the $1.50-2.00CAN range in the 1970s, and are now selling on ebay for over $10 a set, some a lot more. I don't know what I'd do with this stuff now, but it is interesting to rediscover them on the net.
     
  10. Andrew W

    Andrew W Supporting Actor

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    I just built an Airfix Wallace and Gromit kit about 2 years ago. There are two kits. One with Wallace & Gromit riding the motorcycle and the other is Gromit flying the sidecar/airplane.
    here's a review:
    review
     

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