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Airfix 2008 Catalog: Playing for keeps

afx-cat-2008-cvr.jpgIf anyone doubted that Hornby had serious plans for Airfix when they brought it out of bankruptcy, the Airfix 2008 Catalog simply stomps all over those doubts. When I’d read about Hornby’s purchase of the previosuly beleagured company, some folks thought Airfix would be relegated to a few quick build toy kits, for some reason. Yet everything I read from Hornby insisted they were serious about models.

Looking through the catalog of Airfix’s kits for 2008, it is evident that yes, they are serious about models. Whether it be new kits that take advantage of some neat licensing ideas, like the Wallace and Gromit kits or the Doctor Who series, to the recent announcement of Airfix’s official agreement with the Royal Navy, to the sheer numbers of kits that are being made available- Airfix is solidly proving they are here to stay and ready to model.

A quick look at their Spring releases gives testament to the wide range of kits being released:

Robin Hood 1:72
Sheriff of Nottingham 1:72
WWI German Infantry 1:72
WWI British Infantry 1:72
WWI French Infantry 1:72
WWI US Infantry 1:72
Romans 1:72
Royal Horse Artillery 1:72
Ancient Britons 1:72
WWII British Infantry 1:72
Apache Longbow 1:72
Canberra B(I) 8 1:48
New Humbrol Brush Range

Gloster Gladiator 1:72
Boulton Paul Defiant 1:72
Cessna Bird Dog 1:72
Fairey Fulmer 1:72
Douglas Devastator 1:72
Hawker Sea Fury 1:72
Brewster Buffalo 1:72
Henschel 1:72
Hawker Tempest 1:72
Landrover Soft Top 1:76
Bedford Tactical Refueller 1:76
Landrover 1 Tonne FC Truck GS Body 1:76
British M119 105mm Light Field Gun 1:76
Sherman Calliope Tank 1:76
BAC Strikemaster 1:72
Pucara 1:72
Dornier 1:72
Horsa Glider 1:72
Vickers Wellington 1:72
Shaun The Sheep with Landrover 1:12
Shaun The Sheep with Tractor 1:12

Granted, most of these kit releases are previously released Airfix offerings. Even still, many of the kits int he Airfix catalogs are not modeled by other companies, and give the hobbyist a wide range of offerings to choose from.

afx-cat-2008-hs123.jpgI think what I’m most excited to see is the huge number of WWII aircraft added to their catalog, many of which are kits I admired in Airfix catalogs in my youth, but never had the chance to build. Kits like the Hs 123A-1, pictured left.

But it’s not just older kits being re-released- there are some new gems too.

The Nimrod is already on the market, and four Canberras are also due for release. Later this year,  a 1/48 TSR.2 will come out as a limited edition, and of course the highly anticipated 1/24 scale Mosquito – that should be a monster of a build!

I think what impresses me most about Airfix’s releases, new and old, is they are very affordable. While many critics point to more detailed kits coming from other manufacturers, I think folks often forget that this is supposed to be a fun hobby- not something maddeningly expensive that causes heartburn sweating petty details. It’s fun! And the inside cover of Airfix’s catalog shows that they see that too- it proclaims in bold letters “The fun’s off the scale”!