Steven_kerfoot

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@Ratch

I have not mocked anyone. I am not (nor are the other Moderators) an employee of Airfix. I am entitled to my view, as are you. Enough said.

Really? Please reveiw your former comments. Alluding to shock, horror, scandal, whatever the various comments were, not mocking? I would recommend you looking the word up. I have not stated any of the moderators are Airfix employees. In fact, anyone working for Airfix would be far more respectful of the views of others if my experience is anything to go by. As for enough said, again with the instructions.

 

I'd request Airfix review the comments of moderators and act accordingly. The last thing customers need is to find when they have legitimate concerns or issues is for Airfix's own website to be used in a less than co-operative fashion, especially by people who should know better.

@Ratch

What I find annoying is the incessant knocking of Airfix over trivial things. There are plenty of other manufacturers who make worse mistakes and yet they are hardly ever mentioned. I have just built an Academy B-24H Liberator. The instructions clearly show the fins hanging lower under the tail plane, the part numbers confirm this arrangement. But on the real B-24 the larger portion is above the tail plane. Shock! Horror! Scandal! Not the worst example, but the most recent one I've encountered. As a modeller I expect to have to solve problems, not whinge about them incessantly. If I don't like the plastic I've bought I can either correct it to satisfy my expectations, put up with it as near enough, or throw it away as useless and never buy that brand again. I've never thrown a kit away.

But surely that's your choice, and this is an open forum where people come to air their opinions. It's not a dictatorship where we can only comment positively about Airfix in some North Korean style. Some people aren't happy, Airfix can do something simple to fix that and if there's one place they might notice it's here. Reacting as though we are burning some holy book or attacking a shrine doesn't move anything forward.

 

I've always been open, when making an opinion on a site, to change. To simply mock or disparage the views of others and to act disparagingly towards people who've taking the trouble to buy a product isn't acceptable for anyone on a forum, let alone moderators. They are supposed to moderate, as the name implies, not act like attack dogs or prefects. As for effectively telling someone to shut up, a clear sign of someone losing a discussion. 

 

I agree, Airfix isn't the only manufacturer to make mistakes, but this is a brand new kit which isn't being given away for free. There is a fault which can be fixed, and should be fixed. Anything else is just talk. After all, I'm guessing Airfix will be making a bomber version, where the majority had clear panes which the kit has presently frosted. You'd hope the fault would not be replicated, and that said clear part would be available for anyone who wants it having bought this kit.

 

That's a solution, not a disparaging remark. Recommendadtion; moderators, moderate yourselves. This is not a playground, it's a company's website and the people you are disparaging are customers. 

Is it me or are there members who contribute to these forums who will fight the Airfix corner no matter what? Airfix sell a kit which has an incorrect part. The arguement is made that it's no big deal and the customer should just put up with it. Or that it's not the end of the world so what's the issue? 

 

I just contributed on another thread where a guy was criticising the very flawed Fw190 1/24 kit, which is genuienly faulty. It can't be built as shown on the instructions, you have to leave off parts, substantially cut others down to fit and so on. Contributions were made that in fact the kit was just challenging, that people shouldn't just feel they can assemble a kit.  Seriously?

 

I don't think the issues on these threads when it comes to model kits are as serious as famine, flood or pestulence, but this is a model builder forum, and the people contributing are paying money that they earn for kits that shouldn't be faulty. The glazing being frosted  is accurate for some kits when the panels were painted over, but not for some where they should be clear.

 

You'd hope Airfix will rectify the problem and all new kits will have clear panels, and offer replacement parts to anyone who contacts them. It wouldn't cost much and would make for happy customers. You know, us folks who pay the money that allows Airfix to keep trading. However, as per the aforementioned Fw190, faulty from the first kits produced in the late seventies right to the last produced a couple of years ago, I doubt the company will make the change.

 

As for those who think any criticism of Airfix is heresy, I'd genuinely ask you to think that if customers aren't happy they buy elsewhere. If they do that the company shuts, and everything we value about it, including this forum, is kapput. Sometimes companies get stuff wrong, and they should remember the retailers saying, the customer is always right. Just because we're modellers doesn't mean we can be sold something defective.

 

As someone who has built hundreds of kits, and has maybe a thousand more waiting to be built, I buy from the companies who make the best kits most. I wish that were always Airfix.

@John Symmons

Looks like we're in danger of going down the; plastic kit assembler as opposed to plastic kit modeller; road again. I admit that some kits are more, shall we say, challenging than others, but that for many is part of our skill at  making the models in the first place. At present I'm fighting the Roden 1/72 Bristol F 2B Fighter, and boy is that a challenge, at first it scared the me so much that it's been in my stash for several years, but  as others have managed to build it, I thought it's about time I gave it a go. It took me 3 days and two goes to get the bottom wing on, and have just assembled the top wing after another 2 days.

 

I'm now actually thinking of trying to order two more, as now I think I know all the pit-falls. But it's stil going to be a challenge.

 

Remember we do this for fun --- or are we just masocists?                               John the Pom

What I'd say about the Fw190 in 1/24 is that Airfix have known about it's many flaws for nearly forty years. The fact is that, while I'd wanted one since I was very young, I didn't know about these problems until I hit them while building two of the kits. A challenging kit is one thing. It tests the skill and you get to the harder ones as you progress. A kit which can't actually be built using all the parts included, as shown on the instructions, isn't challenging. It's faulty.

 

I wrote as much in a review on this site when Airfix last brought it out. As with the 1/24 Sea Harrier, which at least had the excuse of being an over priced mash up of new and old parts, the Fw190 was released with Airfix being aware of the issues.  I've been told since my build that forums are full of people who've had issues with the kit. So I wouldn't say this is a matter of snowflake modelers who just want snap fit kits and can't be bothered making any effort. It's an issue of old, flawed kits being reissued at prices which aren't justified.

 

After all, if you are going to charge fifty quid for a kit, the least you can do for potential purchasers is to rectify any known faults. I've recently built lots of 1/350 warships, (eighteen, twenty, somewhere along those lines) and am enjoying building kits again. However, when I was in the middle of the Fw190, having to take parts off to get others to fit, cut parts down by a third to fit those and brace the wings in extremis just to get them to hold, I was getting so annoyed I nearly called it a day.

 

Modelling is supposed to be an enjoyable pastime, not something so frustrating it makes you give it up. Remember, at a time when it's so easy to 3d print all manner of things, when so many prebuilt and prepainted models are available, kit building doesn't need models that are genuinely ubuildable as produced. A kit straight from the box shouldn't need research on the net telling you to leave off parts to get it to fit. That's not someone who just wants to assmble a kit, it's just someone who wants to build a kit as the manufacturer specifies, especially when they've paid a tidy sum for the privilege. 

 

I can't see Airfix bringing the Fw190 out of retirement again. It's not a challenging kit. It's faulty. 

@RussellE

We all know the latter won't happen, and Airfix made a huge error in producing the latest RN destroyer when another kit was available already.

 

Not True. Airfix released their Type 45 Destroyer in 2012, whilst the 'other' brand released theirs in late 2013. For my money I'd take the Airfix kit any day over the 'other' for a variety of reasons, not the least being accuracy.

 

Now, as much as I love my 1/350 ships, and would love to see more from Airfix in this scale, we all need to be realistic and acknowledge the following: Hornby need to recover from some difficult times; Ship models are incredibly complex and consume large amounts of research and design work, not just larger tooling; and lastly the 'other' brands have a vast amount of experience in producing WW1 and WW2 ships from all navies with more coming onto the market each year. I see for example HMS Lord Nelson and Agamemnon have just been released hot on the heels of the Ark Royal, with many cruisers in development-who'd have thought that a few years ago?

 

So, my point is this: Airfix (IMHO) need to be incredibly savvy when it comes to ship kits.

 

Yes, there are no ships in the range ATM, but, that does not mean previous kits cannot be re-issued in the future. After all every manufacturer 'rests' their product line to allow sales to catch up with production. So, it is entirely feasible to see re-issues of the Type 45 and Illustrious class in the future. And it is entirely feasible to issue additional parts to model the other vessels in the Illustrious class.

 

As for 'older ships', in order to be market savvy the wise thing for Airfix to do (again IMHO) would be to avoid that market segment altogether and focus on the modern Royal Navy!

 

A 1/350 QE/POW kit could be run for as long as as the ships are in service (50years)! Airfix are in a unique position to get access to the ship along with the brand criteria to go with it! Yes, my cabinet is stuffed with ships (1/350) already, but I'd be up for another, even the size of the QE/POW!

 

To bolster that, re-issue the type 45, while also working on the Type 26 and 31 and get the jump on other manufacturers. In the longer term work on issuing the Illustrious as other vessells in the class and at other points in their careers.

 

Once the 1/350 sales of QE/POW are establised, release a 1/700 version for all those with limited space/funds!

 

The modern Royal Navy is a market segment Airfix could fill out nicely without major competition from established players, and with the high profile of QE/POW there's a heck of a lot of free publicity opportunities coming up too!

I wrote much the same about Airfix developing a modern RN range on this and another thread a few days ago, probably could have saved myself the typing. I really don't keep that much track on when kits were released so you're probably right about the Type 45 from Airfix and Trumpeter. All I know is, like the Zvezda and Trumpeter kits of the Dreadnought, they appeared about the same time.

 

The main issue with having the limited range Airfix sold in 1/350 is that people get a feel for the manufacturers they like best. The recent USS New York is a great example. The Revell/MRCkit is a better fit than the rival Bronco kit. If you buy the latter you wouldn't be predisposed to spend a small fortune on another kit by Bronco. 

 

However, if you like the detail, the parts fit well and the model is fairly accurate you'll look for another kit by the same manufacturer. With Trumpeter you can go from one kit to another and another all in the same scale on similar subjects. Even if you liked building the Illustrious and Type 45 by Airfix, (I built two) that's all you can get, unless you are desperate to make half a dozen Type 45s.

 

The only way to sell kits and keep people buying that range is to issue kits and keep bringing out new ones. This has happened with the 1/72 and 1/48 range, I think if Airfix had built on the two kits with a few more they'd all be better sellers because that's how it works. 

 

As for 1/600, I wouldn't write that off if, again, there were a consistent series of kits priduced. Again to cite Trumpeter, they produced a 1/550 Kiev and it's quite a nice kit. But I agree, to be commercially as successful as possible Airfix need to work in 1/350 and 1/700. Plus, they need to make models that can be issued as more than one ship, such as a HMS Bulwark that can also be built as HMS Albion. The lack of the ability to do this with the 1/350 Illustious, (which should have been designed to add parts to build Ark Royal and Invincible) was a missed opportunity.

 

Oh, and finnly, I like both the Airix and Trumpeter Type 45s, but Airfix wins out by not having photo etch parts, (which can put off more novice builders) and being able to be built as all the ships in the class with all their weapons fits.

Having just commented on the 1/350 thread, thought I'd leave a short note here too. The RN is dying. It has too few ships and the public don't care. At one time there were campaigns for the RN to have more battleships. Now we've just sold off the flagship, HMS Ocean, after decommisioning the previous three flagships for scrap. The populace show hardly a flicker of interest.

 

The two new carriers are the last hope that anyone will take an interest in the RN. Of all the ships that should be modelled by Airfix, these are vital. They will be in service for decades and could possibly be the last RN carriers. They will have name recognition worldwide and while they won't be the biggest, they could still be amongst the best. I think if Airfix doesn't produce these two new ships in 1/350 someone else will. The difference would be that Airfix get the opportunity to be the British manufacturer to model the largest British warships ever.

 

These kits would be in demand for decades, and was the ships are modified they could be too. Produce two kits, QE and PoW and you have the basis of an entire series of kits. After all, you already have the destroyers, but could also have the next generation of frigates and Bulwark/Albion, if they survive the savage cuts. Add  a series of kits of the aircraft that serve upon the ships and frankly it becomes a no brainer.

 

Airfix champion British aircraft more than anyone else but are lacking in both ships and armour. It would be tough to establish a range of armour, but warships, well, that would be possible with the right long term strategy. Airfix had fifty years or more production from some warship molds produced in the 1960s. People were willing to buy those kits long after they stopped being of the standard we expect from kits produced even in the 1980s. 

 

So, a HMS Queen Elizabeth and Prince of Wales in 1/350. I'd also advise an HMS Vanguard battleship in 1/350. HMS Hermes, Eagle and Ark Royal in the same scale. You name it, if someone doesn't already make it then it would sell. Oh, and just to cap it, in 1/72 could someone please produced an HP 42, Shorts Empire C Class and most of all an Avro Lincoln?

@Moosehead

Airfix can only reasonably consider a new product if they can sell it and make some profit. Sadly there is more glamour in the aircraft kit market and they tend to be quicker to build. Personally I would love to see 1/350 kits of the ships I saw or served in, eg County, Leander, Fearless, T42. (Resin kits are available but are VERY expensive). The 1970s Ark Royal was a national treasure and deserves some memorial too.

 

 

 

 

The last range of 1/600 ship kits included the HMS Iron Duke and HMS Belfast. There will be many here who know the exact dates when both kits were originally issued but I do know the Iron Duke was a kit from the 1960s which had no alterations through it's line of production. The HMS Belfast was a later generation of kits but even that dated from the 1970s, (much like myself).

 

When Airfix produce kits now, they probably won't think along tyhe lines of a mold lasting fifty years like the Duke or forty years like the Belfast but it's reasonable to see a twenty year span for any kit produced to a good standard today. The idea that Airfix produced the Illustrious kit in 1/350 and will never rerelease it is completely against everything the brand has done before. So when I keep hearing that Airfix didn't make their money back from a five year release, possibly less, of a ship kit, I find it's missing the point.

 

Airfix could produce some great 1/350 kits and keep them going for years. However, they need to be the right subjects and produced well. They missed a trick, or two, when they modelled the Illustrious. With more thought they could have produced a kit that with addition of certain new parts could have built Ark Royal and Invincible as well as Illustrious. That's a huge saving and there are many builders who'd have loved all three ships.

 

After all, Illustrious was produced modelled on when she stopped being a Harrier carrier and before the helicopter missions. Invincible could have been produced as she served in 1982 while Ark Royal could have been in her 1991 Gulf War fit. Seriously, if Trumpeter can issue three Dreadnought kits, (in order to out sell Zvezda but with only minor expenditure) Airfix could have had three Invincibles, one of each ship. That's how you make a mold pay for iteslf.

I've said on more than a few occasions that Airfix should release more ship kits. The responses I've received havce been varied. Some say it's too difficult to accurately depict a warship, 9weird as most other model producers can get that done) while others say the market isn't substantial enough, (again odd since Trumpeter have produced dozens of kits in 1/350 of both famous and unusual ships).

 

The main problem is one of scale, and by that I mean how many models Airfix would have in a certain range to make it worth the marketing effort. The most Airfix have had in 1/350 scale at any time was three, which just isn't enough. If you want folk to saerch online for kits in a certain scale you need quite a few. If I'm looking for 1/350, my first search is Trumpeter, with companies like Tamiya, Revell etc way behind that. If Airfix want to sell large numbers of 1/350 they either need to sell something unique or bring out at least half a dozen models.

 

We all know the latter won't happen, and Airfix made a huge error in producing the latest RN destroyer when another kit was available already. So, what to do. I'll bang on again about something unique, and for that there are several options. HMS Vanguard is notable by it's absense in 1/350, I don't know of any battleship builder who wouldn't love that. The WW2 Illustrious class carriers are also notably missing from 1/350, and in that variations could be made in a mold for a few ships, (see the heller 1/400 Illustrious/Victorious kit).

 

Then there's the new Queen Elizabeth and Price of Wales, literally a gift to Airfix to produce. Add the Albion/Bulwark, even the Ocean to the list and you could have a fine selection of modern RN vessels in the same scale, and when marketed together it makes sense. Finally there is something else, a series of RN crusiers, which are incredibly under represented. I have an HMS Belfast, but I think that's all 1/350 builders can obtain, which is crazy when you look at the numbers of ships that served.

There are also many dreadnoughts, the Nelsons, half a dozen individual fleet carriers and even more battlecrusiers, but I feel that the modern RN ships, with the established kits previously issued, would be the best spring board for a 1/350 Airfix range. After all, the 1/600 range died because of old molds and being sold in single units. I think the last issue was HMS Belfast with HMS Iron Duke and a liner. Series kits sell, because if you have one WW2 battleship and enjoy it you want another and another. Airfix have found this with their recent 1/72 kits and 1/48 kits.

@Paws4thot

Hi Paws

I'd purposely stayed off that point about wherther it's called an E or S boat just sticking with the Airfix title for the Kit. But yes you're correct, but there is some confusion as to where the "E" title came from, but you're probably correct with the E for enmeny bit.

I'll post the next bit as soon as I've sorted the photos and finished writing it up.

Remember we do this for fun                                                John the Pom

Yeah, I was avoiding that point until it became necessary too. I'd be "sarky" about using the "wrong title" if it was a binary rather than a true duality.

The main reason I mentioned the dual designation was due to the Revell kit being marketed as an S Boat rather than E Boat. Not sure you'd find much from Revell under E Boat, especially since they're a German company. On the subject of this thread, that's a nice build, different from mine since I opted for the full hull. Okay, back to my monster 1/350 builds. Five ships built, another eight building.

I built one of these maybe twenty five years ago and for it's age I still think it's a great kit. I built the later version of the E Boat, or S Boat as it is properly named by all accounts, about ten years ago and that's a very different affair. I'd recommend building both, it's a nice comparison showing the development through WW2 while based on a similar sized hull. It just shows that some of the old Airfix models, this one forty years old, are worth producing, and building, especially since I don't think this type of E Boat has been produced by anyone else.

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