It’s Phantoms and poppies at Telford 2016

 

The past few weeks have proved to be a little hectic with all the new model tooling announcements and our attendance at the annual Scale ModelWorld Show at Telford. With this in mind, we intend to use this latest edition of Workbench to reposition somewhat, taking time to look at some of the undoubted highlights and big modelling announcements from the past few weeks. This will give us the opportunity to have a much closer look at the recent Scale ModelWorld show, which once again proved to be a great success, with large crowds on both days of the event proving that the modelling hobby is alive and well in the UK. We also have a build review of the recently released Pearl Harbor 75th Anniversary Gift Set and some interesting news from our friends at the Newark Air Museum to share with you. One thing is certain, we have another feature packed edition for you, so we had better get on and make a start.

 

Telford Announcement a real crowd puller

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Fascinating development image showing a section shot of the finished kit

 

The annual IPMS Scale ModelWorld Show at Telford is not only a significant occasion for Britain’s modelling enthusiasts, it is also the first date to be entered in the Airfix event diary at the beginning of each new year. Now clearly established as the largest event of its kind in the world, it brings together IPMS branches, local modelling clubs, traders, manufacturers and enthusiasts from all over the globe, under the three large halls of the Telford International Centre, for what is unashamedly a modelling extravaganza. This year’s event saw a large Airfix team in attendance, with both our exhibition stand and the ever popular make and paint area, which continues to attract modellers young and old, experienced and novice to our usual spot in Hall 1. To mark the forthcoming 75th Anniversary of the Pearl Harbor raid, the model available on the make and paint stand was the Mitsubishi Zero fighter and we had a nice cross section of finished models, from the faithfully reproduced, to the more imaginatively painted – we will have more on this a little later.

 

 

 

One of the highlights of each Telford show is the unveiling of a new model tooling and this year was no exception. The Airfix team were excited to announce their latest 1/72nd scale new tooling to the massed ranks of modellers gathered around the Airfix stand – this certainly allows you to gauge the popularity of any new model, as our most ardent supporters are standing right in front of us! With our Workbench blog and social media sites announcing the unveiling event well before the weekend of the show and live updates published for those modellers who were unable to attend, we were fortunate to have large crowds at the stand throughout the weekend, keen to catch a glimpse of the new model. Indeed, from the very earliest entrants to the exhibition hall, we were being cajoled for clues regarding the identity of the new model, but despite the offer of tea and bacon butties, we stayed firm and encouraged everyone to be back for the official unveiling at 10.30am.

 

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A series of images from the Telford Airfix Phantom FG.1 announcement

 

By the time we were ready to make our latest 2017 new tooling announcement, a sizeable crowd had gathered in front of the Airfix stand, keen to be the first people to hear about and possibly see the new model. After a short introduction by our Brand Manager, where she revealed a few clues about our latest new tooling, the fantastic McDonnell Douglas Phantom FG.1 was announced and a prototype model presented to the crowd. A ripple of applause confirmed that the British Phantom had been well received by the vast majority of the crowd, with the model proving to be extremely popular throughout the duration of the show. Joining the Phantom on the Airfix stand at Telford were prototype model examples of the recently announced 1/72nd scale Messerschmitt Me 262, along with the 1/48th scale Mustang, Walrus and Sea Fury, all of which received close attention from interested modellers. This enigmatic collection highlighted that 2017 is already looking like being a significant year for the Airfix modeller, with several heavily requested new model toolings scheduled to further enhance our range of kits. All of these fantastic new models have now been added to the Airfix website, where you can keep up to date with all the latest release information and pre-order your model to ensure you receive one of the first models to arrive in the country.

 

Cold War classic ‘on finals’

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Although the recently announced new toolings proved to be a huge draw at this year’s Telford show, they were certainly not the only modelling delights to be displayed on the Airfix stand. With a large selection of beautifully built models to admire, some of the kits announced during last year that are fast approaching their scheduled release were available for inspection, along with some of the most popular releases from 2016. Receiving plenty of attention over the weekend was the new 1/48th scale Junkers Ju87-B1 Stuka, which marks the impending arrival of one of the most anticipated new kits of 2016. The Stuka may not have been the most advanced German aircraft of the Second World War, but it certainly proved to be one of the most famous. As the aviation manifestation of the feared Blitzkrieg attack method, the Stuka was one of the most distinctive and infamous aircraft of the Second World War, which continues to enjoy immense popularity amongst the world’s modelling communities to this day.

 

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The fantastic new 1/48th scale Ju87 B1 Stuka should be available by the end of the month

 

With many modellers clearly looking forward to starting this particular build in the very near future, the Stuka model proved popular over the weekend and became quite the photo star. The model on display was finished as Junkers Ju-87B-1 Stuka 29O8 of Kampfgruppe 88 Legion Condor, during the Spanish Civil War of 1938. This conflict gave Hitler the opportunity to secure a potentially valuable ally that could prove useful in the years to come and to allow his air force to operate their latest aircraft and to experiment with bombing techniques. Operations in Spain also saw the first use of the Stuka dive bomber in the precision bombing attacks that would become commonplace during the early months of WWII. The first Ju-87 ’A’ models proved to be something of a disappointment, but the few ‘B’ models that saw Condor Legion service were much more effective and are of great interest to modellers.

This fantastic new 1/48th scale Ju87B-1 A07114 includes painting instructions and decals to complete either a Condor Legion machine, or a Stuka based near the Belgian border in the weeks before the Wehrmacht struck France and the Low Countries. This superb new model is due to be released at the end of this month.

From an Airfix perspective, the 2015 Telford show was very much about the announcement of our new 1/72nd scale Handley Page Victor B.2 and over the past twelve months, it has been a pleasure to bring Workbench readers regular updates on this exciting new project. With huge pre-order levels in place and many modellers very much looking forward to the arrival of this impressive model, visitors to the Airfix stand at this year’s show will have been delighted to see a pair of built samples of the new Victor, each finished in one of the two schemes included with the kit. Arguably one of the most iconic Cold War V-bombers of this dramatic period in world history, the first scheme marks Handley Page Victor B.Mk.2(BS) XL512, of RAF No.139 Squadron at Wittering in Cambridgeshire during 1963-64. As a critical component in Britain’s independent nuclear deterrent force, these Wittering based Victors were the first to be equipped with the Blue Steel missile, which effectively helped to ensure an uneasy peace in Europe during its service life.

 

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Last year’s Telford announcement is scheduled for release in December

 

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Built examples of both the schemes featured in the new Victor B.2 kit

 

The second scheme presents modellers with the option of finishing their model as Handley Page Victor B.Mk.2(BS) XL189 of the Victor Training Flight, again based at RAF Wittering in Cambridgeshire during 1968. It could be argued that the camouflage wearing Victors of the RAF were the most attractive bombers to see service and certainly highlights the unique shape of this crescent winged beast. This scheme is also interesting as it confirms that not all Blue Steel equipped Victors were painted in the anti-flash white scheme so familiar with Cold War nuclear V-bombers.

The Victor has proved so popular that the initial shipment which has just arrived had sold out on the website on pre-order alone. If you weren't lucky enough to get your hands on one this time it's worth contacting your local model shop to see if they still have stock - alternatively you can place a pre-order on the website for the next batch of stock which is due in mid-December2017.

 

Telford 2016 Remembers

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A unique modelling tribute for Remembrance weekend 2016

 

The annual Scale ModelWorld Show usually takes place over Remembrance weekend in November each year and at 11am on Sunday, the huge display halls fall silent to observe an impeccable two minutes silence. With the Royal British Legion poppy sellers also in attendance for the duration of the show, the significance of this annual act of remembrance was not only observed by those visiting the show, but also amongst the modelling displays themselves. One particularly talented modeller produced his own personal tribute to the fallen and displayed it amongst the other modelling delights at Telford. His suitably decorated Douglas DC-3 (C-47) Skytrain/Dakota certainly grabbed your attention, whilst also displaying his unquestionable modelling skills. The poppies were all hand painted and transferred to decal paper, before being applied to the model, as was the Battle of Britain Memorial Flight crest, which adorns the fuselage of the aircraft.

An even more poignant Remembrance Day tribute was paid by a family on the Airfix make and paint stand, during the Saturday of this year’s show. We were delighted to meet Cameron, Kelly and Jaime Harrison, who clearly possess some artistic talents and brought them to bear on their Mitsubishi Zero build. Whilst Cameron and Jaime set about building the kit, mum Kelly made this artistic addition to the lining paper that protected the tables and proved such a popular feature that it survived the entire weekend and was retained for posterity. What made the poppy all the more significant was that it had been painted in memory of Kelly’s grandad ‘Pops’, who was a former Grenadier Guard and sadly passed away last year.

 

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The Harrison Family certainly made an impression on the Airfix ‘make and paint’ stand

 

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Busy creating their masterpiece

 

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Kelly and Jaime with their finished model and their tribute to ‘Pops’

 

Once Jaime and her dad had finished the Mitsubishi Zero build, the family tribute to ‘Pops’ continued as the model was given a distinctive red and green finish, with more poppies added to the fuselage. Once completed, the model was displayed on the nearby ‘Rolemodels’ stand, which promotes the joy of modelling to younger people and showcases their efforts to the discerning audience at Telford – a worthy place for this unique Scale ModelWorld kit build. We would like to thank the Harrison family for allowing us to share their story and publish the photographs we took during a very enjoyable build session – we look forward to seeing you all again at the 2017 show.

 

Pearl Harbor 75

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Next month will see America mark the 75th Anniversary of the devastating Japanese naval strike against the US naval base at Pearl Harbor. This infamous surprise attack was initiated whilst political negotiations between the two nations were still on-going and the significant US forces on the island of Oahu were caught completely unprepared. The devastation caused was significant, with the Japanese military hoping that a decisive victory would have the effect of shocking the American population into imploring their government to stay out of the war and prevent further loss of life. Despite proclaiming the raid a success, the Japanese failed to achieve all their strategic objectives and seriously underestimated the resolve of the American people. Many historians argue that as soon as the last aircraft landed back on the Japanese carriers, they were already staring at their ultimate defeat, even though the war would rage on for a further three and a half years.

To mark this significant WWII anniversary, the current Airfix range included the addition of a 1/72nd scale three model Pearl Harbor 75th Anniversary Gift Set. The set includes three model kits of aircraft that took part during this infamous raid, along with additional poly cement, paint brushes and a selection of acrylic paints enabling you to construct and finish your models. With examples of the Mitsubishi A6M2B Zero, Nakajima B5N2 Kate and Curtiss P-40B Warhawk in the set and particularly evocative artwork on the front of the box, this builds into an instant collection of aircraft from one of the most significant days in the history of modern warfare.

Regular Workbench contributor Colin Duckworth kindly agreed to build our Pearl Harbor set for inclusion in our Airfix blog and for use on other projects and we are extremely grateful for his continued support. Always keen to help us where he can, our request coincided with a particularly difficult time for Colin and his family and we would have fully understood if he had been unable to help us on this occasion. Not wanting to let us down, Colin described how working on the models helped to take his mind of the situation and he still managed to finish the models on schedule, although apologising they were not up to his usual high standards. They look fantastic to us and the entire Airfix team would like to thank you and send our best wishes for you and your family. Here is a selection of images from Colin’s Pearl Harbour 75th Anniversary Gift Set build:

 

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Mitsubishi A6M2B-21 Zero (AI-102), Lieutenant Saburo Shindo, Lead Aircraft of Carrier Division 1, Air Superiority Command, 2nd Strike Unit, Imperial Japanese Navy Carrier ‘Akagi’, Operation AI, Pearl Harbor, December 7th 1941

 

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Nakajima B5N2 Kate (EII-301), Lt. Commander Shigekazu Shimazaki, Imperial Japanese Navy Carrier ‘Zuikaku’, Second Attack Wave, Pearl Harbor, December 7th 1941

 

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Curtiss P-40B Warhawk (160/15P) flown by 2nd Lt. George Welch, of the 47th Pursuit Squadron, 15th Pursuit Group, US Army Air Corps, at Haleiwa Field, Oahu, Hawaii, on Sunday December 7th 1941

 

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The Pearl Harbor 75th Anniversary Gift Set in all its glory

 

The Pearl Harbor 75th Anniversary Gift Set has proved to be so popular that it has temporarily sold out on the website, however you local model shop may still have stock. Alternatively, more stock will be arriving mid-January which can be pre-ordered from the website.

 

New book charts the history of the Newark Air Museum

Our friends at the Newark Air Museum have sent us details of a recently published book which charts the history of their fantastic museum and their aviation exhibits. Back in the early 1960s the founders of the Newark Air Museum were at the forefront of organisations in the UK that aimed to save and eventually display to the public items from the country’s aviation heritage. After several years of detailed research, Colin Savill BA (Hons) has written a new history of the Newark Air Museum. The book has just been published by the Newark (Notts & Lincs) Air Museum, which is located on part of the former RAF Winthorpe airfield site.

The book is entitled Preservation Pioneers Newark Air Museum 1963 – 2015 and charts the museum’s history since its founding days back in 1963 through to 2015. It has been compiled in a diary format to illustrate how the museum has developed from saving a single airframe in 1963, through to holding a diverse collection spanning the history of aviation, becoming one of the largest volunteer managed aviation museums in the United Kingdom. The book (ISBN 978-0-9500341-8-8) is in softback format with 148 pages, featuring 115 colour and 50 black & white photographs. The book also includes a Foreword by the museum’s President, Mich Stevenson OBE DL.

 

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This new book charts the history of Newark Air Museum and its exhibits

 

Copies of the book are now available to purchase from the Museum Shop priced at £12.00 each. Anyone wishing to purchase a copy can visit the museum shop between 10am and 4pm daily - you do not need to pay a museum admission fee if you just wish pick up the book. Copies are also available by mail order - please check the museum website for more details.

A book signing event will take place at the museum on Saturday 10th December 2016, between 10am and 3pm when Colin will be on hand to sign copies of the book and to discuss aspects of his research.

 

That’s all we have for you in this latest edition of Airfix Workbench. We will conclude our Scale ModelWorld 2016 review in the next edition, by taking a tour of the exhibition halls and sampling some of the stunning modelling skills on display, as well as bringing you all the latest news and developments from the world of Airfix.

There are now many ways for our readers to get involved in all the latest Airfix modelling chat and sharing ideas with other modellers.  You can always e-mail us directly by using our workbench@airfix.com address, or there is our dedicated Workbench thread on the Airfix Forum.  If social media is more your style, you could either access the Airfix Facebook page or our Twitter channel, using #airfixworkbench.  Whichever medium you decide to use, please do get in touch with us, as it is always great to hear from fellow modellers.

Don’t forget that all the very latest model release information can be found by checking the New Arrivals and Back in Stock sections of the Airfix website, which can be accessed by clicking the shop section at the top of the webpage. As work on the website is a constant process, a quick search through all the Airfix web pages will usually reveal new information and updated images in many of the product sections, so this is always a rewarding way to spend a few minutes.

Finally, don't miss the return of the annual Airfix Advent Calendar - a different surprise or promotion every day from now until Christmas!

 

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Until next time, we hope you are enjoying your current modelling project, but don’t forget to leave some space for that new Airfix Victor B.2.

The Airfix Workbench Team

 

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