Friday, 25 June 2010

The Ten Most Popular Airfix Models

A recent magazine article listed the top ten most popular Airfix models as;

1 Supermarine Spitfire, £5
2 De Haviland Mosquito, £8
3 Hawker Harrier, £9
4 BAE Hawk, £8
5 Eurofighter Typhoon, £13
6 HMS Illustrious, £50
7 Avro Lancaster, £25
8 Avro Vulcan, £30
9 HMS Belfast, £11
10 MGB Roadster, £9

The list brought back some very fond memories of my childhood, when with pocket-money in hand, I would catch a bus in to Swansea Town centre and either visit Woolworths or Redanas (both now long gone) and pick up an Airfix carded bag kit. The model was usually glued together that very afternoon, all stringy glue and droopy wings, this was the smell of my youth!

With reference to the list, I have (obviously) built the Spirfire, the Hurricane, the Mosquito and the BAE Hawk, they cost a lot less when I made them! In fact I have a 1/72nd Supermarine Spitfire kit in the shed at this very moment. I have also built the Lancaster and HMS Belfast, but the other are not some that I have attempted, I would however, like to try the Vulcan at some stage!

Other Airfix kits I have are the Horizontal Steam Engine, HMS Victory, a Sopwith Pup and a Westland Whirlwind, one of my particular favorites. However my all-time favourite kit is not an Airfix model but a 1/32nd scale Junkers Skuka with the red and white snake on the side. It was bought for my by my Grandmother many years ago and I know I made a total mess of it, but it remains one of those models and colour schemes that just had an impact on me. Maybe one day I will search out the kit and 'treat' myself.

This particular image was taken from the Internet (to illustrate the model) and IS NOT ONE OF MINE - although I wish it was!

One surporise to me was that there were no AFV models within the top ten. I had (almost) every 1/72nd scale tank and AFV in the range, the Sherman being the most numerous, but the Tiger being the most striking. And then there was the Churchill, which never mind how many times I tried, I just couldn't get the wheels to line up!

I would hope that my Airfix top ten would be inspiration to others.

1 Focker DR1
2 Sopwith Camel,
3 Sherman Tank
5 Westland Whirlwind
6 Comet Racer
7 1/32nd Napoleonic Guardsman
8 1/32nd (soft Plastic) highlanders
9 British (again soft plastic) Paratroopers - these were fantastic sculpts - but do you remember the soldier shooting up in to the trees, a useless figure?
10 Captain Scarlet Angel Interceptor

(It goes without saying that ANY of the Dogfight Doubles would come first, second, third......!)

For all my fond memories - thank you Airfix.


I have another ten! I didn't realise that there were so many Airfix models that had such memories. I honestly believe that it would be impossible for me to choose just ten. Maybe even just twenty - or thirty, or forty. In fact just give me the contents of an Airfix catalogue and some glue!

11 Vickers Wellington
12 Lee/Grant Tank
13 Space or Lunar lander
14 Bentley Blower
15 La Haye Sainte
16 At least one F4 Phantom
17 EE Lightning
18 Rotodyne
19 Ferrari 250
20 Golden Hind

And more, and more and more. This is a real nostalgia trip for me. I hope you enjoy your own memories.



BigLee said...

It's been years since I last made an Airfix kit but like most blokes my age I made several when I was a kid. The Spitfire, HMS Belfast, the Saturn IV/Apollo II and a huge Sutherland seaplane.

Happy times.

Ogrefencer said...

My top 10 would be fairly eclectic to look at!

1. 88m flak gun and tractor
2. Chi ha Japanese tank
3. Sunderland Flying Boat - this is a big kit!
4. Sherman tank
5. T 34
6. German Recce Set
7. 1/1200th Tribal Class DD
8. Me 262
9. WW1 tank
10. Mosquito

Happy days indeed!


Ogrefencer said...

...........I also forgot..........

Number 11 of my top ten (?)

..the Hawker P1127

Admiral Drax said...

Wow - I used to love making these. All WWII, and all fairly well made but unpainted (I hated the Humbrol paints available then; still do) with the transfers on the bare plastic.

1) Avro Lancaster (I also built the Dambusters variant, the last plane I built and the only one I ever painted (with acrylic).
2) Bristol Beaufighter
3) Hurricane Mk 2c
4) Short Sunderland
5) Fiesler Storch
6) Focke-Wulf 189 'Uhu' (an insane design)
7) Me 262 (a beautiful design)
8) Me 110
9) Grumman Wildcat (don't ask!)
10) Catalina

I also has a softspot for monoplane seaplanes, but could never for the life of me get the wings and struts right on the Short Stranraer.

Pablo J. Álvarez said...

I am of the Airfix generation also, and my first plane was a De Havilland DH88. I never forget it, made in red plastic. I love Airfix, and this plane. Another important piece is my first 1/48 scale kit The Hawker hurricane and my favorite in this scale...The Haker Fury. There are many people that don´t understand the Airfix spirit.

Agenzie modelle milano said...

Awesome and nice article listed the top ten most popular Airfix models, too interesting, Thanks.

David Mawer said...

In agreement with all of the above. Just one question - what would be the top ten list of today's ten-year olds? Do they still assemble models these days? Was it a generation thing, albeit hard for us to believe!