Frequently Asked Questions
I made Airfix kits when I was younger. Is the
company still alive, can I still get the kits ?
Yes - very much so. Airfix went through a very rough patch in the 1980s,
going bust and getting taken over a number of times. For many years afterwards
it seemed that they were dormant at best. They were bought by Humbrol in
1986, and in recent years have undergone a bit of a revival. Humbrol currently
appear to have an aggressive re-issue policy as witnessed by the 2000/2001/2002
Catalogues. In addition, Humbrol are releasing new kits under the Airfix
When did Airfix start ? What was their first kit
The first ever Airfix kit was the Ferguson
Tractor of 1948. Before that, Airfix were
Britain's largest pocket comb
manufacturer! The first commercial kit was
the Golden Hind of 1952. Picture
below courtesy of Eric Williamson.
The kit I'm looking for is ...... Where can I
I get asked this question by e-mail many many times. Unfortunately, it
is difficult to answer as it depends what you are looking for. Take an
example - "Where can I get the Airfix 1/72 Me109G ?". This could
be one of many different kits, from the original issue of 1956 to today's
2002 production version. With several other issues in between over the
years, in differing packages and maybe depicting different versions of
the real thing. To the modeller they are all the same - it's the kit that
counts, but to the collector there's a world of difference. And in the
value too! But basically:
- If the kit is currently in production (if its in the Airfix 2002 Catalogue), then it is readily available from retail outlets. There are many kit retailers who operate mail-order services on the Internet. In the US - try Squadron in Texas at http://www.squadron.com
- If the kit is out of production, we have to ask ourselves which version is wanted, as there may be many. Some versions may be very scarce (say the 1966 issue in a Type 3 plastic bag), whilst the same kit in a 1978 Type 6 box may be easily obtainable. Out of production kits can be found through the UK "network" of collectors and specialists. I no longer offer a "kit-finder" service as many professional Dealers now operate on the internet and nearly every Airfix kit ever made will appear on eBay at some time. For more information on locating that special kit - click here..
I've lost the instruction sheet for... can you
If the kit is in production then Humbrol
offer a free replacement instruction sheet
service. Simply call them on (+44)-1482-701191
(International) or FAX (+44)-1482-712908
or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org
If the kit is not in production then I may
be able to help from my own collection, or
from the several other UK collectors
who hold stock of instruction sheets. Normally
people don't charge for
instruction sheets, but postage can get expensive.
Click here for more information.
I've lost a part from my .... where can I get
If the kit is in production then Humbrol
a spare parts service at a cost of 1.50 UK
pounds, although parts are free
if you claim that the part was missing from
the kit in the first place,
or was badly moulded. Contact Humbrol on
the above telephone numbers or
write to Airfix Customer Service Dept, Humbrol
Ltd, Marfleet, Hull, England,
As far as know there is no source of spare
parts for out-of-production kits. Sorry,
please do not e-mail me! I don't
Update August 2000 - try http://pages.infinit.net/jmarcpe/
- this site seems to offer spare parts for
I've just found a ... in my attic, what is it
What is a kit worth? Whatever anybody will
pay for it. I'm happy to give an estimate,
but you have to consider three
things : (1) the age of the kit. This can
be determined by packaging style.
See my section on plastic bag header cards as an
example of how to age kits. (2) the condition
of the kit. Like all collectables,
values fall off if it's not mint, and (3)
rarity. Some kits were manufactured
in their millions over 30 years, others were
made in limited numbers. Some
kits are special interest, like the military
dioramas, James Bond, Star
Wars etc and are sought after by specialist
collectors. Don't assume that
because it's in a plastic bag that it's automatically
worth a fortune.
As a guide - Type 3 plastic bag kits average
2-3 UK pounds each in value.
Of the total Airfix range there are very
few kits that command high prices.
See my kit range section for some examples of rare
and collectable kits. Sorry - but most people
are disappointed when their
little treasure is valued. Oh - and by the
way - part-assembled or fully-assembled
kits are of no value whatsoever (except to
the person who made them). For more information on kit values - click
Is there a definitive kit list (1948-2000)?
No. But there are some good attempts.
There are four possible sources of this elusive
item - my own Airfix listing (click here for
details), the two Arthur Ward books and the
Pat Lewarne book (see Sources
section). None of these is guaranteed 100%
accurate as there are no Airfix
archives, but I hope my version is reasonable.
Made in France ?
For many years Airfix kits carried the words
"Made in France" on their boxes. There are
two very different reasons why
Airfix kits have been manufactured in France.
(1) Airfix was bought by
Palitoy when it went bust for the first time
in 1981. Palitoy moved Airfix
production to the Miro Meccano plant that
it owned in Calais, France. (2)
Airfix was sold to Humbrol in 1986. Humbrol
already owned Heller, and so
moved Airfix production again to its Heller
plant in Turn, near Falaise,
France. From 1986 to 1994 Airfix and Heller
shared tooling budgets.
I'm told my kit is US Airfix.. is there a difference
Maybe. In the US there are two different
of Airfix kit - (1) older kits originally
manufactured in England and exported
to the US, and (2) those marketed in the
US under the Craftmaster or MPC
logos. These US versions usually have different
packaging and artwork.
Which ones are more collectable, more valuable?
Not for me to say - whatever
turns you on.
OK, you forced me to make an opinion. Except
for the few years when they were owned by
the American General Mills company, Airfix
is a British company. Who else would make
models of the SRN-1, SRN-4, SR-53, P1127,
Boulton-Paul Defiant, Fairey Rotodyne, Bristol
Superfreighter, Vickers Vanguard, HS Trident,
or airliners in BOAC markings ? (and that's
only the aircraft range - I haven't even
started on things like the Scammel Scarab
- the what?). It's this classic British eccentricity
that makes Airfix so appealing. US boxes
somehow don't fit into the scheme of things....
Nice opinion, but Humbrol was owned by the
American dairy and chemicals giant Borden
when it took over Airfix in 1986
- so that only leaves the "British" years
of 1949 to 1981...and Airfix
was founded by an Hungarian.. Oh, well.
||Who wants to be a millionaire?
Rumoured to be one of the rarest Airfix kits
of all time - An Avro 504K that was issued to Qantas passengers on 16th
November 1970. Supposedly, only 100 were manufactured. Got one?