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Is this the beginning of the end of the Red Box Re-release?
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 Post subject: Re: Is this the beginning of the end of the Red Box Re-relea
PostPosted: December 22nd, 2017, 9:23 pm 
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Hmmm, thanks for all the replies guys, much appreciated.

The 'Old Kit - New Box' thing really does seem to irk a lot of you and I can understand it being a little infuriating. But all the major manufacturers do it and as Eric and Chris pointed out, the information is readily available to find out the origins of a kit (although badging them as 'Classic' or similar might have been a good idea). I personally don't think that many people were caught out by it, maybe a handful of casual buyers or impulse purchases perhaps. But we mustn't loose sight of the fact that not all of these older toolings were unbuildable old clunkers, some were considered to be great kits when first released and are still pretty reasonable by today's standards (depending on personal expectations, to a degree).

Although all manufacturers do it I think what set Airfix apart is that they didn't just shove an old kit into a new box, only the plastic was old. What Aiifix put an awful lot of effort into was completely overhauling and revising everything else in the box. Instruction sheets were updated with colour call-outs added for small parts and internals (that certainly wouldn't have been there back in the day), new colour schemes with (often) a full colour painting guide (and more accurate too) and, of course, as others have mentioned, a brand new and usually excellent decal sheet.

It seems a shame that they put all that effort in to give their oldies a new lease of life and are now progressively removing them all from the catalogue. A real shame.

Ratch wrote:
It was like they were trying to disassociate themselves with the Airfix legacy.

That is very sad Ratch mate.

I can honestly say that the Red Box Re-releases have made up the overwhelming majority of the models I have built since returning to the hobby a few years ago. I was thrilled to see I could buy all those great kits I remembered from my youth, all thoroughly updated and readily available from most hobby stores. The only time I'd buy pre-owned older kits was if that particular model hadn't had a re-release.

But it looks like those days are coming to an end, and as the newer toolings (which, admittedly, I've done a couple of) generally don't really appeal to me like the classics means that Airfix will no longer be getting any of my money. From now on I'll be spending it with the pre-owned kit dealers instead......

Thanks again everybody,

Regards,

Zee28


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Is this the beginning of the end of the Red Box Re-release?
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 Post subject: Re: Is this the beginning of the end of the Red Box Re-relea
PostPosted: December 22nd, 2017, 9:45 pm 
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I have to say I agree with Zee, whilst some of the old clunkers re-released were probably left to the mists of time, a lot were perfectly build-able.

Where a lot of your arguments fall down is the assumption that the new tool wonderkits are more buildable - well as most of you know they're not.

Most of the NT kits I've built have been a PITA fit wise, mainly because Airfix have tried to cram too much into them. I can't believe any child getting a Gnat starter set would come back for another one - The wing and intake fit was bloody awful. Most of the Spitfires have issues around the cockpit because of the over detailing (which you can't see) and as for the blooming Me262 I'm building - EVERYTHING is a poor fit. Ok I know I'm not the best builder but I'm not THAT bad. It's taken me 40 minutes today to get one engine pod on, it's like it was built to fit another model. I had to resort to some needle files in the end to get it on the wing correctly.

For the life of me I can't see how a kiddie could build one.

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Is this the beginning of the end of the Red Box Re-release?
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PostPosted: December 22nd, 2017, 9:58 pm 
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A very good point Stuart, and I hadn't thought of that. You've come at it a different way, which is interesting.

The assumption that every new-tool kit is going to be wonderful in every way is a little misguided. The same way that assuming every older kit is going to be a clunky, unbuildable rivet monster is also not always the case....

Your problems with the NT 262 are interesting when compared to the older Frog offering that I recently did.

Zee28


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Is this the beginning of the end of the Red Box Re-release?
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 Post subject: Re: Is this the beginning of the end of the Red Box Re-relea
PostPosted: December 22nd, 2017, 10:02 pm 
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Stuart wrote:
Where a lot of your arguments fall down is the assumption that the new tool wonderkits are more buildable - well as most of you know they're not. Most of the NT kits I've built have been a PITA fit wise, mainly because Airfix have tried to cram too much into them. I can't believe any child getting a Gnat starter set would come back for another one - The wing and intake fit was bloody awful, Most of the Spitfires have issues around the cockpit because of the over detailing (which you can't see) and as for the blooming Me262 I'm building - EVERYTHING is a poor fit. Ok I know I'm not the best builder but I'm not THAT bad. It's taken me 40 minutes today to get one engine pod on - I had to resort to some needle files in the end - for the life of me I can't see how a kiddie could build one.
I think we can call this a case of YMMV. I haven't built all that many of them (wrong subject matter for me), but I've found the Spitfire and Dakota very cooperative. We used a pile of Spitfire for a demo last year, and I've seen many kids throw them together using nothing but side cutters, sanding sticks, cement, and enthousiasm. All the "problems" you'd expect from this style of building, but zero fit issues. The kids built those cockpits by the book and without trouble in the time it took us old hands to get properly worried about construction.

If you find them that horrible, why do you keep building them? It's hard to find a new tool Airfix kit for which there are no alternatives..


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Is this the beginning of the end of the Red Box Re-release?
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PostPosted: December 22nd, 2017, 10:47 pm 
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Just out of interest, I thought I'd have an approximate count-up.

On the display shelves I roughly counted 22 models that I have built from Red Box Re-releases and even considering all the others displayed (Frog, Matchbox, New tools etc. etc.) it still makes them a clear majority in my display. There's also 3 more in the stash waiting to be built.

That 25 kits in total, all Red Box Re-releases, that's a fair amount.

But I guess I was a minority in buying these or else Airfix would be continuing to put them out.

Maybe it's just me, maybe I'm weird!

Incidently, Airfix may be missing a trick here and there. For example, a few summers ago I spent a fascinating afternoon exploring aboard the HMS Belfast. Many hours later I emerged into the gift shop and what did the lady on the checkout say when I asked what some of their best selling items were? The Airfix HMS Belfast of course! They had piles of them and it seemed that very often youngsters and Dads would come off the ship and to remember their visit with some things from the gift shop, very often the Airfix kit of the boat they'd just been on was purchased. I expect a lot of these people weren't even modellers and perhaps a lot of these kits never got built, but that's not the point, they were selling well and if Airfix stop supplying the kits, well.......

That sort of situation is infectious. Hell, even I bought one, and I don't even build ships at all! Yep, still languishing in the stash......


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Is this the beginning of the end of the Red Box Re-release?
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 Post subject: Re: Is this the beginning of the end of the Red Box Re-relea
PostPosted: December 23rd, 2017, 12:34 am 
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rob_van_riel wrote:
If you find them that horrible, why do you keep building them? It's hard to find a new tool Airfix kit for which there are no alternatives..


I never said they were horrible Rob, far from it, all I was saying was that lot of them (but not all) need just as much, if not more, effort to get built than their older brethren.

And I don't built many of them - of the 50+ kits in my stash I have 6 NT Airfix kits.

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Is this the beginning of the end of the Red Box Re-release?
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 Post subject: Re: Is this the beginning of the end of the Red Box Re-relea
PostPosted: December 23rd, 2017, 4:06 am 
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I know what you mean Stuart. Just like the older kits, the new ones can be just as 'variable' in their execution and may take a similar amount of effort to get a acceptable result.

I have only done two new toolings, the Me-110 (which isn't really that new anymore) and the Mitsubishi Zero. The Me-110 was OK, a bit heavy handed in it's execution (very thick panels lines etc.) and it still needed a bit of filler and other work. The Zero, on the other hand, was very good to be honest, it fell together and didn't suffer from the new tooling issue of loads of (arguably) unnecessary extra detail and a (consequently) higher price to justify it. It had a usual 'Series 1' feel to it; Reasonable price and a straightforward assembly, just a bit nicer than the old one.

But they didn't give me the nostalgic buzz I get from a CBK, but that's just me, my personal preference I suppose.

rob_van_riel wrote:
I understand the nostalgia part, but for me, that needs more than just old tooling; I want the old boxes/bags, shoddy (or sometimes, better) instructions, even shaky decals as well

This is interesting Rob. You like the whole CBK experience, warts 'n' all! All the pain, not just some of it! I like it mate! It demonstrates true commitment.

My preference for the Red Box Re-releases of old kits makes me feel like a coward, I preferred the Classic Plastic but without all the pain associated with the other stuff that goes with it. I feel a bit of wimp now. :-D

rob_van_riel wrote:
(I actually bought a Novo baggie rather than the Frog original sitting next to it a few weeks back, and Novo decals used to disintegrate even when factory fresh :roll: )

Yeah, they do turn to powder in the water, I've been there mate. But don't worry, spray them with 2 or 3 coats of Johnsons Klear and, once dry, they'll be absolutely fine, they won't break up and will still respond to setting/softening solutions, no problem. Old decals never die, they just need a bit of help.

See here:

viewtopic.php?f=94&t=9252&start=0


Regards,

Zee28


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Is this the beginning of the end of the Red Box Re-release?
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 Post subject: Re: Is this the beginning of the end of the Red Box Re-relea
PostPosted: December 23rd, 2017, 9:59 am 
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I use Scalemates quite a lot. I actually am quite good at remembering the issue dates of Airfix models (I grew up with them being issued) so I tend to use Scalemates to confirm the date of release of the specific boxing I've bought.

I'm not so well versed in other long styanding manufacturers siuch as Hasegawa or Revell. so Scalemates is really useful for dating their products.


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Is this the beginning of the end of the Red Box Re-release?
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 Post subject: Re: Is this the beginning of the end of the Red Box Re-relea
PostPosted: December 23rd, 2017, 10:41 am 
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Zee28 wrote:
Old decals never die, they just need a bit of help.
The question with Novo decals is not whether they've died, but whether the were ever alive at all :cry: Still, I have some left over from the old days to practice on, so I'm confident I can sort them out.


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Is this the beginning of the end of the Red Box Re-release?
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PostPosted: December 23rd, 2017, 2:56 pm 
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Novo decals were rubbish when new.

And in the Soviet released boxings, not only were they unusable, they were often unrecognisable.

The key to making the most of these old mould and old issues of old mould is to have a stock of specialist decals to hand - generic roundels, letters, numbers, stripes etc as well as aircraft specific after market decals. With these to hand, an ancient old moulding can be given a remarkable makeover.

We see plenty of examples of this on this forum.


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Is this the beginning of the end of the Red Box Re-release?
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PostPosted: December 23rd, 2017, 3:08 pm 
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I wanted to thank all of you for a very interesting discussion. Topics like this are one of the great things about the UAMF.

I love classic Airfix kits because I built many of them as a lad and feel lucky to have been given the opportunity to put together their first gen. Gladiator a while back which came out probably about when Gene Vincent's "Be-Bop-A-Lula" did.

That having been said, I'd heartily endorse branding the old school kits as "classic" or somesuch to differentiate them from the new tools. I should probably be embarrassed to admit this, but I got "stung" when I thought I was getting the new tool 1/72 Hurricane and to my surprise it was the old one. At least the experience was educational and now I know what to look for. I can only hope someone new to the hobby doesn't have this happen and it puts them off.

I've only built a couple of the Airfix new tool offerings and I agree about the details sometimes being a bit much or getting in the way but I'm grateful for their new tool Curtiss P-40B/C Hawk 81 which I think is the best kit of this aircraft in 1/72 scale I've ever built.

I never cease to be amazed at the results many get with those old Airfix classics as many here have shown.

The Great Auk


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Is this the beginning of the end of the Red Box Re-release?
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PostPosted: December 23rd, 2017, 5:09 pm 
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There's certainly a passion amongst some of the membership on here for classic kits in general and British ones in particular. I've said this before, but I don't choose to build classic kits out of a sense of nostalgia as I'm not a particularly nostalgic person but more because they give me a fairly blank canvas to work with and I enjoy trying to better the basic kit by adding scratch built details - in fact to me trying to make a cockpit out of bits of plastic card, rod, wire and whatever else falls to hand is one of the most enjoyable aspects of modelling. I also try, where possible, to maintain raised panel lines to give the finished model that "classic" look but I'm much less keen on over scale rivet detail. I've also had my difficulties with Airfix new tool kits, which I largely put down to my lack of building precisely, I'm a little bit of a bodger and find that the extra wriggle room that many classics provide suits my own "style". I have to say though that IMHO the NT kits do make for excellent looking models.

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Is this the beginning of the end of the Red Box Re-release?
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PostPosted: December 23rd, 2017, 5:20 pm 
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Well said, Shawn W! I agree with your words to the tee. That 'try to improve' aspect of modelling is also my favourite part of the adventure. To me, it's the gateway to becoming a far better modeller.


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Is this the beginning of the end of the Red Box Re-release?
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PostPosted: December 23rd, 2017, 5:48 pm 
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It’s a real shame Airfix didn’t re-release some of its better kits from the past, I’m currently having having fun building 1/76 tanks and find it’s remarkable that some of Airfix kits have not been covered by other manufacturers, for example try finding a new version of the Centurion tank for under £20 or the Chieftain by other manufacturers, yet both are still available on eBay and can be got for about £12 each. Other tanks like the Sheridan don’t seam to be available by other manufacturers.

Unfortunately it looks like Airfix is dropping it’s small scale AFV so I grabbed the last Churchill and Grant my LMS had in stock whilst I still had a chance.

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Is this the beginning of the end of the Red Box Re-release?
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PostPosted: December 23rd, 2017, 6:59 pm 
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I think one of the reasons people find new tool Airfix challenging (I know because I did) is that you have to build them under a different set of rules. I have always been used to painting most parts before assembly, but the fit tolerances are such that just a coat of paint will put things out of kilter. Panel lines on earlier kits some found trench-like (almost Matchboxesque) and yes there were silly errors too. But I do think that Airfix are held to higher standards than any other manufacturer - maybe because we all want them to succeed and supply us with exactly what we want.
If Airfix really wanted to differentiate the old stuff maybe they could go white box (Type 10) for them
Image

And stick with Type 16 for the Hornby era toolings :ha:
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