Saturday, January 15, 2011

Another Magazine

I was down at Concord buying our afternoon coffee at Del Mondo. There was a bit of a crowd and not enough staff so I wandered next door to the Newsagent and returned with another modelling magazine – Airfix Model World.

Why do I need another magazine? I have hundreds of them in the house and in the shed. Well it goes back to my slightly misspent youth.

Airfix Magazine “for plastic modellers”


One day sometime in the late 1960’s I started buying the Airfix Magazine from the East Ivanhoe Newagency. Was it owned by Mr Giles? Later it was Fred and Peter Smythe, who gave me my first and often I think my best job – as a paperboy.

I had a standing order from 1969 and above is an image of one of the remaining early copies I have with the cover intact.

Airfix Magazine was produced from June 1960 to October 1993, was a brilliant marketing tool. It treated the topic of plastic modelling seriously and provided a mixture of news, historical information and articles on conversions and builds. Looking at the April 1969 issue I saw that the series on the Panzer 3 by Peter Chamberlin was concluding, while the “Bombing Colours” series by Bruce Robinson and Michael J.F. Bowyer. this would run for many years and was also a history of the RAF’s Bomber Command as well as the paint schemes of its aircraft. There are articles on model railways, model ships as well as aircraft and war gaming with “Ancient Britons”.  

I spend a considerable time in the alcove that was my bedroom reading the Airfix Magazine and assembling large plastic armies. I developed my annoying habit of referring to sources in arguments with my friends regarding aspects of WWII, aircraft and tanks.

As the years progressed the magazine changed most notably it metricated to A4.


The articles became a bit less interesting and the Airfix advertising was decidedly corny (e.g. The Army, The Navy and the Airforce gave it a Whirl  advertisement for  the Airfix Westland Whirlwind H.A.S. Mk 22). There were of course more competitors to Airfix in particular the Japanese who though more expensive in the UK were higher quality and more diverse subjects.

In any case by 1979 I was at Uni chasing after various bands and had even met girls who were not my sister’s school friends! I was surprised to learn that the Airfix Magazine survived till 1993.

Now in 2010 Airfix has been revived and now a new Airfix Magazine has retuned to join the groaning magazine shelves.


I probably wont be a regular buyer  but I bought this issue out of nostalgia.