Are Airfix kits good? | Things to know about Airfix: Quality, Beginner Friendliness, Collectability, and Production
Airfix is one of the few model kit brands that withstood the test of time. It has been around since 1939 and has been continuously selling model kits up to this date. Many modelers, particularly those who want to try the hobby, would always ask if starting with an Airfix kit is good and worth it. Are these kits collectible? That’s what we will be talking about in this blog post.
Airfix kits are good and produce high-quality plastic model kits at a reasonable price. Furthermore, they have various model kits that fit from a complete beginner to expert modelers. This is why the brand became one of the standards for plastic model kits.
This blog post will give you a complete understanding of Airfix model kits. From its quality, price, collectability, and manufacturing. I will also provide some examples of Airfix kits that have been sold for a high price to give you some motivation in starting to build Airfix model kits.
Are Airfix Kits good?
Airfix kits are good for beginners to experts as they have numerous kits to challenge a modeler’s creativity.
Furthermore, Airfix kits are reasonably priced for the quality of their models.
Most Airfix kits range from about $20 to $40, depending on the complexity and size of the model kit.
In fact, a complete beginner can start trying the hobby for less than $20 since Airfix offers kits for absolute beginners called quickbuild kits.
These quickbuild kits are perfect for beginners who want to build their first model. In addition, these kits don’t require gluing and painting which are one of the few skills a builder needs to make good models.
For beginners who want a little challenge, they can opt for a starter kit which would only cost around $2 to $4. The kit includes the essentials such as glue, paint, and brush.
Take note that the starter kit doesn’t include high-quality materials. These are intended to help beginners practice cheaper materials before buying higher-quality ones.
The main reason is that higher-quality glue such as Tamiya plastic cement costs a lot, and beginners tend to waste the paint.
Having a starter kit helps a person practice before going for the expensive ones.
Furthermore, this allows a modeler to start rather than buying these brushes, paint, and glue individually.
After trying the starter kit, you will have the feel of how to start being creative in your build. This is where you can now buy higher-quality materials.
Airfix also has model kits that pack quite a challenge.
Generally speaking, almost all Airfix kits without a quickbuild logo would be hard. This is because these kits usually involve small parts that need some time to build.
However, I like Airfix because they aren’t hard just to say they’re hard. I mean, they have a very comprehensive set of instructions on building their complex models.
With the inclusion of easier kits and starter kits, Airfix offers good quality model kits for its price, especially for beginners.
Airfix producing high-quality products made them become one of the standards for model kits.
However, while they are perfect for modelers of all levels, another common question people ask is if Airfix models are collectible. We are going to talk about that in the succeeding sections.
Another common question beginners ask is if these models are plastic which I will talk about below.
Are Airfix models plastic?
Generally speaking, Airfix models are made out of plastics. Particularly polystyrene plastics. Polystyrene plastics are usually solid at room temperature which explains why they are perfect for model kits. Furthermore, these plastics tend to be cheap which helps lower the cost of the model kits.
There are many reasons why Airfix decided to produce plastic kits, but the biggest reason is the price.
With a lower cost of production, they can produce kits that everyone can try.
Furthermore, the majority of the plastic glues work well with polystyrene plastics—for example, plastic cement work by slightly melting polystyrene plastics to form a permanent bond.
Not using plastics on model kits can change the hobby since most modelers build plastic model kits.
The use of plastics causes some issues for people starting to build kits. One issue I would like to talk about is since these models are plastics, are Airfix models worth it? Do these kits increase in value?
In comparison, models made from metals tend to fetch a high price since they are very durable and easy to maintain.
We need to know if these plastic models increase in value over time. That’s our topic for the next section.
Did you know? Did you know that another issue of plastic model kits is that they are becoming a target because of plastic’s impact on our environment? I talked about that in another blog post which you can find here: The Challenges of Plastic Model Kits.
Are Airfix kits collectible?
Some Airfix model kits are collectible and rare. For example, the rare 1971 Airfix Johan Javelin AMX Super Funny Car model kit was sold for $400 in an auction. Furthermore, many collectors are looking for old and rare Airfix kits, such as the 1950s Ice Cream Tricycle and Harbour Master.
While plastic Airfix model kits can be a turnoff for people who would want to earn from their hobby, the truth is these plastic models can also increase in value.
There are many ways these model kits can increase in value, and some factors that can help improve their price are their rarity, age, and quality of the build.
People who are really good at building their model kits can sell their models for a higher price.
For example, a well-made Airfix 1/24 Scale Car Door Typhoon was sold for $400 in an auction done in October 2021.
While many factors can increase the model’s price, the build itself can be a factor.
For example, the Airfix Scale Car Door Typhoon was sold for a high price because it was well made, and it included a specific display case that attracted the buyer.
If you don’t want to learn how to glue and paint models, you can also increase the price of model kits over time.
Model kits in mint condition also tend to fetch a high price. But, again, this is because many people would want to build a rare model kit made decades ago.
For example, the Airfix Johan Javelin AMX Super Funny Car model kit is a model kit produced in 1971. Because of its rarity and mint-in-box condition, it was sold for $400 in an auction in December 2021.
As you can see, there are two ways to make your model collectible. One is to get good at designing your model. The other is keeping the model in mint condition.
Mint-in-condition is always the best when it comes to maintaining and increasing the price. However, a rebox also works well.
A perfect example is Airfix 1/24 De Havilland Mosquito Fb.VI, which was reboxed in 2015. This model kit was sold for $299 in an auction.
While plastic model kits in mint condition are always the best, you can also rebox old kits.
So, these examples prove that model kits can be collectibles and can fetch a higher price in the future.
Where are Airfix kits made?
Airfix plastic kits are made in India but packed and designed in the UK. This is done to reduce the labor cost and to compete with other plastic kit manufacturers. By doing this, Airfix can provide customers with high-quality kits for a low price.
Companies outsourcing labor to other countries is not new. In fact, this is being done to compete with other companies.
Outsourcing can reduce the price to provide customers with cheap but high-quality products.
What’s next? We learned a lot about Airfix in this post. However, one of the main competitors of Airfix is Revell. So I made another blog post comparing these two companies. You can find it here: Airfix vs. Revell.