Wednesday 22 September 2010

Airfix Tiger

This week I've been tinkering with an Airfix model. This is something I haven't done in many many years. As a kid I was never very good at fixing the models together and always seemed to get covered in glue as soon as I looked at the tube. None the less, like many men my age, I have fond memories of building and playing with my Airfix models. So when I got the chance to pick up a model Tiger Tank I couldn't resist.

I bought this particular kit while I was at Duxford last week (The irony of buying a tank model at an air show hasn't eluded me). There was an 'Airfix' tent amongst the traders where eager fathers tried in vain to get their iPod wearing, Social Networking, techno kids to tune out for half an hour and make a model. The heady fumes of Polystyrene Glue wafted out the tent door and many a '40 something' could be seen wandering into the tent with a far away smile on their faces.

I was one of them, and enjoyed my brief visit to this tent enormously. Just as I was leaving I saw the boxed Tiger Tank and knew "it must be mine"! Its a 1:76 scale recreation of the infamous Tiger I as it appeared in 1942. There are two sets of water decals inside the box and a comprehensive set of instructions.

I've made a bit of a mess gluing it together but it was fun non-the-less. The most difficult part was putting together the multiple layers of road wheels. The whole job took about an hour and half to put together, although it is far from complete. I didn't do a great job of building the rest of the tank and gaps are showing in several places. I'll have to use a bit of gap filler to clean up these areas before having a go at painting it.

I doubt if this model will ever make the display shelf but it has been great fun to play around with and has brought back a lot of childhood memories.


  1. it's been a very long time since I put an Airfix kit together. I really must find the time to re-visit this guilty pleasure!

    I hope the Tiger turns out well.

    I'm not sure if I have ever built a Tiger!


  2. Sadly their Tiger tank was one of the least convincing models ever made (being a copy of the first captured one, in the condition it was retrieved) of that great vehicle, and being Airfix, a ball-ache to build too. Still they were ground breaking in their day (I made three of this kit up as a kid, long since gone).

  3. Why on earth is it 1/76? That's an odd scale for Airfix, isn't it? - Or am I just showing my ignorance?

  4. Dear Admiral, For some reason Airfix do their planes and soldiers in 1/72 and their AFVs in 1:76 - who knows why? I am sure there is a good historical reason, probably now lost in the mists of time.

    Dear Lee, do they still have those bloody aweful polythene tracks that you have to seal with a hot screwdriver?

  5. John,
    Yep, the tracks were a 'mare. I had to do a lot of cleaning because they were covered in plastic 'flash' and the moulding wasn't of a particuarly high quality. This was strange because the plastic parts were quite good with very little cleaning required.

  6. I must admit that there is nothing better than a little Airfix fix every so often. By modern standards the kits are not necessarily good-but that really is not the point!

    Matt...another 40 something.

  7. Just a random comment, but I suspect the scale difference between the soldiers and vehicles may be because they're deliberately designed to be played with together as toys...! By making the soldiers larger and the vehicles slightly smaller, they'll work better when played with together on a tabletop in my experience.


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