I have to admit the fact that I am a big fan of Airfix. The iconic British model maker has always been a favorite of mine, and my enjoyment of their kits only continues to grow. As they release new kits each year, I am continually impressed by the quality and value of their offerings.
A few years ago, Airfix had gone bankrupt, and Hornby stepped in and breathed new life into them. Part of that process was the Airfix Club.
When I was a kid, I belonged to several manufacturer sponsored model clubs. I loved to get the periodic newsletters, catalogs, and even kits. But I think the thing I was was fascinated with was being a member of the club. Their just seemed something special, at least to my nerdy 10 year old mind, to have the club membership card, or a patch for my jacket, or a pin to wear.
So it was the same nerdy fascination, that 10-year-old kid in me, that prompted me to join the Airfix Club when it was announced a few years ago. The first release was a 1/48 Spitfire Mk. XVIe, a special edition kit released only for the Airfix Club members. And since then, I’ve renewed every time.
I suppose one could evaluate what you get from a pure dollars and cents standpoint and question what the big deal is. But for me, it’s far more than that. It’s a re-connection with that kid in me, who still loves the idea of being in a model club, and getting a kit, and a pin, and a membership card. Yes, it’s a bit nerdy. But isn’t our hobby supposed to be fun?
For me, to steal a marketing phrase Airfix used a few years ago, “it’s all about the fun.”
And guess what? It’s renewal time!
This years club kit is a great one- a three kit set titled “Under the Red Star”. It includes a Spitfire Mk. Vb, a Tomahawk IIc, and a Hurricane IIb, all decked out in Soviet markings, all in 72nd scale. My assumption is that the Tomahawk and Hurricane are the new-tool kits, and the Spitfire is the old-tool kit. I’ve built each of the kits, and all are very enjoyable builds. I’m certainly looking forward to building mine!
Membership also includes:
- A three times per-year club magazine (outside of the UK it is a downloadable PDF)
- Discounts on special edition kits throughout the year (some available to Club Members only)
- Flying Hours Passport- a way to collect points from kit purchases to redeem for free kits)
- Club membership card and pin
Yes, it’s a bit silly of me, I suppose. A 45-year-old man, getting worked up about a membership card and pin and kit. But it gives me great joy to know if I could go back in time to visit my 10-year-old self, that little guy would think it was supremely cool.
For me, that, if nothing else, makes it worth every penny.
To join the Airfix Club and get in touch with your inner 10-year-old, visit Airfix’s website. (And don’t forget- it would make a great father-son thing to do!)