Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Airfix and cup holders

The great thing about buying a car is that you can literally have one custom built just for you, assuming you can afford it of course. You can specify the engine, color, seats, audio options, pin stripes, and so on. Of course you always get a cup holder, and even Ferrari touts the presence of a cup holder in its literature for the F12 Berlinetta. Big fucking deal. Even the shopping cart at my grocery store has a cup holder.

So how close are we to being able to log onto and customer order a Bf-109? I can see the orders coming in now: David from Jacksonville wants a Bf-109E, version E-4, without a resin interior, with resin flying surfaces, photoetch for the cockpit, markings for Helmut Wick, and so on. Pretty cool, eh?

We might just be a step closer to that reality with Airfix's recent announcement of a kit to convert their impressive Vickers Valiant to a Reconnaissance or Refueller airplane. Someone at Airfix was smart. With all due respect to my friends in the aftermarket industry, someone over there in Kent said, "Hey, why should we let some cottage industry chaps do this when we can do it just as well?"

Brilliant! It's a smart move by Airfix. They don't have to manufacture, box, and store two additional (complete) kits, and they are assured of selling additional Valiants as we choose to build either or both of the variants. And we modelers benefit knowing that the parts should fit flawlessly, which isn't always the case with aftermarket parts (think resin shrinkage).

We're living in good times!

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