Friday, March 15, 2013

Pecans are expensive, Airfix kits are not

In honor of Pi Day, I made a pecan pie over the weekend. Well, bourbon chocolate chip pecan pie to be specific. Not a model, but a real, edible pie. I wasn't up for the task of making my own dough, so I bought a pre-made crust (kind of like using a pre-painted photoetch) and the ingredients for the filling, but when I found myself on aisle 11 to buy the bag of pecans, I balked at the price...six dollars! Why are nuts so expensive? I quickly learned that making a delicious pie was going to cost me big money! No wonder a pie purchased at a farmers markets costs $15.

Like those pies, it seems as though good models are becoming unaffordable. Trumpeter's 1/48 Su-24 is $130. Hasegawa's 1/72 Typhoon is $58. Tamiya's BT-5 and BT-42 are $75, and Dragon's latest releases are in the $60 price range. Ship builders have it no better with a good 1/350 scale kit exceeding $100. And if you paint little figures, expect to pay $50 for a 54mm figure and $70 for 75mm.

It's easy to get bummed out when confronted by these prices. Many modelers have wondered if the hobby is becoming unaffordable, especially for younger modelers. It's okay to cry. It's okay to get angry.

I think that's why it's important to look for and highlight value in the hobby, and no one is giving us more value today than Airfix. Their latest 1/72 scale releases, while a bit on the simplistic side, are very nice and can be made into real gems.

Wolfgang Henrich posted photos of his Airfix Bf-109E to Hyperscale today, a kit which you can find for around $7. His model is a perfect example of the potential that the kits in this line offer. Wolfgang did an outstanding job with this inexpensive kit. Airfix deserves our thanks for producing kits that everyone can afford. Take a look; I think you'll be impressed!

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