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Michael Knights
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Airfix kit from 1953

August 17, 2017 · in Aviation · · 21 Comments

Just thought you'd like to see what was surely one of the earliest plastic kits made... the Spitfire Mark 1 in blue plastic !

My dilemma now is; do I take it out of the bag and make it, or should I save it for posterity?

The other photo shows my project to reproduce some of my old dinky model planes in 1:72 viz Supermarine Swift; Hawker Hunter; Gloster Javelin and the old Gloster Meteor. I saw all these planes at Farnborough airshows back in the 1950's and '60;s.

But my most ambitious build to date as been this huge kit from Revell the B36 bomber, a plane that my partner's father in law piloted in the late 1940's. He was the famous Wing Cmdr Ken Wallis who sadly died 4 years ago 97 years of age. Unfortunately the thread holding it over my little raliway scene broke and oh dear what a calamity ensued!

None of these models comes close to some of you guys out there, but building models for fun and amusuement is fine by me. 🙂

5 additional images. Click to enlarge.

21 responses

  1. Hi Michael, of you course should build that old Spitfire ,it's not a thing that was meant to be stored unmade in a cupboard it was supposed to be put together to the best of your ability for you to enjoy looking at ,but failing that you could store it away along with your bottles of wine to not drink and stamps to not post get what I'm saying right ?
    And if you want to repaint those old Dinky's then repaint 'em there yours to do what you want with.Enjoy them

    • Thanks for your suggestion Neil, but on balance I think am going to keep it in its bag for posterity and as an illustration of how simple this wonderful hobby was at the beginning. And by the way I have lots of bottled beers in my collection, some of which are very old and valuable, provided they are not opened and consumed!
      Oh and I also have a lot of stamps too and matchbox labels and and and etc etc ... bit of a collector me. 🙂

  2. You can always find a Spit model to build. I would defiantly save that one as is..

  3. I agree with Tom. Spits are a dime a dozen, save that one for a collector who would appreciate it as the piece of modeling history that it is. Now if you come across a discontinued kit like the Italeri YF-12 or DC-130 in 1/48 as I have, they will definitely be built because they will probably never be released again. I am thinking about getting a Strombecker Sea Dart as I want a full collection of Convair deltas in 1/48. It's 1/50 or so, but I guess that's close enough, but the prices are up there for them!

  4. Nice representative British collection in the 50s. Whose 72nd Javelin? Airfix Hunter? Love the Swift, always have.

    I'm conflicted on the Spit. Classic Airfix, in the bag. On the other hand, put together in itself, or as part of a collection of Spits, shows how far the hobby has come in the years since this came out. The Aurora 48th in the same time frame had (whatta shock!) the same code letters, and was also in an interesting shade of blue. I had one, it sort of looked like a Spit.

    Some of the early manufacturers copied their competition, surprisingly enough.

  5. I say BUILD IT - that's what models are for! Otherwise they just collect dust up in a closet somewhere...

  6. Great discussion, Michael! I'm with the "build it" crowd. Do your best on the Spit (you seem to do a fine job on the others) and enjoy the kit knowing that it was a kit of an airplane still in use then. In a few places, that is.

    Enjoyment is the key!

    • Michael, I have changed my mind. As Tom said, "You can always find a Spit model to build."

      An assembled, painted Spitfire from 1953 next to an assembled, painted Spitfire from a much newer kit look pretty much the same! Not that "bag of goodies" kit!

  7. Quite a dilemma, on one hand I say build it, I've built a few old kits myself. on the other hand the uniqueness of the package might hold me back. As Jeffery said, enjoyment is the key and also, Welcome!

  8. I'd keep that Airfix kit sealed up in the original packaging if it were me. It may bring ya some much needed income down the road (if indeed it doesn't have value already). Just my .02. 🙂

    • Craig: Thanks. I think you're right. I have built several 1:72 Spits in the past and there are loads of different kits out there today. I am a bit of collector anyway and just think future generations will appreciate seeing how simple the first airfix kits were. Available in Woolworths for very little money.

  9. Allway an interesting question. It was made to built in the first place. On the other hand I would search another complete one and keep this as it is. A time capsule in the collection from how it all started. OK I admid having a soft spot for Airfix growing up with the brand. My thoughts on this dilemma.

  10. I hate to be Mr. Negative Nellie, but that isn't an Airfix Spitfire from 1953. It is a 2003 "50th Anniversary" repackage of the 1970s Airfix Spitfire Mk. I. You can see examples of both kits at this link:

    I too have the 2003 reissue and will build it someday.

  11. I hate to be Mr. Negative, but that isn’t an Airfix Spitfire from 1953. It is a 2003 “50th Anniversary” repackage of the 1970s Airfix Spitfire Mk. I. You can see examples of both kits at this link:

    I too have the 2003 reissue and will build it someday.

  12. JIm : well well well!
    I checked out the link. A serious piece of detective work and I guess you're right JIm. It's a 2003 kit, not 1953. So clearly it will have to be built. Thanks to all for your comments.

  13. Jeff: HAHAHA. Quite so. This could be on the workbench next, although I might have a go at a little 1/24th scale AIRFIX model of James Bond's Autogyro, flown in the film by its inventor Commander Ken Wallis C.Eng, C.Eng A.F.R.Ae.S., R.A.F Ret'd. who was my partner's father in law.
    Picture of old box and parts later...

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