Tony L GB23

Picking a model from the new Airfix Classics range threw up a few questions, beginning with the different ranges of Military, Non-Military (civilian to you and me) and Aviation. Clicking through the website there’s fair amount of overlap, but a shortlist of three kits was quickly reached.

Handley Page Jetstream
First on the list, the Handley Page Jetstream, primarily since my wife’s parents first met at Handley Page, and were both working there while the Jetstream was under development.
However, for this occasion it didn’t quite make the cut. But it remains on a hypothetical build list for another time. Perhaps in a custom finish – think Boeing 720 Starship, or maybe in Apollo Airways colours of James Bond Moonraker fame.

Bond Bug
Moving on to second in line, the Bond Bug. I remember these from childhood, seeing them driving around Cambridge in the early 1970’s looking like they’d appeared from the future. One of my Dad’s friends had one but I never got a ride, I guess I was too young to think to ask or just assumed they’d be around for ever. Sadly the Bond Bug remains in the future, and another missed opportunity, as the kit is still on pre- order.

Jaguar 420
Finally, the Jaguar 420. In a previous life I was fortunate enough to run a V6 Jaguar X-Type as a company car, in metallic green, tan leather and walnut dash. Well, you would, wouldn’t you. Against all the odds it remains the most reliable car I’ve ever had. The only fault in three years and 60,000 miles was the failure of a single rear number plate bulb.
The iconic Roy Cross box art seals the deal for the classic Jag, sweetened further by our club discount at Salisbury Model Centre.

First Impressions
With mould tools dating back to 1968 and now shipped out to India, the build quality certainly aligns with the expectations of a British Leyland product.
In fact the kit could be used as one of those show and tell exhibits in a training course for injection moulding.
We’ve got flash in copious quantities everywhere, sinks in the body shell, warps in the panels, voids in the wheels, and contamination or burn marks in the chassis.
On the plus side, the panel lines are nice and deep. In fact they’re so deep the doors look like they’ve been fitted at a scrap yard.
What seemed like an easy build of a small 1:32 scale kit in a relaxed six months now looks like a challenge!

Next step is to choose a colour scheme. Something from the Jaguar colour charts for 1968 seems appropriate, in a weathered finish.
How much weathering remains to be seen and is likely to depend on time and budget. More on that in the next instalment…..