Airfix Editorial Comment Harrier RAF Aircraft Thought for the day... USAF

HILLS TO DIE UPON…

A little bit of fun to brighten up a cold, grey morning! What hills are you prepared to die upon..?

All are based on years of experience and have nothing whatsoever to do with personal opinion

Last night during the IMC’s live broadcast that followed the annual Airfix programme  announcement, I made a number of statements of ‘fact’, hills that I am more than happy to die upon, should the time come. Here, I will repeat those assertions, so that you too can bask in the glory of my illuminated opinions. All are based on years of experience and have nothing whatsoever to do with personal opinion and should be regarded as immutable conclusions that are beyond question or debate. 

My conclusions are as follows:

1. Early 80s RAF matt camouflage with low-viz red/blue roundels is the best ever applied to the RAF’s jet fleet and then that that applied to the Phantoms, is the finest amongst all of the aircraft types. It is literally beyond compare! Hello, hill…

2. The North American P-51D Mustang is the best-looking fighter of WWII. There are other aircraft that are prettier, but its mix of looks and brawn place it in a class of its own. Hello, hill…

3. The Airfix 1/24 Hawker Harrier artwork from their original release is the best-ever applied to a kit box within that range, and it is sacrilegious to consider replacing it. Hello, hill…

4. SEPECAT’s Jaguar is an aircraft that Airfix must consider replicating. I’m happy to wait a few months, but this must be done. Hello, hill…

That’s that, I will now go off to work, happy in the knowledge that you are party to my list of unquestionable facts.

See you soon.


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I'm formerly the editor in charge of Military In Scale magazine and latterly, Model Airplane International. Editing duties to one side, I'm now a full-time modelmaker with Doolittle Media, working to supply modelling articles and material for a number of their group titles, including MAI and Tamiya Model Magazine International. I'm also an avid fan of Assassin's creed, Coventry City FC and when the mood takes me, a drummer of only passing skill. Here though, you'll find what I do best: build models and occassionally, write about them!

28 comments on “HILLS TO DIE UPON…

  1. Totally with you on the Jaguar. The Buccaneer announcement gives me hope.

  2. Don Jamieson

    I agree

  3. Andrew Rowe

    Agree to Nos. 1 & 4.

  4. Andy King

    A 1/48 Jaguar would be most welcome then I can burn the Kittyhawk one that is in the stash 🙂

  5. Crispin Morton

    No.1, true – but not a patch on the finest of all Toom schemes (EDSG over white, obvs)

  6. The cars are a real disappointment.

    My Hill : Car modellers are not going to build 1/43 kits from Airfix

  7. Christian Atkins

    1. YES!
    2. Mosquito… (handbags at dawn?)
    3. Yes
    4. YES!

  8. my Hill ….a brand-new Airfix Spitfire IX Super-kit in French markings ? Sacrilege…

    • Ian Nicholls

      Oh dear! You’re not some sort of Brexiteer are you? Airfix are just trying to cover as many markets as possible, as they did with the Hellcat. Can’t blame them for that.

      • Erm…What? Brexiteer? Absolutely not as you would know if you had followed me on social media over the last 6 years! But more than that, what has my update got to do with Airfix? Either you didn’t listen to the IMC’s live broadcast, didn’t read my essay, or if you did, missed the bit about it being a bit of fun on a cold and miserable, Monday morning. So, I have to ask again: what has my update to do with Airfix, other than my tongue in cheek reference to the Jaguar?

  9. baker24earthlinknet

    I agree on #2, but then I’m a Yank….. But I do agree with your reasoning – it is that combination of line with the look of power that makes the P-51D so distinctive (even though the P-51 B/C was perhaps a better fighter, being more maneuverable and a bit lighter)…..

  10. Yoav Efrati

    Facts are facts, they can be ignored and disputed but never altered.

  11. lsutigertalk

    Just WW2? Its the best looking fighter of all time. I stand tall in Mustang Hill.

  12. And the lowly Spitfire…???

    • baker24earthlinknet

      The Spitfire is a wonderfully elegant fighter, every inch a thoroughbred, and I have any kits of that beautiful airplane. But the Mustang, especially the P-51D, is a warhorse – not so elegant, but with a presence and aura of power that makes it for me (and Spencer) the best looking fighter…..

      • baker24earthlinknet

        I will say, as someone who does love the Spitfire (looking at the stash…..) that my closest runner-up for best looking fighter to the P-51D is the Spitfire Mk XIVc highback, which to me blends the thoroughbred elegance of the Mk IX with the brute power of the Griffon to make something far more menacing, yet also sleek, and with that beautiful elliptical wing….. To risk brickbats as well, my second runner-up is the later war Bf 109G-10/K-4, for very similar reasons – a certain menacing shark appearance with the look of power in that long nose.

  13. Yes Spencer I agree on all counts. As regards the Jaguar, I did send an email to Airfix about a new tool Jag in 1/72nd but still haven’t received an answer. They might one day release a new tool in 1/72 and then upscale it to 1/48th. Looking at their latest 2022 releases and noting their new tool 1/48th Buccaneer S2 here’s hoping.

  14. Richard Graham

    Yes, I find myself agreeing with all of these, with the possible exception of the Mustang but only by a matter of degree. I don’t disagree as such, and for years never really carried a torch for the Spitfire… Then one cold grey winter’s day arriving for a visit to Duxford, without warning, RJ Mitchell’s finest flashed over my head at full speed… the pulse quickened, I suddenly felt charged and euphoric; I was in love…

    PS really enjoyed the show Spence… first time I’ve caught it; 3 of my modelling idols having a grown-up discussion about Airfix’s programme – great stuff!

  15. When oh when is someone going to realize there is a LOT OF MONEY TO BE MADE by NOT MAKING ANOTHER F-86F???? They could have so easily separated themselves from the herd with the Sabre IV by doing the original incarnation with the slatted wing…

    • baker24earthlinknet

      Yes, the F-86A is the (sort of) “P-40/F4F Wildcat” of the Korean War.l…. It was the original equipment of the Sabre wings in Korea and bore the brunt of the early jet fighting, and there were a lot of bright and attractive markings for it back then. I tried to do something with the “older than ancient” Lindberg kit back in the day, but my skills as a kid were not up to it. And of course, I suspect it was not very accurate in detail, though you never know – some of the early models were not bad at all. Look at the Merit/Pyro 1930s biplane fighters (Fury, Gladiator, etc.) Lindberg eventually glommed onto. Someday a Russian or Ukrainian company will see the light and we’ll get a good 4th FIW F-86A from somewhere. Airfix coulda been a contender…..

      • The Wildcat is about to get the “Eduard treatment.” First the F4F-3/3A, then the F4F-4, then FM-1 and FM-2, with also the Martlet I-VI. If you haven’t seen it, their Zero is their best yet. I’ve been around the only original Zero out at Planes of Fame for 40 years, and they definitely “got it.”

      • baker24earthlinknet

        I’m thinking of getting the Eduard “double” Zero, if any are left….. I like the look of Japanese planes – they made very few really ugly models (some, but not many) and some really nice looking ones. I used to be an artist of sorts (medical illustrator) so I prefer to model aircraft I find attractive (except for those in Col. Howdy Bixby’s Guide to Forgotten WW2 Fighters)…..

      • If you can’t get the Tora-Tora Zero kit, the single Profipack kit has markings for Saka’s Mitsubishi Zero @ Guadalcanal, and three different Nakajima A6M2s.

  16. Harold Cline

    As a totally disinterested, dispassionate Yank, yes Spencer the P-51 is all that and a bag of Tostitos. Once again you have affirmed my confidence in your perceptive analysis.

  17. The Jaguar in 1/72 and or 1/48 please. P51 Malcolm hood for the Mustang. Agreed on everything else….

  18. Ian Nicholls

    #2 is a tricky one. A friend and I went to Duxford on Sunday to see the Spitfire line up they have put together. We both agreed that the Spitfire IX looks “purposeful “. But then we walked down to the American aviation hanger and agreed that the P-51 is totally the business. Very hard to declare a winner. But I’m waving at you on your hill!

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