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As the dust settles on another extremely enjoyable and well attended Scale Modelworld show, the entire Airfix team would like to thank everyone who came to chat with us over the show weekend and especially those people who gathered around the Airfix stand for our 11am new tooling announcement on Saturday 9th November.
You all helped to make this a really memorable occasion and a real highlight of our year. Before we begin, could we please just draw readers attention to the latest Aerodrome blog , which as many will already know, is also available in the Community section of the Airfix website.
Maintaining the current Avro Vulcan theme , this latest edition focused on perhaps the most famous of all the Vulcan B.
One of the features of this blog was to invite readers to send it their own pictures and memories of XH, all of which would form the basis of a very special readers tribute edition at the end of the year.
If we had any doubts as to how much affection this aircraft is still held in, the sheer number of contributions received over the past few days answered those misgivings definitively, as we now have enough material to produce several blogs.
If you have yet to do so, please have a look at the blog linked above and consider letting us have your own Vulcan contributions. Meet the new Airfix Vulcan As one of the most important events of its kind in the world, the annual Scale Modelworld show is an opportunity for the hobby to celebrate its continuing healthy state, in addition to allowing like-minded enthusiasts to spend some time admiring model displays of the very highest calibre.
For kit manufacturers, the show allows us to garner the opinions of the largest modelling crowds of the year, as well as showcasing a selection of your latest products and hobby developments. In what is now becoming something of a Scale Modelworld tradition, the show is also the event where the Airfix team choose to announce our latest new model tooling projects, the culmination of many months of development work and meticulous planning.
Even though the announcement of any new Airfix tooling project is a time of great excitement for both the company and modellers alike, this latest unveiling would prove to be something extra special, as the subject of our latest model was unquestionably a modelling favourite. As readers may well imagine, the Airfix team receive thousands of suggestions from modellers all over the world on which subjects they would like to see benefit from the significant investment of a new model tooling project and with it, offer the prospect of an accurate and highly detailed scale kit representation of that subject at some point in the near future.
As one of the most distinctive aircraft in the history of flight, the Avro Vulcan B. As a visual treat for Workbench readers, this exclusive selection of new Vulcan B. To cope with the increased power availability from subsequent engine upgrades and to cure the instability issues of the original straight wing design, the B. The service introduction of the Vulcan B. It would also bring about a change in thinking regarding the delivery of such weapons, as significant advances in Soviet anti-aircraft technology now threatened the success of a free-fall gravity bomb mission.
We also feature images of the two ordnance options to be included with the first release Announcing a future Airfix classic As the Airfix team headed down to Telford and Scale Modelworld , we already had our launch plans fixed firmly in our minds. As well as bringing our usual display stand components and an impressive selection of beautifully finished models to embellish it, we had a number of exclusive Vulcan related items which could only be revealed following the announcement of the model — this included the all-important prototype model for display, a large banner featuring stunning Vulcan artwork and a series of development image boards which could only be added to the display once the announcement had been made.
A busy Friday afternoon saw two hard-working members of the team setting up the stand and positioning the banners on the gantry above our display space — this was not quite as straightforward as it sounds, particularly with regard to the Vulcan artwork.
These details were obviously still top secret at that time and the team had to position the banner centrally over the display plinth which would house the prototype model, prepare it for the unveiling announcement the following morning, whilst ensuring it was the right way up.
Checking its orientation had to be done without giving the game away and attaching it to the railings with cable ties and just two people required a fair amount of dexterity. Thankfully, other members of the team soon began to arrive and take some of the construction strain. With the stand prepared and everyone ready for action, Saturday morning presented the team with arguably the most challenging task of show weekend — smuggling the new Vulcan into the show and onto the display plinth without being discovered.
Travelling en masse, our development manager carried a rather large box containing the prototype model past the hundreds of people waiting to get into the show, each one knowing we had something exciting in the box. Adding to the modelling subterfuge, was this large box protecting a big model, or were we attempting to throw everyone off the scent?
They would not have long to wait. Friday set up. There was no way anybody was going to be seeing this model before announcement time Building nicely, the crowds began to gather in anticipation of the 11am announcement Once passes had been checked and we were inside the venue, the Vulcan prototype had to be placed inside the display plinth, again without anyone catching a glimpse of it — with two team members standing guard at either end of the stand and everyone else either shielding the transfer procedure or actually doing it, everything went as planned.
With the model safely in position and a cloth covering the stand, we were ready for action and an unveiling we hoped would be welcomed by many. With the previously published announcement time of 11am fast approaching, an expectant crowd began to gather around the Airfix stand and with just a few minutes to go, there was quite an impressive number of people waiting to see what we had concealed. With any announcement of this kind, the Airfix team were clearly excited to unleash their new model on the hobby world and to gauge the reaction of the crowd, however, there is always a little trepidation in the moments before the announcement, as nobody wants anything to go wrong at such a significant event.
Thankfully, after building the tension with a short countdown, the banner was unfurled and the cover removed from the display plinth to be greeted with cheers from the crowd — everything went like clockwork. With many supportive comments received from modelling enthusiasts over the weekend of the show and with the reassurance of knowing this new model is the one most requested by modellers over recent years, we think we have a future Airfix classic on our hands and the Workbench team are very much looking forward to bringing you plenty of project updates as the new Avro Vulcan B2 A negotiates the various stages of its development.
The model on display at the show was a unique and rather expensive resin prototype model and it proved to be quite an attraction at SMW With our display plinth rarely without a crowd of people around it all weekend, that even extended until after the Saturday show had been closed to the public and only the traders and exhibitors remained. It seemed as if nobody was prepared to leave before dropping by to take a look at our new Vulcan and to grab a picture or two — it turned out to be a late meal that night.
With a strong team in attendance, these talented people had such projects to their respective names as the Vulcan A , Hellcat , Buccaneer, MiG 17 Fresco , B Mitchell and Tiger Moth , as well as several ongoing projects which must remain under wraps for the time being. With each one having played a starring role either within Workbench, or on the many YouTube clips produced for the Airfix channel, these chaps are fast becoming modelling celebrities in their own right, even though it would be fair to say that they all feel much more at home behind the protection of their computer screens at work.
Always happy to answer questions posed by modelling enthusiasts, these young chaps are a real credit to the Airfix brand and are leaving their own mark on the history of these famous hobby kits. With the hard labour of erecting and dismantling the stand, early mornings and late nights, you are also on your feet for around ten hours each day and back at your desk on Monday morning — such modelling devotion to duty. For two team members, there is also the significant responsibility of adjudicating entries in the annual Airfix Trophy competition and selecting a winner from a bewildering array of high quality modelling.
Testing the water Visitors to the Airfix stand at SMW would have been intrigued to see a spectacular hand built model sharing display space with our new Vulcan, one which has a particularly interesting story behind it. With many people assuming that sight of this model signified a clear intention that Airfix were planning to introduce a new kit of a Queen Elizabeth class carrier in the near future, it became abundantly clear over the weekend that there was plenty of modelling appetite for such a development and it proved quite a challenge to temper expectations.
On a slightly more specific note, would you welcome the addition of a Queen Elizabeth class carrier in this scale? This latest model was scratch built by Dave, using all the experience he gained whilst building the previous model and incorporating many parts taken from various Airfix kits — we think you will agree, it looks truly magnificent.
After its starring role at Scale Modelworld , the model will be placed on display in the Hornby Visitors Centre in Margate, just one of the many attractions awaiting people looking for an interesting day out. We will certainly bring readers details of how our request for opinions on the subject progresses.
Whenever you decide to visit, the Airfix website is always the place to be for all the latest model availability information, previous editions of our blog, a selection of modelling tips and much more. The next edition of Workbench is due to be published on Friday 6th December, when we will have more interesting features from the world of Airfix modelling. On behalf of the entire Workbench team, thank you for your continued support our Airfix blog.
The Airfix Workbench Team.
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