Game Design, Programming and running a one-man games business…

Air-Fix models for the 40+ kidults?

When i was a kid we would spend ages glueing together model stuff like this:

Airfix and humbrol FTW!

The problem is, even if you are a 40+ kidult like me who wouldn’t feel silly ordering a model tank to build, the market does not seem to cater to me any more. Lets be honest, those model tanks we built as kids were actually pretty crap. I recall them being stupidly intricate and tricky and lifelike, but in fact they were small, very simple, easy to make, and always looked a bit crap.

of course, if you have money to burn you can buy these:

But they weight 70 KG…

But where is the middle ground? Show me a decent sized, hard to build (but satisfying to build) model tank and I’ll easily waste a weekend fending cats away from the glue as I stick a model together :D

7 thoughts on Air-Fix models for the 40+ kidults?

  1. But Airfix are locked into the past, why not make your own line of GSB and GTB model kits, spaceships, mech, infantry.

    You would only need some software to take the 3D models and convert them into parts, and a 3D printer to produce them?

    Then you can make them as complex or simple as you choose!

  2. I actually started doing papercraft instead. The number of free models is amazing, you can design your own with cheap software (or no software, if you’re artistic enough) and they can look amazing.

    The other comment’s 3D printer idea is a good one, too. I expect to see more 3D printing designs soon as the printers keep coming down in price, and up in reliability and functionality.

  3. I concur with WC, there are a lot of incredible, free papercraft models out there and I can attest that you can spend a very satisfying weekend sticking them together. In particular, for your tank desire, with almost no effort (and no knowledge about tanks), I found the following models:

    Leclerc Main Battle Tank, looks pretty decent. The download link is a little small but it’s there, at the bottom:

    Tiger I, less detailed, but probably simpler:

    I’m sure, with your superior tank knowledge and knowing what you’re looking for, you can find other examples. I’d also check out some general papercraft sites for beginner tips. Most of it is pretty common sense (use thicker paper, thin card for the most part, decent glue), but it’ll help when you’re starting out. Some models also come with particular tips for the model from the creators (like what the best thickness paper is, when you should score the paper, that sort of thing).

  4. The Tamiya stuff is pretty good and certainly ‘in the middle’ between totally cheap and whatever the hell metal monstrosity you posted before :p

  5. Tamiya make display-model versions of their 16th-scale radio-control tanks; they’re cheaper than the R/C versions, but by a surprisingly small margin! And you get all the parts (including moving suspension, proper articulated tracks, and even a simple battery-powered gearbox so the model can trundle forward, in a couple of cases), but not the paint and glue.

    16th-scale is quite big and impressive, though, and even without extra-dollar photo-etched upgrade parts, you can make a museum-quality replica if you’re careful with the painting.

    Or you can just do it properly and get the R/C version, as I did:
    (I’m not all that crazy about scale realism…)

    Tamiya do silly limited-release stuff with their models, so if you want a tank they’ve arbitrarily decided to stop making, expect to pay through the nose. The only R/C 16th-scale tank currently listed in the English section of is the… conspicuous… Soviet KV-2:

    …but the Japanese site currently lists their magnificent Tiger I:
    (machine-translated hilarity ahoy)

  6. I’m no model aficionado, but I had some fun assembling a “Deathstrike Missile Launcher” that Games Workshop makes for their Warhammer 40,000 tabletop game ( Dunno if it’s “decent sized” though, the thing is comparable in size to a large computer mouse.

    The Baneblade or Shadowsword are considerably bigger, and look much more complex, but they’re also more expensive.

  7. I’ll 3rd the recommendation for Tamiya. Their models and paint lines are excellent. If you are a hardcore model enthusiast you can buy 3rd party addon kits, but Tamiya’s kits are very good out of the box already.

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