1/32nd Static kits suitable for slot racing conversions
last updated 18/3/04
AIRFIX (UK) - still manufacturing
Airfix, as far as the UK is concerned, are the kings of the plastic kit. Their "Modern" (for the sixties) car series features some truly wonderful, and quirkily English, models - where else would you get a superbly detailed kit of an Austin Maxi or Vauxhall Victor estate car?
Main production was from around 1960 and was petering out by the mid 70s. Early kits (series 1 and sold in plastic bags) such as the Sunbeam Rapier and Renault Dauphine were pretty simple affairs but later issues such as the Maxi, Escort, Capri etc were superbly detailed with full engine detail and removable bonnets. The Maxi and Victor estate also featured tailgates that could be glued open or shut (although not, as mentioned in some catalogues, opening).
Airfix have re issued many of the sports cars which are easy to get. There was a brief re appearance of the Escort and Herald in the mid 90s but Airfix themselves say there is little interest in the saloons and are unlikely to re issue any more. Additionaly it is believed that the molds for the Zodiac, Capri and Lotus Cortina were altered for the early 80s custom car kits (Krackle Kat, Kansas Kruiser etc) and are no longer usable for the standard versions. I have never had any of the custom cars and so can't comment, but I have seen the instructions for the custom Cortina and apart from a few extra holes and the disapearance of the original wheels it looks pretty unchanged. If you know different, or even better want to trade one of these kits, let me know.(For the latest I know about these kits please see Series 4 .)The molds for the mini were sold to MRRC in the early 80s when Airfix went bust (the first time) and kits are still occasionaly available from specialist suppliers.
I have included an indication of the relative rarity within the range (1 very common to 5 very rare) of these kits, this refers to the original version not any re issues and is purely my own opinion! Many of the earlier kits were also issued in export versions where, because they were not limited to 2/- retail price dictated by Woolworths, were supplied with chrome parts in nice boxes instead of bags.These are fairly rare in the UK. Values of original kits of cars that have been re issued have been brought down a bit but none of the 60s kits will be less than £15 mint unbuilt unless you are very lucky.
RTR slot versions were made of the mini, Cortina, Viva, Ferrari 250LM, Aston Martin and Porsche Carrera 6. Slot car kits (consisting of the standard kit plus slot racing parts/chassis) were also available of the mini, Viva, Cortina, MG1100, Rapier, Zodiac and E type. Some of these are very rare unbuilt (particularly the Rapier and MG1100) and can command high prices.
I have seperated the lists across several pages for simplicity.Usually, the higher the series, the more complicated the kit.