Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Blast from the past: Airfix Magazine

Today's model world is well supplied with monthly hardcopy magazines. Whether it’s Fine Scale Modeler, Tamiya Model Magazine, Model Collector, Model Rail or Scale Aircraft Modelling, they are all packed from cover to cover with top quality colour pages. But it wasn’t always that way....

Airfix Magazine was a leader for many years, being published from June 1960 to October 1993. For anyone making kits in the 1960s, it was required monthly reading. And without the internet to keep you posted instantly on hot news, Airfix Magazine was one of the best ways to keep up to date with new kit releases.

Airfix Magazine was definitely non-specialist, rather like the SMU you’re reading now, in fact. Every issue had a nugget or two for just about anyone, although aircraft featured strongly, especially on the covers. But trains, cars, ships and military were all squeezed in as well. And editor Alan W. Hall also included many tips and tricks for better model-making, as well as scale drawings for conversions.

However, the big surprise looking through a copy today is the sheer lack of colour. Of the 48 pages in the October 1969 issue featured here, only three pages have any at all – all the rest are black-and-white!