That other place of course is Haldane Place Wandsworth London SW18. The home of Airfix. This is of course not the place to discuss Airfix but I wanted to showcase some of my collection here. Of course they are a major part of the history of our hobby. They have survived as part of Hornby Hobbies who must be applauded for releasing some of the models from the Golden age of modelling. Sadly no major manufacturer produces Kits in the UK at the time of writing, Airfix is now produced in India. Interestingly The recently released Airfix Swordfish was designed using the original Frog plans !
Frog can claim that it was the first manufacturer to mass produce model kits with its Penguin range dating back to the 1930’s but Airfix released the first injection moulded models starting with the Ferguson Tractor (yes I have one) Then on to the Golden Hind followed by the Spitfire. Airfix brought the hobby to the masses with its deal with FW Woolworths (also gone now from the UK) and by using plastic bags for packing, which was copied by other manufactures including Frog.
It is a strange coincidence that both Frog & Airfix started less than 4 miles apart, both for a time moved to Calais and Frog finished in Westwood Kent now the UK home of Airfix, which is part of Hornby Hobbies.
Luckily for us models from Frog are still produced to this day by Eastern European companies as well as by Revell. Today the hobby is very healthy and mainly aimed at the more mature modeller who more often than not cut their teeth on Airfix & Frog.
Instruction sheet from the Airfix BT-K in authors collection. Note the description of the various parts
These are the very inaccurate plans that Aurora and later Airfix relied on to produce the BT-K Spitfire. They were first drawn on the 30th October 1940 (the last day of the Battle of Britain) and published in the February 1941 issue of Model Airplane News. The plans purport to show a Mark 11, but the round oil cooler is closer to a Mark V The squadron code and serial number RG904 are however entirely fictitious. Frogs latter release is far more accurate in out line to a Mark 11. America had not yet entered the War at time these plans were published and the Spitfire was still classified as Secret.
I would suggest that this model was the first ever 1/72 aircraft produced in injected polystyrene. Examples do appear from time to time on Ebay and the such like but command a very high price. Taking into account all it’s faults the BT-K is a very important model and important part of the history of our hobby. Please Click on the title Wylam Sptifire plans 1941 to view them as a pdf
© Frog Model Aircraft updated October 2020