‘Airfix Magazine’ was the first UK magazine dedicated to the new hobby of plastic modelling, and was launched at the start of the nineteen-sixties with the full support of the well known model kit company, Airfix Products Ltd. Initially published in a near-A5 size format with 32-48 pages each, this was enlarged to a ‘three-quarters of A4’ size in September 1963 with 40-50 pages each, and to full A4 size in January 1976 with 56-60 pages each. Each issue comprised modelling news and feature articles, with many illustrations comprising black and white photos, scale line drawings and tone profile drawings. It tried to cover the full range of scale modelling topics including railways, ships, vehicles, aircraft, military figures etc. Despite being endorsed by Airfix, it was impartial in its editorial content and featured kits from other manufacturers.
The magazine became well known for several authoritative and long running series on aircraft markings, including: RAF Fighting Colours, RAF Bombing Colours, Squadron Codes etc. Leading writers included Bruce Robertson, Micheal J.F. Bowyer and Alan W. Hall. It was very succesful in the early years in building interest in the hobby, but during the 1970s it had to contend with an increasing number of rival scale modelling magazines. After 1978 editorial control passed though a number of hands, some of whom chose not to include many of the aircraft modelling features which had earlier been a very popular feature. With the gradual decline in interest in plastic modelling during the 1980s and the erratic editorial content, circulation continued to fall and it ceased publication permanently after the October/November 1993 issue.
First issue dated June 1960. Published monthly until September 1987. Resumed publication with the September 1988 issue, but with the issue counter reset to Volume 1 Number 1. The issues for 1993 carried bi-monthly dates. The last issue was dated October/November 1993.
Publishers: ‘Airfix Magazine’ 1960-1967, PSL Publications Ltd 1967-Sept 1978, Gresham Books Oct 1978-July 1980, Kristall Publications Ltd Aug 1980- Aug 1986, Printwize (Andrew James and David Rosoman) Nov 1986-Sept 1987, Hall Park (Publications) Ltd Sept 1988-1993.
Editors: John Webb June 1960-1961, John Blunsden 1962-1963, Darryl Reach 1963-1966, Chris Ellis 1967-July 1972, Bruce Quarrie August 1972-Sept 1978, Chris Ellis Oct 1978-1983, David Taylor 1984, Ray Rimell 1985-August 1986, James P Wood 1988-1989, Reg Baram 1990-1992, Micheal J Gething 1993.
[*] Contents Listing, June 1960 – December 1969
[*] Contents Listing, January 1970 – December 1979
[*] Contents Listing, January 1980 – December 1989
[*] Contents Listing, January 1990 – 1993
[*] Contents Listing, Annuals
Many digital versions of back issues appear to be available on the Internet Archive.
A series of ‘Airfix Magazine Annuals’ was produced betwen 1971 and 1978. In addition, a series of twenty-five A5-size ‘Airfix Magazine guide’ hardback books was also published.
The Airfix Tribute Forum
To be added.