Airfix Models
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Airfix was founded in 1939 by a Hungarian businessman called Nicholas Kove, who manufactured rubber toys filled with air. Mr Kove was very keen to promote his products, so he came up with the name Airfix to ensure his company always featured at the very beginning of any trade catalogues.

The advent of the war put a halt on the growth of the company and after the war new uses were sought for the company’s skills. In 1948 Airfix was commissioned to produce a promotional replica of Ferguson’s newest tractor design.

The budget was insufficient to assemble the model in its entirety, so a compromise was agreed and the models, moulded in Acetate rather than Styrene, were delivered in kit form. Mr Kove was so pleased with his kits he decided to make kits of the Ferguson tractor available for sale to the general public.

The tractor proved an enormous success; however, it took another 4 years before the first true construction kit was produced in 1952. This kit was the Golden Hind, Sir Francis Drake’s famous ship in which he set off round the world in 1577. The Golden Hind was another triumph and Airfix quickly followed with more models of miniature ships.

In 1953 the company was being run by two gentlemen, John Grey and Ralph Ehrmann, between them they decided that the next kit should be an aircraft and the obvious choice should be a Spitfire. This, amazingly, proved highly controversial and Mr Kove, who still owned the company, insisted that they had the then staggering cost of £1000 for the tooling, docked from their wages if the venture failed.

Needless to say the kit was an overwhelming success and the Spitfire Mark 1 became the best selling kit of all time, truly launching Airfix models into the household name it now is. The kit, remoulded, is still in today’s Airfix range, celebrating 50 years in 2003. In 1986 Airfix became part of Humbrol Ltd, joining together two of Britain’s most famous model and hobby companies. Today Airfix has a range of over 200 model kits sold all over the world and is the UK’s top model and hobby brand.