Latest issue of Constant Scale Gerry Anderson Airfix model rarities

 Airfix Collectors Club’s Constant Scale Issue 77 - Cover

The reaches its 20th year of (constant) publication with Issue 77.

The latest issue of The Airfix Collectors Club’s journal Constant Scale – Issue 77, which marks the start of 20 years of publication – features Jeremy Briggs article on the advertising for the various Airfix Gerry Anderson kits through the decades.

This feature enabled him to cover the Lyons Maid Fireball XL5 and Stingray kits in a lot more detail than the magazine had in previous issues.

The Lyons Maid Fireball XL5 kit originated from Rosebud Kitmaster, but by the time it was released Rosebud had sold Kitmaster, and its mainly railway kits, to Airfix which is why it can be classed as an Airfix kit. Airfix later sold the vast majority of the Kitmaster kit moulds to Dapol – but the metal moulds for Fireball XL5 and Stingray are lost.

A painted Airfix Gerry Anderson Stingray Lyons Maid Sea Jet plastic kit, only available through Lyons Maid as an ice-cream promotion in 1965. The kit originally sold for 6/- plus the redemption of three Lyons Maid Sea Jet wrappers. Image: Vectis
A painted Airfix Gerry Anderson Stingray Lyons Maid Sea Jet plastic kit, only available through Lyons Maid as an ice-cream promotion in 1965. The kit originally sold for 6/- plus the redemption of three Lyons Maid Sea Jet wrappers. Image: Vectis

Also covered are the Space:1999 Eagle and Hawk, which are really MPC kits, as they owned the moulds.

The Lyons Maid Kitmaster Fireball Xl5, as advertised in a 1963 issue of Airfix magazine
The Lyons Maid Kitmaster Fireball Xl5, as advertised in the July 1963 issue of Airfix magazine

The issue has something of a Gerry Anderson theme, with other articles on the real Tiger Moth that was flown as Thunderbird 6 in the second Thunderbirds film, as well as the newly re-released Jetstream kit that is the cancelled USAF version of the plane, the only built example of which was featured in the first episode of UFO in the paint scheme that the Airfix kit is available in.

Jeremy also covers the kit review column that Dick Emery, the president of Airfix Modellers Club that appeared in the weekly comics Battle and Buster, amongst others, wrote for Meccano Magazine in 1971, comic artist John Cooper’s Johnny Red homage to Roy Cross’ Airfix box art of the Short Stirling in Battle, and Revell UK’s short-lived 1972 advertising comic, “Pete Revell – Venturer“.

• Constant Scale Issue 77 is available to members of the Airfix Collectors’ Club. Details on how to join are available on the club’s website

There’s an online article on the Kitmaster Fireball XL5 model on this Kitmaster-dedicated web site

Richard Sheaf has an item on the advertising comic, “Pete Revell – Venturer” here on his Boys Adventure Comics Blog

The founder of downthetubes, John works as a comics editor, writer, as Creative Consultant on the Dan Dare audio adventures for B7 Media, and on promotional work for the Lakes International Comic Art Festival. Working in British comics publishing for over 30 years, his credits include editor of titles such as Doctor Who Magazine, Star Trek Magazine and Babylon 5 Magazine. He also edited the comics anthology STRIP Magazine and edited several audio comics for ROK Comics. He has also edited several comic collections, including volumes of “Charley’s War and “Dan Dare”. He’s the writer of “Crucible”, a creator-owned project with 2000AD artist Smuzz, published on Tapastic; and “Death Duty” and “Skow Dogs” with Dave Hailwood for digital comic 100% Biodegradable.



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