The Matchbox and Airfix Influence

When I was young, before I started this wargaming lark, I use to make up plastic kits. In the main these were the pocket money kits I could buy from my local model shop and these were manufactured by Airfix and Matchbox. I recall preferring the Matchbox kits as they came with a piece of scenery.

As I paint more Flames of War models, and read the FoW sourcebooks, read books on World War Two, use the internet, I have started to realise how much my knowledge of World War Two vehicles and armour has been skewed by making those plastic kits all those years ago. They have also influenced what models I am buying and which ones I like.

So for example I am building an Early War French force for Flames of War. I am adamant that I have some Char B1 bis and the Renault FT-17. Less concerned about the Somau S-35 or the Hotchkiss tanks.

Similarily when looking for trucks for my German forces, who wants an Opel Blitz when you can have the Krupp Kfz 70 which is very similar to the Matchbox Krupp Kfz 69.

I think the only reason I have Cromwells in my Late War British force is that I had those thirty years ago in my 6mm Heroics and Ros World War Two force. Of course this year Airfix will be releasing a 1:76th scale Cromwell.

I recently bought a three pack of Dingo scout cars and I am sure that the Monty’s Caravan kit was a big influence on this purchase. Question, can I get a 15mm Monty’s Caravan?

Looking back over the old Matchbox and Airfix ranges you see some classic tanks and armoured vehicles and other military vehicles. It is these that I look at when buying new models for Flames of War.

10 thoughts on “The Matchbox and Airfix Influence”

  1. Good blog post. I think my 25-pounder and carrier fixation probably stems from the old Airfix quad set and universal carrier and 6-pounder. On the subject of Monty’s caravan, the original is at the Imperial War Museum, and I’m pretty sure it was a captured Italian general’s HQ. Also, always liked the Comet because of the Matchbox one.

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