Commercial premises have long since replaced Alf's domain ...
fbb was snuffling through the second hand shelves at Buffers model shop near Axminster when he espied something different.
From 1975 to 1981 Airfix also manufactured a line of ready-to-run model railway stock in OO gauge. Based on British prototypes, they improved in detail and prototype accuracy compared to British outline model railway stock from other British ready-to-run manufacturers such as Hornby. A model of a Great Western Railway (GWR) 0-4-2 autotank steam locomotive and GWR autocoach are amongst some of the many memorable and important product releases.
So what happened to Airfix model railways?
The brand label was changed to Great Model Railways (GMR) in 1979, although the Airfix name was still included. However, Airfix left the model railway business in 1981. The models were sold to one of its main competitors Palitoy which produced the Mainline range of products.
The former Airfix moulds together with the Palitoy-designed 2P 4-4-0 and Class 56 diesel were later re-sold to Dapol Ltd ...
... and then subsequently to Hornby.
Mainline Railways were used to form the basis of the Bachmann Branchline models.
Confusing isn't it?
But it must be right 'cos it's on Wikipedia!
But there is no doubt that Airfix models were more detailed and realistic than any others of their day. The GWR autocoach stands up well against newer products; it is remarkably accurate for its age although the cream colour is too pale.
But please don't take fbb's word for it; because real live autocoaches were and are, to coin a phrase, ubiquitous.
More real ones and more model ones tomorrow.
** Or did it go forward TO Wellingborough and backwardly forward to Northampton? fbb cannot remember.