The History of the Airfix Catalogue

Starts with the illustrated leaflets prior to 1962

This is a history of the Airfix catalogue and the cornerstone of the Vintage Airfix website. The first “real” Airfix catalogue appeared in 1962 – see 1st Edition cover photograph later. Before that Airfix produced frequent kit lists – sometimes every month. Printed in simple duo-tone, these flimsy and very rare publications were the earliest illustrated kit listings from the manufacturer.

Airfix leaflet 1958
1958 – This is one of the very first coloured leaflets from 1958. It’s marked Autumn 1958, but earlier English and Dutch versions are known from May 1958.
Airfix leaflet 1959
1959 – This Spring 1959 leaflet has a Lancaster on the front cover. It’s not known whether this single edition is unique in style.
Airfix leaflet 1959
1959 – The Vickers Wellington featured on the covers of leaflets from the Summer and Autumn of 1959.
Airfix leaflet Winter 1959
1959-1960 – From Winter 1959, leaflets appeared almost every month – most of them with this Fairey Rotodyne front cover.
Airfix leaflet August 1960 to December 1960
1960 – From about August 1960 to December 1960 we have an aircraft carrier on the front.
Airfix leaflet April 1961
1961 – Leaflets were issued monthly from January to May 1961. Each has this battleship cover.
Airfix leaflet Autumn 1961
1961 – This leaflet is Autumn 1961 – it’s not known exactly when the change from monthly to quarterly happened.
Airfix leaflet 1961-1962 Halifax
1961-1962 – Complete change of style. The Halifax will now feature on all future leaflets.
Airfix leaflet 9th Edition 1964
At some point in 1962 the leaflets changed to blue and became “editions”. This is a 9th Edition from 1964.
Airfix leaflet April 1961
Inside detail of the April 1961 leaflet shown above. Leaflets were fan-fold and opened up to 6 pages.

The various price lists
In conjunction with the Catalogues, Airfix also issued periodic Price Lists. These often went inside the main catalogue or were available separately. The price lists referred to the main catalogue pages, and are of particular interest for several reasons – 1. They listed kits sometimes not shown in the main catalogue. 2. They announced new kit availability, and are therefore a more accurate guide to the first release date of a kit and 3. They contain some wonderful fantasy art-work, as they were often published before the real art-work was available. In some years, more than one price list was published.

Airfix 1974 Price List
1974 Price List. Features – Locomotive kits marked as Limited Availability; Collectors Series of museum engines now had an optional electric motor available as part number 09399-4 (price 30p); The famous HO/OO polythene ready-made Elephant Gun (09782-2) at 12p!
Airfix 1969 Price List
1969 Price List. Features – The very rare Attack Force Set, 1661; some very strange box-top artwork as shown below.
Airfix 1968 Price List
1968 Price List. Features – The original James Bond autogyro; The Ariel Arrow motorcycle as a Series 1 plastic bag. The Chippie character is NOT part of the price list, but is a later hand-drawn addition!
Airfix later 1968 Price List
A later 1968 Price List. Features – significantly fewer kits than the earlier price list (left) and a noticeable price rise!

The Catalogues from 1962 to present
Note that in the early 1980s (the Palitoy years) many of the Catalogues were “trade” and aimed at the retailer. Several Catalogues also contained details of display stands and some catalogue numbers referred to boxed assortments of kits etc.

Chippie - Just like the real thing.
Airfix 1st Edition Catalogue (1962)
1st Edition
Airfix 2nd Edition Catalogue (1963)
2nd Edition
Airfix 3rd Edition Catalogue (1964)
3rd Edition
Airfix 4th Edition Catalogue (1966)
4th Edition
Airfix 5th Edition Catalogue (1967)
5th Edition
Airfix 6th Edition Catalogue (1968)
6th Edition
Airfix 7th Edition Catalogue (1969)
7th Edition
Airfix 8th Edition Catalogue (1970)
8th Edition
Airfix 9th Edition Catalogue (1971)
9th Edition
Airfix 10th Edition Catalogue (1973)
10th Edition
Airfix 11th Edition Catalogue (1974)
11th Edition
Airfix 12th Edition Catalogue (1975)
12th Edition
Airfix 13th Edition Catalogue (1976)
13th Edition
Airfix 14th Edition Catalogue (1977)
14th Edition
Airfix 15th Edition Catalogue (1978)
15th Edition
Airfix 16th Edition Catalogue (1979)
16th Edition
Airfix 17th Edition Catalogue (1980)
17th Edition
Airfix 1981 Edition Catalogue
Very rare 1981 Catalogue
Airfix 1982 Edition Catalogue
1982 Edition
Airfix 1983 Edition Catalogue
1983 Edition
Airfix 1984 Edition Catalogue
1984 Edition
Airfix 1984 Retailers Catalogue
Airfix 1984 Retailers Catalogue
Airfix 1985 Edition Catalogue
1985 Edition
Airfix 1986 Edition Catalogue
1986 Edition
Airfix 1987 Edition Catalogue
Rather boring 1987 Edition
Airfix 1988 Edition Catalogue
1988 Edition
Airfix 1989 Edition Catalogue
1989 Edition
Airfix 1990 Edition Catalogue
1990 Edition
Airfix 1991 Edition Catalogue
No “real” catalogue was issued in 1991
Airfix 1992 Edition Catalogue
1992 Edition
Airfix 1993 Edition Catalogue
1993 Edition
Airfix 1994 Edition Catalogue
1994 Edition
Airfix 1995 Edition Catalogue
1995 Edition
Airfix 1996 Edition Catalogue
1996 Edition
Airfix 1997 Edition Catalogue
1997 Edition
Airfix 1998 Edition Catalogue
1998 Edition
Airfix 1999 Edition Catalogue
1999 (50th Anniversary Catalogue)
Airfix 2000 Edition Catalogue
2000 Edition
Airfix 2001 Edition Catalogue
2001 Edition
Airfix 2002 Edition Catalogue
2002 Edition
Airfix 2003 Edition Catalogue
2003 Edition
Airfix 2003 New Releases leaflet
2003 New Releases leaflet
Airfix 2004 Edition Catalogue
2004 Edition
Airfix 2005 Edition Catalogue
2005 Edition
Airfix 2006 Edition Catalogue
2006 Edition
Airfix 2007 Edition Catalogue
2007 Edition
Airfix 2008 Edition Catalogue
2008 Edition
Airfix 2009 Edition Catalogue
2009 Edition
Airfix 2010 Edition Catalogue
2010 Edition

Another part of the history of the Airfix catalogue are the F.W.Woolworth Airfix catalogues. The UK store F.W.Woolworth sold Airfix products to the public and produced there own Airfix catalugues/leaflets. Here are a couple for the collector.

Early Airfix F.W.Woolworth leaflet
Early Airfix F.W.Woolworth leaflet
Airfix F.W.Woolworth leaflet
F.W.Woolworth leaflet