Monday, April 10, 2017

Airfix QuickBuild Volkswagen Camper Van

Look what I bought at Nottingham model railway show:

First spotted at London Toy Fair 2016 in 3D print form, the final kit has just been released at a price of £14.99.

In the box, like all other QuickBuild kits, the contents are more Lego than traditional Airfix with 42 specially moulded parts, all made in the UK too!

Assembly is very like those plastic bricks from Denmark, I suspect that the two brands are compatible which opens up some interesting possibilities. 

Even allowing for photography, total build time was less than half an hour. If you don't hang around, you could do it in about ten minutes, but why rush the job? Enjoy it.

 Inside the bus are a couple of bench seats - pretty basic and hardly a "camper". This is where I suspect Lego fans can improve matters with a more appropriate fit-out. Studs are moulded into the seat squabs to hold drivers and passengers in place. Does this indicate that Airfix are going to produce QuickBuild people for the cars? The Beetle doesn't have these studs...

Clever design makes use of the prototype panel lines and traditional paint scheme to hide the joins between parts resulting in a very creditable model.  
At the back, the engine bay door opens to reveal a very basic representation of the 1500cc power plant. A sticker provides the only detail showing the fan belt. 

For a youngster, this is a pretty good toy. It's robust, a descent size and runs well when "brummed" along the carpet. Grown-ups might enjoy buying one for someone too young to handle the assembly so they can do this bit themselves...

Scale looks to be about 1:20 (Airfix claim it's "fit the box") so a touch large for G scale model railways, but as these vans are on the small side, I don't think it would look out of place and being plastic would survive well in the garden. 

Could it be the basis for a detailed model? I'm not sure the shape is as good as the Beetle from the same range, but this is very subjective. The prototypes varied both at the front, above the windscreen, and at the back where the rear door changed size. 

Classic blue split

The biggest issue is that the belt line is flat rather than raised as it should be. I'm not sure this fixable with some plastic stuck on the surface though.

Of course, this isn't the point of this kit. It's one to build and enjoy. VW owners will snap them up and if they own a splittie, doubtless will respray to match their van. In the meantime, I'm going to lobby the designers for a bay window version!

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