Another Tombstone of Childhood

I see in the Register feed [Link] that Airfix has gone out of business.

When I was a boy growing up in the early days of Containment, the standard recreational activity was building plastic model kits. These kits came in all manner of subject object: military vehicles and aircraft; automobiles; even buildings; and degrees of complexity. Growing up in Huntsville, misnamed the Rocket City when it should be the Missile City, the preferred subject was missiles and rockets.

As I recall, the major American manufacturers were Revell and Lindberg but occasionally there was an Airfix kit. As one aged into teens this relatively passive activity was supposed to be replaced first by flying model airplane building and then automobile conversion.

My inclinations were into science fair projects. I recall one project was building an enormous reflecting (rather than refracting) microscope. Enormous so you could get big time magnification and reflecting so it wasn’t too big and you could project on a ground glass screen. Its undoing was that screen. You needed a pretty high intensity light source to form a big image and that intensity meant dumping a lot of photons into any part that had any substantial optical depth. Since the biggest chunk of optical depth tends to be what is on the slide, you got some heating.

In the years after graduate school, I took up miniatures wargaming. Airfix was a supplier of little plastic soldiers. Of course, when PCs came in we pretty well abandoned room size wargaming.