READY MADE VEHICLES
The eighth (1971) saw the addition of a new range of vehicles and accessories to the Military Series. There were four items in the range in 1971 but this was quickly added to in the 1972 catalogue with another two vehicles. In 1975 another two vehicles were added but these were the Desert Combat Pack vehicles and I don't think they ever appeared separately. That completed the line-up until 1979 when the 105mm gun disappeared from the catalogue shot and at last all the vehicles were shown in their actual moulded colour although the Hanomag was widely available in green as well as grey plastic but is always pictured in grey. The 1980 catalogue lists a Sherman Tank as that year's addition to the range but I don't think Airfix ever produced this one. It is possible that the moulds were produced though as CTS market a Sherman and retailers list it as ex-Airfix.
The vehicles (but not the 105mm gun) all came with stick-on national markings/number plates and some had separate aerials/machine-guns to attach.
So, the range, at it's peak, looked something like this;
ABBOTT SELF-PROPELLED GUN WITH FIRING MECHANISM AND SHELLS
BEDFORD R.L. LORRY WITH A SEPARATE "CANVASS" TOP
105mm LIGHT FIELD GUN WITH FIRING MECHANISM AND SHELLS
ALVIS STALWART AMPHIBIOUS VEHICLE
HANOMAG HALF TRACK
DAIMLER ARMOURED CAR
PANZER IV TANK
These are all listed in order of appearance.....strange that the first four were "modern" items and available at a time when Airfix only did WWII figure sets! How long were the Modern British and German figures in the wings before they were finally produced or am I myth-mongering again!
ABBOT SELF PROPELLED GUN - 1969 BEDFORD R.L. TRUCK - 1969 105mm GUN - 1969
ALVIS STALWART - 1970 with alternative box-side artwork . GERMAN HALF-TRACK (HANOMAG) 1971 with alternative artwork on box sides.
CROMWELL MK IV TANK - 1971 BOX SIDES
The Panzer MkIV as found in the Desert Combat Pack and three shots of a CTS Sherman re-issue - presumably Airfix went bust just after the moulds were made?
Phil Redman from the UK contacted me in June 2008 and brought to my attention the fact that the running gear on Airfix's [CTS's] Sherman appears to be fitted back-to-front! Compare the picture of the model with this picture of the real thing to see the difference! Phil also mentioned that there is confusion as to which specific model of Sherman the Airfix [CTS] version depicts. What needs to be remembered is that these Ready Made models were toys, pure and simple. Yes, Airfix had a reputation for accuracy and these ones were accurate to a fairly high degree as far as toys were concerned (apart from the running gear!), but they were not the same as the model kits. These were produced for playing with - that meant little kids (well, come on guys, that WAS the original intention!) pushing them around on the floor or the ground and not worrying about which aerial was accurately placed or which hatch should hinge at which end, or what size machine gun was fitted. So, I don't think there should be any serious debate over what year/month/mark the model is meant to represent. Take it for what it is - an excellent extra in the best range of toys ever produced!
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