Review: Airfix Four Stroke Engine

Time for something entirely different. I’ve had my eyes on some of these engine kits out there, but they are either not available or too expensive for my budget. But then this kit popped up in my local hobby store at a 60% discount. I honestly went into the shop with the idea of buying a €4 1/100 BT-5 kit from Zvezda. I swear. But you can’t walk out of the LHS empty handed, now can you?

You can?! Oh well. It does leave me with a nice kit to review though. Anyway, for the people not familiar with the four stroke engine, its what usually powers your car, unless you drive a Trabant or an electric car. First built in 1860 by a Belgian engineer living in France, a Mr. Jean Joseph Étienne Lenoir called the Lenoir Engine. This 18 litre engine put out 2 horsepower. A year later, a German traveling salesman, Nikolaus August Otto,  encountered the Lenoir Engine, and while working on a replica Lenoir Engine he tried to improve the design. This led to the formation of a company called N.A. Otto und Cie, together with Eugen Langen and they soon developed the first successful atmospheric combustion engine. But if you want to know more about the Four Stroke engine I highly recommend reading the Wikipedia article on it, as it does a far better job of telling its history. And believe me: I’ve tried writing it, trying to keep it as short as possible. I failed.

The Kit

First of all: keep in mind this is ‘just’ a rebox of a 1972 kit. yes, it is not a brand new tooling, sadly. But how does it hold up? Most kits from that era -at least from Airfix- don’t hold up well against modern standards. and to be honest: I expected far worse. The instruction sheet is of the now standard Airfix variety, with clear drawings and numbered parts, something the original kit and the 2012 re-release of the same kit seemed to lack.

As I mentioned, the parts are far better then expected. There is some flash here and there, but not on problematic places and it all looks easy to clean off. There are however lots of pin marks everywhere, the ones on the cylinder head between the cooling fins are the hardest to remove, but other parts have some sort of mark on visible places as well. And a lot of parts are split in two, so you’ll have to do a lot of sanding and filing either way, even if you don’t care for the pin marks.

You’ll have to be careful with building it however, because the engine is supposed to be fully movable, and you’ll have to be careful with sanding and filling to have a fully working model.

Decals and color options

This kit has no decal whatsoever, and there is just one color option: green, red, yellow, white, two shades of metal and brass. This kit is going to be great for trying out some of the excellent metallic paints out there, like Allclad, Vallejo Metal Color or even AK Interactive’s True Metal paints. Or you could just use the regular metallic paints by Humbrol/Revell/Tamiya/etc.


This is a neat ‘little’ kit, but it might not be for the lone beginner because it requires a lot of  (careful) sanding, filling and test fitting to see if it will work as expected. But with a bit of care and guidance I’m sure it will build up to a great working engine. For the more experienced modeller this kit can be a fun addition to the collection, plus you can experiment with all kinds of metallic paints.





VehicleA4/V2 Rocket
Number of sprues2
Number of parts46
Dimensions (L)215 mm


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