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So this happened... I got offered an Airfix Valiant for a very good price, how could I resist? My second Airfix Victor is close to finishing now and my first Valiant has been completed. I'll begin this probably in the next few days, I haven't decided yet if I want to get resin corrections for this and make it as accurate as I can or just go with it as is. Definitely not an out the box scheme though if all goes as planned. I started my first build not really liking the silver scheme the early Valaints wore, but by the end of it I kind of wished I'd gone with one. So that's what I'm doing now. The other option is camouflage but that looks like a nightmare of a masking job that I'd rather not deal with. https://www.thunder-and-lightnings.co.uk/valiant/gallery.php This is the scheme I will be replicating, and as far as I can see all the decals and parts I need are included in the box and PR/tanker upgrade kit if I swap a few serials around- I might need to borrow one or two numbers from elsewhere but that's whatever. Can't wait to get this started! Here is my previous build vv And a useful thread for this build
Neither fear nor courage saves us. Unnatural vices Are fathered by our heroism. Virtues Are forced upon us by our impudent crimes. These tears are shaken from the wrath-bearing tree. The tiger springs in the new year. Us he devours. -- T S Eliot, "1920" "I would never have dared; and if I had dared, I would certainly have never dared stop." -- Winston Churchill, on Suez, c.1957 "We have created a system of international law and order in which we have to face the fact that the Security Council is, first, frustrated by the veto and, secondly, that it cannot act immediately. In a sense, the policeman has his hands tied behind his back. He has to wait a long time before he is allowed to play his part. "I myself believe that, if you have accepted that system, you are only safe if you also retain the rights of individual countries to defend their own nationals and their own interests." -- Selwyn Lloyd, 30 October 1956 I loathe starting a build before an old one is finished, but I await paint for a RAAF Sabre, and there's no sense wasting the waning days of my paternity leave on my son, seeing as he won't remember any of it anyway. (Have I said things to him in desperation, these past few weeks, that would get him taken away and me locked up if he could understand them? He will never know.) Oh no. the filial bond between me and young Winston (yes, I know in Britain only reggae musicians are named Winston now) can wait. It's time to build one of those kits we buy, and then talk about building, but never touch. Here's why: Everything I have built in 2015: (yes, my grotto is dingy) The Valiant: This is not a forced perspective shot. I'm running out of flat surface. But a man has to do what he can do while his squalling infant is still small enough to let him do it. So here we are: I'm building the Airfix Vulcan as a Suez Crisis jet, which means it's overall High Speed Silver as opposed to the classic "All-Out Thermonuclear War White". I have the base kit, the Alley Cat tail correction (as you can see, in a fit of misplaced confidence in my own abilities, I've already hacked off the kit tail), and the Freightdog Early Valiant Serials decals. Ideally, I would be doing a 207 Squadron Valiant, as they're rather well documented, but of course the kit markings don't include a 207 Squadron badge. Guess what the only identifier besides the serial was on Suez bombers. Guess. In fact, incredibly, the kit only has a 49 Squadron badge (in two sizes!), and that squadron didn't even participate in the Crisis. Why Airfix would even want to trouble itself with including a marking option for a Valiant that actually saw combat is beyond me anyway, of course, but there you have it. So, thanks to ACIG, which makes no mention of squadron badges for 148 Squadron, this helpful photo of a 148 Squadron Valiant on loan to 207 Squadron in 1955 showing no badge, and a good photo on p.166 of Wings Over Suez, we'll be going with Valiant XD815 from 148 Squadron flown by the Canadian Wing Commander Wilf Burnett (later Air Commodore Wilf Burnett OBE), who commanded the Valiant Wing during the Crisis. If anyone has any corrective or corroborating evidence, please tell me sooner than later. After I do something, I rarely undo it, which is why my wife and I are now parents. In any case, off to the races. I've sprayed the green bits of the cockpit Zinc Chromate Green (mixed with some Alclad Aqua Gloss out of sheer laziness), which looks a little light.
Vickers Valiant B(PR)K Mk.1/B(K) Mk.1 1:72 Airfix Although designed from the ground up as a high-altitude strategic bomber, the Vickers Valiant was adapted to a number of other roles throughout its career. The Valiants high-altitude performance and long range made it ideally suited to the photo reconnaissance role. The first converted aircraft, known as the Valiant B (PR) K Mk. 1, equipped No. 543 Squadron, based at RAF Wyton. The photo reconnaissance equipment was installed in the bomb bay, with nine windows being fitted to the bomb bay doors. Photo reconnaissance Valiants operated successfully until replaced in service by PR Canberras. Valiants were also deployed successfully in the tanker role. These aircraft, designated B (K) Mk. 1 were adapted by the installation of a Hose Drum Unit (HDU or HooDoo) in the bomb bay. The benefits for the RAF were immense, providing true strategic offensive capability as well as prolonging the endurance of the fighter force. The Valiants promising career was famously cut short in 1964, however, following the discovery of fatigue cracks around the wing spars. For many, the release of this set was one of the least surprising to emerge from Airfix HQ late last year. It was obvious that a photo reconnaissance bird would be in the pipeline at some point because the parts for the bomb bay glazing were included in the original boxing of the Valiant. Rather than inflate the price of the original kit by including these extra parts, or risk investing in a complete PR/tanker boxing, Airfix have chosen to release their own aftermarket conversion set instead. I think this represents a good deal all round, and will hopefully help to shift a few more Valiants as well! The set comes packed into the familiar red box, clearly marked additional parts and decals so as not to mislead. A photo of the plastic parts and the decals features on the left hand side of the box, accompanied by CAD images of the parts in place on the lower right hand side. Inside the box is a single sprue which holds all eleven plastic parts as well as decals and instructions. The plastic parts are crisply moulded, to the same high standard as the original kit. The photo reconnaissance conversion is simplicity itself, requiring the use of the new bomb bay doors and the left over clear parts from the original kit. The tanker version is slightly more complex, as you will need to assemble the HDE and fix it to the replacement bomb bay roof. The HDU is nicely detailed and should look great once in place. Of course youll need to finish your model with the bomb bay doors open in order to show it off. A choice of two schemes is provided on the decal sheet: Vickers Valiant B(PR)K Mk. 1 WZ399 of No. 543 Squadron, Royal Air Force Wyton, 1957. This aircraft is finished in High Speed Silver with Signal Red areas on the wing tips and tail surfaces; and Vickers Valiant B(K) Mk. 1 XD812 of No. 214 Squadron, Royal Air Force Marham, 1960. This aircraft is finished in Anti-Flash White. The decal sheet is nicely printed (by Cartograf) and includes just the main markings for each aircraft. Youll need to use the decal sheet provided in the original kit for the stencils and other common markings such as roundels. Conclusion If you have an urge to build a Valiant in something other than the nuclear/conventional bomber configuration, then this set is a no-brainer. If you just want the new bomb bay doors and decals for the PR version then I think its fair to say you will get the rough end of the deal. The good news is that you can overcome this by purchasing a second kit and building a tanker version. Go on, you know it makes sense! Review sample courtesy of