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Crikey! A vintage Whirlwind!
Ralph posted a topic in Work in Progress - AircraftMerry Christmas! After the headlong rush of the run-up to Christmas, now for my favourite but...relaxing in front of the fire with a new project. I recently came across this for £12 in the model shop in the Victorian Arcade in Norwich. There were quite a few vintage boxes there- perhaps a brother modeller has gone to the great modelling bench in the sky? Complete minus a couple of the decals, it even still has the wax paper for the decal sheet and Airfix club flyer. Buster? Valiant? Echoes of nearly 45 years ago... Now, the Whirlwind is a seriously interesting plane, and I've built this kit twice, once in the early 80s aged about 11, and once more recently. It was the box that jumped off at me; I can well remember it in the model shop in Whitley Bay when I used to visit my grand parents, and I just had to have it. It's badged as new, and given this toolng emerged in 1978 that makes it only 7 years younger than me. I have a real thing for these Airfix boxes; my favourite -and now framed- is the 1/72 Spitfire mk1 from I think the same year. The older I get, the more evocative these unassuming objects become, and it's not just a kit but a moment back to the past. This is even more apparent when looking st the one page instruction sheet. Remembering those M numbered paint references! The kit itself is classic late 70s...simple and clean. Given that this a first pressing, there is not a speak of flash or mould damage. I have read some negative comments about the accuracy of this kit, and also comments made about the Special Hobby kit, but the latter runs at about £25 on certain auction websites, and there seems to be some rather exaggerated detail on the wings. Comparing the Airfix kit against the Mike Keep plans in the Warpaint special (I've no idea how accurate these actually are and given that there's not an airframe left it will be difficult to check) but I will say this; the parts line up very well against the plans perhaps a mm short in terms of the fuselage but generally very pleasing. I like this kit for the same reason I still like the old tool Airfix Spitfire Mk1...pleasing accurate in mould line in a way that captured the spirit of the real thing very well, and without a million parts to slow things up. That said I do intend to do some scratch building to dress things up a little, mainly in the cockpit; I will also add Barracuda wheels and a Falcon vac canopy because I want to pose it open. I am also going to add a Flightpath trolley acc and a CMK resin figure to make a vignette inspired by this very evocative picture. I love the combination of the sandbag revetment among the trees, but that is rather beyond me! I may even scratch build a couple of bomb racks if I can find some appropriate bombs in the spares box. I haven't yet decided on the paint scheme or squadron(either of them!)...decals will be from the spares box and Xtradecal codes and serials. The Warpaint will be my reference for all this. Time to have some fun!