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Review Build Vultee Vengeance Mk.II 1:48 Dora Wings
Mike posted a topic in Work in Progress - AircraftAfter reviewing this kit (here) that was sent to me by Eugen of Dora Wings from the Ukraine just before the shutters came down in what is bound to be one of the terrible events of this century (that's all I'll say on the matter, you keep your own counsel), I wanted to thank him for the sample, and sent a message. So far he's not replied, but I hope he's ok. If he manages to read this at some point, I want to send my best wishes to him, his family and friends, and the wider Ukraine. I got the urge to build it, and I'm not too brilliant at resisting urges like that, so I opened up the box again and started hacking parts off. This is the third kit I've started recently, and I'm hoping to get them all through to completion at around the same time because I'm tired of not completing models. I've got the new Eduard Zero going here, and a Wingsy Kits Claud on the go here, which came to a grinding halt when I realised I'd got no suitable paint for the cockpit! I've since got those from Albion Alloys and Air-craft.net, so thanks to both of those lovely folks moving on, I began putting assemblies together on the Vengeance for the long two-seat cockpit that has the bomb bay running along the underside, the tail wheel bay and the engine. all of which will be needed to close up the fuselage. The kit's got some excellent detail from the box, with a lot of PE ready to further improve on that, which has taken me a while to get put together, but I'm not the fastest modeller in the world, and I've been doing other stuff in the background, such as sleeping a lot. The cockpit was made up into what seemed like an infinite number of sub-assemblies, with some of them are total works of art, such as the framework that supports the gunner's seat, which has to be seen to be believed. Surprisingly, I found that easy to put together thanks to the quality of the moulding, scraping away all the mould-lines as I went. The seats were also nice, as was the main panel, with decals to put behind the PE panel, which I did in a one-step process using Klear as both the decal setting solution and glue for the panel, so that everything could be lined up neatly before setting. Here's a group picture of the assemblies, erm, assembled. Sounds like a Marvel film: This all got a squirt of grey primer then a coat of either Gunze Chromate Yellow Primer (C352), or Zinc-Chromate Type-1 (C351), lightened hither and thither and then glossed'n'washed with some Ultimate washes. Some touch-ups, amalgamation of various sub-assemblies and re-gluing back the PE parts to the sidewalls 2 or 3 times (I can't help being clumsy!), I finally got it into position within the fuselage, along with the tail-wheel and its bay. I'm not terribly far off closing up the fuselage now, at which point I'm going to do the same for the Claud, but in the meantime I've put together the engine, which is currently in black primer as I write this. I also built up the engine cowling, partly because I was dying to see how it went together. The short answer is "brilliantly!". The longer answer is still brilliantly, but it took some careful and fun PE wrangling and was only achieved thanks to some exceptional moulding by Dora. The main cowling was in two halves with a separate lip that goes together nicely. I did a little fettling of the joins so they fitted flush, and then turned to the intake in the bottom of the lip. That's a separate styrene part with two PE splitters that fit into little grooves in the main lip. I glued those in first and then added the styrene top section, using plenty of liquid glue to get it to squish out when I put a bit of pressure on it. That worked well, and clean-up was minimal. The cooling flaps are PE and fit into gaps in the rear of the cowling. I cut each one off in turn so I didn't get them confused, annealed each one and rolling them carefully in my rolling tool, using the largest 19mm roller. With a negligible amount of tweaking of the PE, and a bit of scraping of the ends of the gaps, I got each of the four cooling flap sets to fit into the cowling really neatly in the closed position. A lot of the credit goes to Dora's designers, and they're going to look great with a bit of paint on them (the flaps, not the designers!). The half-circle recesses in the rear of the cowling is where the exhaust stubs poke through, and they needed a little bit of work to make them more in-scale with reality. Those were made up and scraped thin the following session, using my Galaxy Model motor tool to get the thickness down, then scraping the edges with a sharp '11 blade. Once I was happy, I melted the interior surface smooth with some liquid glue. They got a coat of black primer at the same time as the engine, and are now brown, waiting for me to put some rusty/hot shades on them. The pic below shows them before they were semi-melted: The next job is to finish up the fuselage closing and paint the engine. Whether I can be bothered to wire up the spark plugs or not remains to be seen. Doing that task on the Zero nearly drove me (more) (than usual). The gear bays have been painted and put to the side, and I've just realised that I've forgotten to take a single picture of them