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  1. Hi all, hope everyone's keeping safe, looking after themselves, friends and loved ones. This is a model I finished for Airfix Model World a few months ago that featured in the March edition of the magazine. It is, of course, Airfix's all new Vulcan B.Mk2. Early in the project I was asked by Airfix to provide research for the kit, in particular detail photography, aircraft history and to select colour schemes. Working with Chris Joy, the designer was both fun and informative. I have a fairly substantial library here on the V-Force as well as access to different archives, courtesy of many friends, several of whom worked on and flew the aircraft. The most useful source, quite naturally, was the real thing, in this case XM594, the airframe scanned by Airfix using LIDAR technology. The aircraft resides at my local museum at Newark, so was easy to access, prior to any restrictions being put in place. The museum staff were extremely helpful, even providing me with a 'giraffe' maintenance ladder to gain access to the topside of the aircraft to photograph normally inaccessible areas such as the cockpit windscreen and canopy, spine and upper wing surfaces. This proved extremely useful to say the least and my sincere thanks go out to all the staff there. As for the kit, well overall it was a pleasure to build, however there were a few annoyances along the way. Most noticeable was the fact that the forward fuselage/nose is split in an awkward area where no natural panel line occurs and it took some careful filling and sanding to ensure that the seam was invisible and that the streamlines shape of the nose was maintained. Incidentally, three nose configurations are provided, one smooth, one with just the TFR thimble and one with TFR and IFR probe thus allowing any combination of styles can be built. The intakes took some fettling too as they're provided in three parts, again all seams had to be completely eliminated before being masked and painted. The ECM tailcone is provided in two flavours, the earlier smooth style for the Red Steer Mk 1 Rear Warning Radar and later bulged dome for the Red Steer Mk 2. The options continue with two styles of fin cap, one smooth, the other featuring the rectangular AR 18228 passive Radar Receiver fairing and both styles of jet pipe, 200 series long cans and 301 shorter. These are accurately shaped and tow out correctly however they are provided in three parts making alignment a bit tricky (although a jig is provided). Once assembled and painted they are quite convincing although a single-piece moulding would be preferable. Incidentally, only Olympus 301 engine facings are provided, the 200 series looked quite different. Having said that a pair of intake blanks are also provided which can be used as an alternative. As moulded, the lower wings come equipped with full Skybolt attachment points including the rear point, two fairings for the forward hard point and the domed coolant blister. Only 18 aircraft were fitted with the full suite so it's best you check references when deciding which model to build as there were a few different configurations over time. Easily the best reference for this is to be found in the superb book by Craig Bulman 'The Vulcan B.Mk2 from a Different Angle'. Other options include a choice of three differently configured ECM counterpoise plates, fitted between the jet pipes and two styles of X-Band emitter fairings, a single head and a twin head. I provided all information, dimensions and photos but a few things still seem to have been missed as there are a couple of odd omissions, for example the short separators (basically short tubes fitted with long level indictors) located at the top rear of the main gear legs, (although they may have been removed for restoration on XM594 at the time, as a rear door and attachment ties were also missing) and the central windscreen wiper is missing, again this has been removed on the Newark aircraft. For some reason the entrance-hatch retraction struts are also absent and these were replaced using steel pins cut to length. Also Chris didn't realize that the lower red strut fitted to the main gear's bracing struts are only fitted to airframes in long-term storage, (hence painted red) and not fitted to operational aircraft, as such they need to be removed from the parts. The weapons bay and undercarriage bays are well done, featuring plenty of detail although I'm sure the aftermarket chaps will have a field day in these areas. One small gripe, the 1000 pounders are moulded to the carriers, making painting a bit of a pain. Careful masking is the order of the day. Anyway, I don't want this to turn into any longer a review, congratulations if you got this far without glazing over, if you're interested, please read my article in AMW for more details. For those interested I'll probably write a post about building the kit, in detail, after it's officially released. Being a pre-production kit, no decals or box was supplied and so my friend Chris Clifford, the former editor of AMW and now of Flypast, helped in providing some decals as well as a copy of his latest Combat Machines No 6, book on the Vulcan, well worth getting. Another good mate, Jan Forsgren kindly donated a set of the excellent Fundekals and Freightdog sheets too and these proved invaluable with this build. The aircraft chosen here was XM597 as she appeared at the 1974 Greenham Common Air Tattoo. I chose here due to the unusual combination of squared off fin cap, white tail cone and circular dielectric panel on the upper fuselage and early 'D' style markings. The ground equipment comes courtesy of Aircraft In Miniature. Cheers all and happy modelling Melchie The well appointed weapons bay with three carriers supporting 21 1000lb bombs. A Blue Steel stand off bomb is also included along with the correct fairing. Bit of 60's nostalgia... Vignette consisting of Noy's Miniature V-Bomber base and AIM RAF Ground Equipment. As no decals were supplied with the kit, the cockpit detail was built up using parts from Eduard's Victor B.Mk2 set and appropriate parts I had in the spares bin. The seats were beefed up using Tamiya Two-Part Epoxy as the kit parts were a tad undernourished. Seatbelts, harnesses, ejection-seat firing handles etc also came courtesy of Eduard. The cone fitted to the front of the cockpit is to allow you to fit any nose weight, (in this case Liquid Gravity). AIM RAF ground Equipment
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