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  1. Another V-Bomber in 1/144th, the Vickers Valiant Mk.1 by MikroMir (http://www.mikro-mir.com/en/)- ref.144-003. Source: http://www.mikro-mir.com/en/97-valiant.html V.P.
  2. Great Wall Hobby is to release a 1/144 Vickers Valiant K.1 - ref. L1010 Source: https://twitter.com/ModelArtInc/status/1707642202518950268 GWH 1/144th Handley Page Victor kits thread - link GWH 1/144th Avro Vulcan kits thread - link V.P.
  3. Recently finished this Airfix 1:72 Vickers Valiant. 99% out the box just with some tinkering with the decals and the normal brake lines for the gear etc. Went together really well with minimal filler except the engine intakes which needed much filling and sanding in the worst place to need filler. The kit doesnt have the horizontal strake inside the intake lip so had to add that and as I made it as XD818 as she was during operation grapple I had to remove what I assume are the refuel light storks on the nose to each side of the probe. The decals I went with the standard RAF roundel colours as most of the pics of the aircraft at operation grapple show her with dark roundels and what look like maybe dark blue reg, unfortunatley no dark blue reg so had to go with the lighter blue but I think it looks acceptable especially as its on antiflash white. Painted in my normal humbrol enamels and sprayed with Wurth high gloss white. Except the gear doors which I used halfords appliance white till I found it reacts badly with enamel and had to do it all again in humbrol 130! One of the biggest issues I had with the kit other then the intaks was the tail fin flash decal, it places over the vortex generators but the decal as no slots to accomodate them so some hand painting and adjustment is required. Altogether a nice kit and nice to build. Link to the IWM site showing operation grapple and some nice shots of XD818 leading up to the drop which where very useful for reference. Operation Grapple So here is XD818 as whe was in May 1957 serving with 49 Squadron. As always she looks far better in the sun even when lacking a good place to take pics outside.
  4. The Airfix Valiant has been well covered here already but I'm planning to do something a bit different with the kit. Airfix give markings for the second prototype but missed some of the changes in detail from the production aircraft. The first prototype had very different intakes and engine configuration in addition to several more minor details such as airbrakes above and below the wings. Photos from http://www.aviationphotocompany.com/ and http://www.aviastar.org/ The plan is to make new intake/engine sections, main undercarriage bays, main gear outer doors, intake vanes and decals for the serial numbers and fin flashes. Steve
  5. Vickers Valiant B(PR)K.Mk.I 1:72 Airfix (A11001A) The Valiant was the first of the V-Bomber fleet into service, and was also the most conservative of the three, being of a very conventional design. It dropped Britain's first Atomic bomb during exercise Grapple, but once the nuclear deterrent role passed to the Royal Navy, shortcomings in its design became evident. In the low level bomber role, where the air is more turbulent, and the demands on the airframe during manoeuvres are more intense, the spar of the aircraft was found wanting. One aircraft's rear spar fractured during flight, but it managed to limp back to base and landed safely. Examination of the rest of the subsequently grounded fleet found that tiny stress cracks were starting to appear, which led to the remaining serviceable airframes being re-tasked with in-flight refuelling before they were permanently grounded on the basis of the cost of repairs in January 1965. Sadly, the B.2 "Black Bomber" version that had progressed to prototype stage as early as 1955, with upgraded wing strength and extended fuselage would have been a much better aircraft for the Valiant B.1's eventual role, but that was cancelled and ended its days as a gunnery target. 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 Kit The kit arrives in a gigantic top-opening box, with a lovely CGI painting of a PR Valiant banking over clouds. Inside are seven sprues of light grey styrene, one of clear parts, a large decal sheet, instruction booklet and a large folded A3 decal instruction sheet. This is a re-issue of the original kit with the inclusion of the Photo reconnaissance parts Airfix released as an additional set back in 2016. The cockpit is depicted with all 5-seats, with the three rear crew situated on a lower platform facing the rear. Decals are provided for both instrument panels and side consoles, as well as control yolks for the pilots and a ladder for the pilots to exit the cockpit. Detail here is acceptable and streets ahead of the Mach2 kit, but given the small size of the windows, very little will actually be seen, even if the crew access door on the port side is opened. The large coaming behind the pilots is included, scoring point here for accuracy over expediency, as it will hardly be visible. The bomb bay can be posed open or closed, and a separate set of bay doors is included if you opt for the closed version, as well as four strengthening bulkheads, which are numbered for ease. If opting to open the bomb bay, the modeller can choose configurations for Blue Danube, closed doors; or the PR pack, and again two bay roofs are included depending on which option you choose. The Valiant had a retractable portion of the fuselage behind the bomb bay, which stopped any falling munitions from impacting the rear of the bay due to the speeds at which the Valiant could fly. This is depicted by an insert that fits behind the open bomb bay, or if you close up the bay, this panel is attached to the main bay doors. The open bomb bay roof was a criss-cross pattern of ribs and stringers, which is replicated well here, and the bomb "pallets" for the conventional bombs are supplied, plus a full complement of 21 x 1,000lb iron bombs are still in the kit. The Blue Danube nuclear weapon filled the bay, and was suspended from the roof by a cradle, which is depicted here. The bay doors retracted almost totally into the bay to reduce drag, and here they plug into sockets in the bay roof, with the actuating arms also provided. Once the cockpit and bomb bay are completed, the fuselage can be closed up, and here a nose weight of 22 grams is suggested, although there is room here for plenty more. The engines are mounted in the wing root,. Each pair of intakes are made up from top and bottom halves, and once a couple of ejector pin marks are removed, the two parts can be glued together. A pair of compressor faces is supplied for each trunk. The intakes and the main gear bay boxes fit into the underside of the wing, with the intakes being supported on three platforms to ensure correct positioning. At this point the modeller must drill out the external fuel tank mounting lugs before offering the two wing undersides up to the one-piece wing upper. This route is a great idea, as instead of two long seams running over the smooth upper wing area, the modeller only has to deal with the two short seams fore and aft of the wing. The underside seam will be very difficult to see, so as long as care is taken here, it should need little in the way of filler. The horizontal tail slots into a hole in the vertical tail, and the vortex generators should be on the underside once installed. It has posable flying surfaces, so the modeller can add a little visual interest to the tail, and indeed the main wings. The rudder is moulded integrally however. If modelling the Grapple airframe a portion of the rear fuselage under the tail should be cut off, as this was a different shape in later models, while a choice of tips is given for the other versions. The exhaust cans slot into their fairings and are glued to the main wing, and care should be taken here to ensure that the fine trailing edge segment lines up with the rest of the wing. The landing gear are nicely detailed, with a large retraction jack moulded into the roof of the wheel bays (paint this part white), and the main X-supports mounting in turn in the middle of the bay. If you choose to model the Valiant in flight, the same bay doors can be used but with their mounting tabs cut off. The main doors are ribbed just like the rear thing, and have strong mounting surfaces, so shouldn't be knocked off too easily. The main wheels have separate hubs to help with painting, and the tyres have circumferential tread moulded in, as well as a discreet flat spot to give a realistic impression of the weight of the airframe on the tyres. The door jacks on the outer doors are missing, but these can be quickly fabricated from rod, or brass tube. The twin nose wheels have their guards built in, which seems a shame, but the detail is crisp, and careful painting will convince the viewer that they are separate parts. The nose gear leg is detailed, and looks to be correct from my memories of hacking about the Mach2 leg. The bay doors fit into the notched edges neatly whether posed open or closed. The underwing fuel tanks that were almost ubiquitous in contemporary photos are quite cleverly moulded, and stronger due to the fact that the tanks sandwich the base of the pylon with large attachment tabs ensuring a good fit. The large round pegs then attach to the wing, making them harder to knock off. The glazing parts are All crisp and clear, with the non-glazed parts of the mouldings frosted over, making masking a doddle. There are two Bomb Aimer's windows provided, as the 2nd Prototype had a simple oval window with no side-panes. The main glazing in the prototype also didn't have a quarterlight above the cockpit side windows, so two are provided here. The small oval window next to the crew door is there, as is a large clear insert for reconnaissance aircraft, with 10 raised clear squares. Decals Decals are printed by Cartograf in Italy, and from the box you can build one of two options: WZ393 - No.90 Sqn RAF. RAF Honington 1957 - High Speed silver? XD818 - No.49 Sqn RAF. Based at Christmas Island 1957 For Operation Grapple. This is the only complete Valiant to Survive at RAF Cosford. This aircraft dropped Britain's first Hydrogen Bomb. Conclusion Its good to see this kit re-released as they were commanding high prices on the second hand market. The inclusion of the PR parts in the kit is also most welcome. Highly Recommended. Review sample courtesy of
  6. A rescue project from humble beginnings. For some reason I decided to go with the most difficult finish possible and it bit me. I'm glad it's all over now.
  7. You would have thought I'd learned my lesson: ... but here we are again! A few months after I bought the Victor a friend "kindly" offered me this kit in need of a refurb, I think he might have picked it up somewhere and made a start but gave up. The kit as I got it had one wing attach IIRC, removed the other at the time and stashed it in the loft. As you can see it has a few issues 😜 The only things missing I believe are the pitot tubes and exhaust cans, which I would replace anyway. Firstly it did a couple of rounds in bag with some oven cleaner so I could see what was what. There was a lot of black paint under the green and silver and, in the recessed (yes) panel lines, white too. So I think this particular has seen many guises; first in anti-flash white B1, then maybe a pseudo B2 "black bomber" and finally on it's way to a camouflaged ground hugger. The port side wing root was missing a big chunk of plastic and the attempt to repair it with card and filler was still attached to the wing after I separate them. The nose had also suffered a knock and I guess the model hit the ground hard at some point. I removed all the filler and some of the plastic infill with a micro chisel. I wanted to get down to bare plastic and affect my own repairs. The filler had also been softened by the oven cleaner and leaving it was not an option. The chisel made swift work of things to get me to this: At this point I broke out the references and decided what I was going to do with it. My initial though was to model the first prototype with the narrow intakes and lots of guide vanes, but this would have required removing all the intake trunking bulges from the wing undersides. Instead I'm going to go for the second prototype WP215 which had the larger "spectacle" intakes. Oh, yeah and I want to do it in the initial polished aluminium finish! 😮 https://www.airteamimages.com/vickers-valiant_WB215_united-kingdom---royal-air-force_115157.html
  8. Hi All, With this post I'm finishing the series of trainer aircraft I have recently completed. This is the model of an aircraft that remains pretty obscure type, although it was the most numerous trainer aircraft of the USAAF during the WWII. This is a model of a Valiant, but not of the Valiant the British modelling community expects to see 😉 So here you go - Vultee "the Vibrator" Valiant BT-13: The 1/72 kit is produced under Admiral label by AZ Models of Czech Republic. Construction was fully out of the box except for aerial wiring and exhaust pipe. Actually, I do not think any aftermarket exists for this kit. At the same time the box includes some nice goodies such as PE fret with instrument panels, seat belts, gear scissors, and flaps hinges. Also several resin parts are provided including engine and engine cowling, cockpit struts, aerial mast and pitot tube (both very fragile!). Decal sheets has three options - two for Navy SNV variant and a very colourful USAAF option. Construction was not shake and bake however without major issues. Some fitting was required for cockpit arrangement. Instruction is not very clear so I relied on photo references to understand where rear seat instrument panel cover should be placed and subsequently where seats, instruments panels etc should be located. Also photos helped to understand how exactly internal struts in the cockpit should look like. Be mindful to dry fit all these structures to make sure canopy fits later. Expectedly canopy was not a perfect match to the fuselage especially on its ends. I had to add some plastic stripes on the rear side to make sure canopy fits okay. Wing to fuselage jount was good. Engine construction is a bit tricky. There is nothing inside the cowling to attach the engine. Also engine is smaller than the cowling internal diameter. I attached a wider circular plastic sheet to the engine back side so that engine firmly sits on the appropriate place. Fragile aerial mast was replaced with a brass tube. Plastic exhaust pipe is useless so I replaced it with a wider brass pipe. Landing lights are provided in the kit and worked good. Masking canopy was huge fun. As you can see windows are not at all rectangular so this design was adding a bit of entertainment. Luckily now there is a Peewit masking set available but I was too quick to assemble my model Painting is made with Tamiya yellow, Vallejo blue and Hobby Color red and olive drab. Model is covered with Future and probably looks very polished. Let's think cadets were diligently washing their machines. Lastly there are some group shots. First is for size comparison next to a Hurricane. Valiant was not a small aircraft at all! Second is with two other yellow-wing peers that I have in collection: And the last is with all other trainer aircraft I have. I showed a group of three of them recently. Here is the complete bright and colourful trainer collection. Hope you enjoyed! Best regards, Dennis
  9. So I gather that this GB is all about finishing shelf queens... I also see the 25% rule doesn't apply, so I have a number of models that fit the bill, ranging from still in assembly to finishing off the decals. This is one that just needs decals, weathering and all the little bits and adding. Hope no one minds me putting up a few entries, I have a number of projects I'd love to get on with. There's the original WIP thread ^^ And this is what the model looks like now.
  10. Does anyone know if Airfix will reissue its Valiant any time soon? Prices are far too high for me to get one... :(
  11. Here Goes. I know out there will be someone with the appropriate knowledge in respect of the Valiant B(PR)K1. I am aiming to do WZ397 as depicted in the following picture (taken in September 1964) which clearly shows a side oblique camera. My question is have Airfix missed this out of their additional kit? In the kit there are 9 appertures that are offset from the centre line and a further on on the centre line at the rear of the bomb bay - but nothing on the side. This leads on to the next question does anyone know the dimensions of the port and would the cameras and optically flat windows no have a sliding cover, so no debris interfered with the photography?
  12. Vickers Valiant. 7 Sqn. RAF Honington 1961. 1:144 Mikro Mir Second in my planned group of the 3 'V' bombers is the Valiant. Well known as the first of the trio to both enter and leave service, it was the simplest of the three, but no less attractive. Doing them in 1:144 is more practical than 1:72 for space reasons, and they also make an interesting comparison with my airliners. The kit is from Mikro Mir, and has more of a 'limited run' look to it than the Victor and Vulcan from Great Wall Hobby. It requires a little more care and preparation than the other 2, but is a perfectly buildable model. A brass etch fret provides several detail parts. I used the wing fences as patterns to make copies from plasticard, and also the vortex generators on the outer wings. The only reason for this is that I believe that a stronger bond is possible with plastic-to-plastic than brass-to-plastic, but the kit parts are perfectly good. Lovely box art too! Could go without a shot of the 2 completed so far; along with next one to head for the workbench. Although it is the tanker boxing, it also contains all parts & decals for a Black Buck version. Thanks for looking, John
  13. Excellent, well researched, deep enough but not too intense to be enjoyable. A very good book about aeroplanes. And who doesn't like a good book about aeroplanes?
  14. Pitot and Refuelling Probes 1:32/1:48/1:72/1:144 Master Having released the Sukhoi collection, Master Models have also recently released several sets for Western aircraft, with particular emphasis on the three V Bombers in both 1:72 and 1:144. [AM-32-090] – This pack contains two parts to build up the pitot probe and fairing for the Italeri 1:32 Mirage II. Rather than brass, the two parts have been turned in alluminium and is a simple direct replacement for the kit part. [AM-48-118] – Another simple replacement pitot probe, this time for the Airfix 1:48 BAC TSR-2, it may have been along time in coming, but it is, nevertheless, a very welcome addition. [AM-72-097/AM-144-009] – These two sets have been designed for the Airfix 1:72 and any of the 1:144 kits from the likes of Micro-Mir, Anigrand or Welsh Models. Each set contains two very fine pitot probes to replace the slightly clunky kit items. [AM-72-098/AM-144-010] – These sets contain only one item, the prominent refuelling probe. The 1:72 for he Airfix kit and the 1:144 for either the Anigrand or Great Wall Hobby kits. Unfortunately even though they are meant to be different scales the review samples re exactly he same size, so do check when you buy your 1:144 as it would be absolutely massive when compared to even the kit part. In each case though, you will need to cut the kit part where it joins the nose fairing, drill out the hole then fit the metal part before adding to the model. [AM-72-099/AM-144-011] – The last of the V bomber sets is naturally for the Victor, either the Matchbox/Revell 1:72 kit or the Anigrand/Welsh Models kits. Whilst he 1:72 set contains the two wing tip mounted pitot probes and the probe end piece for the refuelling probe, the 1:144 set does provide the whole refuelling probe as well as the pitot probes. Conclusion Five more very useful additions to the Master Models range. If you thought the 1:72 scale stuff was small, you really should check out the 1:144 scale parts. I would love to know how they produce such small items, with such finesse of detail. Very highly recommended Review sample courtesy of Piotr at
  15. Hi All, I've picked up a 1/200 Vulcan and have finally decided to go anti flash white (I chickened out of doing it on my last Victor...) I want to do this with spray cans. What are the best (ideally cheapest) primer and white gloss products for the job? I don't know whether to go primer > matt white > clear gloss primer > gloss white enamel vs. acrylic etc Any help to make sure this just works first time would be highly appreciated! Ta, Chris
  16. Hi, This is my (almost) copleted Vickers Valiant. i say almost as not all of the decals are on it. i bought this kit from a particular internet auction site for about £40 inc P&P. i was a little irritated about the cost of the valiant kits as last autumn airfix were selling the valiant for £20 in their last chance to buy collection. this kit was a remarkably quick and easy build, as the only real interior detail is the bomb bay (which i left out) and the cockpit. the cockpit was a little basic, but the fit of parts was excellent. it needed a little filling on the fuselage halves and the bomb bay doors, but apart from that is was a relatively straight forward build. the model was painted with Humbrol Gloss White spray paint. i ended up spending £15 on the paint, as the cans are tiny! in future i think i will try to get better at airbrushing and airbrush instead. the decals had no silvering and were in good register. i had some issues with the paint seeing under the masking tape, in particular on the anti glair paint in front of the canopy. i made a few errors, such as the colour of the exhaust surrounds which will be fixed when i get the chance. Will
  17. Afternoon all, Sorry to trouble you with another quwey regarding the Blue Steel missile When viewing photographs of the Blue Steel missile being loaded onto the Vulcan and Victor, the upper tail surface appears to be missing from a few of those. So my questions are as follows: Was this fin removeable? When carried in the recessed bomb bay of the Vulcan and Victor, was the tail surface kept vertical and fitted into a recess or was it folded down? Thanks, Sam
  18. Good morning all! I am just wondering whether anyone knows how the Blue Steel missile was attached to the V-bombers, specifically the Avro Vulcan. I have seen a Pathe film of Blue Steel showing the ground crew "winding" the missile up into the bomb bay of the Valiant, I am not sure whether this would be the same with the Vulcan? On a related note, having been to Cosford and seen their Blue Steel far too many times for it to be deemed normal behaviour (only kidding, Cosford is a wonderful place) I noticed that on the horizontal "wing/winglets" at the rear of the missile, there are two cylinder shaped attachments which are attached just above these wings. I don't think that the Cosford Blue Steel was a test vehicle so I don't think it could be carrying any sort of flare to mark its location (if the test vehicles ever used such a setup), however I suspect that it has something to do with its suspension from the V-bombers??? I also tried obtaining an estimate for how much it would cost to copy some Blue Steel technical drawings from the national archives and the answer came back- £350!!! So a dead end there... Anyway, thanks for reading my verbal ramblings, Sam
  19. New Admiral/AZ Model 1/72nd kit is the Vultee BT-13/SNV-1 Valiant. Release expected in June 2014 Source: http://modelweb.modelforum.cz/2014/06/06/novinky-admiral-na-cerven-2014/?lang=CS Three boxing on approach Ref. ADM7237 Ref. ADM7238 Ref.ADM7239 V.P.
  20. 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
  21. My first post of the year after a bit of an absence (lots of ups and downs over the last two months - demise of a much loved family cat, saying good bye to an old car, purchasing a new car, promotion, arrival of two new kittens etc. etc.). This is actually my first completed model in a while (started back in beginning of 2012, languished 90 % complete for 6 months, finally completed last week!). Completed as the prototype Vickers Type 667 - I am a sucker for big shiny aircraft! Finished with a Tamiya rattle can.
  22. Hi all, I don't have a huge selection of references on this, and some are contradictory and vague. I'm planning to model Valiant XD825, as used to drop Britain's largest weapon in Grapple Y on 28 April 1958. Here are my questions: 1. Pale national insignia or full colour? What about the serials? 2. Underwing tanks fitted for the drop mission? 3. I've read that Grapple aircraft were modified specially, with reinforced control surfaces, metal cockpit blinds, and instrumentation in the tail. Does anyone have any info on what the latter looks like? Were there any other visible differences I should include? 4. The weapon itself, was it in a Blue Danube case as included in the Airfix kit? If there's anything else I should know, please speak up I'll probably come up with a few more questions as I think about it! Thanks in advance! Mike
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