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DL-1 Vega "Antipodes Vega" - Limited Edition Special Hobby 1:72 The Lockheed Vega was a six seater passenger aircraft designed by John Northrop and Gerard Vultee while they were working for Lockheed. Both of these gentlemen would go on to found their own successful aircraft companies. The design was intended to serve Lockheeds own airline routes with an aircraft which was rugged and fast. The Vega certainly delivered on the promise of speed. However the four passenger layout was considered too small for airline use. The aircraft was built using a wooden monocoque fuselage. Plywood sheets were laminated over a large concrete mould with a single half being built at a time. The two halves were then joined over a previously made rib framework. Due to the way the fuselage was constructed the wing spar was a single cantilever mounted at the top. The landing gear was often covered by spats to increase the streamlining. The Vega was powered by a 225hp Wright Whirlwind. In 1929 Lockheed improved the Vega, with the introduction of the Vega 5. 6 seats were originally proposed but these were found to be too small and 5 was the general configuration. This also had a 410 HP Wasp A engine. Further development lead to the DL-1 or Vega 5C with a light alloy fuselage. This was to feature 7 seats and was built by The Detroit Aircraft Corporation. The US Army would use two metal Vegas, a C-12 and a C-17. Due to its speed the Vega would set a number of speed records over the years. 1928 Transcontinental Speed record Los Angeles/New York in 18 hours 58 mins. 1928 Non Stop East to West record 24 hours & 51 mins. In the 1928 National Air Races the Vega had a clean sweep of all the speed awards. Vega DL-1A G-ABGK / VH-UVK was a one off special Vega built using the metal DL-1 as a base aircraft by the Detroit Aircraft Corporation and exported to the UK for Lt Cmdr Glen Kidston. This Vega was used to set a world record time for a Flight from the UK to South Africa in 1931 of 6 ½ days. Kidston would sadly die in an aircraft accident the following year. The aircraft was then sold to Australian Airline owner Horrie Miller. The aircraft suffered a landing accident while participating in the MacRobertson Air Race. Following this the DL-1 was shipped to Australia and repaired. Here it was re-registered as VH-UVK. The Royal Australian Air Force impressed the aircraft into service in 1941. At the end of the war they broke it up for spares! The Kit The kit arrives in Special Hobbys standard end opening box. In a master class on recycling they are using the old DL-1 Metallic Fuselage box with a new cover part glued on for the special edition featuring VH-UVK. There are three sprues of light grey plastic which are shiny, so much so you might want a light sanding on the wings especially to key the paint in! There is one small clear sprue which is thoughtfully bagged on its own. The aircraft of the day were not bristling with details and this is reflected in the kit with only 41 parts being present some of which are not for use. It can be seen immediately that both the Wooden and Metallic fuselages are present on the sprues for someone wanting to make a different kit than it is boxed for. Construction starts with the interior. The pilots cockpit is a separate entity at the front as was vogue in aircraft of this date. A basic (but adequate) seat is installed along with a control column. Once the cockpit is installed you then add the seats to the rear cabin area. A rear bulkhead and pilot instrument panel finish of the interior. The fuselage can then be closed up (make sure you use the right one!) and the windows added. The windows seem designed to fit the openings exactly with no extra to positive fit like a lot of kits. I can see these being a nightmare to fit and not get covered in glue. It might be better to use an alternative, but then this might not be as clear. Once the fuselage is closed up the engine and cowling can be fitted to the front. The engine again is basic but acceptable, however if you want to add wiring etc there is scope. Following addition of the engine the Main wing, tail planes and vertical tail are added. The main wing joins tot eh top of the fuselage, however the tail planes and vertical tail are butt joints which the modeller may want to pin for extra strength. Once the main wing is on the pilot canopy is placed on. It was said of the real aircraft that Even in level flight the windscreen offered a better view of the sky than anything else! Once you have all the major structure in place its time to add all of the other parts. Landing gear is added and you can choose wheel spats or not. VH-UVK flew with both at different times. Once the gear is assembled and on the only thing left to do is add the propeller. Canopy The canopy and windows are small, and have no issues. The parts are crisp and clear. The only issue with the side windows is as mentioned above in that they seem to have no positive side locators. Decals A small decal sheet is provided which mainly covers the large serial numbers carried on the main wing. There is some ambiguity as to whether the side stripes were red or black, so both are provided for the modeller to make their own choice. The decals are printed by Aviprint and are in register with what looks like good colour density. Conclusion This is a good looking kit of an unusual aircraft. With its simple lines and even simpler colour scheme it should stand out. Recomended. Review sample courtesy of