woody37 Posted June 16, 2013 Share Posted June 16, 2013 Vickers vincent Mk.I 1:72 Azur FRROM The large, ungainly and yet somewhat attractive Vildebeest was first flown in 1928 using proven design methodology incorporating an all metal airframe with fabric skinning. Crewed by either two or three, production variants predominantly used the Pegasus radial engine. Whilst the Vildebeest was primarily employed as a torpedo bomber, a private venture by Vickers was to create a general purpose version to replace the Westland Wapitis and Fairey III’s in supporting the army out in the Middle East. Successful trials in the hotter climates were successful and this was to become the Vincent. The Vincent first entered service in 1934 with 84 Sqn based at Shaibah in Iraq and by 1937 equipped 6 squadrons in Iraq, Kenya, Sudan and Egypt. Differences on the Vincent were fairly minor with the most noticeable change replacing the torpedo with a long range underbelly tank. By WWII, the Vincent was mostly replaced by Blenheims and Wellesleys, however 84 aircraft continued service into WWII. They operated bombing missions against the Italians in the East African Campaign and Iraqi rebel forces attempting a coup in 1941 as well as coastal patrols from Aden. A notable achievement was the attack on the Italian submarine Galileo Galilei which led to its surrender. Vincent’s were retired from front line RAF service in 1943 although continued on in some more unusual activities until 1944. Around 60 of the retired machines were passed to the RNZAF in 1939 where they served in the reconnaissance and attack role. Altogether, 197 Vincent’s were either produced or modified from Wildebeests. The kitAzur released the Vildebeest a few years ago (See Paul’s review HERE) and it was warmly welcomed by the modelling community. This is a release of the same kit with some additional parts as necessary to create a Vincent. Whilst it’s a limited run kit with typical characteristics like a lack of location pins, the quality of the moulding is quite stunning. So what’s included in the kit? Firstly, there’s 4 medium grey injection moulded sprues holding around 80 parts of which some aren’t used. There is hardly any flash present. This is supplemented by 24 resin parts; a clear sprue and a fret of etch containing over 50 parts. In the box I received, there was also an additional larger resin engine that isn’t mentioned in the instructions but I assume to be a Perseus engine with moulded on connecting rods. This was only used in small numbers on the Vildebeest Mk.IV, 12 of which were sold to the RNZAF so there is the possibility to make one of these. The A5 instruction booklet is provided with text in English and French. The diagrams were well drawn with useful exploded views of some of the more intricate elements such as accurate location of wing struts relative to each other. Paint schemes refer to Gunze paints. Rigging diagrams are also included. Perseus engine ? Construction starts with the cockpit interior. Azur don’t just provide great external detail, they make sure the interior is well provided for too. A combination of etch, resin and plastic is used to give the cockpit a comprehensive and scale accurate look. The interior of the fuselage halves include detail to represent the metal framework. Etch parts include seatbelts, trim wheels and rudder pedal straps. The control column is finely produced out of resin. One of the more tricky elements of the kit is the clear windows. Whilst most mainstream kits tend to have a tab that windows locate against, these simply push in from behind with a very subtle taper to hold them. Take care to ensure you glue them carefully and adequately so they don’t push in when it comes to painting. With the interior complete, the two fuselage halves are closed up and mounted onto the lower wing. Surface detail on the exterior is a combination of fine recessed panel lines and raised fabric effect and access panels. Mounting the tail and tail planes looks to be simple by way of the design of both aircraft and kit. What I think will be the most difficult part will be mounting the upper wing to the lower one via the struts. This isn’t a skill that I’ve readily mastered, so I’ll let someone else off advice on this step! (Edit: See Christopher's comment below ) One thing to be aware is that the location points for the struts in the wing are very shallow and a few are marginal, so it might be worth drilling them out with a suitably sized micro drill. With the feathers on, the engine comes next. The assembly is quite a complicated affair and Azur have replicated this superbly. The resin engine is sandwiched between the exhaust manifolds and the exhausts mounted to the sides of the fuselage. There are no location pins for the exhausts to mount to the fuselage, so care will have to be taken when gluing them, especially if you prefer to fit these parts after painting. The undercarriage has two options; spatted or non-spatted so at this point you will have to choose your scheme to suit. According to the instructions, there’s a hook mounted to the starboard unit but it’s not clear how it’s stowed. As with the wing strut points, the holes for the undercarriage mounting points are either fine or non-existent, so take care. It might be worth doing this before you even build the model as a dry fitting exercise. The final major step is fitting the weaponry. The aircraft was armed with bombs and a central fuel tank. The bomb racks are each comprised of a plastic body with two etch clamps to support the bomb. These look very fine indeed. The bombs themselves are made of resin with separate fin sections. Each wing holds 4 bombs. Various etch parts are finally added to the wings and fuselage such as control linkages, mass balances, access ladder etc. There are very delicate so probably better to fit after painting if you’re clumsy like me! The rear facing gun gets an equal treatment of detail from the etch fret to supplement the plastic main components. DecalsOne of the things I like about the Azur kits is the great selection of schemes that you get straight from the box. 4 options are included, two RAF and two RNZAF. The colour on the decals look excellent, the register spot on although the small placards look a little under defined compared to some I’ve seen, but this is me trying to be balanced in my observations. The schemes included are: K4712 - 8 Sqn RAF based at Khormaksar, Aden, August 1940 – 6 colour shadow schemeK6363 - 244 Sqn RAF based at Sharjah, 1942 – Mid stone / Dark Earth / azure schemeNZ344 – 30 Sqn RNZAF, Gisborne, May – July 1943 – Dark earth / dark green / grey schemeNZ322 – 2 SFTS, Woodbourne, 1940/41 – Dark earth / dark green / aluminium high level demarcation scheme ConclusionBi-planes are typically more difficult to build than monoplanes. Couple this with the some of the issues like strut location points I’ve mentioned and the small etch parts, it’s not going to be one of the easiest kits to put together. That said, the quality of the kit is certainly worthy of praise, the moulding is superb and the detail is very well catered for, so I’m very pleased that Azur have chosen this subject as part of their range. Clearly, a lot of research has gone into its design. In a nut shell, I think this kit is a little gem! Review sample courtesy of 1 Link to comment Share on other sites More sharing options...
Create an account or sign in to comment
You need to be a member in order to leave a comment
Create an account
Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!Register a new account
Already have an account? Sign in here.Sign In Now