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Airfix 1/72 Vickers Wellington B.III - Original 1959 Tooling

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Hello Chaps,


This is a second build that I did to join my Revell 1/72 Handley Page Halifax B.III for the "Bomber Command Buddy Build" that I hosted both on Facebook and YouTube.

I decided to not be tempted by the new Wellington kit by Airfix, although it is a beautiful kit, and decided I'd try my best at making this oldie look reasonable.

The plastic is really strange, very hard, tough black plastic that doesn't react well with Tamiya Thin cement. Very hard to cut with a craft knife, almost like a glass filled nylon rather than a styrene plastic.

I wanted to make it look different than out of the box, so I attempted scratch-building a bomb bay for it. To do this, I cut out two bomb bay doors, one from each fuselage half. I then split these into two, down the length, so that I had 2 not so deep doors. I then cut these 4 pieces into 6 sections, making 24 sections of bomb bay doors. This is because the Wellington has 3 bomb bay compartments with 4 rows of 6 doors either side of them.

After that was done, I needed to scratch build the bomb bay itself, which I did by using .040" white styrene card, building a floor with the two end bulkheads then two separator ribs to create the three compartments. I didn't bother cutting out the walls to create a deodectic framework, that would have taken forever, but I'm okay with that, because it has made the finished model look completely different with the bomb bay and bombs addition.

I also scratch built an instrument panel and two bulkheads within the cockpit, which you cannot see, because the clear parts in this old kit were yellowed, very thick, not clear and with a rough texture. I polished the clear parts as best I could, but it didn't make much difference, if any.

I also scratch-built the pitot tube, some support struts within the wheel bays, the UHF antenna beneath the rear end fuselage, the rudder limiters, and I modified the propeller assemblies so that they were solid and would spin freely, too.

I scratch-built the wing-tip navigation lights, by cutting the leading edge corners out, painting the portside red and the starboard side green, sealing the paint with a gloss clear coat, then when that was dry, I glued in two sections of clear sprue . When the glue was set solid, I filed the lights to blend with the form of the wings, then polished them to make them clear again.

I added the front and tail end white lights that you can see beneath each of the gun turret areas, flattened the wheels to make them look weighted, then lastly, added the antenna mounting point on the front of the vertical stabilizer, followed by the two antenna cables made from .010" fine black EZ-Line.


After finishing the model, rushed because of a time limit with the buddy build, I'd wished I had cut out a section underneath the portside wing to create the double lensed landing lights that don't come with the kit, along with create the access area beneath the front end of the fuselage and added a crew ladder, too. Ha well, never mind, another time.

The decals were dark yellow when I opened the box and I thought that they'd never work, being 59 yrs old. So, I left them in a window of the house that gets the most sunshine, for two weeks, to help bleach them. It worked, it paled the yellow down and following that, I sealed the decals with Testors Decal Bond and allowed that to set for 24 hrs.

I was nervous when I dropped the first roundel into water, expecting it to crumble, as I have experienced that before with old decals, but, they remained intact, and lo and behold, they slid from the backing paper and went down...amazing!!

I painted the model using my preferred go to paints: Model Master acrylics, applied weathering using oils thinned down with odorless mineral spirits, I also used acrylic washes and colored pencils, then sealed in with Model Master flat coat.

If you like a challenge, like I do now and then, don't throw your old kits out, or give them away, attempt to make them better than straight out of the box!

Okay, enough waffling, here she is...I'm happy with the result, hope you guys like her.

Cheers :)



Here is the link to the photographs album on my Facebook page:






If you'd like to watch my YouTube channel Introduction, Build Updates and Final Reveal videos for this build, then here are the links:


Build Introduction video link:  




Build Update #1 link:   




Build Update #2 Link:   




Final Reveal video link:   



Thanks in advance for any comments to this post and for watching any of the videos, much appreciated.


In the meantime, happy modeling, keep having fun!



Martin :)

Edited by UKguyInUSA
Missed off a link to the photos
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Nice work 😎

Built my first Airfix Wimpey in 1968/69 when I was seven or eight 😉

I have my second original Airfix Wimpey (your boxing) in one of my "To Be Repaired" boxes with the third (also your boxing) in the stash.

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Ah ha!

You may model 'British' but you spell 'American'.

Regardless, it looks like a impressive piece of plastic bashing to turn an ancient kit into a work of art.


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Turned out brilliant especially as working to a deadline...   Enjoyed your videos of the build and found them very educational.

I remember building the same model with my dad hovering over me ... I must have been about eleven at the time.   Ah echos of, 'make sure you sand that bit down properly'..

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On ‎11‎/‎28‎/‎2018 at 12:35 AM, FAAMAN said:

Nice work 😎

Built my first Airfix Wimpey in 1968/69 when I was seven or eight 😉

I have my second original Airfix Wimpey (your boxing) in one of my "To Be Repaired" boxes with the third (also your boxing) in the stash.


Thanks Faaman, much appreciated.

You started young...and from the dates and age you gave me, you're a little younger than I am :)
Will you attempt to enhance the two kits that you have in your stash?


Cheers 🍺🍺 👍🙂

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The Wimpey to be repaired/rebuilt will probably be returned to it's original build state 👍

Thinking of doing the unbuilt Wimpey fully corrected and detailed, Bristol Hercules engines etc 😉

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