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Hi all, this was the last one finished for 2018 and it's the stately Handley Page HP.54 Harrow II by Valom, built for the January issue of Airfix Model World. Being a Bomber Command type I was really pleased to see that we finally had a decent IM model of this important, though largely unsung type. The Harrow served in several important roles during its tenure, as a bomber, minelayer, (carrying the Long Aerial Mine LAM), crew trainer, (navigation, gunnery and air munitions), spares transport/freight carrier and a paratroop ship. In its final form, as the Sparrow, it performed sterling service as an air ambulance, troop carrier, VIP transport and military freighter, a true multi-role aircraft. Another service performed by the Harrow was that of experimental tanker, with three aircraft loaned to Sir Alan Cobham's company, Flight Refuelling Limited for in-flight refuelling trials with C-Class flying boats.

 

Being of a short-run nature the kit required a bit of extra work, as was to be expected, but nothing out of the ordinary. I decided to add a bit more visual interest by cutting out and dropping the flaps and elevators, opening the side loading door and scratch building the fuselage interior. The forward fuselage was also enhanced with the addition of the nav/radio operators position and equipment and scratch built gun turret interiors. The basic kit guns were replaced with modified items from the Mini Art range. The only areas of concern were the undercarriage support braces which were rather flimsy and so were replaced with lengths of Contrail aerofoil strut into which steel pins were inserted. The locating points were vague and the pins were necessary to ensure proper alignment and provide a more robust structure, especially with those heavy wheel sponsons.

 

The model was painted using MRP lacquers and weathered, as usual, using Abteilung oils and Matt Effect Thinner. Regarding the markings I decided to go with Montex's masks to paint the large white underwing and fuselage codes rather than use the kit decals as they contained a lot of carrier film, this being very easy to use and produced a more realistic result. The only issue with the decals themselves concerned the Type A1 fuselage roundels which are a little too large and so used suitable replacements from Modeldecals sheet MD102. 

 

I'm a big fan of Valom kits and can't speak highly enough of Vaclav and his little company. During the build, I managed to wreck one of the Type A1 wing roundels and didn't have an appropriate spare handy so emailed him to see if I could acquire a replacement. Four days later a package arrived with a complete replacement decal sheet, free of charge....great service. I have several more of his kits in the works and can't wait to get stuck in.

 

Now, how about a Virginia, Over/Sidestrand or Hendon!

 

(Special thanks for all the interior reference material supplied by my good friend John Adams, you're a gentleman, sir). 

 

Thanks for looking and hope you approve.:cheers:

 

Melchie

 

 

 

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General,

 

How nice of Vaclav  to put an 'M' for Melchett on the decal sheet! Ho hum, another incredible build, upgrade, and finish; I really, really, really like the Harrow, and I also have the Valom kit, but doubt I will be able to equal your effort, Andy. I do love that scheme, too. Were there any major issues with the kit that you can recall? In the box, it looks like it is pretty well detailed and engineered. 👍:clap2:

Mike

Edited by 72modeler
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Very nice build indeed and I second the Virginia, Mk X of course.

 

Keith

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Thanks chaps, very kind of you...

 

Mike, I had to slip Vaclav a few shekels to pull it off :winkgrin: . Must admit to be taken by the shape of the old bird too and was surprised at just how big it was, the fuselage being longer than both the Lancaster and the Halifax (and only 5 ft shorter than the Stirlings!). As for the build, no issues really, except for the already mentioned undercarriage braces, which I felt were a little too thin and flexible given the weight of the model. I take the BC models to several shows a year so need them to be able to stand up to the rigours of much manhandling. Other than that everything went together well, especially the glazing. The surface detail is excellent and while it has no locating lugs along the fuselage, due to its short-run nature, that means no sink marks...always a good thing. The spar is also an excellent idea and makes the thing as solid as a rock. Just hope Vaclav keeps turning out more of these more obscure Bomber Command types...

 

Keith,

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I second the Virginia, Mk X of course.

Naturally!......a Virginia is long overdue, mind you a new tool Heyford would go down rather nicely too...

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Beautiful build and finish. Always been a favourite of mine - hope my one turns out nearly as good as this.

 

Cheers

 

Malcolm

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Gorgeous Andy,.... truly gorgeous! Wow,...... you`ve made another fantastic model there mate. I have a couple of these to build myself including a Sparrow,

 

Cheers

          Tony

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Oh that is truly nice. Wish I could do that!

I do like those late interwar types. They have the appearance of things to come while still looking like those biplanes they replace somehow. Very evocative of a time that’s passing all too quickly. 

 

Thanks for for showing and sharing

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Thanks guys,

 

Malcolm, 

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hope my one turns out nearly as good as this.

I'm sure it will...it's a great kit that cries out to be built, just take your time with the undercarriage...

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I have a couple of these to build myself including a Sparrow,

Hi Tony, thanks mate...look forward to seeing yours too...I must admit to being sorely tempted with the 271 sqdn Sparrow myself. Respect must go to Vaclav for offering different variants of his aircraft, five Harrow/Sparrows alone.....all power to the man!

 

John, thanks

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I do like those late interwar types. They have the appearance of things to come while still looking like those biplanes they replace somehow. Very evocative of a time that’s passing all too quickly. 

Got to agree 100%...I'm a huge fan of the interwar years machines, as you say you can see the genesis of the later types taking form, (with the Hendon taking a real step forward), just love the Overstrands, Heyfords, Virginias, Hinaidi/Hyderabads etc...stately machines that epitomised the Empire at that time. Hopefully, Valom will release more of these wonderful machines for us to enjoy.

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Turns out she was an extremely elegant machine.

Fantastic build !!!

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Ho Hum, superb as usual :clap2::coolio::clap2::coolio: My wife just told me to stop drooling, it's not good for the keyboard :rofl:

I do love your finishes General, this is no different with some very nice subtleties on show :cool:

I too must put my hand up for more RAF interwar bombers, surely Airfix want a really good Heyford or Overstrand :pilot:

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I most certainly approve young Melchie! Hope to see it on the table sometime, will it get to Bolton?

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Thanks again guys,

 

FAAMAN,

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My wife just told me to stop drooling, 

Well, she has a point... I've been doing it for years but just put it down to my age!  Glad you like it, more interwar aircraft are starting to come through now (like Doras's forthcoming Wapiti and Wallace, both types used by BC) but we do need a few more bombers and some seaplanes...a Blackburn Iris or Short Singapore would go down rather nicely!

 

Cheers mate,

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 will it get to Bolton?

That's the plan....depends on the wind :shutup:

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Multi-role aircraft? That's stretching it a bit. More Dakota than Mossie, I'd say. The bomber-transport concept was an evolutionary dead end, but an interesting one.

 

An excellent model, as usual. 

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Isn't that lovely, stately old beast. And a fine model.

 

Bombay next?

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Another extremely impressive build of an unsung but important aircraft. I always enjoy your builds!

 

Cheers,

 

Mark

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Thanks fellas, :cheers: It's always heartening to see fellow modellers sharing an affection for these rarer esoteric types, let's hope we see a lot more of the same in the future...

 

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Bombay next?

Funnily enough, Eric, I do have one lurking in the stash, the Mk1 Early Production, though I may well hang out for the spatted Type 130 to sit alongside the Harrow.

 

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Very smart your Generalship! 

Cheers Martian old fella, I know you're a bit of a Valom man, (or is that Valium?), looking forward to seeing your Albatross in all its glory...

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Another extremely impressive build of an unsung but important aircraft. I always enjoy your builds!

Thanks Mark, that's very kind of you, well, there's plenty more to come...

 

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Beautifully finished as always!

I too have a big soft spot for late inter-war aircraft, but with my specialist area being WWI it's extremely unlikely that I'll ever build anything from that period. However, never say never!

 

Ian

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Thanks Ian, well aside from the three V-Bombers it's the interwar stuff that really interests me the most, with the Harrow pretty near the top of the 'wants' list for many a year. very much looking forward to Dora Wing's Wapiti and Wallace...then, of course, there's the 1/32nd Wapiti IIa by Lukgraf, a 'must have' for me. With the new 1/32nd Lancs coming on stream I can see our Bomber Command table's going to feel the strain pretty soon!

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