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Moa

Handley Page HP42/45, Contrail vacuformed 1/72

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I owe the pleasure of this kit to fellow modeler John Eaton, that very kindly let it go so I could have a go at this extremely exciting build. As we corresponded, John commented on what must have been to travel to exotic places on this gentle beast, in absolute luxury that only the well-heeled could afford.

As many of you know, there were in fact two of these Handley Page types, the HP42 and HP45, four machines each. One covered the Eastern routes while the other covered the Western ones. They differed on the powerplants, propellers, and seat number and arrangement. Many other external details varied from plane to plane too, so as usual photo references are a must.

I have wanted to build this vacuformed kit for a long time. And to think that I believed that I was handling a "big kit" and model when I built this same manufacturer's Blackburn Kangaroo, but this behemoth is far, far bigger, almost 55 ctms. in span (that is for you still leaving in the dark ages about 21 1/2 inches). This design epitomizes "The Beauty in the Beast" character that I so much love about vintage, Golden Age planes: ungainly, preposterous, but ultimately irresistibly charming.

Through the years I gathered so much references on this type, that only to go trough the graphic material takes me hours (I just did it, again), not to mention the written portion of it that I leave for a rainy day (or days).

The Contrail kit is not state of the art as we all know, but I believe it will provide a decent base for a good model.

The kit , reputedly released in 1982 (37 years ago!!!) comes with some goodies in the form of Aeroclub's white metal engines and four-blade props, some airfoiled material, a metal rod for the landing gear, a few molded parts (wheels and such) a cut of clear (now yellowed) plastic and some extra styrene sheet. Accompanying the package are printed instructions, quite clear for what I can tell at a glance, and clearly printed reference photographs, not the fuzzy blackened photos much newer manufacturers some times provide. A big decal sheet is also provided to cater for (I think) every HP42/45. Not sure about how it survived the passage of time, we'll see. This kit also provides a full interior, cockpit and cabin.

There is a particular piece of engineering in this kit, as the cabin interior is eventually wrapped within a shell, which sides have the curtains already molded in, and you have to cut off the "window" area. That sub-assembly is later enclosed by the fuselage sides. 

 

The monster kit:

IMG_2437+%25281280x960%2529.jpg

 

Some details included, among them Aeroclub white metal engines and props. Notice that the Eastern route machines had different, stacked two-blade props, easier to carry on as replacements:

IMG_2438+%25281280x960%2529.jpg

 

Contents of the box:

IMG_2440+%25281280x960%2529.jpg

 

Interior provided:

IMG_2441+%25281280x960%2529.jpg

 

IMG_2442+%25281280x960%2529.jpg

 

The cabin "shells":

IMG_2443+%25281280x960%2529.jpg

 

IMG_2444+%25281280x960%2529.jpg

 

IMG_2446+%25281280x960%2529.jpg

 

IMG_2447+%25281280x960%2529.jpg

 

IMG_2448+%25281280x960%2529.jpg

 

IMG_2449+%25281280x960%2529.jpg

 

IMG_2450+%25281280x960%2529.jpg

 

IMG_2451+%25281280x960%2529.jpg

 

IMG_2452+%25281280x960%2529.jpg

 

IMG_2453+%25281280x960%2529.jpg

 

A Parnall Pixie (same scale) could take off...

IMG_2454+%25281280x960%2529.jpg

 

...and land on this plane's wing:

IMG_2455+%25281280x960%2529.jpg

 

Now, because I am building at the same time seven models (six of which are posted here as ongoing WiPs), this one may have to wait a little.

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Well this one like it will be very interesting.

 

I wonder how well the decals have weathered the passage of time.

 

AW

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14 minutes ago, Andwil said:

Well this one like it will be very interesting.

 

I wonder how well the decals have weathered the passage of time.

 

AW

Me too...

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3 minutes ago, chrisbob12 said:

Wow! I'm looking forward to this.

Me too, but as said, it will take a little while until I get to this one. In any case, three of the ongoing six WiPs are making steady progress, so it shouldn't take too long.

Cheers

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A great introduction as always Moa.

I love *good* vacform kits. In many cases, I prefer vacforms over injection moulded. Somehow they can look more like the real thing; the often much thinner plastic helps.

Contrail/Sanger, Rareplanes, Aeroclub, Broplan, Khee Kha, Joystick and others make/made some really beautiful kits.

This one ticks the box of  Golden Age for me too.

Good luck with the build, looking forward to it :bounce: !

 

Best regards

TonyT

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Look forward to seeing how this comes together. Every time one comes up on Ebay it goes for ridiculous money, far more than I’m willing to pay! Wonder where the Contrail moulds for this ended up, it would be worth a new limited run!

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I will watch this with interest. I remember it coming out and seeing a couple at the IPMS Nationals as they used to be called. Although I do not mind vacforms, this was always a bit too daunting at the time. There was an article about building it in an old Scale Aircraft Modelling. 

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Going to be watching this, moa building a contrail HP42 is going to be a lesson.

  My dad gave me this kit in the mid 90s in the hope I would build it, I sold it a few years later cause I would just ruin it...wish I hadn't sold it

 

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Will be watching too. Love this aeroplane. Who knows seeing this built might even spur me to dust off my Zeppelin stakken(maybe not)

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Good luck with that. I have one as well and it looks interesting. This may help a little:

 

http://www.internetmodeler.com/scalemodels/aviation/Building_the_Contrail_HP_42.php

 

Also, a quick Googleing turns up a few finished here on Britmodeller and elsewhere. There was a very involved online construction feature a few years ago, which naturally I failed to bookmark and can't find now, so may have been taken down, but that one was very clearly written and went into a lot of detail about remedying shortcomings.

 

Paul.

 

 

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That is very interesting, I have this kit and it waits until I'm crazy enough to attempt it.

I built an Airfix 1/144 kit (attempting to fix its issues) but 1/72 vacform is much more challenging.

Good luck with this, going to be spectacular! (And big, yeah!) 

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Looks promising, although some work is needed ;)

I will look at this keeping my fingers crossed

Regards

J-W

 

 

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I'm hopping onboard for this one. I just know it's going to be good.

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I've had one o these in my stash for years but have never yet plucked up the courage to try it (plus I don't know where I' put it if I did !) so I'm really looking forward to seeing how you get on  with it.

 

Good luck !!!!

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We want you to start now and if you don't I shall scream and scream and scream until I am sick!  😱😱😱🤮

 

Martianus Nauseous 👽

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Wow Moa! This really will be a masterclass - er - I hope! Really looking forward to see you tackle this.

 

Cheers

 

Malcolm

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I'll be watching this one with interest. It may even encourage me to go deep mining the stash for the one I have.

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11 hours ago, bristol boy said:

Look forward to seeing how this comes together. Every time one comes up on Ebay it goes for ridiculous money, far more than I’m willing to pay! Wonder where the Contrail moulds for this ended up, it would be worth a new limited run!

I have seen them too, but John was very kind and considerate. It is indeed a good questions, where are those molds now?

Cheers

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11 hours ago, invidia said:

Going to be watching this, moa building a contrail HP42 is going to be a lesson.

  My dad gave me this kit in the mid 90s in the hope I would build it, I sold it a few years later cause I would just ruin it...wish I hadn't sold it

 

Aw, pity. I do understand it can be a bit daunting, but it is now almost an "object d'art".

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11 hours ago, Marklo said:

Will be watching too. Love this aeroplane. Who knows seeing this built might even spur me to dust off my Zeppelin stakken(maybe not)

Do!

another beast! (of much, much lower quality, though):

Cheers

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10 hours ago, Paul Thompson said:

Good luck with that. I have one as well and it looks interesting. This may help a little:

 

http://www.internetmodeler.com/scalemodels/aviation/Building_the_Contrail_HP_42.php

 

Also, a quick Googleing turns up a few finished here on Britmodeller and elsewhere. There was a very involved online construction feature a few years ago, which naturally I failed to bookmark and can't find now, so may have been taken down, but that one was very clearly written and went into a lot of detail about remedying shortcomings.

 

Paul.

 

 

Oh, Paul, I don't even take a step before gathering massive amounts of info, and before posting this, already had a very, very fat folder, and looked up all the builds that were ever posted on the Net.

I truly appreciate you posting the link, though, useful for the BM.

Regarding issues and their solutions, I give them a very close look and take note, but otherwise I take everything I find with a pinch of salt, and rather find my own way to do things. The reason I chose the odd or plain bizarre type of models and sometimes excruciating builds, is that I am never happy or fulfilled walking somebody else's path.

Per aspera ad astra, indeed 😉

 

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2 hours ago, theskits62 said:

I've had one o these in my stash for years but have never yet plucked up the courage to try it (plus I don't know where I' put it if I did !) so I'm really looking forward to seeing how you get on  with it.

 

Good luck !!!!

You are indeed lucky, I longed for one for years.

You are right, my wife looked at the enormous box and then quizzically to me.

But I have all models hidden in boxes...so this will need just a bigger box.

Cheers

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2 hours ago, Martian Hale said:

We want you to start now and if you don't I shall scream and scream and scream until I am sick!  😱😱😱🤮

 

Martianus Nauseous 👽

O, many-tentacled and many-eyed Martian! please hold back your glow-in-the-dark green sludge!

I would also love to start it right now, but part of the secret of the steady output of models is being disciplined, and I have three models in their last stages. Once those are done, then I may cut plastic for the immense joy of us all!

If nothing else, just consider the building board space this one will need! I need to clear the stage first:

47189593791_908c5a5557_b.jpg

 

All children deserve equal love and a chance to be.

We have to honor the Universal Will to Become (or UWTB) that you, above anyone, should know (Kurt Vonnegut Jr.'s Sirens of Titan)

 

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