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AltcarBoB

Valom Kits Good Bad or Ugly

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I have been looking for a kit of the Handley Page Harrow with a view to building it into the D-Day Sparrow air ambulance version and the only one I have come across is by Valom. Never having heard of them I wanted to get a few opinions on the Valom kits. I dont mind a few wonky fits I am pretty good with the plastic filler and I dont mind simplistic parts I can always make details out of spare plastic sprue. What I do want is parts that are sized properly.

 

Who couldnt love such a beautiful homely aircraft that was nicknamed the Whistling Shithouse by its crews

 

 

 

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Edited by AltcarBoB
changed photo

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I found this link to a similar thread where the same question was posed 5 years ago on BM - 

 

 

This thread has shots of the actual kit 'on the sprue'

 

And here would seem to be a built example on show by our own BM modeller @general melchett from January this year

 

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They seem to be short run kits but no worse than Special hobby. Ive seen quite a few of them built since becoming a member here. There’s a few id like to build but I've never built one as i cant find a US distributor i trust ? 

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They need a bit of work, but to me, that's the fun of it, plus Vaclav chooses some wonderfully esoteric subjects to get your teeth into. I've built quite a few now and enjoyed every one of them. No more difficult than other short run kits out there, in my opinion and the moulding quality keeps improving too...looking forward to getting hold of the Twin Pin at some point and just hope the Valletta comes to fruition.

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Corsair couldnt you order direct from Valom or buy from a UK based supplier. Postage cant be too much on a plastic kit or does it also take into account volume as well as weight. I have just ordred the sparrow kit from Oxonians Plastic Fantastic a seller I have bought from before (ADEN cannon pods). 

 

He seems to be a one man band and he has excellent reviews so might be worth dropping him a line to see if he can export. I always like to support small sellers my second job is as a Bicycle repair man I go through bike parts like you wouldnt believe and smaller sellers have never let me down on buying parts whereas the big parts sellers seem to not give a crap about customers.

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2 minutes ago, general melchett said:

They need a bit of work, but to me, that's the fun of it, plus Vaclav chooses some wonderfully esoteric subjects to get your teeth into. I've built quite a few now and enjoyed every one of them. No more difficult than other short run kits out there, in my opinion and the moulding quality keeps improving too...looking forward to getting hold of the Twin Pin at some point and just hope the Valletta comes to fruition.

Thanks I have looked at your Harrow thread and I am blown away at the quality. Looking at your photos made me hit the buy button so its your fault if it goes tits up 😂

 

Its only my second kit since I have come back to the hobby and I think if all goes well I might be buying more interwar Valom RAF aircraft.

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I have built the Valom Harrow. I would consider myself a fairly average modeller but do not recollect any huge problems. It was fairly detailed, the clear parts were fine as far as I am concerned - the clear parts have been criticised on earlier kits. The main difficulty was getting those huge wheels and fairings hanging in the middle of the air right. That took several goes. The plastic for the struts is quite brittle and most of was replaced and, being short run, the positioning of the struts is inexact. My advice would be to think carefully about how you are going to do the wheels before doing anything with them.

 

Paul .   

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3 minutes ago, vildebeest said:

I have built the Valom Harrow. I would consider myself a fairly average modeller but do not recollect any huge problems. It was fairly detailed, the clear parts were fine as far as I am concerned - the clear parts have been criticised on earlier kits. The main difficulty was getting those huge wheels and fairings hanging in the middle of the air right. That took several goes. The plastic for the struts is quite brittle and most of was replaced and, being short run, the positioning of the struts is inexact. My advice would be to think carefully about how you are going to do the wheels before doing anything with them.

 

Paul .   

Thanks for the heads up. What did you use to replace the legs.

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I used the kit piece for the main strut from the wing and contrail struts for the ones attaching to the fuselage. If I were doing it again, though, I would think about replacing the main strut. The key I think is to be able to get a really strong joint between the main strut and the wing and the wheel spat. Also to use some sort of jig, both to hold it whilst drying and to ensure that they are angled forward by the exactly the same amount on both sides at the first attempt.

 

Paul

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Thanks I have looked at your Harrow thread and I am blown away at the quality. Looking at your photos made me hit the buy button so its your fault if it goes tits up 

Thanks Altcar, I'll don my steel helmet, just in case. You should have no major problems with the kit , however, Paul is right, the weakest part of the kit is definitely those undercarriage struts. I replaced all mine with Contrail airfoil strut into which I drilled 1mm holes and fitted 1mm steel pins which then located into similar holes drilled into the fuselage mounting points. Even then the assembled legs and sponsons must be aligned perfectly to ensure the correct stance of the old bus (I used slow setting CA). Regarding the clear parts it's a good idea to polish and then dunk the clear parts in either Klear or, my preferred choice, AK Gauzy Shine Enhancer. When it comes to the large white underwing serials, I decided, rather than risk any silvering of the large carrier film against the Night Black undersides, to use Montex's excellent Harrow masks and spray them on instead, I did the same with the fuselage ones. Hope this helps.  

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42 minutes ago, AltcarBoB said:

Corsair couldnt you order direct from Valom or buy from a UK based supplier. Postage cant be too much on a plastic kit or does it also take into account volume as well as weight. 

Yes, it does go on volume.  Remember that it all travels by air nowadays, and prices are very high. This is called progress.

 

You don't say which option you ordered.  I have the early transport, but windows were added to at least some, in a continuous strip under the wing, so be careful which individual you set out to make.

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I remember there was some question on the accuracy of the replacement nose for the Sparrow option, I do not recall there ever being a definitive answer, so have the Bomber version in the stash.

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51 minutes ago, Graham Boak said:

 

 

You don't say which option you ordered.  I have the early transport, but windows were added to at least some, in a continuous strip under the wing, so be careful which individual you set out to make.

I have ordered 72117 Handley-Page Harrow Mk.II (271. Sqn Normandy) I need to do some research as I want to build the air ambulance version, as far as I know the air ambulance was externally almost the same as the late transport version with the long side window. The main difference is the doors which I think were made larger.

 

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3 hours ago, AltcarBoB said:

Corsair couldnt you order direct from Valom or buy from a UK based supplier

I have ordered from Hannants in the past but im on a fixed budget as Im disabled. So thats a rarity once a year thing. I need to decide what i meed most when i do have my budget and it doesn't always work out. Possibly this year as I'm expecting some extra $ so i might actually get to do this. 

Edited by Corsairfoxfouruncle

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19 minutes ago, Corsairfoxfouruncle said:

I have ordered from Hannants in the past but im on a fixed budget as Im disabled. So thats a rarity once a year thing. I need to decide what i meed most when i do have my budget and it doesn't always work out. Possibly this year as I'm expecting some extra $ so i might actually get to do this. 

Dennis,

 

There is a seller on that well-known auction site that I buy all my Valom kits from- his prices are always lower than the mail order hobby shops and the shipping is very reasonable; send me a pm and I can give you his url. If it weren't for him, I would have very few Valom releases, as I refuse to pay ridiculous prices for  short-run kits, even very good ones like Valom. I totally agree with General Melchett's build and WIP; looking at the incredible job he did on his made me want to go out and get one! It's such a handsome old bus!

 

BTW, @general melchett, I got the Twin Pin, and it's a very, very good kit- even better than the excellent Gerald J. Elliot or was it Hallam Vac kits?

Mike

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0000019_zps2wtgk5no.jpg&key=b62d63dc2b02

 

3895158.JPG

48911501236_d03e80cb02_o.jpg

Edited by JWM

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BTW, general melchett, I got the Twin Pin, and it's a very, very good kit- even better than the excellent Gerald J. Elliot or was it Hallam Vac kits?

Thanks Mike, I'll be down to Hannants for the first of my bi-annual wallet emptying 'cash and carry' trips in January so will pick one up then, unless I can persuade the editor of AMW to let me build one for him first...

Agree about pricing. There's one particular trader who appears at SMW every year and manages to sell Valom, Karaya and Roden kits at very low prices, unsurprisingly I tend to make an early beeline for him every time. This year among a few others, I picked up a Roden C-5 for £50, which, while still overpriced for what you get is over 50% cheaper than RRP. Unfortunately he didn't have a twin pin but his Harrows and Sparrows were around £28. 

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18 hours ago, AltcarBoB said:

He seems to be a one man band and he has excellent reviews so might be worth dropping him a line to see if he can export.

I agree that Vaclav Lomitzki is, in my experience, a thoroughly decent chap and well worthy of support.  I bought a Marauder kit which had the resin parts for the wrong variant: an e-mail to him elicited an immediate (like, an hour or so) personal response and the requested parts in double quick time: I didn't actually believe the post from his door to my door could be that quick.  I had also mentioned that I'd bought 2 of his Brigand kits: completely unprompted, he sent me the transparent DF loop fairing appropriate to one of them - he'd only noticed his error after the first few batches had shipped.  And his selection of subjects is excellent: gaps in the market that the big boys are unlikely ever to fill.

 

It pains to me to say, BTW, that the 1/72 early Marauder was not Vaclav's finest hour: the fuselage is about one scale foot too big in diameter.  He used flawed drawings: not the first and won't be the last to do that cf Airfix Wildcat/Martlet.

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8 hours ago, general melchett said:

Thanks Mike, I'll be down to Hannants for the first of my bi-annual wallet emptying 'cash and carry' trips in January so will pick one up then, unless I can persuade the editor of AMW to let me build one for him first...

Agree about pricing. There's one particular trader who appears at SMW every year and manages to sell Valom, Karaya and Roden kits at very low prices, unsurprisingly I tend to make an early beeline for him every time. This year among a few others, I picked up a Roden C-5 for £50, which, while still overpriced for what you get is over 50% cheaper than RRP. Unfortunately he didn't have a twin pin but his Harrows and Sparrows were around £28. 

The Twin Pin is adorable in the box. I was able to get one "damaged" at a healthy discount from Hannants. There was about a 5mm crease in one of the box corners.

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One of Sparrows of 271 Squadron has bright nose with som ekind of emblem or nos art

Anybody knows more on this?

3895158.JPG

 

Cheers

J-W

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I know nothing about the badge, but the light patch just appears to be the same size and place as the lighter colour in the camouflage.  Perhaps there's a small patch of sunlight?

 

Nice view of the slat.

Edited by Graham Boak

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