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PeterB

Handley Page Hampden - John Hannah VC

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Hi,

 

To make a change from the German planes I hope to build for this GB, I thought I would throw this in.

DSC03351-crop

I built my first Hampden in about 1968, just after it was released , though this is a 2010 re-boxing. The Hampden entered service in late 1938 and at the start of the war on September 3rd 1939 equipped 8 RAF Squadrons, and on the next day Hampdens of 83 Squadron made their first albeit abortive attack on German ships in the Schillig Roads. During the Battle of Britain they joined in with attacks on various targets as far afield as Germany, and I have decided to model P1355, also of 83 Squadron which took part in an attack on invasion barges at Antwerp on the night of September 15-16th. It was hit by flak on the way home and caught fire. Although two of the crew baled out, the wireless operator Sergeant John Hannah fought the fire and eventually put it out, the plane making it back to base. For this act of bravery he became the second Hampden crew member to receive the Victoria Cross, the first being Pilot R A B Learoyd of 49 Squadron in August – the kit comes with markings for Learoyd's machine. It will be a little while before I make a start as I have 3 kits to finish off in another GB which closes in 2 weeks.

 

Hannah was severely injured, and not long afterwards caught tuberculosis, probably brought on by his weakened condition. He left the RAF, but sadly died in 1947 aged 25. A sad end for a very brave man. This is the recommendation for his award.

Hannah-crop

Cheers

 

Pete

Edited by PeterB

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Nice one Pete,after the very enjoyable build of the Airfix Battle I'm on the lookout for this kit as I've never tackled one.

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Nice choice Pete, looking forward to seeing this build.

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Hi Steve, 

 

A handful of Airfix kits on e-bay plus several other makes. Looks like they are going for £20+ but you might get lucky. It made up pretty well as I recall - still have the original but it was getting tatty so I picked a new one up when last Airfix re-released it. The only problem I remember is that the guns are not great and getting AM Vickers VGO aka K guns in 1/72 is not all that easy and pretty expensive I seem to recall - in fact just looked and they are no longer available at Hannants it seems.

 

Cheers

 

Pete

 

Later - actually the kit guns are not that bad - must have been clumsy with the good old tube cement when I was building it first time.

Edited by PeterB

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Concur on the shory. Fighting a fire in such conditions must have been absolutely dreadful.

 

I wanted to build the Hampden as a kid, but never saw it for sale despite looking in LHSs all over the country during vacations. Never seen it been built either.

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2 hours ago, Torbjorn said:

I wanted to build the Hampden as a kid, but never saw it for sale

Me either.  I used to stare at the Roy Cross boxart for hours though, in my ragged copy of the 1970's Airfix catalogue.

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Great story and choice of subject.

 

I wish Airfix or somebody would do a new tool of this classic 🙏

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I'll watch this keenly Peter, my late brother was John Hannah & the 1st I knew of his name sake was after he told me probably about 15 years ago. Probably googling himself & came upon an entry for the VC winner. I recall him being quite moved by the story, it is a very sad one. My brother got killed while hiking nearly 9 years ago now, I've long thought to build my Airfix Hampden as this one as a sort of dual memorial.

Steve.

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2 hours ago, GREG DESTEC said:

Great story and choice of subject.

 

I wish Airfix or somebody would do a new tool of this classic 🙏

Hi Greg,

 

I know there were a few new Hampdens released in the last 15 or so years - Valom in I think 2008, and AZ models a few years back though I suspect that is the Valom one again. I have no idea how accurate they are. I have always thought the Airfix one was pretty good, though no doubt there will be some inaccuracies, but I have never seen a review until I had a dig around today, and found a couple including one by Heather in 2018! Usual problems of thick transparencies, heavy rivet/panel line detailing, lack of detail on engines and interior that you would expect from a kit of this age, but generally it seems to look about right. Some doubt about the exact profile of the wing tips I gather and the u/c is maybe a little simplified, but overall it is not bad I think, though a new tool should be even better.

 

Seeing "Bomber" Harris' signature at the bottom of the recommendation for the VC reminds me that as commander of 5 group, he was supposedly behind the move to add extra guns in the upper and lower rear positions, but more on that during the build. Hugh Walmsley was the CO of Scampton at the time, hence his involvement.

 

Cheers

 

Pete

Edited by PeterB

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8 hours ago, PeterB said:

I know there were a few new Hampdens released in the last 15 or so years - Valom in I think 2008, and AZ models a few years back though I suspect that is the Valom one again.

The AZ release indeed is Valom, but with AZ models' transparencies - the original Valom parts tended to turn yellow, hence the replacement parts.

There's a reboxing coming along soonish I've heard, so for those interested... keep an eye out.

 

Don't know if those AZ parts could be used as a replacement for the Airfix parts - I'd say not, but who knows?

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Hi,

 

My transparencies are thick but otherwise pretty good, though the underside gunners's glazing was missing, and by the time I noticed Airfix were no longer producing the kit. However they did send me a replacement, but it cost me £3 so I have mixed feelings about that - as I mentioned elsewhere times have changed - when I had a part missing on their original Series 2 Mossie they sent me a complete replacement kit free of charge by return of post!

 

Cheers

 

Pete

Edited by PeterB

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16 minutes ago, PeterB said:

but it cost me £3 so I have mixed feelings about that

This week I got charged the same Pete, for a damaged upper wing, 1/48 Spitfire 22/24, which was still sealed in the bag. But not worth arguing about it, glad I could get a replacement for a part/kit OOP. Though I must say that Eduard don't charge anything for replacing damaged parts.

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Hi Charlie,

 

Yup, customer service ain't what it used to be!

 

Pete

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