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Armstrong Whitworth Whitley MkV - FROG (sort of) 1/72


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This is a project I started YEARS ago but ran out of motivation after a few weeks. It has sat in a box for over 10 years in a part completed state so I decided it was time to try and get it finished.

For many, many years, the FROG kit of the Whitley was the only game in town. It was originally issued in 1972 (per Scalemates) so is of a similar vintage to my recently completed Firefly. It is therefore basically accurate in outline shape but a lot of the detail is simplified or simply non existent. In line with my philosophy of getting stuff finished, I plan to try and get this done without too many additional embellishments. However, when I started it in 2010 I hadn't quite adopted this simplified approach to model building so I'd acquired an Airwaves etched brass cockpit interior.

As you can see from the box art, this is a more recent issue of the kit from one of the myriad of Russian and Ukraine outfits that had access to these old FROG moulds over the decades since FROG's demise in the mid 1970s. By the time this version was released, the moulds had grown very tired and there was tons of flash all around the parts. The plastic was reasonable (some Russian plastic is brittle and impervious to polystyrene cement).

Here are some pictures I took when I first embarked on the project. I've done a bit more in the past week or so but not enough to warrant additional pictures for the moment.

Apart from the cockpit interior, the main additional work I did was open up window apertures in the fuselage, which had been represented on the kit by lines rather than openings. The landing light (as on the Firefly) was also represented by a simple set of "panel lines". I therefore cut out the landing light and boxed in the resultant gaping hole. I drilled out the exhaust ports as well. Hopefully, in the intervening decade, I haven't lost any significant bits.

Since 2010, Fly and Airfix have issued much more modern kits of the Whitley which, in line with modern practice, pack in a lot more detail - at the expense of cost and complexity.

 

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I built the Frog one in 1995 with the DB conversion kit to a MkI/II. I note that your kit needed about as much filler as mine did that was an original Frog moulding. Mine was fatally damaged in the great house move wreck the following year and subsequent accidental  culls when a chunk of my completed models looked like they had been at Pearl Harbour. 

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I also have the DB conversion set - but I've since bought the Fly MkI/II so hopefully that is an easier route to a Tiger powered Whitley.

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I have a lot of time for the Whitley and those who flew in them. They were the biggest of the early war Bomber Command twin engined bombers  and had the longest range - so were given the unenviable task of trying to reach Turin - which meant a laborious and dangerous crossing of the alps.

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  • 3 weeks later...

Making progress but had a bit of a mini disaster spraying the upper camouflage colours.

First of all, my nice H&B airbrush broke (terminally - a replacement is on order) so I resorted to my cheapie Chinese brush. It works, but is not as easy to use as the H&B. So, I managed to spray the colours reasonably OK.

However, the real problem was my use of cheap masking take. I used the usual "Blue Tack sausage and masking tape" technique but the tape left a gluey residue in some areas when I pulled it off and it also pulled some paint off in other areas. So the residue will have to be got rid of somehow and the damaged paint work rectified.

I might wait until my replacement H&B arrives as they are so nice to use. I got over ten years out of my previous one so I'm not too depressed about it reaching the end of its life.

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Looks like you are winning, despite your airbrushing woes. Looking forward to seeing how you get on with it. FWIW, Falcon do a set of vac canopies for it as part of one of their RAF bomber sets - if you are into RAF bombers there's a useful selection of canopies on there to spread the £12.99 (Hannants) around a bit.

 

(I have a Meritko spawn kit and I was amazed at the agricultural runners and crudity of the parts ... until I saw the original FROG mouldings, which are just as bad! Not one of their better kits at all, but the only injected game in time for decades. I keep looking at Airfix Whitleys on ebay - if I ever see one for less than 20 quid I think mine will be going in the bin!)

 

Regards,

Adrian

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I thought that the basic mouldings were OK - if crude. The problem with my version is that it is one of the Eastern European/Russian/Ukraine products and the runners and parts were festooned with acres of flash. Once cleaned off however, the parts were OK and went together reasonable well. The clear parts are the poorest part of the kit but I've persevered with them. I'm not going to let this thing defeat me but I won't attempt repainting until my new airbrush arrives, which hopefully will be later this week.

 

The other issue with the kit is that things like the small windows in the fuselage and the landing light were represented by simple mould lines. But it wasn't that difficult to open them up.

Of course, I definitely won't be using the kit decals but I have a set from Xtradecal that provides a nice night bomber variant with slightly toned down fuselage roundels.

 

I also have an Airfix and Fly Whitley in the stash. I'd like to do the Fly one next as it is an early Tiger powered variant which were pretty obsolete even before World War 2 started. Fly are a short run operation so I am sure there will be an insane parts breakdown and no location pins etc etc.

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Looking forwards to this. I built the Frog one in 2013 and went to work on it being the only game in town and now look what we have! That said, it was a good experience. Photobucket doing it's usual thing unfortunately with the images.

 

 

 

 

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