Jump to content

British early jets - 1/72 Whittle and Vampire - COMPLETE!!!


Recommended Posts

Hi folks!


You can never have enough projects in progress :) So I thought in parallel with my other constructions I would commence yet another one. 


Two very early British jets. A Whittle/Pioneer/E.28/39 from new Ukrainian brand Clear Prop and an almost venerable now Special Hobby kit as a Vampire mk.I.


The pair will share same top colours and of course some overlaps for interior painting so I'm looking for some synergy of this micro group build. 




Edited by Dennis_C
Wip is over now :)
  • Like 9
Link to comment
Share on other sites

First in came Vampire.


Almost an out of the box project. I only bought CMK wheels. Decal sheet is excellent so no need for any aftermarket one. Cabin content is reasonable so I thought no reason to look for PE sheets. 


Some close ups

20210223_002208 20210223_002220 20210223_002237


This box has a separate sprue for mk.I with dedicated tail booms, nose cone and stabilizer. Why SH molded pitot together with the tail? I knocked it off on Airfix T.11 model 2 or 3 times until.lost it to the carpet monster. So eventually replaced it a piece of wire in the end.



Quality control issue. This out has renewed intakes instead of original very erroneous ones. Still there is noticeable amount of flash inside plus shortmolded fences. Something to spend time on...



Transparencies are good, thin and crisp.


Piece of PE to replace equipment in the rear cabin for the earliest options. 



Decal is nice and comes from cartograph. Red is too dark to my taste, but I know it should be sort of dull for late wwii subjects so maybe ok.


CMK wheels set.


Enough for today. 



  • Like 4
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Now one more important Vampire note. Unfortunately SH Vampire has one really major problem. 

Have a look:

20210223_123237 20210223_123204

Wing chord is 3mm larger than it should be along the tail booms joint. 39 mm against ~36 mm with Airfix. Airfix Vampire is spot on geometrically so is used as reference here. 

At the same time chord is correct at tips and at fuselage joint. The problem is in too forward intakes + wrong leading edge swept. Trailing edges match Airfix okay. 


Unfortunately there is even more troubles:

20210223_123129 20210223_123054

On the first photo trailing edges are matched and the undercarriage slides forward. In the second photo undercarriage bays are matched and the trailing edge goes off. 

I agree these are not perfect shots but it gives the idea what went wrong. 


I do not think this issue could be removed completely. My plan is to make it a bit less pronounced by sanding about 1-1.5 mm off leading edge if measured at the widest part with zero sanded at wing tips. Maybe some adjustment to intakes placement be needed. 


Will keep progress posted. 

  • Like 5
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Nice subjects. I have a 1/48 whittle in the stash and definitely plan to add a vampire or a venom sooner rather than later.

That wing error looks tricky to fix. I’d imagine you’d need to slice up the wing and take a few slices out to match the Airfix wing not impossible but tricky.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

6 minutes ago, Marklo said:

That wing error looks tricky to fix. I’d imagine you’d need to slice up the wing and take a few slices out to match the Airfix wing not impossible but tricky.

That is definitely the right way to do - cut out a slice from between ailerons and undercarriage bay.

Something like that:


Mind that chord is correct at fuselage joint so you need to cut out two triangles and a straight section from the booms area.

I guess the only possible way to fix the issue is to buy a spare Airfix kit and grab the wing from there. 

  • Like 4
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Bugger, just glued my FB.5 together now!!! Oh well I will have to live with it.  It's a nice kit apart from the error with the wings.  I am looking forward to seeing yours go together Dennis , along with the Gloster.   Your Airfix Vampire looks great . 



  • Like 1
  • Thanks 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

1 hour ago, bigbadbadge said:

It's a nice kit apart from the error with the wings. 

Yeah. This one is from earlier days of new generation MPM/Special Hobby molds. Now I think SH are more attentive towards geometry and detailing. 


There are some other issues as well - gun ports being too large and too close to the undercarriage is the most prominent one. Also cockpit is a bit spartan, control stick is wrong for earlier Vampires - should be wwii style one. Instrument panel is strange - looks oversized and at the same time they did not place some instruments on left and right consoles. 


Some issues are fixable, some are less so. 

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites



Some more progress yesterday:



Added weight under the cockpit floor. I suspect more lead will be needed in the nose cone but at this stage hard to predict how much would be enough so I thought 'basement' should be filled in in advance. I use plasticine and lead fishing sinkers pressed into plasticine.



To reduce wing chord error I sanded about 1 mm off the leading edge. Same 1 mm is sanded off the rear side of the intakes. My plan is to paint intake interiors, assemble the wing and then sand the leading edge back to more appropriate shape. 

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

A little more progress:


Things done over last couple days:

- added multiple cockpit bits all out of the box,

- replaced equipment box in the rear cabin with a p/e piece,

- cut and sanded undercarriage bits so these can be painted, 

- replaced shortmoulded fence in the intake with plastic sheet. 

  • Like 4
Link to comment
Share on other sites

There are couple things to complete with Vampire before painting but yesterday I decided to unpack Whittle box.


The box itself is quite unusual in that it is a top opening box made of sturdy white cardboard but it also has another top side cover from thinner coloured carton. 

Inside you find three plastic sprues, a small sprue with transparencies, small pe sheet, a not very large decal sheet. 

I also purchased a separate pe sheet from Clearprop to add more details into cockpit and elsewhere. 

20210301_002624 20210301_003345 20210301_003329


This is an extra pe sheet and instruction that I bought separately:



Sprues have nicely moulded details but also some amount of flash that should be carefully removed:


Look at the edges of tail and stabilizers with same flesh there. And look at the thinness of the control stick. I'd also admit quite nice fabric cover representation. 


Today I started to cut main and interior parts. Couple first impressions:

- plastic is softy. Reminds of the plastic of some Czech short run firms such as LF or some AZ moulds. Cut with care!

- fit is tight to very tight. You really need to trim all flash and moulding lines to make parts sit right. But at the same time fit looks great!

- plastic parts are thin! Fuselage sides are probably the thinnest I ever saw. Reminds of Hasegawa quality. 


That all together means you really need to dry fit everything diligently as otherwise you will get distorted shapes. 


One last point - I have NO idea where do I put any weight into this..... there is minimal space above undercarriage bay in front of the cockpit between intake channels. But I suspect that is not enough. And then you can only put weight aft of the cockpit. MiG-15s issue...

  • Like 2
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Hi, quite a lot of progress with Whittle. Mostly getting ready interiors for painting:


Job done:

1) pre assembled cockpit's plastic parts (details in the cockpit are of good resin quality - fantastic!!!),

2) cut a number of interior and some exterior parts such as gear doors and exhaust pipe

3) glued wheels together

4) added pe horizontal splits into the intake channels. Clearprop cleverly provided slots to insert these parts as otherwise it would have been a disaster to attach. 

5) assembled undercarriage bays and then assembled the whole wing structure. 


What would I say? Fit is outstanding, but that goes until you have so many parts that should be aligned. So far so good but fuselage fit look problematic ahead:

20210307_012130 20210307_012153


My plan is to paint everything, attach intake sides and then trim cockpit part until it fits okay. 

Edited by Dennis_C
Link to comment
Share on other sites

1 hour ago, Marklo said:

Nice looking kit. I’d say you may need to pack weights just aft of the cockpit and maybe into the leading edges of the wings.

There is space between intakes, undercarriage, instrument panel and fuselage top side. Also some weight might go beneath the cockpit floor aft of the undercarriage bay. I will put as much lead as possible in both areas and hope that is enough. 

Edited by Dennis_C
Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • 3 months later...

Hi there!


Have not posted for a while but that does not mean no progress on the project. Both Whittle and Vampire got interiors painted. And Vampire moved to the assembly shop.


Interiors added and fuselage locked:



Kit supplied decals are used for instrument panel and harness. First time ever did harness with decals. Not photoetch of course but looks reasonable. As to the instrument panel - I believe decals are actually perfect for these IMO. Not much worse than coloured PE from Eduard. 

Green that I use I agree is not traditional grey-green. However I already used this on a number of WWII subjects and find it quite okay to have the whole line up with the same interior paint. One more point - on the smartphone photoes it goes too much into the blue while it's more greyish in reality. 


Added wings too:



Pretty simple step without much alignment efforts. Prior to adding wings I thinned leading edges that I cut previously (see posts above) to mitigate the wing chord error at least a little bit. Nose cone is still not added as I want to make sure I put enough lead there after I attach beams and stabiliser. 




Beams are not glued yet. The intent here is to show some fit issues. While upper sides work really ok with very little filler needed, on the lower side of both wing and beams there are some gaps. I closed the wing gap with putty already. Same would be needed with beams too.


More to come soon!


Kind regards,


  • Like 2
Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • 1 month later...

Hi, some update on the progress in this thread. Vampire is moving ahead. Mostly assembled, need to paint gun sight, install canopy and that is it.


If you remember I went a bit harder way and decided to reduce (at least partially) the wing chord which is off on SH model. I shaved off about 1-1.5 millimetres at the point where intake starts. Obviously that required shifting the intakes back which in its turn required extension of the intake lips. The picture below explains what I did. Everything turned out pretty okay I think. Some filler was needed to close resulting gaps but overall I'm happy with the result. 




Another tricky point was attachment of the nose cone. Hard to say why, but when aligned on the upper side, nose cone gave a noticeable gap on the lower joint. See on the picture too. I added plastic inserts there to ensure stronger structure. 


In all other places the construction was easy. Some trimming was needed to ensure proper booms fit into the wing but not much time with rulers in this case. 


Kind regards,


  • Like 4
Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • Dennis_C changed the title to British early jets - 1/72 Whittle and Vampire - COMPLETE!!!

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
  • Create New...