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British early jets - 1/72 Whittle and Vampire

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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. 




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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. 



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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. 

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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.

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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. 

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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 . 



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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. 

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1 hour ago, TallBlondJohn said:

Is it possible to use Airfix wings?

Wings are theoretically identical. IIRC Airfix has booms that are plugged into the wing. So one would need to subassemble wings with boom roots.

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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. 

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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. 

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1 hour ago, TheyJammedKenny! said:

Nice work, despite the frustrations with the kit!  Imagine changing the wing chord on a much larger model, like a 1/72 DC-8!

Haha :) I think you just need a bigger file to do that!

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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...

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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
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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
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