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Vickers Wellington GR Mk.II (A08021) 1:72 Airfix


Julien
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Vickers Wellington GR Mk.II (A08021)

1:72 Airfix

 

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The Vickers Wellington was a twin-engined medium bomber that entered service with the RAF in 1938. It served throughout the Second World War before finally being retired in 1953. Although the Wellington hasn't quite enjoyed the profile of some the RAF's heavy bombers such as the Lancaster or Halifax, it was produced in far greater numbers than either and made a vital contribution to the Allied war effort. It is popularly believed that the Wellington was designed by Barnes Wallis, inventor of the famous bouncing bomb. While it's true that the geodetic structure was invented by Barnes Wallis (albeit originally for airships), the Wellington was actually designed by Rex Pierson, Vickers' chief designer and father of the Vimy biplane bomber. Although superseded in the night bomber role by heavy bombers, the Wellington proved adaptable to other purposes, such as those of Coastal Command. The Mark II was powered by Rolls Royce Merlin engines instead of the Pegasus engines on the Mark I. 401 Mark IIs were built. The Wellington was the only British bomber to be manufactured throughout the war.

 

The Kit

This is a new release from Airfix , continuing their policy of replacing old kits from their back catalogue, and giving us different versions of the new kit.  Inside the red top-opening box  are six frames of grey plastic and a single clear frame. The mouldings are clean and crisp, with fine surface detail and delicate rendering of the characteristic surface texture of the Wellington. 

 

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The assembly instructions are divided into over 105 stages, which gives a good indication of the level of detail Airfix have managed to pack in to this model. The interior in particular is very detailed. In fact Airfix also show some parts which can be omitted as they are not easily visible. Interior details include full crew stations for the pilot, wireless operator and navigator, as well as the ubiquitous Elsan. The interior structures reflect the geodetic structure of the Wimpey and will occupy many fruitful days of modelling time to assemble and paint. The front bulkhead fits to the main floor and behind it the navs station. The cockpit and pilots seat fits onto the front of this bulkhead. The bomb bay doors are moulded open on the fuselage sides, and to close the bomb bay you will have to cut those off, thought why you would want to hide those details I dont know, Some detail is added into the fuselage sides and then the floor is fitted into the left side.  Further internal bulkheads are added for the rear crew stations, and in the tail towards the rear gunners position.

 

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Once you make it to step 30 of the instructions, it's time to fit the wing spar and cement those fuselage halves together. There are different parts to use depending on whether you wish to finish the model with the bomb bay open or closed and the landing gear up or down. As a result of all of these options, even something simple such as the assembly of the engine fairings occupies fourteen steps of the instruction manual. The interior of the main gear bays are nicely detailed though. Once the wings have been assembled, the ailerons can be fitted as well as the engine firewalls and the landing gear legs. Before the engines themselves can be fitted, the instructions skip ahead to the rest of the flying surfaces. the rudder and elevators are all separate parts, which introduce the option of posing them in different positions. The instructions then return to the engines. You dont get any interior details for the Merlin unlike the  Pegasus as you cant see anything inside the cowling, the lower radiators are detailed though. 

 

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With the main structure of the aircraft complete, the bomb racks, complete with bombs, can be added. The nose and tail turrets can also be assembled and fitted at this stage, each of which is nicely detailed right down to the .303 inch Browning machine guns (there have been reports of short shot barrel ends but on this boxing they are all good). All of the fuselage glazing can be fitted in place from the outside of the fuselage at the end of the build, which is a big bonus. The main landing gear wheels are fitted next. These feature nicely rendered flat spots, so your model won't look like it's on tiptoes once finished. To finish off the exhausts, props and a few antennas are added, along with a crew access ladder if the modeller wants.  

 

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Decals

Two options are provided on the decal sheet, 
⦁    Z8330 - No. 305 Polish Bomber Sqn RAF, RAF Lindholme, June 1942
⦁    W5442 - No. 214 Sqn RAF, RAF Waltham, March 1942.

 

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The decals themselves look thin and glossy, they are by Cartograf so there will be no issues with them. 

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Conclusion

It's about time we had more decent Wellingtons in 1/72 scale, and Airfix haven't disappointed. The parts count is high and a highly detailed model can be built. Highly recommended.

 

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Review sample courtesy of 


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Hoped they might have bundled in the GR part sprue in to follow the trend they had with other reboxes so could steal the aerials to replace the terrible mess I've made with etch ones on my sunderland...still looks another fantastic rebox and I bet 100 times easier to build than the mpm one 

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