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Vickers Viking 1b


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My daughter (visiting) was looking through her grandparents' honeymoon album, and wanted me to make her a model of the aircraft they flew from Northolt to Paris on.

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The photo (above) makes no sense: On the G-INFO database, the registration in the photo refers to a JUNKERS JU52/3MG8E, (& the photo is of a Viking!)

Either it is a fake or photoshopped photo (unlikely, as my father pasted the photo into the album in March 1951), or the registration had been re-issued (which practically EVERYONE claims has never been done.

Anyway, I presume the photo is genuine, so, onward I press with the model.

I was all prepared to start scratchbuilding a Vickers Viking at 1/33 scale (my preferred scale).

Few days later, in the post I received a Valom 1/72 Vickers Viking C (Valettta). She had sent it to me.

I normally AVOID consumer plastic construction kits like the PLAGUE!

But here goes-

I thought I'd share my journey here on Britmodeller.

I saw @TheyJammedKenny! posts and they give me some useful pointers, so, thanks, Kenny!

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I've been through the VC1 Viking production line list and  G-AHOK doesn't exist . The G-AHO sequence starts at  'HON  and continues to HOZ ( No letters O and Q  ) All of those were delivered in 1946  . Bit weird that photo . I have that as a postcard  which was issued by BEA  (IIRC) . So all this means is it was the postcard they found in the seatback pocket , not a picture of the  Viking they  flew on . Hope that makes life easier !

 

 The only time I can remember a registration change is BOAC Britannia 102 G-ANBG was re registered as G-APLL . 

 

Edited by bzn20
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I think that's a publicity photograph, mocked up before delivery (and so quite possibly used for a postcard, although I don't think I've seen that one before).  It's not Photoshop, but "proper" retouching, which was quite common in those days.

Why they'd use an incorrect registration is an open question.  BEA were not at all keen to take the 20 JU.52s on offer from the Government, so perhaps at the time the photo was retouched, they didn't expect to.

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1 hour ago, Lazy8 said:

I think that's a publicity photograph, mocked up before delivery (and so quite possibly used for a postcard, although I don't think I've seen that one before).  It's not Photoshop, but "proper" retouching, which was quite common in those days.

Why they'd use an incorrect registration is an open question.  BEA were not at all keen to take the 20 JU.52s on offer from the Government, so perhaps at the time the photo was retouched, they didn't expect to.

You haven't seen my comment . I have this postcard . BTW BEA were operating Ten JU-52s  . I have a postcard of one of those too by Pamlyn Prints . G-AHOK was written off in 1947 at Renfrew Airport (now Glasgow ). The rest of the BEA JU52s were withdrawn from service in 1947 too , having problems getting spares for the BMW engines .

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The other aircraft that was re-registered before the CAA loosened the registration rules in the 1970s was Granada TV's Dove which was originally G-ARSI until someone twigged and it took up the vacant registration G-ARFZ.

Airlines have often been nervous of depicting actual registrations in publicity material in case the depicted aircraft crashes but this is the first time in 66 years interest in aviation that I've seen a publicity shot using a registration of an aircraft that had previously crashed!

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I'd love to see how you get on with this!  I agree with others about the invalid registration, and think you're best advised using the standard BEA paint scheme of the period, which has the cheatline above the windows.  It's not a bad kit to build at all.  What I suggest you do, being a scratchbuilder and all, is to alter the cockpit transparency's roof so that it's less abrupt in profile at the "eyebrow" line (see the shape of the aircraft in the postcard for comparison with the kit's part).  As the real aircraft was ogival in cross-section, the entire roof line, back to the tail, should be reshaped to make it more rounded.  Valom's roofline is too flat, whereas the ancient AirModel vac got it just right.  Hope this helps a little--not that I need to provide advice to a scratchbuilder in 1/33!

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1 hour ago, TheyJammedKenny! said:

standard BEA paint scheme of the period

That's the correct BEA scheme for 1951  on that postcard when they took that trip and continued to 1953 at least on Vikings anyway .

 

Edited by bzn20
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As others have said, the registration G-AHOK was only issued to a Ju 52 3m, which was owned by the Ministry of Civil Aviation and operated by Scottish Airways before ownership and registration passed to BEA where it was damaged beyond repair at Renfrew before entering service.

Aircraft are often re-registered, and the same registration can be re-used, but only on the same airframe, so the registration G-AHOK should not have been used on any other airframe.

The image at the top of the thread is a crop from a photograph used on a postcard:-

https://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/153728495648

s-l1600.jpg

This appears to be a genuine photo of a BEA Viking but with an incorrect registration applied.

This could either have been an error painting the registration on the aircraft (not unheard of!) or the photo has been retouched during processing. 

All BEA Vikings carried a name beginning with "V" on the nose below the BEA Key logo, if this is visible on an original postcard this may help identify the airframe unless this has also been retouched - I can't make anything out in the above image.

Note that the photo shows a Viking IB with the slightly longer fuselage (8 cabin windows on port side for the IB, 7 for the IA and I), could this be the first Viking IB G-AHPK with a typo in the serial application??

1 hour ago, bzn20 said:

That's the correct BEA scheme for 1951 on that postcard and continued to 1953 

The BEA Key Scheme was used with variations from the airline's inception in 1946 until the introduction of the Peony scheme in 1950.

If this is a publicity postcard for BEA I would date this to 1947 with the introduction of the Viking iB into service rather than early 50's - there may have been Vikings still flying in the Key scheme but if you're issuing publicity photo's they'd surely be of aircraft in the new Peony scheme by then. The early Viking IA's initially had the Key logo behind the cockpit windows, with stripes above and below the cabin windows, the photo shows a slightly later variation with the key logo below the cockpit windows and 3 stripes between the cabin windows

 

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It's all a bit confusing given the 1951 date of the trip .   I've been collecting postcards since I was nearly 4 and They didn't always keep up with colour scheme changes back in the late 50's / 1960s , and still give out postcards with the older look to save waste maybe or just slack staff . I got white fined BOAC Britannia and were were flying on a Brit 312 with the dark fin , 1st and only Dark fin 707 postcard ,flying on a Gold Speedbird 707  . BEA were probably like that and worse  ,looking back .I remember  BEA weren't very good with postcard releases or weren't put  in the seat back pockets tight as a duck's wotsit and trying to get hold of them at their head offices and terminal ticket desks was like proverbial blood from a stone . They did the odd multi view  "fleet card" , 2 in Peony and one Red Square so they could put on any plane and would match the one they were on . Even an aircraft cleaner that used to get me a lot postcards couldn't get hold of BEA cards  very often . You mentioned 'HPK and that is a good idea but why mess with the photo ?

1 hour ago, Dave Swindell said:

they'd surely be of aircraft in the new Peony scheme by then

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Thanks, @bzn20. I agree with this, but while my father was on the Feb. 1951 flight, he asked the steward for a photo of the plane specifically they were on. When the steward handed him the postcard, he asked her, "Is this our plane?" to which she replied "yes."

My father was, at the time, an actuary for the Royal Exchange, and had been responsible for training loadmasters during his military service. That said, I find it difficult to believe he would have disembarked without looking at the registration on the fuselage immediately close to the exit door to see if it matched the registration on the card. And, in his honeymoon album, he wrote under the card "our plane" (as opposed to "same model as our plane.." Yes, I realise that 

 

Back to my marathon build I am starting:

Those who know this Valom kit I have been given will be aware that it is designed to create either the Viking C.2 or the Valetta.

I want to make the Viking 1B which can't be done out of the box without modification.

My intention was to post ongoing photos of my build, but last night, as I was looking at all the parts, I found that the modification was going to be so easy and straightforward that I cut the bits and banged on with it, quite forgetting to record the procedure.

Sp, this morning I found a couple of images on trusty Google Images, and this is what I did:

(Valom provides 2 port & 2 starboard fuselage halves (I've labelled them A,B,C & D).

I cut the parts A & C where I drew the red line. (Actually, I cut A just rearwards of the red line, & C just forward of the red line, then sanded each part to make a nice fit).

I then glued the front section of A to the rear section of C to make a Viking 1B port side, and will use part B as the starboard side of the Viking 1B. It's not exactly as the 1B would've looked, but close enough at this scale for me to be satisfied.

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16 minutes ago, bzn20 said:

They didn't always keep up with colour scheme changes back in the late 50's / 1960s

I was trying to pin down when the photo was taken, rather than when the postcard was produced/being distributed, so given the clues in the photo I'd still suggest 1947 for the photo, and from what you and the OP say, it looks like the postcard was still being used for promo in 1951 - if they had a stack of them in stock they'd likely use them up before getting new ones of the new scheme printed?

 

21 minutes ago, bzn20 said:

You mentioned 'HPK and that is a good idea but why mess with the photo ?

I can see no logical reason to retouch just the registration on the photo, if the photo is 'HPK I was thinking the aircraft reg was incorrectly applied in error when originally painted and wasn't corrected until after the photo was taken. Alternatively, the photo was taken of the aircraft without any markings and the airline scheme and reg have all been added to the original photo and the artist made a typo with the registration. 

It's a bit of a puzzle as to why it's marked up as G-AHOK, it's definitely incorrect for a Viking.

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Back to my marathon:

(Thanks @TheyJammedKenny!for your encouragement).

Today I focussed on cutting the rudder to pieces!

I thought I'd add to my challenge by having both the rudder and trim hinged, as I like to have moving bits on my models. I intend using the very tiniest hypodermic syringe needles for hinges- telescoping one into another.

If you zoom on the picture, you can just see the line where I joined the two modified parts of the two port fuselage variants supplied by Valom.

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6 minutes ago, BrianBrachiopod said:

I then glued the front section of A to the rear section of C to make a Viking 1B port side, and will use part B as the starboard side of the Viking 1B. It's not exactly as the 1B would've looked, but close enough at this scale for me to be satisfied.

Window config of your conversion looks correct to me on both sides for a BEA Viking IB.

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If you are planning to write up your build as it progresses it might be better to ask the moderators to move the thread to "Work in Progress". 

 

It would also mean your work being seen by a wider audience.

 

Dave G

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5 hours ago, Skodadriver said:

If you are planning to write up your build as it progresses it might be better to ask the moderators to move the thread to "Work in Progress". 

Already had a Report thanks Dave :yes: it has moved.  :ghost:

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6 hours ago, Dave Swindell said:

it's marked up as G-AHOK, it's definitely incorrect for a Viking.

So @BrianBrachiopod has a dilemma - will he build the postcard or the plane his rellies flew in? Perhaps looking for as many photos of BEA Vikings as possible might be the answer. It's unlikely, but far from impossible that the rego was applied incorrectly. More likely that a generic postcard was used.

 

6 hours ago, BrianBrachiopod said:

"Is this our plane?" to which she replied "yes."

....... he would have disembarked without looking at the registration on the fuselage immediately close to the exit door to see if it matched the registration on the card.

Unfortunately this is probably exactly what happened.

The stewardess likely interpreted the qustion as "Is this a Viking?".

The more research you do, the less you trust eye-witnesses!

 

Despite being a "consumer plastic construction kit" (as opposed to a consumer card model kit) you have made fine start on making a Viking from the parts. I shall follow with interest.

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I did a bit more work on the Valom Viking last night. Those following this saga who saw my previous picture will have noticed that I also cut the door from the port side fuselage. I have now made parts for a door from sheet styrene.

I intend this to have a working hinge in addition to the hinges for the elevators, ailerons & trim tabs.

It happens every time- I start with a relatively simple build, and then my zest for a challenge seems to take me to the Planet of the Absurd.

(Oh, and I haven't yet discovered how to embed two or more pictures in the same post when using Onedrive. (Is that me not understanding Onedrive or a Microsoft quirk?).

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That's the door assembled & nicely secured (with a blob of blutac).

Shame about the gap. (I'm kidding- I haven't yet made the inner doorframe). Anyway, after I curved the door, it mysteriously uncurved itself. (I'll have to do that again!)

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I'm loving this build, which is inspirational!  I take it you're not using the kit's windows, or--?  While you have the vertical stabilizer parted out, would you mind assessing whether it's to scale?  There seems to be a discrepancy between the height of the fin as seen in photos, and the height as depicted in the kit.  My reference says the aircraft height is 21 feet at the tail when the tailwheel is lowered, but the whole thing measures out to about 18 or 19 feet.  What do you think? Should there be an added shim in the tail and a correction to the leading edge angle?

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That photo of G-AHOK has definitely been messed with. Look at the aerials above the cockpit, they are far too thick, they look like a model representation. Looking at the cliffs behind, could it even be a painting rather than a photo?

 

Mystery aside, looking forwards to this :)

 

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1 hour ago, woody37 said:

That photo of G-AHOK has definitely been messed with. Look at the aerials above the cockpit, they are far too thick, they look like a model representation. Looking at the cliffs behind, could it even be a painting rather than a photo?

 

Mystery aside, looking forwards to this :)

 

I also have concerns about the camera shutter speed. Are those propellors actually moving? Was that aircraft photographed sat on the ground and then manipulated in the darkroom? Photoshop is an art but photographic retouching was a skill.

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@TheyJammedKenny! I checked several photos & spoke with a guy at Blackbushe Airport (which hosted almost a third of ALL Vikings over the years) and there were several iterations of the vertical stabilizer (so I am told).

Got a bit further with the Valom kit. I decided, (in for a penny and all that), to have all the hold & service hatches and the very vital septic tank hatch open on hinges.

(& I have now got the hang of maintaining the curvature of the styrene I'm using).

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