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1/48 Avro Lancaster Mk. X (Serial No. KB700) aka The Ruhr Express - August 1, 1943


Sergeant

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Avro Lancaster B Mk. I (Serial No. R5727), built in the UK and flown to Victory Aircraft in Malton, Ontario, in August 1942 to serve as a pattern for the other Lancasters to be built in Canada.  The fabrication drawings had been delivered in January, 1942.  R5727 became the first of the type to conduct a transatlantic crossing.  The first Canadian-built Lancaster was a Mk. X (Serial No. KB700), aka “The Ruhr Express” coming off the line a year after R5727 arrived in Canada.

 

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I purchased this 1/48 HK Models Avro Lancaster B Mk. 1 when it first became available at Sprue Brothers in Liberty, Missouri, USA so it has been under my workbench for months. As you can see it's a big model with a wingspan of 648mm (25 1/2-inch) and length of 443mm (17 7/16-inch) I have no delusion about how much work is involved.

 

In addition to the HK Models kit I purchased two Eduard Big Red photo-etched sets plus resin wheels and CanMilAir decals from Above & Below Graphics in Victoria, British Columbia. My intention is to display the finished Ruhr Express on the ground with bomb bay doors opened.

 

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2 hours ago, Bell209 said:

Looks much nicer than my Tamiya kit.

Thank you, Rob. This will be another RAF camouflage paint scheme, so hopefully I learned a few things from the Catalina project you saw. This time I plan to apply the camouflage paint to both the fuselage and wings with the same patch of paint.

 

Harold

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20 minutes ago, dogsbody said:

Ah, yes! Nanton is just down the road from me ( 823 km. ) which isn't that much in Canadian distances.

I just got back from England.  We put a thousand miles on a rental car and I haven't worked so hard in years, well, at least since the last time we were there.  Made me very happy to get back to the wide open spaces of Toronto (!)

 

800 klics is a nice drive in the right season.

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Thank you, @Winded Penguin @dogsbody @RJP for your interest and encouragement in this new project. A 1/48 Lancaster build has been a goal of mine for several years and I am excited to finally get started. A little background, I started this build in July 2022 as part of the Canadian Group Build. By August my eyesight was starting to become a problem so, I put off further interior work until I have surgery, which I am scheduled to have December 15, 2022. In the meantime I’m gathering what I need to paint the Ruhr Express.

 

To help with reference photographs I requested permission from Al Mickeloff, Marketing Manager of the Canadian Warplane Heritage Museum in Mount Hope, Ontario, Canada https://www.warplane.com. Al kindly provided a set of excellent reference photographs by David Blais. These photographs will be the foundation of my paint work, decals and camouflage pattern.

 

Harold

 

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Cataracts, ugh!  I had mine done several years ago and  what a relief it has been.  My surgeon was able to eradicate my short-sightedness while he was at it so goodbye to wearing glasses after almost 60 years.  Now I just need reading glasses for, well, reading.

 

Lovely shots of the CWH Lancaster.  It is of course FM213 under the skin, a late-built machine from the second batch delivered by Victory Aircraft in early 1945.  It has a number of differences from the original KB700 and there are a few points worth making with respect to the original.  I haven't got the HK Lancaster so am not sure which of these details might be covered by it.

 

KB700 was delivered in mid 1943 so was built to the then-current standard.  This means it had narrow blade props, sometimes referred to as “needle blades”.  Also, as delivered it carried the original blunter bomb aimer’s blister, later changed out for the later deep blister as moulded in most kits..

 

The pitot tube was carried in the original position further forward and angled down as seen from in front.  I see the HK box art includes the early pitot.

 

The mid upper turret was the Frazer-Nash 50 type with the fairing and in the original position aft of the bomb bay;  FM213 carries the American Martin 250 in the late-war position over the bomb bay.  It also had the mid-under turret, a Frazer Nash 64 just aft of the bomb bay.  The bomb doors were bulged down their centre line to fair the turret in.

 

Exhaust flame dampers were installed from the get-go

.

 

Finally, the row of fuselage windows seen on early Lancasters, a holdover from Manchester days, were not obvious in most photos of KB700.  They were however installed but painted over at the factory, a common enough mid-production feature. 

 

A Googling for KB700 will reveal all these details.  I’m not sure how welcome these points are but I’d feel remiss not to bring them up.  I am looking forward to following your progress.

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23 minutes ago, RJP said:

Cataracts, ugh!  I had mine done several years ago and  what a relief it has been.  My surgeon was able to eradicate my short-sightedness while he was at it so goodbye to wearing glasses after almost 60 years.  Now I just need reading glasses for, well, reading.

 

Lovely shots of the CWH Lancaster.  It is of course FM213 under the skin, a late-built machine from the second batch delivered by Victory Aircraft in early 1945.  It has a number of differences from the original KB700 and there are a few points worth making with respect to the original.  I haven't got the HK Lancaster so am not sure which of these details might be covered by it.

 

KB700 was delivered in mid 1943 so was built to the then-current standard.  This means it had narrow blade props, sometimes referred to as “needle blades”.  Also, as delivered it carried the original blunter bomb aimer’s blister, later changed out for the later deep blister as moulded in most kits..

 

The pitot tube was carried in the original position further forward and angled down as seen from in front.  I see the HK box art includes the early pitot.

 

The mid upper turret was the Frazer-Nash 50 type with the fairing and in the original position aft of the bomb bay;  FM213 carries the American Martin 250 in the late-war position over the bomb bay.  It also had the mid-under turret, a Frazer Nash 64 just aft of the bomb bay.  The bomb doors were bulged down their centre line to fair the turret in.

 

Exhaust flame dampers were installed from the get-go so.

 

Finally, the row of fuselage windows seen on early Lancasters, a holdover from Manchester days, were not obvious in most photos of KB700.  They were however installed but painted over at the factory, a common enough mid-production feature. 

 

A Googling for KB700 will reveal all these details.  I’m not sure how welcome these points are but I’d feel remiss not to bring them up.  I am looking forward to following your progress.

Thank you, RJP. I appreciate your insight and will make every effort to incorporate these differences. I want the finished model to be as close as possible to KB700.

 

Harold

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I have added to the list of aftermarket items white metal landing gear from Scale Aircraft Conversions (SAC). I imagine several aircraft modelers have used SAC products for larger models like the 1/48 Lancaster, but until today I have never heard of them. The review I read from IPMS/USA - Dick Montgomery was very positive. http://reviews.ipmsusa.org/review/landing-gear-hkm-lancaster-b-mk-1. It will be interesting to see how the Eduard resin wheels look with the SAC metal landing gear.

 

Harold

 

SAC #48404 White Metal Landing Gear for HKM 1/48 Lancaster B Mk. 1

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Eduard 1:48 resin Lancaster wheels

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Looking forward to your build.

Something at the very back of a befuddled mind is telling me that the flight engineers panel was a different layout in the Mk10.

I haven't access to my books (pilots notes specifically) so can't be sure. It may be worth a check tho before you use the etch set.

Regards,

Pete

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2 hours ago, Pete Robin said:

Looking forward to your build.

Something at the very back of a befuddled mind is telling me that the flight engineers panel was a different layout in the Mk10.

I haven't access to my books (pilots notes specifically) so can't be sure. It may be worth a check tho before you use the etch set.

Regards,

Pete

Pete is right. Not that I'm an expert....

 

See 5min 42 sec on this video showing the mark X engineer's panel

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Nice project and looking forward to your progress on this one. I see you are going to use SAC white metal landing gear! Will that stuff hold under all that weight after some  time taking the whole weight of the model? I know it's 48th scale but.....

 

Regards. Andy 

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3 hours ago, ad70 said:

Nice project and looking forward to your progress on this one. I see you are going to use SAC white metal landing gear! Will that stuff hold under all that weight after some  time taking the whole weight of the model? I know it's 48th scale but.....

 

Regards. Andy 

Thank you Andy @ad70 I have the same question about white metal which I believe is a type of soft iron or aluminum. My only experience with white metal is Friulmodel tank tracks. Tank tracks are designed so there is very little load or stress on the hinges, so we shall see. The IPMS review I mentioned above speaks very favorably of SAC white metal landing gear on heavy aircraft models.

 

 Harold

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5 hours ago, Pete Robin said:

Looking forward to your build.

Something at the very back of a befuddled mind is telling me that the flight engineers panel was a different layout in the Mk10.

I haven't access to my books (pilots notes specifically) so can't be sure. It may be worth a check tho before you use the etch set.

Regards,

Pete

Thank you, @Pete Robin @Winded Penguin. I have included your thoughts in my list of things to research and I will post in this Forum the results.

 

Harold

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4 hours ago, Sergeant said:

I have the same question about white metal which I believe is a type of soft iron or aluminum.

White metal is an alloy of tin, traditionally with lead, but nowadays for model and decorative items now with copper (no lead due to toxicity)

Its properties depend on the alloy contents, it can be quite soft, and the weight of the model can cause white metal undercarriage legs to splay out over time.

As the SAC legs are predominantly just the kit legs in metal with no extra detail or corrections, I've never seen any value in them as the kit legs are invariably strong enough to support the model with careful handling.

 

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On 11/24/2022 at 1:20 PM, Pete Robin said:

Looking forward to your build.

Something at the very back of a befuddled mind is telling me that the flight engineers panel was a different layout in the Mk10.

I haven't access to my books (pilots notes specifically) so can't be sure. It may be worth a check tho before you use the etch set.

Regards,

Pete

 

On 11/24/2022 at 3:38 PM, Winded Penguin said:

Pete is right. Not that I'm an expert....

 

See 5min 42 sec on this video showing the mark X engineer's panel

 

@Winded Penguin I checked the video that you suggested and Wow what a great information source it is. This video series called UK Aircraft Explored by Bryan Atkinson is solid gold for scale modeling.

 

Now the question is what if anything can I do about the fact that my Eduard PE is the correct panel layout for a Lancaster B Mk. I, which is what the HKM kit should have, but is not correct for the Mk. X, which what I am building. It is little things like this that make scale modeling a fun challenge.

 

The question I need to ask myself is can it be seen when the fuselage is closed. Can it be seen through the canopy? Looking at the cross-section photograph and CAD model below I would say yes it can be seen through the canopy. So, the next question is will anyone notice? The average person would never know the difference, but scale modelers like us, we see all these details, because that is just what we do. ;) No cheek intended, I am very committed to building an accurate Mk. X Canadian Lancaster.

 

Thank you again for introducing me to this video, it is a completely new source of great information that I will use in this Lancaster build.

 

Harold

 

This is what the HKM Avro Lancaster B Mk. I kit should have in the kit.

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Eduard photo-etched fret has the correct panel layout for the Lancaster B Mk. I

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This is what the Ruhr Express Mk. X (KB700) should have in the model.

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Cross-section of Flight Engineer's Position

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HKM Flight Engineers panel is seen through the cockpit canopy

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1 hour ago, Dave Swindell said:

White metal is an alloy of tin, traditionally with lead, but nowadays for model and decorative items now with copper (no lead due to toxicity)

Its properties depend on the alloy contents, it can be quite soft, and the weight of the model can cause white metal undercarriage legs to splay out over time.

As the SAC legs are predominantly just the kit legs in metal with no extra detail or corrections, I've never seen any value in them as the kit legs are invariably strong enough to support the model with careful handling.

 

@Dave Swindell Thank you, Dave. I agree with your logic, it makes no sense for a kit manufacture to produce something that will fail to stand on its own two or three legs. Clearly you have some metallurgical knowledge that I appreciate. I have seen decorations made of white metal but I did not make the connection between them and the kind of parts made for scale models.

 

Harold

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2 hours ago, Sergeant said:

 

 

@Winded Penguin I checked the video that you suggested and Wow what a great information source it is. This Lancaster video series called UK Aircraft Explored by Bryan Atkinson is solid gold for scale modeling.

 

Now the question is what if anything can I do about the fact that my Eduard PE is the correct panel layout for a Lancaster B Mk. I, which is what the HKM kit should have, but is not correct for the Mk. X, which what I am building.

 

 

This is what the Ruhr Express Mk. X (KB700) should have in the model.

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Could you modify the above image and rescale/print in high quality onto suitable paper?

You could also add a light, switches and the knurled wheels as 3d items, if added realism is desired. Just a thought.

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On 11/25/2022 at 2:36 AM, Winded Penguin said:

 

Could you modify the above image and rescale/print in high quality onto suitable paper?

You could also add a light, switches and the knurled wheels as 3d items, if added realism is desired. Just a thought.

You know @Winded Penguin I think that is possible. The Eduard PE panel requires me to remove the molded surface features of the HKM panel, so I have a smooth plastic substrate to glue the PE too. Instead of gluing the PE metal panel I could scale down the panel image above in Adobe Photoshope and print it on 5-mil clear plastic sheeting designed for screen printing with an ink jet printer which I already have on hand. I will try this idea; it just might work.

 

Thank you,

 

Harold

 

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26 minutes ago, Sergeant said:

You know @Winded Penguin I think that is possible. The Eduard PE panel requires me to remove the molded surface features of the HKM panel, so I have a smooth plastic substrate to glue the PE too. Instead of gluing the PE metal panel I could scale down the panel image above in Adobe Photoshope and print it on heavy clear plastic sheeting designed for printing signs with an ink jet printer which I already have on hand. I will try this idea; it just might work.

 

Thank you,

 

Harold

 

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Sounds like a great plan unfolding 👍

If you are adding 3D switches etc, I don't know if this stuff would possibly fit your needs also?

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On 11/25/2022 at 3:24 AM, Winded Penguin said:

Sounds like a great plan unfolding 👍

If you are adding 3D switches etc, I don't know if this stuff would possibly fit your needs also?

@Winded Penguin This is very cool stuff and yes I would like to try it on this panel.

 

Harold

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Thank you, @Bedders and Happy Friday to you too. It's raining today, but this is normal in the Pacific Northwest. Nice thing about scale modelling is you can enjoy it inside a warm place. If on the other hand my interest was duck hunting, I would be freezing my a-- off in some damp duck blind (random thoughts). :)

 

Cheers,

 

Harold

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  • Sergeant changed the title to 1/48 Avro Lancaster Mk. X (Serial No. KB700) aka The Ruhr Express - August 1, 1943

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