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Vickers Virginia Mk.X +++ Finished +++


CliffB

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Hi all,

My entry will be this Vickers Virginia - a hand-made 1/200 resin kit, produced by the late Chris Sayer (who traded as Shed Models).

 

P1130797.jpg

 

The kit comprises four impeccable resin parts, plus a selection of white metal bits for the engines and u/c.

 

P1130798.jpg

 

Noticeably absent are any struts or decals.  The instruction sheet states that these were available as extras if required - a sheet of roundels was £12 (presumably containing more than just those needed for this kit), whilst an etched brass 'strut pack' could be had for £10.  Unfortunately, the original owner of my kit appears to have declined these generous offers :unsure:

 

I'll need to get some good drawings to sort out the struts.

 

The Virginia entered RAF service in 1924, as a bomber replacement for the Vimy.  It continued in front-line Squadron service until February 1938, when the last Virginias were replaced by Wellingtons, Hampdens and Whitleys.  According to Wikipedia, other inter-war bombers, such as the Heyford, merely supplemented the Virginias, rather than replacing them.

 

Over its long life, the Virginia was regularly updated and my kit represents the last (and most numerous), version - the Mk. X (roman numeral).  The swept back wings and tail gun position are the give-aways.

 

During the 1930s, Virginias found themselves being used for a number of non-bombing purposes including acting as tankers for the earliest in-flight refuelling trials and also as parachute trainers.  For this latter purpose, 'jump platforms' were fitted to the lower wings.  

 

Virginia.jpeg

 

Fittingly, the final service role for Virginias was with the Parachute Test Flight at RAF Henlow, where they continued to serve until December 1941.

 

And so Virginias ended their RAF careers in a fairly low-key way -  but things could have been very different...

Minutes from a committee meeting on 26th June 1940, record that consideration was being given to equipping Virginias with an equally obsolete COW cannon (37mm), for anti-tank work.  Now that would have been something to see!  Needless to say, it never came to fruition.

 

I'll be finishing my Virginia as this aircraft from 214 Squadron in 1937.

 

Cheers

 

 

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Welcome, Cliff :) As Craig said, I reckon you're the current holder for the "most obscure" prize. I'm glad that sense prevailed and they didn't go with the idea of using those for anti-tank aircraft, I really wouldn't have wanted to be aircrew on one of these going up against front-line fighters defending the tanks 

 

James

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Thanks @modelling minion and @81-er.

 

20 minutes ago, 81-er said:

I'm glad that sense prevailed and they didn't go with the idea of using those for anti-tank aircraft, I really wouldn't have wanted to be aircrew on one of these going up against front-line fighters defending the tanks 

 

The Virginia's top speed (even without a hulking great cannon strapped to it), was a shade over 100 mph, so in ground-attack mode it would have made a very tempting target for small arms fire too.

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I remember I almost bought a Contrail vac form of this - it supposedly contained parts for 5 different planes, 2 Virginias, a Victoria and 2 Valentias! Just the sort of thing Pat @JOCKNEY is likely to have I suspect, to go with his Perth flying boat. If so he might have some plans!

 

Pete

Edited by PeterB
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4 hours ago, PeterB said:

I remember I almost bought a Contrail vac form of this - it supposedly contained parts for 5 different planes, 2 Virginias, a Victoria and 2 Valentias! Just the sort of thing Pat @JOCKNEY is likely to have I suspect, to go with his Perth flying boat. If so he might have some plans!

 

Pete

 

Yes Pete you ate quite correct I do have the Contrail version which has 5 kits in it.

 

PM me your email and / or postal address Cliff and I'll dig the kit out and photo copy the plans for you 

 

Cheers Pat 

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15 hours ago, JOCKNEY said:

PM me your email and / or postal address Cliff and I'll dig the kit out and photo copy the plans for you 

 

Thanks Pat, that would be really helpful :)

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On 30/12/2023 at 09:26, CliffB said:

During the 1930s, Virginias found themselves being used for a number of non-bombing purposes including acting as tankers for the earliest in-flight refuelling trials and also as parachute trainers.  For this latter purpose, 'jump platforms' were fitted to the lower wings.  

 

Amazing photo of guys clinging to struts ready to jump... would love to see that modelled!

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  • 3 weeks later...

Hi again everyone.

First of all, I must say thank you again to @JOCKNEY for sending me copies of his Contrail kit's drawings/instructions.  They've made my life much, much easier :cheers:

 

The first thing I noticed was that, outboard of the engines, the wings have slight dihedral.  In contrast, the kit's wings are dead flat.

Fortunately the resin proved to be very amenable to hot water and I was able to re-set the wings without too much trouble.  Before bending, I cut some grooves into the top of the wings in order to get a sharp fold.  This worked well, but I've been left with some grooves to fill...

 

P1130801.jpg

 

I had a bit of a disaster when the box tail shattered as I tried to remove it from its casting block.  I've managed to rebuild it - not perfectly, but hopefully good enough when painted dark green.

 

Cheers

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Ohhh a Virginia! Nice!

 

I also Ian Stair plans from Aviation News, already scanned. Message me your e-mail and I'll send them to you. 

 

Carlos

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4 hours ago, CliffB said:

Fortunately the resin proved to be very amenable to hot water and I was able to re-set the wings without too much trouble. 

When getting into hot water is a good thing! 🤣 Terrific project Cliff, will watch with interest. 

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Thank you guys for your kind comments and especially to @CarLos for sending me some really useful images :cheers:

 

Things have moved on a bit, so it's time for a quick update.

 

P1130803.jpg

 

Apparently my aircraft was painted in NIVO overall.  This was a first for me and an internet search threw up Humbrol 75 (Bronze Green), as a reasonable match.  Unfortunately I had none to hand, but did have some Tamiya XF-11 (J.N. Green), which Humbrol say is equivalent.  So that's what I've used.

 

It was a bit of a 'Chinese Whispers' route to paint selection, so some of the colour matching may have been lost along the way.  It's very dark, which maybe quite appropriate for a night bomber!  The decals came from my spares box.

 

In reality, the two engines were mounted on an arrangement of struts, but there is no way that I could recreate these in this scale.  Instead, I've simply used a block of plasticard to fix the engines in the right place.

 

P1130804.jpg

 

When painted NIVO (and with the upper wing in place), I'm hoping that the blocks will blend in nicely.  I'll also add a few of the more visible engine mounting struts (just for effect), which should be easy enough to do now that the engines themselves are firmly in place.

 

Cheers

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NIVO is available from a number of paint manufacturers, including Xtracolour.  It is generally described as being related to Dark Slate Grey, the latter being supposedly inspired by the sight of NIVO-painted bombers flying over sea.  Some accounts suggest that a darker version of DSG would be a better match.  Hu75 Bronze Green would appear to be too green, and not grey enough. 

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That's looking very nice, Cliff. I can't comment on the accuracy of the colour, but it's been very nicely applied

 

James

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Thanks guys 👍

 

On 1/24/2024 at 12:09 PM, Graham Boak said:

NIVO is available from a number of paint manufacturers, including Xtracolour.  It is generally described as being related to Dark Slate Grey, the latter being supposedly inspired by the sight of NIVO-painted bombers flying over sea.  Some accounts suggest that a darker version of DSG would be a better match.  Hu75 Bronze Green would appear to be too green, and not grey enough. 

 

Thanks Graham.  Yes, I'd seen it referred to as a grey-green.  Mine is more like a black-green.  This Wikipedia photo purports to be NIVO and I can see that's more like the Xtracolor shade.  I feel a re-paint coming on - thankfully, that shouldn't be too onerous!

 

In the meantime I've been creating two u/c assemblies from plastic card.  I decided to build these off the aircraft, using a 5 thou base plate.  This base plate is not present on the real aircraft, but makes construction so much easier (especially as it's polystyrene - rather than resin, like the wing).

 

spacer.png

 

They'll be glued to the wings when everything else is finished.  I need the holes in the wings to remain accessible for now, to allow insertion of the inter-plane struts.

 

Cheers

 

 

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You probably know this already but NIVO was the result of research carried out at the MoD establishment at Orford Ness to determine the best colour to paint night bombers towards the end of WWI - NIVO stands for Night Invisible Orford Ness apparently and the paint I used on my Heyford is a slightly greyish dark green.

 

Pete

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Thanks Pete.  I'd read that recently and was surprised at the Orford Ness connection.  I tend to equate Orford Ness with Cold War stuff, but clearly it has a longer history.  I must read more!

 

Cheers

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  • 5 weeks later...

Hi again folks.  It's taken a month, but I'm now back to where I was on 25th January!  

To be fair though, my Virginia is now painted NIVO, rather than JN Green :winkgrin:.  I used Xtracolor X020 (thanks to @Graham Boak for the tip 👍).

 

P1130848.jpg

 

Not the greatest photo but, on my screen at least, the colour balance is about right.

As I was running short of correctly sized roundels, I masked these with discs of tape before spraying the NIVO.  This approach worked surprisingly well!

 

I should hopefully be getting on with the struts tomorrow.

 

Cheers

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