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Vultee Vengeance Mk.I/Ia (DFW72038) 1:72


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Vultee Vengeance Mk.I/Ia (DFW72038)

1:72 Dora Wings Distributed in the UK by Albion Alloys




The A-31 Vultee Vengeance was designed and built for a French order that couldn’t be fulfilled due to Nazis overrunning the country before any deliveries could begin.  The British government became interested in the design and placed an order for up to 300 airframes, by which time the aircraft had garnered the name Vengeance.  It’s unusual wing design that looked like a diving bird had a 0° angle of incidence that made for an accurate dive with no lift from the wings to draw it off course.  After America joined the war the type was investigated for their own use and given the number A-35 for their own and export use.  Changes to the wing made it a little less accurate, but gave the pilots a better field of view, and an uprated engine from Mk.Ia onwards gave it a bit more power.


By the time the Vengeance reached British service, the losses taken by the Stukas that it had been designed to emulate gave them pause for thought, and they weren’t allocated to the European Theatre of Operation (ETO), but were instead sent to India and Burma initially, although they were later phased out in favour of more capable machines before the war’s end.  They eventually found their way to an anti-malarial spraying job, as mosquitos and the malarial plague they brought with them was taking a toll on troops and locals alike.  Many of them finished their days as target tugs after being stripped of their weapons.  Australia made a larger order and they found them to be much the same as the British did, seeing most of them out of service late in 1944, although a few lingered for a while.  The Mk.II that followed was a slightly improved version of the original Mk.I, with just over 500 made.



The Kit

This is a new tool from Dora Wings of this peculiar beast that looks more like a creature than most.  We received the awesome 1:48 kit of the Mk.II in early 2022, and now we’re getting a first look at the 1:72 kit of the Mk.I/Ia.   It’s brand new and thoroughly modern, with a level of detail that gives the impression that a shrink-ray has been applied to its larger companion, except for a slight change in sprue layouts, and the fact that shrink rays don’t yet exist.  The kit arrives in a small top-opening box, and inside are seven rectangular sprues in a greenish-grey styrene, a sprue of clear parts, a fret of Photo-Etch (PE), a sheet of pre-cut vinyl masks (not pictured), decal sheet, and the instruction booklet.  It’s a comprehensive package, and there is plenty of PE at this scale to help you get some serious detail into your Vengeance.  Examining the sprues, there has clearly been a lot of effort expended in creating this tooling, as detail is everywhere, and it’s good quality with engraved panel lines and some raised panels giving it a professional finish. 























Construction begins with the cockpit, which is of a larger size due to it having two crew members.  The pilot’s instrument panel is a well-detailed part applying two dial decals, which has more styrene and PE parts plus an sloped wrap-around section, hanging a pair of styrene rudder pedals from the rear of the console.  A compass with decal fits to the right diagonal section on a PE bracket, then the floor and bulkheads are made, which doubles as the roof of the bomb bay, as is common.  Two seats are built from individual sections including PE diagonals and have PE four-point belts included for the pilot only.  He also gets PE head armour and a styrene head rest on the bulkhead behind him, and a pair of side consoles that are built up in the same detailed manner as the instrument panel.  The pilot’s seat is fixed to the floor on a ladder frame in front of the bulkhead and is hemmed in by the addition of the instrument panel and side console at that point.  The gunner has a complex suspension mount for his seat that fits on a recessed circular section of floor with some additional parts around the area.  The fuselage halves have a large area of ribbing engraved into the interior that covers the cockpit and bomb bay, and is further detailed by the addition of various PE and styrene parts before it is put to one side while the cockpit/bomb bay are finished off.  The rear section of bulkhead is built up with PE and styrene, creating the base for the mount of the twin machine guns that are made later.  A radio box is also put together for later.


The bomb bay can be modelled open or closed, but it would be a shame to close the doors on all that detail.  The instructions allow you to do that though, as it’s your model after all.  Steps 19-27 & 48 cover the bombs with PE fins, a cylindrical tank, the door mechanisms, plus adding constructional beams to detail up the bay to an excellent level.  The tail wheel is also made now with yet more detail, and this level of effort also extends to the twin .50cals on their mount, with sighting and bullet-shield parts, plus the twin-spade grips for those defensive moments.  With a laundry list of assemblies complete, you can close the fuselage halves on the cockpit and tail wheel assemblies, adding two more detail parts in the area behind the gunner.  The top of the fuselage is open forward of the cockpit, which is rectified by adding an insert and convex bulkhead to the front, and an A-frame roll-over bar between the two crew.  Attention then turns to the big radial engine up front.


The Vengeance Mk.I was powered by a Wright Cyclone R-2600-A5B, the Mk.Ia using a R-2600-19, with twin banks of pistons that are both are present on this model.  Work begins with the front bell-housing and ancillaries, which has a drive-shaft for the prop pushed through the front and is held in place by a washer at the rear.  Each bank of cylinders is made from front and rear halves, with a star of push-rods and wiring harness added to the front, capped off with the bell-housing.  Its exhaust stubs are each made of two halves for fitting to the model, one per side.  The engine assembly is attached to the front of the fuselage ready for its cowling later.




The oddest part of the Vengeance are the wings.  Before they are closed, the main bay walls are added to the upper wing, which has the roof detail moulded-in, augmented by PE ribbing, plus some additional detail added to the front walls.  As the two wing halves are brought together, an insert is fixed into the trailing edge that has a curved outer edge to accept the flying surfaces.  Two of these are made up, and joined by three flying surfaces with an additional pivot point fixed into the wing as you go along.  This gives you plenty of leeway for posing these parts to your whim.  The forward sections of the main gear bays are built up with three additional parts that are applied to the sides and front of the detailed roof.  If you’ve opted to open the bomb bay, the two bombs are attached to their Y-shaped yokes and laid flat in the bay, then the wings and the angular elevator fin are fixed in place along with the rear gun and radio box in the cockpit.  It’s looking like an aircraft now, and the transformation continues as you make up the cowling from two main halves and lip parts, into which the lower intake trunking is installed along with two PE splitters.  Care here will reduce any hiding of seams later, which is always nice.  The cooling flaps are moulded into the cowling in this smaller kit, making use of PE parts to recreate the dive-spoilers, which can be posed deployed with PE supports, and should look very realistic once painted, especially if their fit is as good as those on the 1:48 kit.  The elevators and rudder are all separate assemblies that can again be posed deflected if you wish.


The canopy is a large greenhouse with plenty of frames to terrify the masking averse, but they needn’t worry, as Dora have included a set of vinyl masks in translucent grey, pre-cut for your convenience.  There are five canopy parts, beginning with the windscreen and working back to the gunner’s windows, all of which are slender and clear within the limits of injection moulding.  There is a short vertical aerial on the centre section, which should be rigged with a length of fine line to the forward tip of the rudder fin, which is visible on the box art to assist you in getting it right.


The main gear is similar to many American dive bombers, consisting of a straight, thick leg with PE oleo-scissors and detail parts, and a captive “spat” at the bottom of the leg that is a lot less usual.  Four small side bay doors are also included with PE openers that are easy to lose as I found out in its larger cousin, and throughout the various bays, detail is excellent.  The legs are fixed into the bays with a retraction jack added behind, installing the lower dive-spoilers and the bomb bay doors in the next step.  If you’re closing the bomb bay, there is a single part for you to use, but leaving them open you have four parts, two per side, as the doors fold-up into a sharp V-shape at each side of the bay.  As an aside, I used the closed bomb bay part as a mask for the open bomb bay in my 1:48 build, cutting notches where the door actuators extend beyond the walls.  The fit was so snug that it was held in position by friction alone.  A small PE exhaust outlet is inserted into a slot in front of the bomb bay, and at the rear of the aircraft the PE tail bay door is rested against the leg.  The propeller is made from a single set of moulded blades that have a combined boss and spinner added to the front.  Pop the pitot probe under the right wing, and fit two circular landing lights into their recesses under both wings, and that’s it done.




There are a generous four decal options on the sheet, although they’re all wearing the same basic brown/green camouflage scheme, with sky blue undersides, differentiating by their codes and lettering styles.  From the box you can build one of the following:


  • Mk.Ia (EZ804), 110(H) Sqn., Burma, 1944
  • Mk.Ia (EZ977), 8 Sqn., IAF, India, 1944
  • Mk.I (AN590), 1 GBPi, Brazil, 1943
  • Mk.Ia (EZ957), 110(H), Sqn., Burma, 1944

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Decals are by DecoGraph, which is a guarantee of good registration, sharpness and colour density, with a thin matt carrier film cut close to the printed areas.  The profiles contain thanks to both Steve Long and the director of the Camden Museum of Aviation for their assistance with this project.




This is a superbly-detailed model of this lesser-known combatant in the Pacific theatre during WWII, with its weird wings and massive engine cowling making it stand out on your model shelf.  The 1:48 kit was a treat to build, and there’s nothing to suggest that this will be any different, with barely any difference in the level of detail supplied.


Very highly recommended.


Available soon from Dora Wings in the Ukraine, and in the UK from importers Albion Alloys.


Review sample courtesy of



Available soon in the UK in all good model shops.

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That last sprue should keep the carpet monster well fed 😄





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4 minutes ago, ckw said:

That last sprue should keep the carpet monster well fed 😄

Two words for you "Jeweller's Apron".  Look it up, and it'll save you hours of grovelling on the ground ;)

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I have one of those.  A good tip is to stitch a couple of small magnets, or stip magnet from old fridge, into the bottom of the apron. Then attach some attracting magnets to the underside the workbench.  When sitting down, the bottom of the apron sticks to the magnets under the table and the apron catches all the bits.  Using magnets is also useful, should I need to get up in a hurry, the apron just detaches itself.



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1 hour ago, bootneck said:

I have one of those.  A good tip is to stitch a couple of small magnets, or stip magnet from old fridge, into the bottom of the apron. Then attach some attracting magnets to the underside the workbench.  When sitting down, the bottom of the apron sticks to the magnets under the table and the apron catches all the bits.  Using magnets is also useful, should I need to get up in a hurry, the apron just detaches itself.

If you mean jeweller's aprons, I use velcro, but we're :offtopic:so we'd better shut up ;)

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  • 2 weeks later...

Some of attachment points on sprue H make me feel 🤢 chance of breakage of the parts removing them from sprue is probably high


but a cool subject and one I will probably have to get...but it will sit in the cupboard for 15 years as I'll be too afraid to build it....

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