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Sunday, July 17, 2011

The Valiant arrives

My copy of the new Airfix Valiant arrived on Friday afternoon. It is in a considerably larger box than the Canberras, and the sprues need the extra room. Everything at first glance seems very impressive, with the panel lines restrained and the detailing pretty decent for our scale. This kit is literally light-years away from the Mach 2 kit; trust me on that.

There are a number of options in the kit, allowing you to do more than one variant, including the PR version (though that is not covered by the decals in this boxing, I’ve heard that it will be released in a separate kit later this year). Variants catered to this time around are the BK1 (one used in the atomic bomb tests of Operation Grapple) and the Vickers Type 667 second prototype. No sign of a B2, and unless some aftermarket group wants to mold large portions of the wing and undercarriage bays, we likely won’t see one. Two of the decal options are overall white, one in Dark Green, MSG, and white, and one in overall NMF.

Parts options include an alternate tail, open or closed bomb bay with three different loads, two upper noses, two tail end caps, two canopies, and some antenna options. You also get the PR bits, but as I say you’ll have to get your own decals.

Some bits of this thing are manufactured like a Russian tractor, with gigantic slots and tabs that should be easy for even the most ham-fisted of us. But I’ve found nothing like that that will be seen on the finished model though, which is a relief. Decals look to be better produced than some kits in the Hornby age (I’m looking at you, Nimrod), even if you don’t opt for aftermarket sheets from Model Alliance/Airframe or Airdecal/Two Six.

Mine is already on the workbench, and I’ll give you progress reports as the thing progresses. I have the Airdecal 72014 sheet, and I’m leaning toward the BK1 from 90 Squadron at RAF Hennington in 1963.

Here are some quick photos I shot of the sprues so you can see what the kit consists of. From the Brit modellers that got the thing first I've heard that the fit is good and the kit builds easily, though there are some questions about the details on the gear doors.

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