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Monday, June 4, 2012

Halifax and Electra(s)

Since I have completed a few models in the last two weeks, the production line is growing a bit thin of late. So construction has dominated the proceedings rather than paint work.

The main new projects are the Special Hobby Lockheed Elektra (both 10 and Junior 12) and the Revell Halifax. The Halifax has been discussed endlessly elsewhere, so I won’t go into the accuracy issues here (other than to mention that they seem to revolve mostly around mis-sized engine nacelles, props, and wheels). In terms of parts fit and detail, it holds its own with any of the newly produced kits of large aircraft. Not unlike their B-17 (and Airfix kits too for that matter) some don’t like the engraved panel lines, feeling them to be unnaturally deep, though I should stress that this isn’t the second coming of the Great Trenchmaker of Matchbox fame.

I bought the Freightdog replacement resin. This provides revised nacelle fronts, props, wheels, and a number of nice little vents and intakes. So far (I just applied the nacelle fronts) they have fitted perfectly, and even the application of superglue, something of a bugbear for me, has been calm and easy. It doesn’t solve the problem – the nacelles on the wings don’t change – but the look is noticeably better. A couple of different flavors of the set are available on Colin’s Freightdog site. He seems to be a good chap, and definitely a supporter of the 1:72 universe, and I can recommend this improvement set highly.

I should note that the Revell Halifax instructions are not for the weak. There are a lot of options to this kit – props, radiators, clear bits, exhausts – and the pictorial instructions don’t do a great job of making all the fine distinctions between them. They generally inform you when an option is available, but you’re often on your own as to which types they belong too. Another layer of complexity comes if you’re using aftermarket decals, and you need to keep track of the details on the aircraft you are modelling. I’m sure I’ll manage at least one boneheaded mis-step; gotta keep the cult of the Profoundly Average Modeller alive.

The Elektra, smallest of the famous series of Lockheed twins, is a start on a leisurely series that will eventually take in the Lockheed 10, 12, Hudson, PV-1 and PV-2. The Special Hobby kits come with vac canopies, not my favorite, but I’m working my way through the process.

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