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Monday, January 14, 2013

Revell H-P Halifax

If you have spent any time at all on a forum concerned with 1:72 aircraft, you’ve probably heard all the ruckus concerning the Revell HP Halifax. When the kit was announced 18 months or so ago, there was general rejoicing that there would be a modern state-of-the-art kit to go along with the recent Hasegawa and Revell Lancasters. We could finally rid ourselves of the Airfix with raised lines and rivets and the Matchbox with trenches. Alas, when the kit was finally released, there was much consternation about the engine nacelles. They were far too large, and a fix wouldn’t be easy since the aft portion of the nacelles was incorporated into the wing parts.

Various solutions were put forward (though many just sourly dismissed the kit as a plastic abortion and wanted nothing more to do with it). John Adams of Aeroclub has produced some replacement parts, as did Colin at Freightdog. Colin's approach was to try to visually correct the most glaring problems (props, wheels, intakes, nacelle fronts), though this admittedly didn’t solve the underlying issues. I think they do help with the look of the finished model, but I doubt that anything less than retooled wings will satisfy some of the critics.

I can say one thing: accuracy aside, the kit fits together wonderfully and has a wealth of detail both inside the fuselage and on the exterior. It is a fine model, though perhaps not a flawless replica. One problem is that the instructions don’t do a very good job of specifying which parts options (and there are a number of them) are applicable to which variant type. Additional reference material will serve you well here.

The Freightdog parts are well-engineered as well, and went where they belonged with a minimum of fiddling. I had picked up an Xtradecal Halifax sheet, X72146, sometime recently as well (I seem to be very much in synch with the choices that Hannants makes for its 1:72 sheets) so decided to use one of the options. One thing I would suggest might be a good purchase is Quickboost’s engine exhausts (either QB72358 or QB72360). The Revell version comes in two parts, whereas the resin is in one, which means you won’t have to worry about the correct alignment of the part to the nacelle. I’m not convinced mine is correct even now, but then that is not exactly unprecedented.

The aircraft chosen is “Thundering Heard”, something of a pun on the pilot’s name (Stanley Heard) of 419 RCAF Squadron. The plane was based at Middleton St George in 1943. As always the decals performed as expected with no problems. There are a lot of nose art options for Halifaxs out there, and if you want one with the colorful tail markings, that would be Xtradecal 72133.

This is completed aircraft #417 (#42 for the year), finished in December of 2012. 

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