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Monday, December 30, 2013

Trumpeter Vickers Wellington

Today I am presenting my final completed model of 2013. It is the Vickers Wellington, another in the series of twin-engined World War 2 bombers.

I've always liked the look and uniqueness of the Wellington, mostly due to its geodetic design work. I actually built the Matchbox version back in the paleolithic era of modelling, and still feel that they did the best job in reproducing the trademark patterns on wing and fuselage. A somewhat clunky model with no decent detail, though.

When the MPM kit came out, I bought one and gave it a desultory start. I even got myself one of the Eduard photoetch frets (a large one IIRC) and gave it all much serious consideration. But there were some serious fit and buildability issues going on, and work stalled. Then the Trumpeter kit was issued. Every Trumpeter kit that I have built so far has been a marvel of good fit and nice detail. The things that get Trumpeter trashed on forums is that their detail accuracy is hit and miss, to be polite. However - all engineers are advised to attach earmuffs at this time - that is not my primary concern. A few mm's here and there, a clumsily reproduced engine cover, some marginally incorrect lines, just elicit a shrug and a search for the Tenax from me. However, even I wasn't thrilled with their representation of the geodetic imprint on the wings. It looked as though someone was vacuuming the inside of the wing and causing the fabric covering to suck in. A bit overdone. However, all other things being equal, I figured that a bit of judicious sanding and a coat of paint would minimize the problem.

And to be honest, I think that it did. Is it a perfect realization? No. Is it a better representation than Matchbox? No. Is it good enough for a profoundly average modeller to build and put in his display case? The answer for me at least is yes.

There are some good points to the kit. Lots of nice internal detail (not much of which can been seen in the final product, so take that for what it is worth). The fit was indeed good. I like their approach to how the geodetic structure appears in the fuselage transparencies - actual pieces inside the glass rather than just putting paintable panel lines on the glass itself. I am quite satisfied with the use of Alclad Light Burnt Metal to reproduce the exhaust rings on the engine cowling.

And there are certainly things I would do differently. I would have put the wavy camo demarcation on the fuselage side higher or lower. As it is, the line intersects the top of the window line and just looks like incompetent masking. But I meant to do that. Really. I must have messed up the positioning of the nose machine guns. They are there, but do not stick out past the turret facing. And one gun on the rear turret is carpet monster fodder. At some future point I will swipe some guns (from the MPM kit, most likely) to pretty things up.

Decals were already stolen from that MPM kit. I definitely wanted to do the one with Dark Earth and Mid Stone uppers and the donkey nose art no matter which kit got the call. It was used by 37 Squadron RAF in Egypt in January of 1942 according to the MPM instruction sheet.

I'm happy enough with this one, once I get the machine guns sorted, and will be following it with a Hasegawa B-26 and Ta-154.

This is completed model #436 (#16 and final for the year), completed in December of 2013.