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Vampire Fighter Fuselage Correction Kit

and

Vampire Replacement Intakes

 

for Classic Airframes

 

 

 

Aeroclub, 1/48 scale

 

S u m m a r y
Catalogue Number, Description and Price Aeroclub Models K838 - Vampire Fighter Fuselage Correction Kit for Classic Airframes
Price 4.68 (ex VAT) or 5.50; Price (inc VAT) available online from Aeroclub's website

Aeroclub Models  - Vampire Replacement Intakes for Classic Airframes
Price 2.50; Price (inc VAT) available online from Aeroclub's website

Scale: 1/48
Contents and Media: Fuselage Correction: Two pieces in grey injection moulded plastic; two clear vacform pieces (one canopy and one spare)

Replacement Intakes: Two pieces in cream coloured resin

Review Type: FirstLook
Advantages: Obvious improvement over kit shapes; crisp detail; minimal preparation required; simple; inexpensive.
Disadvantages:  
Recommendation: Highly Recommended

 

Reviewed by Brett Green


HyperScale is proudly supported by Squadron.com

 

FirstLook

 

Classic Airframes' recently released 1/48 scale Vampire FB.5 is a vast improvement over the old Hobbycraft kits, and looks very nice when built straight from the box as evidenced by Kevin Martin in his Feature Article.

However, close examination of the kit parts revealed that there were a few problems. Probably the most noticeable was the shape of the leading edge intakes and their bullet fairings. I wrote an article in February entitled "Fixing the Fangs" with some suggestions about how the intakes might be improved.

Following further discussion on the Plane Talking forum, John Adams from Aeroclub measured up a preserved Vampire FB.5 airframe. His analysis revealed that the Classic Airframes fuselage pod was around 3mm too short, that the position of the canopy was too far back, and that the canopy itself was the wrong shape. John helpfully posted photographs and a description of how these areas could be corrected.

Now, for modellers who do not feel confident enough to perform this "cut and shut" surgery themselves, Aeroclub Models has released a simple improvement set that will address all of these shape issues.


 

Fighter Fuselage Correction

A new fuselage pod is supplied in injection moulded plastic. This part is approximately 3mm longer than the Classic Airframes fuselage. Even with this extra length, the pod will be a drop-fit replacement for the kit parts. The cockpit opening has also been moved forward approximately 2mm.

A new canopy is supplied as a vacform part. A spare is supplied in case of accidents when cutting the canopy from its backing sheet..


 

Replacement Intakes

Aeroclub also offers a set of two replacement intakes, available separately. Once again, these are a direct replacement for Classic Airframes' parts. The shape of the opening is a noticeable improvement, and the inboard bullet fairings are very well done. The small circular openings outboard of the main intakes are not represented, but it will be a simple matter to drill these holes with a fine pin vise.

 

 

I have already test fitted the new intakes in the wings. The fit is very good - at least as good as the Classic Airframes resin. I have offered the completed wings to the new fuselage and the fit looks equally promising in this area too.

 

 

John Adams has also suggested a number of other areas that could be improved, but the fuselage, canopy and intakes will go a long way to restoring the character of this important pioneering jet fighter.

 

 

Conclusion

 

Modellers fall into many different categories. Some are happy with a general representation of a subject, while others want total accuracy. Many are not aware of inaccuracies and I assume that a reasonable percentage of these might not even want to know.

Over the years, myths and errors are perpetuated by the repeated publication of inaccurate drawings. It is easy to fall into the trap of measuring the accuracy of a kit solely by comparing it to plans in established and respected publications, but sometimes more rigorous analysis is required.

In this case, not only has the problem been exposed but a solution has also been offered.

If you do care about correct shapes, and if you are a fan of post-war British jet fighters, Aeroclub Models has enabled you to combine your passions with their simple, inexpensive yet very effective 1/48 scale Vampire Fighter Fuselage Correction Kit and Replacement Intakes.

Highly Recommended.

Thanks to Aeroclub Models for the review sample


Text and Images Copyright 2005 by Brett Green
Page Created 19 April, 2005
Last updated 19 April, 2005

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