Vampire Fighter Fuselage
Vampire Replacement Intakes
for Classic Airframes
Aeroclub, 1/48 scale
HyperScale is proudly supported by
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.
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.
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.
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..
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
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.
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.
Aeroclub Models for the review sample
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Page Created 19 April, 2005
Last updated 19 April, 2005
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