Classic Kit Build
Feature Article with Geoff Coughlin
What a classic!
If you are of a certain age you will remember just what a great release this was from Airfix back in the day, actually released for the first time in 1959 not long after I was born! Wonderful Roy Cross box art too don’t you think?
The whole design of the original aircraft was revolutionary and a little bit of background on the type follows, suffice to say that the model is about to get a new lease of life by being re-released in 2023 as part of the manufacturer’s Vintage Classics range. This will feature the markings included in the original kit, only this time printed by Cartograf that will mean quality all the way. Hopefully this project will give you a bit of a heads up and some ideas for your own build should you decide to take it on.
What’s the plan?
For me, I have a much older boxed kit that I plan to tun into a bit of a ‘what-if’ project. Sadly the actual aircraft flew but never attracted the anticipated orders and was cancelled. But what if the aircraft had been a success and was ordered by British European Airways to operate on their short-haul routes? This project will try and depict such an aircraft.
(Photo: A possible scheme for this project, photo courtesy Michael Bernhard showing a Vickers Vanguard at Salzburg, Austria in 1971)
I have some spare decals that I can adapt to obtain the main tail BEA logo/serial and hopefully spray the remainder of the scheme.
In terms of detail, the kit is pretty basic from my recollection of building it when I was barely a teenager and I’ll try and add some detail to the cockpit and interior. My plan is to imagine that the aircraft was fitted out for a mixed load of passengers located in seating towards the front of the aircraft and freight towards the rear, in this way allowing the back doors that can be posed open in the kit to show something of the interior I plan to add.
This project will involve lots of small-scale scratchbuilding and this should be fun and not too difficult to do at all, just plenty of plastic strip, sheets and odds and ends.
Much like I did with the Airfix De Havilland Heron build here in SMN, I added some scratched internal seating made from balsa wood block and strip – quick and looked fine through the windows and a similar approach should work ok here. One of the reference photos shows a curtain partially pulled across just inside the right open clamshell rear doors and so we can add something similar to avoid the need for a much more detailed, and visible, interior. The aim is to generate interest and hint at what might be on show inside the aircraft fuselage when in fact we will really only add detail that you can see when you peer into the front and back.
Speaking of the open rear clamshell doors, they are a big feature of the aircraft and will need plenty of detailing – great! I genuinely love this kind of work – check out the Superfreighter build for the kind of look I’m after. I have to say that I thoroughly enjoyed my build of the old Airfix Bristol Mk.32 Superfreighter a while back and you can find that here in SMN and I see this project following a very similar line.