Posted 20 hours ago

Airfix 1:72 Avro Lancaster B.III The Dambusters Aircraft Model Kit, Multicolor, 29.21 x 43.18 x 8.89 cm

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A great addition to what’s already available and significantly better than the Revell offering in my view in terms of detail, tooling and options. The recessed detail is ok but could be finer for sure are counterbalanced by the beautifully delicate and detailed undercarriage legs and bulged tyres – all positive, as is the choice of decals. It offers good value for money and all in all a nice new kit beautifully presented. All glazing is nice and clear with quite fine framing. The main canopy looks good. All that is left in terms of standard Lancaster bits area some pitos, a DF loop and the like.

In considering how best to approach this review I realised that there are probably three main areas of interest for Hyperscalers where this kit is concerned. Primarily, how does it measure up as a Lancaster per se, rather than specifically as a dambuster, and therefore how does it compare with its competitors. Then what other versions do the kit contents suggest will follow (although some have been announced already), and perhaps finally, how well does it cater for the dambuster version. The 1980’s Airfix kit is still quite serviceable with fine raised rivet detail rather than recessed panel lines. There is a Grand Slam boxing if that’s what you are after. Interior detail is inferior compared to the kits previously mentioned. Rather than give lengthy written explanations, take a look at the accompanying images and it should be apparent as to why I feel Airfix are the winner in the engine nacelle stakes. I consider this to be the best Lancaster kit so far released, with the promise of several versions including a long-awaited Mk.II.


AJ-T piloted by Flight Lieutenant Robert Norman George Barlow DFC (RAAF), No 617 Sqn, “Operation Chastise, RAF Scampton, England 16/17th May 1943. This aircraft and its crew were unfortunately lost in action on the Dams Raid. Colours are described using generic or RAF names where applicable, with paint codes that correspond to the Humbrol range, although this does not appear to be stated anywhere. The main parts are on six light grey sprues with a single clear sprue. One of the grey sprues is dedicated to the Dambuster version. I expect that in the B.1/III boxing that this sprue is replaced by one with a more conventional payload. If you choose Hasegawa you have a lot more to spend, especially if you dress up the interior detail or replace the radiators. Airfix’s release of its new tool Lancaster Dambuster is clearly linked to the 70th anniversary of the Dams Raid this year. No doubt they calculated an advantage in releasing the dambuster kit ahead of the standard B Mk.I/III, as those impatient for a standard bomber would buy the dambuster version regardless of any price premium price the dambuster may demand.

Here is one of the best earlier threads re GRAND SLAM Lanc colours. I quote, and muse upon, a lot of Moore's findings as recorded in the Scale Models article in posts 12 and 65. It really does come down to faith: in what/whom do you put your trust: what the colours ought to be as far as we can discern from the available documents from the time combined with the culture of rigid adherence to laid-down standards or the testimony of a skilled and respected artist armed with painted MAP paint samples visiting the aircraft in person with the explicit aim of getting the colours right for a painting he had been commissioned to do. I'm still on the fence, I'm afraid. Elsewhere in the thread people contribute many of the available photos of GRAND SLAM Lancasters.


Revell were not far behind Hasegawa with a well priced modern kit featuring quite a bit more detail. Unfortunately, as with their later Halifax kit, Revell was asleep at the wheel during some stages of the kit’s development. Most notably they forgot to crank in enough wing dihedral, and churned out some very bland and oversized main wheels. Fortunately both problems are easy enough to fix. Like Hasegawa, Revell got carried away with fine engraved panel lines, again especially on the wings. Revell too have offered a dambuster version of the kit. Fortunately, Revell’s price is such that these wing and wheel issues can be fixed whilst still have some change left over compared to the Hasegawa alternative. Common with many kits, as it eases the release of parts by reducing mould suction associated with a perfectly smooth finish. Note some Lancasters were fitted with the larger Lincoln vertical tails. This includes the BBMF aircraft. I think there might be resin aftermarket parts that cover this but no kit has them to my knowledge. You do get a pilot if you want to add him – but he looks a bit retro to me and out of keeping with the rest of the kit. Undercarriage The instructions are logical and well laid out. The usual exploded-stage diagram approach is used. The colour painting guide is provided as a separate sheet and I like that, making it much easier to use and have in front of you when painting and applying the decals. I simply love the ‘Tiger Force’ scheme with the Lanc in white – stunning and a great challenge for us modellers to get it looking authentic.

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