Lancaster Mk1/ Mk3
Kit No. 04300. 1:72nd scale
A review of the Hasegawa / Airfix Lancs is here
The kit comes labelled as a Mk 1 or Mk 3 but the only difference between a One or three is the type of Merlin engine used to power the aircraft either Rolls Royce or Packard. There are other mods which are applicable to either type such as cockpit with or without blister windows, pointed or paddle propeller blades, large or small astrodome, faired or not rear fuselage and with or without H2S dome below the fuselage.
Revell provide all of these choices in the kit plus you get two tiny Merlins mounted in the inner nacelles on realistic engine bearers which can be viewed by removing a side panel. Early
had windows along the fuselage which Revell provide in clear plastic but on later aircraft these were deleted so if you choose a particular set of markings then you may have to use a little filler to eliminate them also Lancasters
The decal sheet provides Markings for two aircraft, one is a B.Mk lll from 100 sqdn with it’s yellow wing tips and tail fins, the other is for a B.Mk l from 9 sqdn with the white tail fins and Johnnie Walker nose art. The WS.J markings are for the original bomber WA4964 not the B.o.B. memorial flight machine which carries serial # PA474. An interesting point here, 9 Sqdn had another WS.J during the war, serial # NG206 and this had the nose art of Jane the cartoon girl from the Daily Mirror newspaper and displayed a total of 31 bombing ops, and it also had its code letters on the tail surfaces and the letter J on the fins.
The construction sheets work pretty well but it can be a bit vague at times, whilst giving alternative parts in some steps, they don’t fully explain which version they are for, but with so many variations in wartime
I suppose they are leaving it up the individual choice of the modeller. There are numerous paint call outs throughout so you should not need too much research for the interior, the only problem is the colours are all listed from the Revell range with no mention of the real name or title Lancasters
My construction notes
I have built the finished kit but have also used some Test shots that Revell kindly supplied so I could experiment with the wings configuration
Step 1... You only need to fit part 6 if you have the H2S radar fitted below the fuselage and seat part 4 is the best choice. Decals are supplied for various instrument panels but so are raised details on the surfaces, I find it easier to sand off the details if I am using the decals as they fit much better on a flat area.
Step 2... Don’t forget to put the decal seat harness on both the crew seatsStep 4... Parts 14 the Bomb bay inspection windows should be left out until the bay is painted to avoid masking
Step 7/8…pay attention to the fuselage windows as they are handed but they are arranged on the sprue in port and Starboard order so just remove one side at a time. A point to note here early
were fitted with windows but later some of these were painted over, so you will need to check your references if you choose to do any other aircraft. Lancasters
Step 11... when you join the fuselage halves make sure the floor/bomb bay fits neatly in the groove provided for it or the halves won’t fit together, oh and don’t forget the tailplane spar part 31.
wings have a definite dihedral on the outer sections and the kit parts seem too flat so I have modified them a little as follows. The lower half of each wing was cut through with a razor saw along the inner “bend line” then just the leading edge of the upper half was cut on the same line back as far as the second panel line over the nacelle and the wing was gently bent up a little. The inner half of the lower wing was now cemented to the top (making sure front and rear edges are dead level) then the wheel bay structures inserted ensuring that parts 94 have the tops level with the wing surface , this provides a stable structure for the next step. The outer half of the lower wing is now cemented to the top but not to the sawn line where I inserted a strip of 10thou plasticard in the gap and pushed it right up to the gap in the leading edge of the upper wing half now the join was cemented and left to harden any excess can the be cut off and sanded flush. This gave me a centreline angle of 5 degrees and lower angle of 7 degrees of dihedral and it looks more realistic. Lancaster
When the outer engines were added I scraped away a little plastic from the inner side of the mating surface so that they hung vertically again . Revell have omitted the cable cutters so I have used some square rod to represent them
Step 16… I did not add the wings and tailplanes at this stage simply because it is easier to paint these Items separately and avoid lots of masking; they can be fitted much later quite easily.
Step 18...If you prefer not to use the Merlins provided then don’t mount the exhausts parts 88/89 as you will need them later for the nacelle exteriors.
Step 20...Part 81 the firewall only has one set of holes for the engine bearers and parts of the undercarriage struts so don’t push either in too far from either side and remember the widest part is at the top.
Step 27... If you have not used the engines in the inner nacelles, cement a strip of plasticard over the inside of the exhausts holes, these will act as a base for the exhausts if you choose to use them instead of the shrouds parts 90/91. I found it almost impossible to fit the backplate for the spinner (step 26) to fit between the two halves of the nacelles without getting glue in the join, in fact out of 12 nacelles I made up only three worked freely.
Step 29/31… make sure you add the intake part 87 before adding the tiny air scoops as it is not a perfect fit and will need a little attention with a sander .
Step 34/36... The undercarriage struts are very nicely done but the locating pins are very fragile and the locations are not too obvious so great care is needed to construct these items and they need to be left overnight to harden off.
Step 35... The Main wheels are very basic with only bare minimum details on the hubs so I drilled each of the dimples out to represent the ring of holes on the real thing, I never added the wheels until late in the construction to allow me to paint the struts.
Step 50…If not using the kit markings you should check the plane you are building to decide which clear parts to fit as not all had either or both types as supplied in the kit. Revell would have done better to label each version as A or B throughout the instructions as there could be any combination whether it be a Mk I or Mk III
Step 55…Part 47 was fitted but not the turret at this stage so the join could be cleaned up and painted with the fuselage.
With regards the front and rear turrets I fitted the bases and rear walls together and painted them, then all three clear parts were masked and painted. The guns were added and the rear turret closed up after unmasking, the front base can now be squeezed into position, the guns cemented and the glazing added with a drop of PVA glue. The mid upper glazing also had the PVA treatment but the rear turret was just popped in and was cemented.
Step 57…I made a tiny DF loop from fine wire and mounted it on the “rear shelf” under the bulge on top of the main canopy, when you fit the canopy make sure it is pressed right down around the ridge on the sills.<>
<>At this stage I painted all the main components before assembly which kept masking down to a bare minimum. After spraying the top surfaces freehand a strip of Tamiya masking tape was run along the top of the fuselage and some short strips along the tops of the engine nacelles then the underside colour was sprayed on the wings, fuselage and tailplanes. Wing tips and fins, as required, were sprayed with white to give a good base colour before adding the yellow. All the paint was allowed to dry for 24 hours before assembling each component,
I found only one problem with the fit, the wings would not quite seat home in the recess, they seemed just a fraction too far forward when mounted on the spar so I enlarged the slots in the wing on the forward edges and they fitted in perfectly with no filler at all. A couple of coats of Johnsons Klear were dusted on overall to prepare for the decals and another coat added after these were dry, finally a light dusting of my flatting mix of Klear and Tamiya flat base in a ratio of 4 to 1 finished the job nicely.
<> The last few steps are fairly straight forward but I did fit the back plates to the props and spinners then cemented the whole to the front of the nacelles, one other point the mass balances on the fins have such tiny location pips that it is difficult to get them to stick properly without a drop of superglue reinforcement, the ones on the trim tabs are even worse so I bent some fine wire into a “V” shape placed it in the hole and added a tiny drop of PVA on each end to represent the weights.
<><> I wanted to show some of the various combinations that come in the kit so I built WS-J as the BBMF aircraft not the wartime aircraft; this has no H2S radome below the fuselage and has the serial # PA474. Another difference is that it has “Lincoln” rudders fitted which have a more squared off lower rear edge and longer trim tabs , I had to make these myself as none were available from the aftermarket sources, to do this I simply cut off the bottom of the kit rudders and replaced them with a scrap of 80 thou plasticard which was then sanded to shape and a narrow strip of 20thou card replaced the trim tabs
My Third example was a post war
an MR3, a photo of which I found in the old Aircam series of books. This aircraft had no mid upper turret and no other guns but had new windows installed in the rear fuselage and a rear facing camera fairing below the rear turret it also had the Lancaster rudders and the H2S radome fitted. First a hole was cut in each fuselage half to take the new windows larger than needed , next two squares of clear plastic were cut from an old CD crystal case (thanks for the Idea Brett) to fit the holes . These were cemented in and filled around the edges where needed and when hard were sanded smooth and flush with the fuselage surfaces, later they were sanded with progressively finer grades of wet & dry paper then polished and masked up at the correct size for the windows. Lincoln
The Lincoln rudders were made again but the mid upper turret position was covered with the replacement disc supplied in the kit and the tail camera bay was scratch built from 15thou card , if anyone has built the Hasegawa kit of the Lanc you will probably find the required part in your spares box as it seems to be included in every kit. The big difference with this plane is the colour scheme, basically a white aircraft with the top surfaces in Light slate grey BS381C 639 except the leading edges of wings and tailplanes, the codes are the same colour and mine came from an old “Modelmark” sheet but underwing serials are black and came from various old sheets. Xtradecal do a sheet XT72061 with a similar scheme on.
BOB Memorial flight Lancaster
In summary all I can say is I liked it and I think it is the best of the three makes of Lancaster bomber at the moment but by only a whisker and when one of each is stood side by side I doubt most people could tell one from the other but at it’s retail price it can’t be beaten.