HK Models 1/32 scale
Avro Lancaster B.Mk.I
by Leo Stevenson
Avro Lancaster B.Mk.I
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Here’s my Hong Kong Model’s Avro Lancaster Mk.I, with a few changes, embellishments, additions and improvements, for example in the surprisingly sparse cockpit area, and with the addition of an ‘oil-canning’ (or ‘quilting’) effect over most of the surfaces.
This process took a very long time, but although the effect is subtle and can’t be seen very clearly in these photos it is something that was very characteristic of Lancaster’s in service.
If you do this please do it carefully and methodically - don’t go crazy and overdo it. The key thing is patience – and possibly lots of your favourite music can help too!
The way I do this is to select random panels and apply little pools of ‘Mr Surfacer 1200’. I have tried to use coarser fillers, but they aren’t as good, partly because they don’t bond to the surface as well as this one does. Let this dry (or harden) for at least 24 hours; don’t be tempted to smooth these out beforehand because although this filler skins-over quite quickly it takes far longer to dry all the way through.
I used a type 15 blade on my Swann-Morton scalpel to scrape and shape these little mounds until they look roughly right, and then use two grades of my favourite sanding sticks and blur them down until they look plausible – ideally checking this constantly under a raking light. Note also that there are some dents - concave areas - as well as convex areas, this is what happens in real life. These can be scraped in with the scalpel and/or a rounded edge micro-chisel if you have one.
At the same time as doing the ‘oil-canning’ effect it’s also worth correcting some of the mistakes on this kit’s surface detail, such as the dinghy stowage on the port wing which shouldn’t be there, and the strange repeat of the underside detail on the horizontal stabilizer on the top surface. Easily corrected, but these are annoying things that HKM could have avoided.
I mixed all the colours you see on this model because despite a lot of experimentation and comparison with good references even the best ‘off-the-shelf’ paints seemed to be wrong in some way, especially when compared with each other in context. Apart from the wing’s ‘walk’ markings all the roundels, fin flashes and aircraft codes were masked and sprayed. The kit’s own decals were otherwise useless because even though they’re made by the usually superb Cartograph company both the red and blue elements are the wrong colour, with the blue being too rich and too dark in hue – a common trait in far too many decals showing RAF markings.
The Lancaster crew you see here were made by AC Models.
As you’ll see I have made this model represent a specific aircraft from No12 Squadron of the RAF, one of many that were lost during the war. I deliberately didn’t choose any of the other decal options available with the kit or as ‘after-market’ alternatives – nearly all of which have glitzy artwork or mission markings etc., which were actually relatively rare on RAF Lancasters. Instead, I decided to depict an average Lancaster, one without special markings, without anything special to distinguish it from the others it flew with apart from the squadron codes on the side. This ‘everyman’ machine is my small tribute to the 57,205 members of RAF Bomber Command (or airmen flying on attachment to RAF Bomber Command) who died in World War II.
Lancaster ‘PH-F’ (W4373) was part of No 12 Squadron based at RAF Wickenby, Lincolnshire. It was one of 782 aircraft sent to bomb D?sseldorf on the night of 11/12 June 1943. This Lancaster was one of five Lancaster’s from No 12 squadron that were shot down that night. All of the crew of W4373 were killed.
Pilot: Fl/Lt. Patrick Raymond Ford [RAAF], aged 22.
Flight engineer: Sgt. Reginald Arthur Charles Avery [RAFVR], aged 20.
Navigator: Sgt. James Albert Osborn [RAFVR], aged 25
Bomb aimer: Sgt. Geoffrey William Twitty [RAFVR], aged 20.
Wireless operator/Air gunner: Sgt. Myer Harris [RAFVR], aged 22.
Air Gunner: Sgt. Frederick Anderson [RAF], aged 22.
Air Gunner: Sgt. Marcus Walter Stone [RAFVR], aged 21.
As we approach the 75th anniversary of the ending of the war let us all remember them and all those who gave their lives to give us freedom.
Model and Text Copyright ©
2020 by Leo Stevenson
Page Created 15 April, 2020
15 April, 2020
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