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Airfix 1/72 scale
Short Sunderland Mk.III

by Graham Mehaffy


Short Sunderland Mk.III

Airfix's 1/72 scale Sunderland is available online from Squadron.com


Built at Rochester, ML778, first served with 422 Squadron RCAF at Pembroke Dock then 228 and 461 Squadrons before being rebuilt by Shorts as a Mk V. It was then assigned to 201 Squadron RAF where, based at Castle Archdale coded NS-Z, on 3-4th of June 1945 it undertook the last convoy patrol of World War 2. It was subsequently one of a batch of fourteen aircraft transferred to the French Navy in 1951.

There is something I like about the original Airfix kits, they cover subjects that no right thinking manufacturer would even dream about producing now, eg the Fairey Rotodyne, Bristol Superfreighter, Fokker F27, D H Heron, various Hovercraft - I am sure you can add a few as well. They do not, as we are well aware, have cutting edge mouldings, perfect fitting components, hugely detailed interiors etc but they have a feel, a "sit" and a look that makes them appear more like the original than some of the absolutely dimension perfect kits of today.



This is the old Airfix 1/72nd scale Short Sunderland, a model first produced in 1959.

It is basically sound in outline and scale but it required an interior created to break up a very large empty space, not very much of which is visible apart from the flight deck.

The fuselage windows had to be made smaller as the originals had the frames included in the dimensions.

Four new Pegasus engines “borrowed” and modified from two Wellingtons, (spare if you buy the Italeri Mk X), then drill out the kit cowlings to take them.


  • Airfix 1/72 scale Sunderland Mk.III by Graham Mehaffy: Image
  • Airfix 1/72 scale Sunderland Mk.III by Graham Mehaffy: Image
  • Airfix 1/72 scale Sunderland Mk.III by Graham Mehaffy: Image
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The turrets and radar (H2S) blisters, (didn't fancy making the Christmas Tree Aerials so I picked a later Mk.III) were my first attempt at plastic moulding and worked quite well.

The bomb scow alongside was scratch built using what very limited information I could acquire and a photograph of a very rusty one still beached at Castle Archdale.

Figures are from various Airfix sets.

The Lough is the usual Polyfilla mixed quite stiffly to allow shaping and the painted and varnished.

The subject looks more warlike to me as a waterline model and a bit less overweight!


Model, Images and Text Copyright 2009 by Graham Mehaffy
Page Created 2 February, 2009
Last Updated 2 February, 2009

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