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Swiss Vampire
DH-100 Vampire Mk.6 and DH-115 Vampire Trainer Mk.55

www.MC-ONE.ch, 1/72 & 1/48 scales

 

 

S u m m a r y

Catalogue Number: MC48006
Scale: 1/48 and 1/72
Contents and Media: Waterslide decals and instructions
Price:

CHF 16.- / €11 for 1/72
CHF 25 / €15 for 1/48
http://www.mc-one.ch/ (may be ordered by e-mail)
International payment by Paypal

Review Type: FirstLook
Advantages: Beautifully printed decal sheet with very clear and very precise instructions
Disadvantages: Will require skill in working with Alps decals.
Conclusion: A quality product that allows the modeller to represent Fokker D.VII aircraft not usually seen on other decal sheets.

 


HyperScale is proudly supported by Squadron

Reviewed by Sinuhe Hahn

 

F i r s t L o o k

 

Robert Schneider (www.mc-one.ch) from the “Matterhorn Circle" (www.matterhorncircle.ch.vu) continues to release superb products for those with an interest in the small alpine air force. The latest offering is for the single and twin seat De Havilland Vampires.
Fortunately for 1/48 scale modelers, superb injection moulded kits of these important types were offered in recent years by Classic Airframes. In 1/72 scale, Heller offered a decent single set variant, whilst resin offerings were available for the twin seat trainer variant.

The jet age dawned for Switzerland in the summer of 1946. For test and evaluation purposes, the KTA (Weapons Procurement Agency) ordered 3 DH-100 Mk.1 'Vampires' from de Havilland in England. J-1001 was handed over at the de Havilland plant in Hatfield on July 27th 1946. The service life of this aircraft was relatively short and ended only 7 days later when it was written off during a take off accident on August 2nd.
Not to be discouraged however, the Government ordered 75 DH-100 Mk.6 'Vampires' at the end of 1948. These aircraft were to be built by de Havilland, while a further batch of 100 Vampires were to be built under license in Switzerland.

Deliveries from Hatfield started on May 5th 1949. The aircraft were flown to Switzerland by de Havilland company pilots and in particular by John Cunningham, who at that time, was the company's chief pilot. For the delivery flights, small British registrations were painted next to the Swiss serial numbers which could quickly be removed in Switzerland. The aircraft were painted according to Swiss specifications and already carried service markings in French and German.

 

  • Swiss Vampire Decal Review by Sinuhe Hahn: Image
  • Swiss Vampire Decal Review by Sinuhe Hahn: Image
  • Swiss Vampire Decal Review by Sinuhe Hahn: Image
  • Swiss Vampire Decal Review by Sinuhe Hahn: Image
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A nice anecdote from this period is 'Operation Snowball', which took place on February 8th 1950. In this major international exercise, John Cunningham’s aircraft carried a pair of skis attached on top of the tail booms (see photo) for the delivery flight of J-1048  and had the title 'Operation Snowball' painted on the engine cowling. Decals and detailed marking descriptions or this aircraft are provided.

A total of 75 DH-100 Mk.6 Vampires were flown into Switzerland serialled J-1005 - J-1079.
In the meantime, the manufacturing lines for the license built DH-100's were being set up in Emmen,
Altenrhein and Buochs. 100 Vampires (J-1101 to J-1200) were delivered to the Swiss Air Force between 1951and 1953. The Goblin Engines were however still built in the UK and most of them were flown in by Swiss Ju-52s.

In 1953, F+W Emmen (in co-operation with de Havilland) built 3 DH-115 Mk.11 Vampire Trainers (U-1001 - U-1003). Three years later, an additional batch of 7 Vampire trainers (U-1004 - U1010) were produced and on this occasion the Mk.55s were equipped with Martin Baker Mk3 ejection seats. In 1957 however, these aircraft were re-serialled U-1201 - U-1210. By 1967, a total of 39 DH-115 Mk.55 were being flown by the Air Force, the last 9 of them being surplus RAF aircraft. Additionally, a single DH-113 NF (night fighter) Mk.10 (U-1301) was purchased in 1958 by the KTA for trials and as a test bed for equipment used in the DH-112 Venom project. This aircraft was not modified with ejection seats and was therefore liquidated soon afterwards in 1961. An attractive 'Wasp' paint scheme adorned this aircraft.

During 1960, all Vampires were modified and received Martin Baker Mk.3 ejection seats, thus requiring extensive modification of the cockpit rear bulkhead. Also in 1960, three additional Vampires were built from spare parts (J-1080 - J-1082).

Initially Swiss Vampires were not colorful and did not carry squadron badges. Like most other Vampire of that period the plywood fuselages were painted silver. The wings, tail booms and control surfaces were made of aluminum. Like all other Swiss equipment they were kept very clean. The cockpit was black.

The decal sheet describes the various changes that the aircraft underwent including the various camouflage trials (black birds) and those that served as target towing aircraft, featuring an eye-catching orange/black livery. Markings are provided for those machines that used the original round nose, as well as the “Pinocchio” noses installed on the Venoms were also fitted to the Vampire. The larger noses were necessary to house the new IFF transponders.

Towards the end of its service life, rules became a bit more lax and some big badges were painted on Vampires; several are depicted on this decal sheet, as well as the era of sharks…

 

 

C o n c l u s i o n


The reviewer was fortunate enough to see Swiss Vampires whizzing through the Alps on numerous occasions prior to their retirement, and so views this sheet and the matching Classic Airframes kits with considerable affection. Despite this personal bias, the mc-one sheet is an excellent product and highly recommended for anybody with a passing interest in this era of early jet aviation.
This decal sheets features enough markings and data to build two complete aircraft. Solid white roundels are supplied to be used underneath the Swiss roundels for the target towing aircraft in case the opacity of the white is not strong enough.

As mentioned these decals are printed on an Alps printer and appropriate care will need to be taken.

The decal sheet is available directly from: www.mc-one.ch.


Text Copyright 2009 by Sinuhe Hahn
This Page Created on 5 August, 2009
Last updated 8 September, 2009

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