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Vultee Vengeance Mk.II

Dora Wings, 1/48 scale

S u m m a r y :

Catalogue Number:

Dora Wings Kit No. DW48044 – Vultee Vengeance Mk.II

Scale:

1/48

Contents & Media

176 parts in grey plastic; 14 parts in clear plastic; approx. 72 parts on two photo-etched frets; die-cut vinyl masks; decals for four marking options.

Price:

44.00€ plus shipping available online from Dora Wings web store

 

AUD$94.99 plus shipping available online from Metro Hobbies (in stock now)

 

Review Type:

First Look.

Advantages:

High level of detail; high quality mouldings; crisp recessed panel lines and raised surface textures where applicable; plenty of useful options including poseable dive flaps, poseable control surfaces, poseable bomb bay doors, detailed bombs and bomb bay; appropriate use of multimedia; welcome subject.

Disadvantages:

In a perfect world it would be nice to have paper Kabuki masks instead of vinyl masks.

Conclusion:

This is a great kit.

Dora Wings' brand new 1/48 scale Vultee Vengeance Mk.II is a high quality offering and represents a massive improvement over the badly flawed A-Z Model kit from 2011.

Strictly speaking, this is a limited run kit as suggested by its lack of locating pins but otherwise it looks very mainstream with its fine recessed surface textures, high quality plastic and fine sprue attachment points.

Dora Wings' 1/48 scale Vengeance will be warmly welcomed by lovers of esoteric and RAAF, SEA and South West Pacific subjects.

It is also worth mentioning that this Ukrainian company has produced and distributed their 1/48 scale Vultee Vengeance in the middle of a war and with their CEO fighting on the front lines. Buyiing this kit is one small way to support the Ukranian effort.

Is this Dora Wings' best kit yet? I think it is entirely possible!!


Reviewed by Brett Green

Background

 

The Vultee A-31 Vengeance was an American dive bomber of World War II, built by Vultee Aircraft. A modified version was designated A-35.

The Vengeance was not used operationally by the United States, but was operated as a front-line aircraft by the Royal Air Force, the Royal Australian Air Force, and the Indian Air Force in Southeast Asia and the Southwest Pacific.

The A-31 remained in service with U.S. units until 1945, primarily in the target-tug role.


 

The Vultee Vengeance in RAAF Service

Australia placed an order for 400 Vengeances as an emergency measure following the outbreak of war in the Pacific, which was met by a mixture of Lend Lease and diversions from the original British orders.

While the first Vengeance was delivered to the Royal Australian Air Force (RAAF) in May 1942, the aircraft did not arrive in substantial numbers until April 1943.

The RAAF's first Vengeance squadron, No. 12 Squadron flew its first operational mission against Selaru Island in the Dutch East Indies. Squadrons equipped with the Vengeance included Nos. 12, 21, 23, 24 and 25 Squadrons. Of these, all but 25 Squadron served briefly in the New Guinea campaign.

Australian Vengeances flew their last operational sorties on 8 March 1944, as they were considered less efficient than fighter bombers, having a short range and requiring a long runway, and were withdrawn to allow more effective fighter bombers to move into the forward area.

 

 

Vengeance squadrons were re-equipped with Consolidated B-24 Liberator heavy bombers.

The view of the Vengeance's limitations is disputed by Peter Smith in Jungle Dive Bombers at War:

"The precision and skill of the dive-bombing method...and its clear superiority over most other means of air attack when it came to destroying small and well-hidden targets in difficult country, was proven over and over again in the Asian jungle campaigns. Yet the men who achieved these excellent results, for such economy of effort and comparatively small loss, were but a handful of pilots who have been forgotten in the overwhelming mass of the heavy-and medium bomber fleets that were pounding both Europe and Asia by 1945."

This capacity was exemplified in the raid by RAAF Nos. 21 and 23 Squadrons on Hansay Bay. Smith wrote, "...the jungle-clad hills and islands of forgotten or unknown lands would become the major stage for the ultimate expression of the dive-bombers' skill."

While the RAAF still had 58 Vengeances on order in March 1944, this order was cancelled and the aircraft were never delivered. Small numbers of Vengeances remained in service with support and trials units until 1946.*


 

The Vengeance in 1/48 scale... until now

A-Z Models released a 1/48 scale Vultee Vengeance in 2011.

It was a mess.

Overall, the old A-Z kit suffered from poor moulding and gritty surfaces. Worse, the shape of the fuselage was very poor, compounded by errors in the engine cowling. Also, the canopy was far too wide, was incorrect in section, and the rake of the windscreen clearly wrong. This would be obvious to anyone who has seen a photograph of a real Vengeance.

The canopy was one-piece too, so there was no easy way to represent the overlapping sliding sections and rear clamshell in the open positions, not that there is much to show off inside the cockpit. Half-hearted at best, but at least it is better that the blob of an engine.

It looked like whoever was in charge of the project just did not care. For example, viewed from the front, the engine cowl is skewed – it is nowhere near symmetrical. The kit is full of really lazy stuff like this.

It should be said though that A-Z's 1/72 scale offerings have a good reputation for detail and accuracy, which makes you wonder how the ball was dropped so badly in 1/48 scale.

OzMods from Australian released a very nice resin fuselage correction and detail set in 2013 that addressed many of the problems but not all.

We still needed a knight in shining armour to save us from this mishapen monster.

 

 

FirstLook

 

Ukrainian company Dora Wings has a knack for picking interesting and esoteric subjects, and they have now expanded their range to include an all-new 1/48 scale injection moulded plastic Vultee Vengeance Mk.II. It only takes a glance in the box to realise that this kit has nothing at all in common with the old A-Z Models kit.

Dora Wings' 1/48 scale Vultee Vengeance Mk.II comprises 176 parts in medium grey coloured plastic, 14 parts in clear plastic, around 72 parts on two photo-etched frets, die-cut vinyl masks and decals for four marking options.

 

  • Dora Wings Kit No. DW48044  Vultee Vengeance Mk.II Review by Brett Green: Image
  • Dora Wings Kit No. DW48044  Vultee Vengeance Mk.II Review by Brett Green: Image
  • Dora Wings Kit No. DW48044  Vultee Vengeance Mk.II Review by Brett Green: Image
  • Dora Wings Kit No. DW48044  Vultee Vengeance Mk.II Review by Brett Green: Image
  • Dora Wings Kit No. DW48044  Vultee Vengeance Mk.II Review by Brett Green: Image
  • Dora Wings Kit No. DW48044  Vultee Vengeance Mk.II Review by Brett Green: Image
  • Dora Wings Kit No. DW48044  Vultee Vengeance Mk.II Review by Brett Green: Image
  • Dora Wings Kit No. DW48044  Vultee Vengeance Mk.II Review by Brett Green: Image
  • Dora Wings Kit No. DW48044  Vultee Vengeance Mk.II Review by Brett Green: Image
  • Dora Wings Kit No. DW48044  Vultee Vengeance Mk.II Review by Brett Green: Image
  • Dora Wings Kit No. DW48044  Vultee Vengeance Mk.II Review by Brett Green: Image
  • Dora Wings Kit No. DW48044  Vultee Vengeance Mk.II Review by Brett Green: Image
  • Dora Wings Kit No. DW48044  Vultee Vengeance Mk.II Review by Brett Green: Image
  • Dora Wings Kit No. DW48044  Vultee Vengeance Mk.II Review by Brett Green: Image
  • Dora Wings Kit No. DW48044  Vultee Vengeance Mk.II Review by Brett Green: Image
  • Dora Wings Kit No. DW48044  Vultee Vengeance Mk.II Review by Brett Green: Image
  • Dora Wings Kit No. DW48044  Vultee Vengeance Mk.II Review by Brett Green: Image
  • Dora Wings Kit No. DW48044  Vultee Vengeance Mk.II Review by Brett Green: Image
  • Dora Wings Kit No. DW48044  Vultee Vengeance Mk.II Review by Brett Green: Image
  • Dora Wings Kit No. DW48044  Vultee Vengeance Mk.II Review by Brett Green: Image
  • Dora Wings Kit No. DW48044  Vultee Vengeance Mk.II Review by Brett Green: Image
  • Dora Wings Kit No. DW48044  Vultee Vengeance Mk.II Review by Brett Green: Image
  • Dora Wings Kit No. DW48044  Vultee Vengeance Mk.II Review by Brett Green: Image
  • Dora Wings Kit No. DW48044  Vultee Vengeance Mk.II Review by Brett Green: Image
  • Dora Wings Kit No. DW48044  Vultee Vengeance Mk.II Review by Brett Green: Image
  • Dora Wings Kit No. DW48044  Vultee Vengeance Mk.II Review by Brett Green: Image
  • Dora Wings Kit No. DW48044  Vultee Vengeance Mk.II Review by Brett Green: Image
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The plastic is very smooth and semi-shiny. Surface textures are made up mainly from crisply recessed, fine and consistent panel lines. There are some raised surface textures where appropriate too. Sprue attachment points are narrow, but they do extend onto the visible outside surfaces of the wings so do take care when removing the parts and cleaning up.

Sprue attachment on the fuselage parts are on the mating surfaces, making cleanup less risky.

 

 

The cockpit looks really good.

 

 

It is fitted out with photo-etched switches, trim wheel, head armour, handles, rudder pedals and harness straps with plastic seats, front and rear bulkheads, oxygen bottle, control columns and more.

The instrument panel has a plastic base, dial decals and a front panel of photo-etch. An alternative one-piece plastic panel with raised bezels and switches is also supplied.

 

 

Decals are supplied for stencils, individual dials and other cockpit markings.

 

 

The bomb bay doors are separate parts and a load of two bombs with crutches and interior bomb bay detail are included. The whole area is very busy and nicely presented. If you prefer to display your fuselage buttoned up, Dora Wings also supplies a one-piece cover for the bomb bay.

 

 

The engine is made up from finely detailed cylinder banks, crankcase cover but no photo-etched ignition harness.

 

 

The engine cowling is designed with separate photo-etched cowl flaps that will need to be carefully bent into shape to follow the contours of the cowling. This time, Dora Wings has moulded the join between the cowl and the flaps with a recessed ridge that will make a more positive connection with the photo-etched parts easier to achieve.

 

 

The inverted gull wings are made up from separate upper and lower, port and starboard halves. All control surfaces including the flaps are separate parts and may be posed neutral or offset. The dive brakes are separate photo-etched parts too and may also be posed open or closed.

 

 

There is no wing spar but the roots of the wings are fitted into a shallow recess in the fuselage sides. This should result in a pretty solid join.

The nicely detailed wheel well ceilings are moulded to the bottom of the lower wing.

 

 

Main wheels are moulded with separate hubs and tyres. Tyres are plastic parts - no vinyl here.

 

 

Clear parts are thin and free from distortion and supplied in separate sections to permit the canopy to be posed open or closed. The proof here will be in the building, but bear in mind that Red Roo Models has an aftermarket vacform Vengeance canopy that is designed to be posed open. it may work with this kit too.

 

 

Alternative rear glazings are included too.

 

 

Dora Wings has thoughtfully provided die-cut, self-adhesive vinyl canopy masks, which will save some time taping up that complex birdcage.

 

 

Instructions are supplied on a 20-page, glossy booklet. There are 60 illustrated construction steps.

The marking guide is in full colour.


 

Markings

The decal sheet is printed by Decograph from Ukraine. The decals are satin in finish.

 

 

Markings are supplied for four RAAF options. All are finished in a fairly standard scheme of RAF Dark Earth and Dark Green upper surfaces (most likely DuPont paint equivalents applied at Vultee's US factory) and RAAF Sky Blue lower surfaces.

Aircraft codes are printed in a faded RAAF Sky Blue while the serials are Medium Sea Grey.

Two of the options have white Pacific theatre identification markings on the tail surfaces and the leading edges of the wings.

All four aircraft feature nose art and two also have yellow bomb logs.

Registration and printing look good.

 

 

Conclusion

 

This is a great kit.

Dora Wings' brand new 1/48 scale Vultee Vengeance Mk.II is a high quality offering and represents a massive improvement over the badly flawed A-Z Model kit from 2011.

Strictly speaking, this is a limited run kit as suggested by its lack of locating pins but otherwise it looks very mainstream with its fine recessed surface textures, high quality plastic and fine sprue attachment points.

Dora Wings' 1/48 scale Vengeance will be warmly welcomed by lovers of esoteric and RAAF, SEA and South West Pacific subjects.

It is also worth mentioning that this Ukrainian company has produced and distributed their 1/48 scale Vultee Vengeance in the middle of a war and with their CEO fighting on the front lines. Buyiing this kit is one small way to support the Ukranian effort.

Is this Dora Wings' best kit yet? I think it is entirely possible!

*Historical summary adapted from Wikipedia

Thanks to Metro Hobbies for the review sample.


Review Text and Images Copyright 2022 by Brett Green
Page Created 18 August, 2022
Last updated 18 August, 2022

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