Classic Airframes 1/48 Blenheim IV

KIT #: 436
PRICE: $55.00 before the company went belly up
DECALS: Two options
REVIEWER: Pablo Calcaterra
NOTES: My ultimate tribute to Sqn Ldr Richard Lindsell DFC RCAF


Richard Campbell Lindsell was born in Buenos Aires, Argentina in 1916. He completed his studies in England (Stowe College) and then returned to Argentina where he started to work in Alpargatas, a very famous factory of fabrics.

In September 1940 Richard traveled to Canada in the transport ship S.S. Uruguay. Among the passengers other volunteers traveled to join the fight against the Axis we can find Frankie Bell who flew with Lindsell in 139 Sqn in 1941 and after flying support missions for the Chindits had a career at the RCAF after the war, Gerry Pryor who died in a Blenheim in Malta, Dick Hughes who died in 1942 over Germany in a Halifax, Bernardo de Larminat who flew Hurricanes in 1942 in North Africa.

In December they all joined the RCAF and Richard was trained in Mount Hope, Ontario (EFTS 10) close to where I live, then moving to Brantford, Nova Scotia and finally when training was over, he was sent to England by ship in May 1941.

Richard was transferred to OTU 13 were he trained to fly Blenheims. On August 27th, 1941 Richard and his crew (Pilot Officer Sydney Wells as navigator and Sgt. Peter Ganthony as wireless operator and gunner) were posted to 139 Sqn based in Manston. Other Argentineans were posted to this squadron on this same date: George Hughes, and Frankie Bell. These were the times of the heroic Group 2 missions. It was at the end of a very active month for 139 Sqn with almost daily bombing missions being flown over France. When the spare set of legs for Douglas Bader was dropped on August 1941, 19th Lindsell had NOT joined the Squadron yet…and 139 Sqn was not the Blenheim Squadron that took part in Operation Leg! (Therefore it is clear that he did not take part in this mission as stated elsewhere).

After some training missions during August the squadron flew to Tangmere on September 10th 1941 as a forward base. This was to be Richard’s first operation.  It was shipping bait in the Le Havre area that was cancelled due to bad weather. Their plane was Z7275 “K” which had been recently allocated to him.

More low level bombing practice took place in the following days. Flying “X” Z6249 (Z7275 was in maintenance) a new mission started on September 14th. After flying some miles away from the English coast at low height the shipping bait to Den Helder was aborted due to the no show of part of the fighter cover.

Finally on the 18th their first taste of fight: a Circus operation (with proper fighter cover) to the power station at Rouen (France). Again Z7275 was down so Lindsell flew in Z7300. It was afternoon mission in full squadron strength led by Wing Commander Halliday DFC. They found inaccurate flak and the bombing was found to be satisfactory (Z7300 was lost in October during the same antishipping raid as 6249 with the loss of the entire crews…read below)

On the 20th 6 machines of 139 Sqn took part in a shipping sweep to Zaandvort. All planes returned without incident (Lindsell finally in his first Op with Z7275) although they saw a convoy but did not engage it.

More training followed during the rest of the month and early October including some cooperation ones with the Army.

The next raid by 139 Sqn took place on October 11th when the Argentines Frankie Bell and Ken Hughes along with 10 more Blenheims led by Sqn Ldr Webster DFC flew their own planes in another uneventful Circus.

More Circus Operations took place during the month including the one on the 13th when Frankie Bell’s Blenheim was hit by flak but managed to return to base.

Sqn Ldr. Stubbs DFC in Z6249 and two other Blenheims (including Z7300 flown by Sgt Gill) out of 6 that took part on a mission on the 15th failed to return.

During these days Lindsell was practicing ultra-low level bombing in Z7275.

On October 24th P/O Bigges DFC led 6 machines including Lindsell on an anti shipping mission in the Ymuiden area. Though no ships were sighted they were chased by enemy fighters that did not manage to attack them.

On the 26th the mission was repeated but this time Lindsell was in the lead of 4 planes. No shipping or enemy fighters were sighted. 

Lindsell and 5 more pilots (including Ken Hughes) were assigned to Operation Pantaloon: ferrying planes to Malta thru Gibraltar. Heavy training to manage fuel consumption for the long haul took place in the following days. Their Blenheims were tropicalized versions. On November 4th 1941 they flew in “R” Z3944 from Portreath to Gibraltar via Coruna (Spain), Lisbon, and Cape St. Vincent. On the 5th they did more fuel consumption tests and on the 6th they did some calibration for communications with HMS Ark Royal.

The following day they took off for Malta. After contacting HMS Ark Royal and Argus they led 5 long range Hurricanes to the island following a route that took them close to Bizerte, Cape Bon, south of Pantellaria. This was called Operation Perpetual and delivered 34 much needed Hurricanes to Malta. Returning from the ferry mission HMS Ark Royal was torpedoed and sunk on November 13th. From Malta Lindsell, Wells and Ganthony flew on to Mersa Matruh in Blenheim 7359 on November 20th. During this flight and in company of Ken Hughes in O for Orange they were approached by 11 enemy bombers thought to be Ju88s who got as close as 1,500 yards before changing direction and leaving them alone! After refuelling in Mersa they continued along the coast to an airfield south of Cairo where their Blenheims were delivered to the Mediterranean Command.

On December 18th they started to return to the UK as passengers in a Sunderland via Malta and Gibraltar arriving in Plymouth on the 20th (Ken Hughes and crew had returned on the 14th)

With 110 (Hyderabad) Sqn:

On January 9th 1942 Lindsell, Wells and Ganthony joined this squadron and spent the entire month practicing night flying for intruder missions over enemy territory.

On February 8th they flew their first mission to an enemy aerodrome (Soesterberg near Utrecht, Holland) but it was called off due to bad weather.

The famous Channel Dash took place on February 12th. In all-out effort by the RAF 110 Sqn contributed 13 planes during the early afternoon hours. Out of these one was lost and only one managed to get close to the ships, overflew them but was not able to bomb due to low clouds (according to 110 Sqn AIR27). This seems to be Lindsell as he relates in his log book that they arrived over the area and in 10/10 clouds they located 4 destroyers with other small ships. They circled them, did a bomb run but did not release the bombs while receiving very accurate light and heavy flak in return. Climbing back into cloud they popped down again and found the same formation after what they safely returned to base. 110 Sqn followed up with another sortie with 3 planes at 5 pm. Lindsell was one of these and this time the foul weather prevented them from finding anything.

For the remainder of the month 110 Sqn started to get ready to be transferred to India. According to official RAF records he had accumulated with No.2 Group, United Kingdom from September 1941 to February 1942:

Circus operations (France, occupied territory) - 3 hours
Shipping sweeps (Dutch coast, etc.) - 12 hours 25 minutes
Night intruder sorties to Holland - 2 hours 50 minutes
Scharnhorst and Gneisenau ops, 12 Feb 42 - 3 hours 15 minutes

By early March Richard Lindsell had been promoted to Squadron Leader and put in charge of A Flight. On the 18th, along with his loyal Sidney Wells and Peter Ganthony they took off for Gibraltar in Blenheim Z7293. After a couple of days of calibrating their equipment with HMS Eagle they left for Malta on the 21st, found Force “H”, picked the Spitfires they were to shepherd led by Sqn Ldr. Jumbo Gracie and including future aces like Dusty Miller and Slim Yarra. There was supposed to be a second Blenheim in the mission but it never arrived so instead of delivering 16 Spits only 9 made it to the beleaguered island. It was a 700 mile trip that was made at very low altitude. There were areas with rain and fog. An unsuccessful climb above the clouds was made and thus they continued flying at low level. Close to Pantellaria a squadron of CR42 was seen but each party continued their own way. After almost 4 hours flying they arrived to Malta.

On March 22nd they flew on to El Fayoum and then continued to Wadi Natrun where they picked 5 long range Hurricanes and 2 more Blenheims, Aquir (1 Blenheim and 2 Hurricanes left behind), Habbaniyah where they arrived on March 31st along with the other Blenheim and 3 Hurricanes. From there they flew to Bahrein and after several refuelling stops they arrived in Karachi (India) on April 1st 1942. After picking up 2 more Hurricanes at Jodhpur (for a total again of 5) they finally arrived in Delhi on April 8th thus finishing this 20 day trip.

After many weeks to rest and recover flying activities resumed in November when training to convert to Vultee Vengeance begun. It is said that because he did not want to part ways from his crew he became a Flight Lieutenant at the end of the year. With their new planes he flew some operations searching for Japanese submarines.

On March 30th, 1943 he was informed that he was again a Squadron Leader, and that he was being transferred to 60 Sqn, flying Blenheims as Commanding Officer. He took Sidney and Peter with him as crew.

This squadron still had Blenheims and on April 2nd 1943 Richard led the squadron in his first mission as their commander, bombing Japanese positions at Pinshe. Thinganet, Sowebo, Atwin, Paletna, Kappagyaung and other targets followed as the Army was requesting support. Conditions in the base were very basic but still managed to carry out many successful missions that go beyond the scope of this article.

With deep regret and disappointment the crews found that the Squadron was going to convert to Hurricanes. Therefore navigators and gunners were not needed any more and were posted elsewhere. July saw Sqn Ldr Lindsell’s 60 Sqn starting the conversion to Hurricanes.

Lindsell got his lucky charm painted on the nose of his Hurricane called Suertudo. His mother got him a fabric figure of the Argentine cartoon Patoruzu to be his lucky charm. That very same figure is the one painted on the plane (The fabric Patoruzu is still with Richard’s family).

For more information about his actions with 60 Sqn please check here (please note that mistakenly I called him Ricardo in this article though he was never referred to by the Spanish version of his name) but let me tell you that I have found much more information about the Hurricane times and that I wish I had had that info when I wrote the article.

In all and a summary of his actions with 60 Sqn we can tell that Richard flew:

Arakan Front (Blenheim IVs), March to May 1943

Close support bombing operations - 16 hours 40 minutes
Long-range strategic bombing (airfields, etc.) - 9 hours 35 minutes
Offensive bomber and road reconnaissance ops. - 3 hours 35 minutes

India (Hurricane IIc aircraft), November 1943 to May 1944

Scrambles and searches - 7 hours 15 minutes
Bomber and transport escorts - 40 hours 15 minutes
Day long-range rhubarbs - 6 hours 55 minutes
Night long-range rhubarbs - 3 hours 35 minutes
A.S.C. Strafing (Arakan) - 3 hours 5 minutes
A.S.C. Hurri-bombing and strafing, Imphal and Chindwin - 69 hours 40 minutes.

In June 1944 Richard left his 60 Sqn and after a trip by ship he arrived in Liverpool very tired. In London he met his wife Patsy after two and a half years. She was also a member of the Armed Forces and because of her fluent German was tasked with listening to the radio conversations of the German aircrew in their missions over England.

His leaders wrote of him:

 ”Squadron Leader Lindsell has been responsible for the training and extreme efficiency of his squadron on operations after re-equipping from Blenheim aircraft to Hurricane bombers. Through his energy and leadership his squadron carried out 728 sorties from the 1st April to 2nd May 1944, during which time many congratulatory signals were received from the forward army units, on the accuracy of their bombing, who were on occasions only 100 feet away from the target. This officer has shown exceptional keenness for operations and his powers of command, leadership and devotion to duty are outstanding”
Commanding Officer of No.189 Wing (W/C P.K. Devitt) 5 June 1944

”The manner in which Squadron Leader Lindsell converted his squadron to a remarkably reliable and accurate Hurri-bomber squadron in a very short space of time on joining this Group was worthy of the highest recognition. His personal keenness and powers of leadership have made the squadron into a really good one, both from the point of view of operational results and aircraft serviceability. He has personally led the squadron on many extremely dangerous and successful sorties. Strongly recommended for the award of the Distinguished Flying Cross.”

Air Commodore commanding No.221 Group (21 June 1944)

In September 1944 he was given the DFC. Text read: “Squadron Leader Lindsell has led his squadron on many hazardous and successful sorties. He has also been responsible for the training and efficiency of his squadron on operations after conversion from Blenheim aircraft to Hurricane bombers. In one month in 1944 his squadron completed 728 sorties and as the result of the accuracy of their bombing received many congratulatory signals from the forward Army units. Throughout this officer has displayed outstanding leadership and devotion to duty”

In January 1945 he was sent to Canada. He was transferred to No.1 Air Command in February 1945 and released on May 2nd 1945. On May 26th 1945 he retired from the RCAF.  

He tried to return to Argentina hitchhiking by plane! After several hops thru the US, Mexico and Central America he contracted hepatitis. He was so sick in a hotel in the Amazon area that he passed out. Luckily he was found in his room and thanks to his name tag around his neck he was identified, sent urgently to a hospital in Canada where he recovered and finally again by plane this time he made it to Argentina in later in 1945. In September he returned to his old work at Alpargatas. He worked there for almost 2 years and then returned to the UK where he worked for 9 years. Then he went to live in 1955 to Venezuela, in 1967 back to the UK, and then Spain.

Richard Campbell Lindsell died in England in October 1998. Out of his group of 16 volunteers, only 3 survived the war (among them Malcolm Benitz who was brother in law of “Pancho” le Bas, another Argentine who flew in Malta and had a long career in the RAF after the war)

Richard never regained contact with his former crew after they parted ways. We now know that this is what happened to them:

 In regards to Sidney Wilfred Wells, the fantastic navigator later on joined 159 Sqn flying Liberators VI against the Japanese in the Burma theater. Regretfully, with only a few weeks left in the war and during a formation training session with other 5 planes his Liberator collided in mid-air with another one on July 29, 1945. The crash happened close to RAF Station, Armada Road in very bad weather. On coming out of a cloud No. 3 was in very close proximity with No. 1 and collided with it. The tail unit of No. 1 was completely torn off and No. 3 lost one of its wings.  The aircraft were completely smashed and there were no survivors. Sydney had a teddy bear called Lucky that flew with him in every single mission since 1941…except on the one when he lost his life! That teddy bear is now with his family in the UK. For more details about this crash you can read the excellent research done by Matt Poole.

We have found no details of the career of Sgt. Peter Ganthony after 60 Sqn. but Matt Poole has found that a Peter C. Ganthony died age 41 in 1959 in the UK. I have just found that this person married in 1948. There are two Peter Ganthony born between 1900 and 1925. But this Peter’s middle name starts with a “C” like Sgt. Ganthony so most likely Lindsell’s Wop/Ag passed away in 1959.


A Preview of the kit by Scott can be found here.


The good thing about this kit is that there are so many sub assemblies that you can work on several things at the same time. There is also a lot of resin to be cleaned from the parts.

So the sub assemblies I started to work on were the following:

Engine cowlings: glued together. I managed to lose a couple of the bumps for the cylinder heads so I had to copy them in resin…the gap between the resin and the plastic was covered with acrylic base paste (white)

Instrument panel: painted in black and with details highlighted using walk around pictures. Drops of Future represent the glass on the gauges. I used stills from the documentary “Blenheim at war and at peace” to use the correct colours for the dials and different knobs and controls. The fire button on the control column was painted using a mix of yellow and silver.

Rear bulkhead and crew seats: The fit of this part inside of the fuselage halves requires a lot of sanding, surgery and dry fitting. For starters, the molded support for the border of attack of the wings to the fuselage needs to be removed and a considerable amount of resin has to be sanded for the halves to properly close without misplacing the bulkhead. With this accomplished the structure was painted Interior Green with leather in Dark Brown and seat belts (PE from the spares box) in beige with silver details.

Wheel wells: as this is the early version of the kit I was forced to sand fantastic amounts of resin AND the interior side of both wing halves to make the parts fit. I believe it took me around 4 to 5 hours of sanding, dry fitting and more sanding to get each well to fit properly…Once this was accomplished the two wheel wells were carefully aligned and glued using two part epoxy.

Gun turret: The machine gun located in the turret is very simple and spartan. I decided to scratchbuild the missing parts. I went to the Museum in Hamilton, ON where they are restoring a Bolingbroke to flying condition (first flight scheduled for July 2015) and they already have the turret ready. I took pictures from every single angle and with these pictures I scratchbuilt all the missing parts: boxes for the storage of the ammo belts, cushioned pads on top of these boxes, fabric made collectors for spent cartridges, runners for the ammo belts, the support of the chin of the gunner behind the shield for his face, gunsight, different handles and levers for the guns…The entire structure was painted Interior Green with the “leather” parts in dark brown and handles in black. Metallic structures like guns, runners, gunsight were drybrushed in silver.

Cockpit: To avoid having a vertical seam running across the triangular central section of the windshield this one was removed and replaced with a single piece scratchbuilt later on. As I was planning on building the plane with the crew access latch open I then cut out that clear part from the side windows thus ending up with 3 parts. Now that the main floor with the instrument panel and consoles was ready it was time to attach the sidewalls to the 2 clear nose halves. These 4 parts are too thick and required (especially on the top part) lots of sanding. With two part epoxy the sides were glued to the clear parts. Everything was painted according to colour pictures. The floor with the instrument panel was slid under the left fuselage side. Scratchbuilt details were added to the area: 2 legs for the navigator seat, a support for the navigator table, a bombsight (with a decal for the dials) was attached to the support for the table, the ruler/support for the maps on the navigator’s table (made with wire, clear flat plastic and a round plastic for support). A folded up PE gunsight was added to the internal frame in front of the pilot seat.

The turret is a problem in itself…the ring below it is too shallow and the opening for the machine gun is correct for the VGO version but too narrow for the twin 303s. I proceeded to very carefully open up the area thru which the guns stick out. I curved two strips of thin plasticard and glued them between the main clear turret part and the clear ring and another one under the ring. This would allow me to make the turret to sit at the proper height and would represent the main frame of the ring. The Plexiglas almost rectangular windows on the ring were masked along with the main panels on the turret. 

(Beautiful) engines: were painted in black, the details highlighted with a silver drybrush. Some sanding was required to make them fit inside the cowlings. Piping for the collector rings is made in tiny “L” shaped resin. I had to trim them slightly to make them fit and then painted them with Rust. With lots of patience these were glued one by one using instant glue (gel type as it allows making corrections).  I managed to knock some off and glued them back in place. The supports for the front of the engine were made with cut pieces of stainless wire and glued using instant glue too. With this ready I covered the engine with damped tissue paper. The rounded edge air intakes for the engines (3 types are supplied with the kit: round edge, rectangular and tropical) were added to the bottom side of the cowlings.

Planes of 139 Sqn carried both type of exhausts for the engines: original or early type and the ones with flame dampers (which were, based on photographs, the majority). The kit only has the original type. These 4 pieces I painted in bronze and dry brushed with Rust colour. The opening was painted with black paint. Then they were attached without fuss to their cowlings. There are two supports for each exhaust that are vaguely marked in the kit. I scratch built these and glued them on top of the exhausts. Then I masked the bronze parts to get the area ready to be given the cammo colours.

Main structures:

a) Fuselage:

Now that the cockpit was ready (after several days of work as you can tell) the halves were carefully glued together. More epoxy was added under the floor to strengthen the union along with plasticard strips for support. Fit of the two halves of clear plastic was not very good and I had to sand a lot of plastic and use putty to correct some gaps/steps.

The little windows behind the pilot are engraved in the grey plastic fuselage halves. I decided to make them in clear plastic. For this I just cut out the tiny rectangular area, replaced it with clear plastic from the spares box, used putty to improve the union of the parts and them masked the clear part leaving it ready for painting later on.

The big chunk of resin with the seats was glued with 2 part epoxy to the fuselage halves. The support for the turret was glued with some corrections to make it fit properly (it is too wide). Then both halves of the fuselage were cemented. Once the glue was dry there was lots of work to do to make the gap along the spine and belly smooth (putty and sandpaper).

Part # 27 that covers the turret area is too wide and also lacks the wavy surface located towards the rear of the plane. This “waviness” was added with careful sanding and once it was ready the part was attached to the fuselage with the excess of plastic on the sides being sanded until there was a nice and smooth transition.

Finally (!) I was ready to attach the nose to the fuselage. I used epoxy for the resin parts and plastic cement for the clear/gray plastic parts. There was a significant gap at the bottom…so large that instead of using putty I build up layers of two part epoxy that I successively sanded and built until it was small enough to allow the use of putty. Panels had to be re-scribed on the bottom and external sides of the fuselage. The task is pretty difficult because two part epoxy is not a good friend of scribing tools and trends to either crack or break loose…

Note that the side windows for the pilot should be of the blister type but the kit only brings the flat (early) ones and I was unable to source blisters with the correct dimensions.

With this completed I sanded out the runners for the cockpit access hatch as these are too shallow. I cut strips of plasticard to make not only the runners but also the front portion where the hatch latches. This one has curved edges. I hid some little gaps using putty.

The hatch itself was made from a piece of acetate cut to shape (the discarded injected plastic one was too thick to make it sit over the fuselage in between the runners) and the frames were also cut from acetate and glued using Instant glue. The exposed clear area was masked.

The machine gun for the navigator had to be scratchbuilt. Using a reference from Internet that has drawings for every single kind of turrets used in planes flown by the British during WWII I built with plasticard the support for the .303 gun supplied by the kit. Then I painted it in black with some drybrushing in silver. The blister was cut out and sanded carefully till a nice fit to the nose was achieved. The panels were masked for painting later on.

b) Wings:

With the resin wheel wells in place I glued the top half of the wings. Once this was dry I cut out the landing lights as I was going to scratch build them with clear plastic. The spent cartridges chute for the wing mounted gun was carved out. After sanding the border of attack and the engine nacelles I had to re-scribe some panels. The wing root was not very even and I sanded it vigorously to get a decent surface to be matched to the fuselage.

The next challenge was to add the landing lights. I carefully cut out the plastic leaving the frames in place. I looked for very thick clear spruces in the spares box and found some that were ALMOST the correct thickness. They left a little gap in the undersides. I attached this clear plastic using copious amounts of glue that was used to fill up the gaps. The plastic was not eaten by the corrosive glue so this was good news. I sanded the area until I achieved a decent look and gave the clear parts a thick layer of Future.

Position lights (clear and colored) were also cut out from the plastic and made with more clear spruce from the spares box. This required extra glue to cover the gaps, putty for the gray plastic areas and Future to cover the clear areas and make them shiny.

Putting everything together (subassemblies, wings and fuselage):

By now probably 3 months had gone by since starting the project and the fuselage and the wings were mated. Fit was not good at all and I struggled a lot to get both wings sitting at the correct angle. With this accomplished I covered the gaps with putty and after sanding the excess I had to re-scribe several panel lines.

At last I was able to glue the horizontal surfaces of the tail but not before having to correct their root for them to sit with their border of attack perpendicular to the fuselage (more putty)

The multiple windows were masked, the opening for access to the cockpit and the turret area where covered with tape. The emergency fuel dumping pipes were glued under the wings.

Now I was able to give the entire coat a hand of Interior Green (Modelmaster 4850) that would serve two purposes: give the color to the interior frames of turret and nose and also check imperfections in all the unions of the main parts. The colour chosen for the undersides in order to look for imperfections was actually the cammo one: RAF Sky (Modelmaster 4840). I fixed some details here and there with putty and sandpaper.

At this point I glued the engines in place. By looking at the pictures of the Blenheims during the times that Lindsell served with 139 Sqn I found that there was a rectangular structure on the top left side of the cowlings. I took the unused rectangular air intakes and cut and sanded them to represent these (intakes or exhausts?). As I had already glued the cowlings I was forced to carefully cut out the cooling grids in the area and then attach the modified air intakes. I had to use some putty to improve the union.

I scratchbuilt the chute for the flares (bottom left side underneath the turret).

The final bits to add to the plane before cammo painting started where some little structures along the fuselage. These were scratchbuilt using the spares box and include an air exhaust (?) close to the runners for the hatch on the left side, the support for the antenna, a triangular “protection” (?) for a little pointy thing sticking out just behind the turret and a white light bulb ahead of the turret. Moveable surfaces and access hatch for the gunner where highlighted with a very sharp black pencil. With all the hard work done I was ready to tackle the fun part.


Already having painted the undersides in Sky and the fragile landing gear in Silver I masked these using worms of blue tack for the delimitation lines.

First applied RAF Dark Brown (Modelmaster 4846) to the entire top surface. Then I made copies of the demarcation lines of a Mk1 Blenheim as seen in the book Bombers of War World II (Metrobooks), cut them out, attached them using Tamiya tape and more blue tack for the delimitation areas. Note that Z7275 had the opposite cammo scheme so the paper masks were attached upside down and reversed (right changed to left). Dark Green (Modelmaster 4849) completed the main colour scheme.

Once the masks were removed and imperfections in the paint were checked out painted the collector ring in bronze and dry brushed it with rust. I glued the landing gear in place (note that this is a different order than the instructions). The anti-slipping band on the left wing was painted with black after carefully masking the area around it.

Sanded black pastel was applied with a brush around access panels, lids, behind the cowling flaps, moveable surfaces, etc. Several layers of Future gave a smooth surface for the decals. A silver pen was used to “chip” some paint here and there.

Squadron codes came from Xtradecals, roundels from Classic Airframes, serial numbers from Carpena. Finding out the correct letter assigned to this plane was a challenge. This research took me a couple of weeks and almost eroded the patience of the Lindsell family as I kept on asking for better quality scans of the pictures of 139 Sqn that they have. I knew I wanted to build Z7275 based on the fact that most of the pictures they have are of 139 Sqn so it would be easier to properly paint the plane. Also this was his plane assigned during his first tour. But the individual letter was a big mystery. Looking as much as I could at all the planes in those pictures I was unable to positively identify Z7275 by their serial number. Going thru Lindsell’s log book then I realized that he had changed the way he was recording his planes’ serial numbers. Initially he was using the Squadron individual letter and then after a few records he changed to the entire serial number. So, as an example, he first records K7275 and then he starts to write Z7275. After double checking with the UK Serial Number website and confirming that there never was a Blenheim K7275 and that the only Blenheim with a 7275 serial was “Z” it became clear that “K” was the individual Squadron assigned letter for this plane.

A round tiny black decal was used to represent the air intake for the navigator on the tip of the nose.


A coat of semi-gloss clear coat was applied to the entire plane. All windows received a hand of Future applied with a brush.

Parts that I glued at this point were antenna mast, tail wheel, landing gear doors, propellers, hatch (with a scratch built handle for the pilot to close it), bead part of the gunsight (glued on frame in front of pilot), antenna with stainless steel wire, pitot tube, position lights with a mix of Future and red/green paint, position light on the rudder with white paint.

The turret was installed in place but I had to wriggle a lot because the collectors for the spent cartridges kept on getting in the way and bumping against the turret ring (looking back I have probably made these collectors 1 or 2 mm too wide). Finally I had to concede a little bit and fit the guns slightly further back (giving little room for the head of the gunner!) but the final look is quite good and I am satisfied with the entire area. The machine gun for the nose blister was glued in place and when firmly attached the blister was added (this was a very tricky operation!)

With this the kit was completed.


Very good kit that with all the modifications and improvements took me 5 months to finish.

This is my tribute to Sqn Ldr Lindsell and his crew (Sidney and Peter) and all his friends and colleagues who left their homes (in many cases distant ones) to fight against the Axis.

Postscript: After sharing the pictures with the Lindsell family they commissioned me to build one Blenheim for each one of them…So we bought 4 Airfix 1/72 kits in eBay, Xtradecal decals and roundels (as most of the kits I bought were from the 1970/early 1980 productions and thus unusable) and I built them. The advantage of the Airfix kit is that the blisters for the pilot are there, the exhausts for night operations are there but there is no under nose blister for the navigator. These 4 kits were built all at the same time (experiencing different challenges as the age of the mouldings increased and poorer fit and more flash was found in many parts) and a few weeks ago delivered to their new owners.


The Lindsell family

AIR 27 for 139 Sqn and 110 Sqn

Air Force Association of Canada

Spitfires over Malta, Brian Cull with Frederick Galea

 “Nacidos con Honor”, Claudio Meunier, October 2007 – Thanks Claudio for putting me in contact with the Lindsells!

UK Serials Resource Center

Pablo Calcaterra

September 2013.

If you would like your product reviewed fairly and fairly quickly, please contact the editor or see other details in the Note to Contributors.

Back to the Main Page

Back to the Review Index Page