KIT: CMR 1/72 Sea Vampire
KIT #: ?
PRICE: $?
DECALS: Two options?
REVIEWER: Carmel J. Attard
NOTES: Resin

HISTORY

Emerging from the prototypes that were tested during the war years, the Vampire entered RAF service in March 1946. The box shaped unique design did not make it a sparkling performer but one that could be adoptable for many roles and it was an aircraft much liked by those who flew it. In the late 40s the two-seat Vampires emerged. This was the T11 and the Royal Navy was so much impressed with it that an order for 73 was made. This had minor modifications and the type was known as the T-22 Sea Vampire. Unlike the single seat Sea Vampire this was a shore-based aircraft and several were based at Hal Far in Malta over the years besides other naval shore bases in the UK. The delivery being made between 1952-55. The T-22 Sea Vampire continued to improve over the years so that the late production incorporated a 1 piece hood as well as ejection seats. Earlier T-22s had these modifications retrofitted. The Royal Navy continued to use the T-22 into the early 60s and examples of these were seen at Ta’ Qali, Luqa and Hal Far airfields in Malta. At first these carried the silver and yellow bands colour scheme on wings and tail-booms but in the later years the aluminum and Day-Glow orange was very prominent on local T-22s. An example of the T-22 Sea Vampire is represented at the Ta’Qali Aviation Museum which is a perfect restored aircraft finished in the RN markings when based at Hal-Far airfield.

THE KIT

CMR are once more presenting another resin kit, this time a T-22 Sea Vampire that is contained in sealed plastic bags. The kit consists of 54 light tan coloured resin and there are two vac-form canopies one being spare. The kit also comes with seven A-4 sized sheets of scale drawings and instruction, which carry no less than five different colour schemes. All in all CMR has tackled the production of the kit quite effectively. The lower half of the kit along with the wings comes in one piece. This includes a detailed front and rear bulkheads, cockpit floor and detailed sidewalls. There is also a detailed nose electronic bay and detail in the nose wheel well and interior of flaps if left in the lowered flap position.

It is assumed that all the solid resin material content placed ahead of the main wheels should in the end render the model not a tail sitter. The upper nose cover with all the ribbing interior detail comes in one piece with the rest of the fuselage. There is however a recess in the inside of the casting that shows the parting way and simplifies cutting in the event that you wish to leave the electronic bay open. There is options of flaps for an ‘up or down’ position and the speed brakes can be left open or closed. Two 100-imp gallons under wing tanks are supplied if it is decided to fix them on. Reference is made to the oblique drawings supplied in order to establish the exact position where the tanks are to be fixed. The position of the under wing antenna is wrongly indicated in the front view on Page 2 and is correctly shown on oblique drawing on Page 3. One other observation is that the inner flaps, the set closer to the fuselage are not quite shaped to conform to the opening that they are intended to fit, and these were shaped to the matching size with a flat file.

 

The tail booms lock into the fuselage by means of spigots which give it a secure joint. The tail fin and tail plane are all finely cast with fine defined detail and engraved panel lines and other raised type. Care and some effort needs to be taken during the initial cleaning of the resin parts particularly during the removal of the feeder heads but in the end the kit contains the correct characteristic outline.

CONSTRUCTION

 

(No specific construction information supplied.  Ed)
 

COLORS & MARKINGS

 

This happened to be my second occasion of building the 2-seat T-22, my first being an Airmodel conversion vacform kit which I merged with a frog Vampire kit parts as directed in the instruction. My first example was in silver and yellow bands scheme, like the type I spotted in 1991 at Duxford, UK. The CMR model will therefore be in the alternative trainer scheme of silver and day-glow orange.

 

There are two markings supplied and for obvious reasons I chose to make mine as a Hal-Far based 750 Sqd Royal Navy that operated circa 1965. This also happened to be the markings and finish scheme of the T-22 at the Ta’Qali Malta Aviation Museum. Other colour options included with the CMR model are one from 727 Sqd at Brawdy (1963), another one in Day-Glo scheme based at Lossiemouth (1962), a grayish blue and white admiral barge from Station Flight at Yeovilton 1967 and another admiral Barge in emerald Gren upper and white lower from Lee-on-Solent in 1963. The decal sheet is perfectly registered and also includes all the stencil notes that decorate the Sea Vampire. On the negative side there was a tiny area with localized porosity on the upper fuselage, which showed out only when I applied the pre-coat light paint. This was easily attended to with a little putty followed by sanding down.

CONCLUSIONS

 Having built the 4th kit in a line of Vampires, the CMR kit definitely turns out to be the winner in view of fine detail and in way of accuracy in shape as well as provision of choice of markings. It took some effort to handle the tiny parts but the end result is very pleasing and definitely recommends the kit without reservations. Thanks to Roger who provided the kit for the review.

October 2006

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