Lodela/Heller 1/72 Vampire F.3

KIT #: 2414
PRICE: $25 Mexican Pesos way back when
DECALS: None
REVIEWER: David Gonzalez Mendez
NOTES: Discontinued kit

HISTORY

The de Havilland Vampire was a British Jet-engined fighter, it was commissioned by the royal air force during the WWII, however, it was never used in combat this aircraft served in the RAF squadrons until 1955 and continued used as a trainer until 1966.The Vampire was officially introduced to the British public on June 8th 1946 and led the fly pass over London at the Victory Day Celebrations. Eventually, the aircraft served in many air forces worldwide.  Almost 3,300 units were built and many of them under license in other nations. This aircraft was used by Canada as a part of their air forces; also Countries like Mexico bought a fleet of these jets to its Mexican Air Force.

 Around 80 vampires are still airworthy, but only few of them are flying in exhibitions. Some others are shown in museums such as: Alberta Aviation Museum, Aviation Museum of Central Finland, Canada Aviation Museum, Austrian Aviation Museum, and the de Havilland Aircraft Heritage Centre, to name a few.

THE KIT

The kit was sold in Mexico by Lodela, nowadays is discontinued, I found this one in a supermarket, it comes poorly packed, no box, no decals, just a bag with three injection-molded sprues plus the clear parts and the assembling instructions. It is well detailed, good quality despite the super low price (less than 2 dollars).

The clear parts are nice, and the whole model is well served by Lodela, I used to buy my first models as a kid at the only one store in my city. Then it closed 20 years ago, and there is no other hobby store available now, I feel lucky for founding this lonely model at the supermarket, I also was amazed by the price.

 When you open the bag, you can realize that the kit is new, it smells and feels new, there are other models for sale at this store and I will show you later on in my next reviews, by the way, they are all in 1/72 scale, for now my dedication to this little nice airplane model.

CONSTRUCTION

The construction of this kit requires average skills, it is not too difficult, the model itself is easy to build, however you must study the instructions carefully.

Take care when assembling the booms and tail, in my case, I decided to glue the tail and booms first and then to the main wings, of course, these are previously assembled to the main fuselage.

The cockpit is well detailed, however, due to the scale, this is too small to be seen from outside, anyway, I like to work on the cockpit as much as I can even if itís too small due to the scale.

Once the cockpit is done, itís time to join the main fuselage to seal the cockpit, but before I do this, I have to add small fishing weights to the nose in order to balance the airplane.

After joining the wings, I had to use a little bit of my homemade filler between the joints of the main wings and fuselage, I put cyanoacrylate into the gaps and then a little bit of baking soda powder.

This mixture dries fast and can be sanded with a fine sand paper; the results you get with this mixture are acceptable.

COLORS & MARKINGS

After that itís time for the model to be primed, first I used light gray primer in spray, I bought a Mexican brand in a local store, I have had good results by using this primer paint, the paints adds well to this primer.

I donít have an air compressor thatís why most of my models are spray or brush painted.

This vampire was painted with silver metal spray; the result you get with this spray paint is quite acceptable and looks very similar to an airbrush paint result.

I took some spare decals from other models, as I said before; this kit has no decals so I applied the most suitable decals for this model.

The panel lines were shaded by using flat black make up powder, remember I didnít use an airbrush to paint this model; you can apply this make up shades with a soft cotton pad.

Do it as long as you are happy with the effect.

There are no limits and rules when you build plastic models, you can do whatever you want for your model to make it look nice, even if you donít have decals, you can print them on your own by using a computer and water-slide paper.

Thatís why every plastic model is different because it carries the builderís signature and technique.

CONCLUSIONS

I was satisfied with this model, although the resources are limited to me, I always try to achieve my goals for my models by using different alternatives, I liked this model a lot, it seems to me well done, it wasnít too difficult to build , the price was very cheap and donít forget to create your own techniques.

David Gonzalez Mendez

June  2009

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