|REVIEWER:||Scott Van Aken|
The Avro Vulcan, sometimes referred to as the Hawker Siddeley Vulcan, is a delta wing subsonic jet strategic bomber that was operated by the Royal Air Force(RAF) from 1953 until 1984. It was developed by Avro in response to a specification released by the Air Ministry. At the time, both jet engines and delta wings were considered cutting-edge and relatively unexplored; thus, the small-scale Avro 707was produced to test the principles of the design. In flight, the Vulcan was an agile aircraft for its size.
The Vulcan B.1 was first delivered to the RAF in 1956. In service, the Vulcan was armed with nuclear weapons and was a part of the RAF's V bomber force, the United Kingdom's airborne deterrent against aggression from other powers such as theSoviet Union during the Cold War. Features such as an extensive electronic countermeasures suite and a low radar cross section for its size would have made the aircraft difficult to detect while carrying out the nuclear strike mission. A second batch of aircraft, the B.2, was produced with new features, including a larger wing and greater fuel capacity, along with more advanced electronics and radar systems.
The B.2s were adapted into several other variants, the B.2A carrying the Blue Steel missile, the B.2 (MRR) for Marine Radar Reconnaissance use, and the K.2 tanker for aerial refuelling. Six of these tankers were quickly worked up for use during the Falklands war as the UK Victor tanker force was inadequate for the missions that were being planned. One example, XH558, an aircraft depicted on this kit's decal sheet, was recently restored for use in display flights and commemoration of the employment of the aircraft in the Falklands conflict.
The Avro Vulcan has been a real favorite of modelers for many years. It has been produced in all the major scales aside from 1/32 by using a variety of media from vacuform to resin to injected plastic. Earlier, GWH did a standard B.2 version and now they have taken the next step and provided us with the Tanker version.
When I opened the box on this, I saw the lower fuselage/wing and the other sprues in the top of the box. Under a tray was the upper wing/fuselage piece, wrapped in foam wrap along with the decals sheet, instructions and painting guide.
Having the upper and lower fuselages incorporate the wings takes care of any alignment issues and just speeds up the construction. There is a cockpit for this and you have a pair of crew members to place in the forward seats. The intakes are a single piece and trapped between the fuselage halves. There is room in the nose for the weight you will need to prevent it from being a tail sitter.
Since this is the tanker version, there are a pair of new parts to allow you to do this variant. Other than that, the kit is the same. If you decide to do the bomber version, there is no bomb bay and no Blue Steel missile is provided. What is provided are Shrike missiles, a jamming pod and their pylons. Holes in the lower wing will need to be opened to use these. Judging from the way the lower rear is set up, there may be a tanker version in the future. The separate fin tip leads me to believe we will see earlier B.2 boxings as well. GWH also does a fine job of getting the landing gear properly done and in this scale, they look quite complex. Since you need to cut the gear doors, it looks as if you will be able to model this with the gear up, which is good as there is a display stand. If you do not read Chinese, you will probably miss the small drawing that shows the bomb bay section having the stand attachment point opened. Actually, I am quite pleased that a stand is included, as it is something I think should be available with all kits scaled 1/144 and smaller.
This particular boxing is identical to the earlier release with the addition of an addendum decal sheet for a pair of tankers from 50 Squadron. These have green/grey uppers with a lighter grey underside and large white areas as seen on the box art. The other two options are for two aircraft with the grey/green wraparound scheme in vogue during the Falklands War. Both options are semi-famous aircraft with one being XM597 with 101 Squadron and the other XM 607 with 44 Squadron. The decals are nicely printed and previous experience with GWH decals has been positive.
I have been building most of my big bomber kits in 1/144 and find this one to be a unique and welcome addition to the fold.
Thanks to www.dragonmodelsusa.com for providing the preview kit. This kit should be on your store's shelves. If not, have them order it for you.If you would like your product reviewed fairly and fairly quickly, please contactthe editor or see other details in the
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