Valom 1/72 Handley Page Harrow III
|PRICE:||~$55.00 by the time it reached my door|
|REVIEWER:||Scott Van Aken|
|NOTES:||Short run with resin and p.e. parts|
Valom has been producing short run kits for quite some time now. They get mixed reviews with some modelers finding them 'impossible' while others (likely those with quite a bit of short run experience) simply considering them as being challenging. I have built a number of their kits over the years and can agree that they seem to be more challenging than shake and bake. The kits no longer use vacuform clear bits, but still rely somewhat on resin and photoetch for parts, this kit being no exception.
Many of you might consider this to be an odd choice and in some ways it is, but it was produced in different variants and variants are what help a kit to be produced. I like it as I used to live in Harrow in the mid-late 1950s so have a fondness for the aircraft simply because of the name.
It is not a small kit, being considered a heavy bomber at the time of its introduction. The kit is molded in a tan plastic with very nice external detailing. The 'hills and valleys' of fabric planes is subdued and looks quite nice. Resin is provided for two of the seats and for the engines. Photo etch is provided for things like instrument panels, antennas, hinges, control wheel and some other interior and exterior bits.
As is the norm with Valom, the sprues have parts for every boxing so there are spares. You get several fore and aft gun greenhouses as well as the faired over ones for the pure transport versions. The interior sub-assemblies are built up of mostly flat parts cemented together. There are injector towers that will need to be removed in some instances so that parts will fit.
While I wish that companies would mold engine cowlings as a single piece, that is not the case here with these items being in two pieces. As this is the bomber version, you have to deal with the turrets. One option is without the guns, though the turrets are still on the plane in the front and back. The upper turret has a fairing to cover it for this version. To complicate things a bit more, there is an insert to be installed between the front turret and the rest of the aircraft.
A nice touch is a wing spar that runs through the fuselage. This will be needed to hold up the large wings. Wings are in upper and lower halves while the horizontal stab is a single piece. There are small indentations in the stab for the upper and lower fins. Main gear consists of two piece wheels which fit into two piece wheel pants. The three struts on both sides are separate with again, small indentations showing where they fit. Note that the gear are the only wire braced parts of the kit. Interestingly, all but two of the aileron/flap actuator hinges are in plastic. Guess they miscounted when doing the sprues.
Instructions are fairly well done with a detail image of the interior. Generic color information is provided along with color numbers for five other paint makers. Both planes are dark green/dark earth over black. Markings are for two planes. One is the armed box art plane from 115 squadron. The other is a near identical plane that is unarmed from 214 squadron. Decals are superbly done and should work just fine.
Interwar bombers have not been kitted very often and so it is quite nice to see these being done. It is short run so don't expect an easy build of it. However, the finished product should stand out on your shelf.
September 2017 Copyright Scott Van Aken If you would like your product reviewed fairly and fairly quickly, please contact the editor or see other details in the
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