Wells Props Models 1/48 Vampire I conversion

KIT #:  
PRICE: $14.00
REVIEWER: John Lester

For the Airfix kit


The new (2022) Airfix 1/48 Vampire enables you to build most Goblin-powered, single-seat Vampire marks F.3 and later out of the box. The original Mk. 1 Vampire, however, had a noticeably different tail boom and stabilizer arrangement A total of 228 of this mark were built, beginning active service with RAF fighter squadrons as well as the Swedish Air Force’s F13 wing (70 aircraft) in 1946. Surviving aircraft were later sold to various smaller air forces around the world.

Wells Props Models’ 3D-printed resin conversion provides 3 parts to backdate the Airfix empennage to the Mk. 1 configuration: port & starboard tail boom plus stabilizer. Detail consists of engraved panel lines and control surfaces comparable to those found on the kit. My sample had no real flaws in printing or surface texture. It should only require a wipe-down with some lacquer thinner and a light sanding before use. The booms are keyed in the same fashion as the kit parts, so this should be a straightforward, drop-fit replacement.

The cost is quite reasonable – the equivalent of about $14.00US (as of November 2023) plus around $5.00US postage. This set, as well as several other detail conversions for Vampire variants, is available through Wells Props Models.


* Note that the Mk.1 also was produced with a Bakelite pilot’s seat similar to the later Spitfire variants, not an ejection seat as would be fitted to many later variants. Eduard has a 3-D printed part for this.

John Lester

December 2023

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