Xtradecal X48220: Vampire F.3/FB.5




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Review By:

Scott Van Aken


Eight options

With the release of the Airfix F.3 and later the FB.5/9, it is not surprising that there would be new sheets for these kits. One thing you may not know is that the sprues are identical in both kits with only a slight modification of the instructions and different decal sheets.

This particular sheet provides markings for two F.3s and six FB.5s. All are RAF planes so if you want something 'foreign', you'll have to look elsewhere. The aircraft are either in overall painted aluminum (high speed silver) or with dark green/dark sea grey over either silver or PRU blue.

For the F.3, both planes are in high speed silver with 601 and 6614 squadrons. These planes have the long sawtooth tail boom markings. For the FB.5, the three camouflaged planes are with 98 squadron, which has the PRU blue undersides, yellow nose, and yellow wing bands with the other two with 607 and 613 squadron having silver undersides. The overall high speed silver planes are with 145, 71, and 73 squadron. The decals are superbly printed and quite colorful. Not shown is a smaller sheet that is just black underwing serial number.

One thing I don't like is that Xtradecal did not offer the underwing serials already cut as part of these need to be trimmed to fit over the gear doors. It means you have to prepaint the underside, then figure a way to get the outer doors with their molded on hinges to stay in position while you cut the decals. I'm simply going to fudge things and place the decals in question farther out on the wing where this isn't a problem. Not prototypical, but there it is.

November 2023

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