Contrail 1/72 Lincoln B.2

Price: $20.00 when new

Media: Vacuform plastic

Decals : Three schemes, all postwar RAF

Comments: This is my first attempt at a large vacuformed kit (not counting the now 5 year build of Rareplanes Skywarrior). I had previously built Contrail's Baffin and had little real problem with the model so I figured I'd give the Lincoln bomber a try. It includes decals and a bunch of white metal parts including landing gear struts, propellers, engine fronts, exhausts, some cockpit bits and gun barrels. The clear parts for canopy, bomb aimers position and turret parts are totally devoid of any kind of guide for painting. This was a major headache for me although the instructions are pretty good and I was able to sort of figure out what went where.

On to the building. If you have built a small vacuform kit then you can build a big one. The major difference is the need to build bulkheads in the fuselage (provided) and wing spars to keep the incredibly long wings from flopping around (not provided).

The first step, after cutting out all the pieces and getting the wings thin and fuselage straight, is to build up the interior and to detail to taste. While that is going on, the wing, horiz stab, tails, and engine nacelles can be built. As with all my kits, I used putty to smooth out the gaps and rough edges. When completing the fuselage, one needs to ensure that the opening for the bomb aimer's glass will fit. Mine was too tall for the fuselage on only one side and that required slitting the fore part of the fuselage and inserting a wedge of styrene to even up the sides. I also had to lengthen one fuselage side to get the aft turret facing square. I found that the top turret transparency was way too large for the mounting plate so I made a new one using a modified wheel half for a template and Squadron's thermoform clear plastic for the turret.

Almost all vacuform kits require one to exercise many different skills and the Contrail Lincoln certainly lives up to that. I will say that I got excellent product support. Two of my white metal propellers had broken and short shot blades. A letter to the UK quickly got me four new propellers carefully encased in a sturdy box. Thanks, Contrail.

Contrail's decals proved to be less than truly usable so I went to old standby Modeldecal for all the required registrations and insignia. It is in Dark Earth and Green with a black underside and huge white serials under the wing. I believe it is in marks of 617 Sq and the only color is red spinners. The finished model is truly huge for a WWII bomber. I have it hanging on the wall next to my AMT XB-35 and the Lincoln's wingspan is about 2/3 that of the XB-35. While it was not an easy project, it was not as difficult as I would have first thought. Although mine is not a contest winner, I know of no one else who has one in their collection! Recommended for those with vacuform experience.

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