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Hong Kong Models 1/32 Avro Lancaster Grand Slam Kit No #01E038 839 parts Wingspan 972 mm / Length 664 mm The Hong Kong Models Lancaster has been around for a while now, but HK Models had several projects to release several variants of the mythic bomber This time, we have for review the fantastic Grand Slam. But first a bit of history: RAF 617 Squadron After The Dambusters Raid “After the success of the Ruhr dams raid in May 1943, 617 Squadron was retained by RAF Bomber Command for specialist precision bombing operations. It experimented with new bomb sights, target marking techniques and colossal new 'earthquake' bombs developed by Barnes Wallis, the inventor of the 'bouncing bomb'. An unsuccessful attempt to bomb the Dortmund-Ems Canal from low level in September 1943 resulted in the loss of five aircraft and the death of the Squadron's new commanding officer. Such missions were not repeated, and henceforth 617 Squadron concentrated on high-altitude precision bombing. In the run-up to D-Day, the Squadron attacked factories, V-weapon sites and communication targets in France. Its commander, Wing Commander Leonard Cheshire, pioneered a controversial new low-level target-marking technique. The improved accuracy minimised civilian casualties when attacking targets in occupied territory. In the autumn of 1944, 617 Squadron joined 9 Squadron in attacks with 12,000 lb 'Tallboy' bombs on the German battleship Tirpitz, moored in Norwegian waters. The first two attempts were inconclusive owing to cloud and smokescreens, but on 12 November they found Tirpitz with no protection. Sustaining two direct hits, the ship was shattered by an internal explosion and capsized. PHOTOGRAPHS A Lancaster B Mark I (Special) of 617 Squadron A Lancaster B Mark I (Special) of 617 Squadron releases its 22,000 lb 'Grand Slam' deep penetration bomb over the Arnsberg viaduct in Germany. Arnsberg lay in the eastern Ruhr Valley, not far from the Mohne dam, which had been the target for 617’s first operation in 1943. Now, its strategically important railway viaduct was the objective. On 19 March 1945, an attack by 19 Lancasters of 617 Squadron carrying a mixture of 'Tallboy' and 'Grand Slam' bombs brought it crashing down. Avro Lancaster B Mark I (Special), PB996 'YZ-C', of No. 617 Squadron RAF, flown by Flying Officer P Martin and crew, releasing a 22,000-lb MC deep-penetration bomb (Bomber Command executive codeword 'Grand Slam') over the viaduct at Arnsberg, Germany. © IWM (CH 15375) In the last months of the Second World War, 617 Squadron made further successful strikes against the German rail and canal network, coastal defences and previously invulnerable U-boat pens, using 'Tallboys' and the monstrous new 22,000 lb 'Grand Slam' bomb. Right to the end, 617 Squadron maintained its position as Bomber Command's ultimate precision bombing specialists.” Let´s see. The kit It`s was not the first time I saw the Lancaster box but I`m still impressed with it. The Grand Slam box is just the same size as all others HK Models Lancaster boxes and as always demands respect. As the Dambuster, in the contents only a few things are different from the B.Mk.I. There’s one extra sprue, an extra instruction booklet and extra decals. So before I continues, here`s the link of a full and deep review of the Lancaster Mk I. Now the new sprue. The Gg sprue: It’s a big sprue!! Well it’s also a very very big bomb! So you got a fully 1:32 Grand Slam Bomb and a all new “bomb bay” area. This bomb bay area comes in a single piece. The Grand Slam is impressive. Also you got a new “nose” to replace the front turret that the Grand Slam Lancaster unit didn’t have. The extra booklet As said there is an extra instruction booklet included to build the Grand Slam version. In the booklet it said that all the building is to follow the B Mk. I excepts the steps in the Grand Slam booklet as It tells you at which steps you need to use other parts or perform modifications. In the Grand Slam edition, its starts right on the step 1, with some seat modifications by putting the P42 parts (instead of P3() and exclude the P22. Then jumps right to the step 11, where all the front panels of the bomb bay is deleted (no M17 and Dd18) and some cutting has to be made in the M12 part. The step 12, I figure that part of the bomb bay sidewalls are not include! On the step 15 and 16, the only different is some cutting of the fuselage to accommodate the new bomb bay. The only problem I see here is that HK doesn’t said how much (in length) you need to cut so you have to guide yourself for the instructions picture and that it´s not that easy. The step 19 is the same but a bit more explicit on the new booklet so it’s a upgrade. The step 23, a bubble window is added on the left side of the canopy frame. The step 27 is a big step with a all new bomb bay area and the Grand Slam constructions steps. The steps 35,38, 52 and 57 are all equal: the engine. The only thing is not to put the exhaust/flame covers. Makes sense as for the night bomber, the exhaust flames will be something you need to cover. In the Grand Slam case, being a day bomber that no sense in the exhaust cover. Step 69 shows the small fuselage changes with the remove of the upper turret (with the U1 part, making the upper fuselage straight) and the frontal turret replace by a cover nose (part Hh5) The final steps is a little upgrade from the original booklet with some explicit identification if previous steps. Schemes This kit contains one scheme. - Avro Lancaster special PB996 'YZ-C', of No. 617 Squadron RAF, flown by Flying Officer P Martin and crew The decals for this new version is a single sheet with very good registration and color, a top quality product as expected from Cartograf. Also present is the original Lancaster Mk. I release, where you will take the insignias and stencils. However I would expect to see more options on this release… But here`s it is in action: One point the I was pointed out was that the Grand Slam version used the Lincoln wheels which has a large wheel hub. It’s a detail but a quite visible one but there`s no aftermarket 1:32 Lincoln wheels. Conclusion As all the other version, It’s a quite well researched (pity the wheels) and of course a fantastic addition to all the Lancaster line-up that HK Models is bringing to modelling world. All the news parts have the same injection and detail quality that all others sprues. The decals do have nice registration color, are quite thin but I was really expecting some more options but HK Models also only gave one option in the Dambuster box. If you want a1:32 Grand Slam Lancaster, this is your only option, and a Very Very good one. Very Highly Recommend Francisco Guedes A Very Special thank you to Neil and Hong Kong Models for the review sample. You can get HK Models in Europe on Ak-interactive website.