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This great big box has been staring at me for weeks. I got some other goodies to go with it, too... At least once every day, I'd open the box, ogle all the styrene stuffed into it - and promptly close it again. I brought the beast to my monthly club meeting, sure that I would win the "Mine's bigger" bragging rights. I did. I also received a challenge - bring it to build night! Once a week, a group of us meet at a local burger joint for a little camaraderie and to build. Challenge accepted! I figured I'd start with the resin; that way I won't feel so bad about putting other projects aside for a little while. Still a little filling and sanding to do here. Barnes Wallis' bouncing bomb... The bearer and framework are only half done here; I like to put them in situ while cement on the cross members dries. More soon!
1:32 Avro Lancaster Dambuster Hong Kong Models Catalogue # 01E011 The ‘Lancaster Series’ sign on the box of the initial HK Models Lancaster release promised us more. And here it is. First off let me start by saying this is bad news for Iconicair. The company that recently released a resin Dambuster conversion for the Lancaster kit for 47,00 GBP. Available here. What might be useful for your diorama or display is the Iconicair Dambuster Bomb trolley for 39,50 GBP. Available here. This trolley contains a resin MkIII Upkeep mine with smooth service. The HK Models kit contains an Upkeep mine with ribbed service. More on this later… Iconicair's Dambuster conversion: Iconicair's bomb trolley: To understand how the release mechanism works, you shouls really check this video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Xto6nQ9g_ss To understand it even better, I’d recommend Piotr Forkasiewicz and Mark Postlethwaite’s book: Dambuster Lancaster. It is filled with amazing 3D renderings of the mechanism, structure, profiles and history of the Dambuster. Available for 30 GBP. The kit With the amazing 3D rendered boxart of Piotr and the size (the same as the first Lancaster release) this box demands respect. Upon examining 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. The Gg sprue: The ribbed Upkeep surface. I myself will smoothen this out: The motor that spins the Upkeep mine: The extra booklet: As said there is an extra instruction booklet included to build the Dambuster version. When you start building just follow the B.Mk.1 instructions and keep the Dambuster booklet at hand. It tells you at which steps you need to use other parts or perform modifications. This starts at step 9, in the cockpit. It tells you to install part Gg29. This will be the manual release lever for the Upkeep mine. In reality it was taken from a glider where it was used as towing release lever. What you may want to add yourself is the extra altimeter the Dambuster had on top of the Direction finding indicator. At step 21 you are told to skip the turret on top of the fuselage since the Dambuster version did not carry one. At step 27 things get quite different. The bomb bay. Different doors and a special frame (Transverse frame) that is connected to the Upkeep carrying arms (caliper arms). And also the mechanism that spins the Upkeep mine before it was released. This consists out of a motor and flexible drive belt. Step 27 also tells you to install part Gg24. This is the rear spot light. The dambuster carried two spotlights. One at the front and one at the back. The beams were directed down / left. When the two beams lined up and created two dots next to eachother on the water, the plane was in the right position. The front spotlight was located in the camera port in the nose. The rear spotlight was situated aft of the bomb bay. Interestingly the hole and mount it was in, was already designed in earlier stages to house an extra Vickers gun. The instructions tell you there is lot of debate as per the location of the rear spotlight. Many believe it was housed aft of the bomb bay. And many believe it was mounted under the bomb bay, more forward in position. The instructions lets the modeler choose, but also tell you HK Models believe the aft position is correct. Piotr believes the aft position is also correct, since the lamp would have been much easier to adjust. Step 28 shows how to construct the caliper arms and Upkeep mine. Whereas I really love the detail on the caliper arms (hinges and wiring) and overall shape, I was a bit concerned with the Upkeep mine. The sides represent the Mk.III upkeep mine, but I had questions about the planked, ribbed outer surface. The Dambuster book shows a fairly rough surface. On the other hand I know earlier test version of the Upkeep mine were cladded in wood, but I couldn’t find this same ribbed effect. Neil is convinced this is right. I myself will smoothen the Upkeep. You decide! Schemes This kit contains one scheme. This is Guy Gibson’s ED932 / AJ-G from 617 squadron. RAF, Scampton, UK, May 1943. I would have loved to see a bit more options in this department. A publicity shot of Richard Todd ,who played Guy Gibson's in the Dambusters film, in front of one of the Mk VII's used for the film: The extra Dambuster decals: The AJ-G profile in the Dambuster book: Verdict This kit appears pretty well researched and is a welcome addition to the Lancaster line-up that is slowly being created. The spotlights, caliper arms, bomb bay and decals are nicely done. I myself would have loved to see an additional option for a smooth Upkeep mine surface and maybe more decal options. On the other hand: I would never use a decal on a model this big, and will order my paint masks from Maketar. This will allow me to build any scheme I like anyway. My advice: buy the Dambuster book. Dig in and have some big fun with this kit! Kind regards, Jeroen Peters A Special thank you to Hong Kong Models for the review sample.