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The Great LSP Twins Group Build Starts Jan 24, 2024 - End July 3, 2024 ×

1/32nd scale Halifax: *project complete*

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This is my latest large scale vacform project - a 1/32nd scale Handley-Page Halifax from ID (tigger) Models.


The plan is to build this as a Rolls-Royce Merlin powered MkII Series IA - squadron and exact aircraft yet to be decided.


Here's a few 'what you get in the box' shots...












Engines and tail:








There are no propellers, undercarriage or interior details so this will all have to be built from scratch. The plan is to have a fully detailed open bomb-bay, as well as the wing bomb-cells, plus one of Merlins exposed and the cowlings off.


I've made a bit of headway already so will be posting some more in-progress shots in the near future.



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Great! It looks like it's going to be an epic journey! Can't wait to see your progress. A word of warning.... If you see a pool of saliva forming underneath your screen, you know that Cees -Wingco 57,our resident-large-scale-heavy-bomber-modeller- is wathing the topic! ;)




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Man, I admire anyone that's willing to tackle any vac-form model let alone a 1:32nd scale bomber!!! Oh I'm definite watching you do this sir.




It shouldn't be too difficult - I am pretty experienced when it comes to large scale vacs, having built a B-17, B-24, B-29 and Lancaster all in 1/32nd scale... all from kits like the Halifax shown above! All were labours of love I can assure you  :)


Great! It looks like it's going to be an epic journey! Can't wait to see your progress. A word of warning.... If you see a pool of saliva forming underneath your screen, you know that Cees -Wingco 57,our resident-large-scale-heavy-bomber-modeller- is wathing the topic! ;)







Cees is already in on this build as it is also on another forum - in fact he has sent me many useful parts to help me with this build.


Speaking of which, here's some more progress...


I have decided to tackle the innermost wing sections first as I need to build a strong spar structure to support the weight of the model. I have decided to open up the bomb cells in the inner wing section, so these, along with the landing gear bays were carefully measured and cut out:




The flaps were also removed (these will be posed down) and the wheel bays and bomb cells boxed in with 1mm plastic card:






Next, I added some Evergreen tubing which is the correct diameter to allow some wooden dowel to be inserted; these will form the main spars of the model and will be securely attached to the roof of the bomb-bay for structural strength:




To add a little more interest to the wings I have opened up the dinghy stowage area as well as the three bomb winching holes above the left wing cells. All panel detail has been scribed on at this point, too:






Here is a test fit of the wing cell structure:






It's all a little rough at the moment but there'll be plenty more detail added in due course.


The outer wing sections have also been scribed using Granger plans:




Removed from the backing sheet and sanded to the correct thickness:




And here is a 1/72nd Halifax along side one of the outer wing panels to give a sense of size:




Thanks for looking in... and until next time,



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Thanks for the interest gentlemen.


Vacs are no more challenging than resin parts for example, in fact I find adding resin aftermarket far more challenging! The only tricky part is the removal of the parts from the backing sheet.


Speaking of which... here's how I tackled the engines.


Step 1:


With a sharp blade I score carefully around the part:




Step 2:


The part is then broken away from the backing sheet:




Step 3:


I then place the parts together to see how much sanding needs to be done - here you can see the rough edges which need sanding away. It's also essential to check plans etc. to avoid sanding too much off!




Step 4:


Sanding complete - the parts are now ready for detailing:




I removed the rather basic exhausts and carb. intakes as these will be scratch built later on. I also removed the radiator shutters on the lower nacelles and made the basic shape for the air outlets in plastic card. The radiators (Morris Black) were made from plastic card and fine mesh. Regular dry fitting is essential to check the scratch built compents fit correctly. Once you've done one, it's then just a case of making the others the same dimensions:






These were then sprayed Matt Black and weathered lightly:






The nacelles were then joined and for the inboard (no3) engine the air intake front on top of the nacelle was added from drilled sprue and then squashed to shape. The no2 engine has been removed at the firewall as this engine will be exposed and fully detailed:




I won't be doing any further detailing at this point as the fit to the wing isn't all that great so the chances of damage to the detailed parts is high. When the airframe is essentially complete the smaller, finer details will be added.


I hope the above pictures may convince one or two of you to give kits like this a go - it really isn't that difficult. Just be prepared to make some mistakes along the way and learn from them - trial and error is the name of the game :rolleyes:





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  • 1 month later...

It's been a while and therefore time for an update - there's been plenty of progress on the Halifax since last time.


The wings have been finished off, and the engine nacelles have been mated to them - this was reasonably straightforward with the exception of the fairings which run over the upper surfaces of the wing. These were very oversized in the kit and required lots of trimming to get them to remotely resemble the real thing. I'm still not convinced the shape is right, but it'll have to do:






I've also started detailing the wheel bays with Evergreen strip, and more will be done here as the build progresses onto to the undercarriage stage:




I've also added quite a few raised details to the wing surfaces from thin plastic card - here's the fuel filler caps etc as well as some raised ribbing on the starboard wing. The fasteners on the cowlings were also replicated by drilling 0.5mm holes:




Both wings completed - the 12"/30cm ruler gives a sense of scale to this beast!



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As the wings were completed it was time to turn my attention to the fuselage. Cees (Wingco57) very kindly gave me an old fuselage he had been working on which has saved me a fair bit of work:




I was able to carry on where Cees left it, and continued to detail the interior by scratch-building the components from plastic card and Evergreen strip, plus raiding the spares box for a few parts. I'll let the images do the talking:


















There'll be more details to add later in the build, but this can be done through the apertures for the transparencies. It won't be the most accurate Halifax interior you'll ever see, but considering it's all been built from scratch I don't think it has come out too bad!



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I also wanted to tackle the transparencies before getting too much further into the build. It is very important to do this with vacforms as you have to ensure the fuselage is cut to the correct width for the canopies - you can easily trim the fuselage down if needed but it is very difficult to widen the canopy!


As you can see from this test fit, the canopy is not deep enough to cater for the pilot's side windows:




When compared to the real aircraft, the blue line is where the kit's canopy finishes, and the red outlined panel is not present on the MkII so I didn't need to worry about this. Something would need to be done about those windows though!




My solution was to build the side windows from plastic strip, and remove the appropriate section from the kit's piece to allow the new windows to fit in. The same was done for the starboard side as the kit canopy wasn't quite right here either:






A test fit reveals things are much better now:






The clear area above the flight engineer's station will need raising a little to bring it in line with the top of the new windows which isn't 100% accurate, but it should be passable once it's all installed properly.


It was now time to think about joining the fuselage halves...



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I inserted a series of interlocking tabs along the fuselage halves to aid alignment and strengthen the joints, and then the halves were glued together and clamped securely to allow the glue to set for 24 hours. When the glue had cured, the mid-upper turret opening was cut out and lined with plastic card, and the two escape hatches on the upper fuselage were also squared off and lined with card:






All in all the fit wasn't too bad, but there was a slight dip where the two halves met and this needed to be addressed. I did this by sticking a piece of Evergreen strip along the length of the depression, which raised it up to the height of the surrounding fuselage:




Copious amounts of car body filler were then applied (I tend to add plenty as it helps blend everything in more easily):




And then it was a good session with the sandpaper:








Here you can see that I have sanded down to the depth of the strip I added, and the filler has taken care of the remainder of the sunken area and it is now perfectly level:




With the fuselage completed, it was time to think about attaching the wings...

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All in all a pretty easy operation... my previously made spar structure came into its own here and things went exactly according to plan.


Earlier in the build I had installed some Evergreen tubing into the leading and trailing edges of the wing, and this allowed some wooden dowel of the correct diameter to slide into:




Holes had been made in the fuselage sides for the dowel to slide through, and the dowel also slotted into the roof of the bomb bay for extra strength. Therefore, it was just a case of sliding the wooden spars onto one of the wings...




Push them through the fuselage and out the other side, where the other wing was slid over the spars...




Plenty of glue was added to either wing root, and then they were butted up the fuselage and taped in place whilst everything set. The join is very good, and will only require a quick lick of filler:




In fact, if I'd wanted to, with a little sanding and trimming, I could most probably have made the join good enough to have the wings detachable.


So here we are as of this evening... a model that is slowly but surely taking on the form of Handley-Page's finest:








Once the wing to fuselage joins have been filled it'll be time to start playing with the tail feathers  rolleyes.gif


That's you completely up to date, so until next time, happy modelling one and all!



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