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1:32 HK Lancaster "G. Gibsons' Lancaster prior to takeoff on Op. Chastise

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The bench is cleared for a commission build of a 1/32 HK Avro Lancaster Type 464 in Operation Chastise mode.

Have to be honest, the box picture is more exciting than the opening of the box. The well documented poor HK packing was evident but everything was thankfully in one piece.



Two nice instruction books, one for the standard MkI/III build and another with the special bits for the Dambuster build. Also a nice little extra a little book called "Rad Shutters Auto" by Stuart Reid, a former BBMF pilot. Nice little touch.



The failings of this kit are well documented but, I love a challenge and it was the only option really. My client wanted a Dambuster aircraft and, of course, the Border model is a ferrari against a ford in their base state but there are no Border Lancs about at the moment and God knows when or if a 617 squadron one will come along. With lots of work, reshaping, scratch building, tons of research, ( I'm about 30 hours of research in already and still only sorting out cockpit layout, there's a brilliant kit to be built. The floor for the pilot's seat has to go, it's way too high and misshapen. Pilots seat is very poor but a resin one from Resin 2 Detail is in the post and the IP is frankly, disgusting for a £300+ kit. Thank the Lord for Peter and Airscale. Their IP arrived today and, as ever, it's superb. Also got one of his new branch out  of seatbelts for the pilot's seat, they look more RB than HGW. I'll get that made up tomorrow. The eyes will suffer for that one!




Spot the deliberate mistake BTW? I've gone and ordered the Sutton harness in 1/24 instead of 1/32 :BANGHEAD2: Still, it'll be fine for the new spitfire in the autumn


So today, the horrid box construction that the pilots seat sits on has gone, I'll reuse some of it for height but it needs a total reshaping before that. The engineers panel has been filed smooth ready for the Airscale PE plate. I've removed the two little star shaped knobs first though for further use. Go in through the back with a ball cutter and they just pop out. Thanks to Nigel at Nigel's modelling bench for that one. Used it on the Hellcat too. I've made up the pilot's seat too just to get a feel for the fit and hardness of the plastic although I won't be using it.


That's about it for now, got a trip to Lincoln at the weekend and maybe a detour to look at a Lancaster.........

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I found the Resin 2 Detail seat to be rather small and more suitable to the 48th scale Lancaster unless he has upgraded the size with his printed . . .

I hope its been improved  . .. 


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1 minute ago, FME erk said:

I found the Resin 2 Detail seat to be rather small and more suitable to the 48th scale Lancaster unless he has upgraded the size with his printed . . .

I hope its been improved  . .. 


I think it has. If anything, I think it may be a bit large. The pilot's armour in particular seems long and, although I'm sure all my dimensions for the plinth are correct it sits a little 'high' to my eye. I'm posting an update shortly, I'd value your thoughts?

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1 hour ago, FME erk said:


I am  a little further on than you, my build is here 

You are correct about the pilots seat and the platform it sits on  . . .

Ian thanks for that. Can I add my condolences too. I'll be bugging you for sure if that's OK 🤣 it'll save me many hours of laptop surfing. I'm posting a catchup post shortly which will bring it up to date then posting real time. I've gotten way too far behind with posts, probably because I get way too carried away with building! But looking at your list of faults is about the same as mine. I've sorted dinghy and landing lights. Not sure what to do about the dodgy rads. I took off all teh pin marks in the bomb bay with a sharpened terminal screwdriver, it fitted into the slots perfectly! As I say, mine will be Gibson's Lanc and like you, I'm fiddling with a myriad of little jobs while big bits harden etc. Your diorama looks amazing btw

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So I thought it was about time for an update. It's been mostly cutting and carving TBH. As I said earlier the horrible box construction has gone and I've used some of it to create an accurate plinth that the pilots seat stood on



The instrument panel has been filed smooth and butchered to let the larger compass sit in there when the Airscale IP is ready for it



My Airscale replacement IP is here and I've started to look at the engineers panel. Firstly primed and sprayed with a gloss black coat then varnished with Alclad Aquagloss to stop the whole damn lot coming off. Then some fiddly masking to try and demarcate the individual gauges followed by a SLOW build up of firstly yellow dials using very dilute paint and lots of light coats so nothing gets under the flimsy masking tape strips, followed by the same with a light blue. After that, all that's needed is to fit the two star shaped wheels I cut off earlier and add Airscales decals and a few from the spares bag to jazz it up a bit. All accurate I might add. A very light drybrush to bring out some of the detail then sandwiched to the backplate with acetate in between to simulate glass, being careful of course to clean the acetate well before you sandwich it between the decalled backplate and painted front


As you can see from the centre picture with the rule in there, it's quite small, one of the problems in working in 1:32 instead of my usual 1:24 but with a kit this big, I'd need to move house to do it in 1:24. I need to add a lamp and a few switches to this then it's ready for mounting. Reference was this drawing from the Lancaster manual.



Much the same with the IP really. You have to be careful cutting the acetate for the "glass". It's important, I think, to leave some metal for bonding the two metal plates together. The acetate is stuck to the decal and that's very flimsy. Try and bond to just a full fitting acetate and the whole lot could separate. The feathering buttons to the lower right were made with some 0.5mm plastic rod, radiused on the tip, painted red and fastened through the holes of the IP from the back. The back of the compass housing is always shown as a white domed area with the compass sitting in it. I found an old armour head plate from a 1:24 Me109 and dremmelled out a radius on it, cut it off and painted it white and it's worked very well



With exception of around 30 2mm long switches made of fuse wire to insert, the IP is almost done



I've started on the Navigators and radio operators table. It's too short due to errors by HK so I need to let a 13mm fillet in to bring it back to size but an interesting point is that either end had a lift up flap with a green baize storage pocket for pencils etc underneath a bit like a school desk. Being a daft bugger and a glutton for punishment, I've carefully cut along the length of the table and created this storage pocket. I'll show it as open with some "pencils" made of thin rod painted red with the ends done in wood colour to simulate the pencil



Lastly today, the radio transmitter and receiver. Again in 1:32 it's quite small and very fiddly to paint too well so I've not detailed it to a very high standard as it's barely seen when closed up.



Next up will be getting all the measurements right for the placing of the pilots plinth and the painting of the excellent seat from Resin2you. The plinth is made and painted but it needs a couple more tweaks including neatening up the riveting a bit. I've already started a bit of wear round the pilots seat. Important to note through the whole of this build will be that wear and tear will be very restrained. These 464 provisioning aircraft were almost all new and not used much before the raid so heavily weathered models just can't be accurate imho but, we do what pleases us in modelling I always think


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So, last time the main IP was almost done. I added some 24 tiny slivers of fuse wire to represent the switches top and left of the IP and dotted the tips with white to try and make them stand out a little from the black of the IP. Works to the naked eye but hardly at all to the camera so you'll have to take my word they're there. All the throttle and supercharger levers are fitted. The throttle ones' are a real bugger to get symmetrical but I finally managed it. Again, as they're so thin it's hard to get a good photo. The blck knobs on the end of each one were dipped in black gloss paint around 5 or 6 times to form the bulb of the lever. Airscale's IP is simply the best so many thanks to Peter for producing such a great product. I've still got to add the two extra dials that sit on the top as well as the extra altimeter only the 464s had. I've got a perfectly sized dial left over from my Hellcat build (not surprisingly from Airscales' IP for that plane too)so will fit all that when the IP is firmly in place and the canopy is ready to go on. Any earlier and it's a certainty it'll get knocked and hit the deck several times




Update on the navigator's table. That's been extended and painted. I added back the lip around the edge with 0.5mm rod and painted the morse key on the RO side as well as adding a thin wire to allow me to attach it to the transmitter when the bulkhead is in place. On the navigator's side, the Gee will not be going in the kit position on the wall of the bulkhead to the navigator's left as on the early Lancasters, before H2S came along,  it sat to the right of the navigator on a little stand, as per this shot from the early Wingnut Wings Lancaster:


So, I've added a map pocket to add a little something to the bulkhead wall. I have seen such on archive photos. I've got a Bomber Command colour map of the Midlands area that I'll scale and fit in the pocket.


The map here is a Bomber Command plotting map from 1943. The dividers are made for fuse wire and a bit of PE sprue, filed to size. The pencils are 0.5mm rod painted red and filed to a point. The lid of the pencil storage will fit later.


I've added a couple of cables to the transmitter receiver assembly and it's just waiting to be fitted atop the table. Then I can add various other connections such as the one to the antenna. Shame hardly any of this can be seen:BANGHEAD2:




Bit of work on the bulkhead that will eventually hold the Gee receiver. Scratching on the pilot's parachute holder and leatherizing of the holder for the sextant. Fire extinguisher standard red. (update 28/07/2022) I know now it should be brass, it's been amended




The seat is finished. I went with armour plate up. First was the paint job. I've seen some with a black frame but also with cockpit green so that's what I went for.

Green leather seat and arms, lightly weathered to show more dents than stains and finally Airscales (I'm not on commission honest) seatbelt. Again I've seen the yellow dot on the head armour on the front or rear. Sprayed on as decals are always a bit garish.


Next is dryfitting the pilot's plinth. All the measurements have been accurately scale from Peter's marvellous post detailing their build of a 1:1 cockpit of a Lancaster



If you look back on this post you'll see the HK idea of the pilots plinth was pretty pathetic. Chopped and changed and painted and marked out, this was the result



I've got to neaten up and stain the gaiter around the control column. The kit part just slots into the base with no gaiter or surround so I've scratch built both. The column was also too short so a bit has been added to the bottom to bring it up to size. It sat too far back for the new, accurate measurements so, again, it's been adjusted. Lastly, there's no brake lever on the kit part so it was a simple task to add one.

The resin2U details to the left are the trim adjustment gear Etc. I've just painted and shaded it really. All the Lancaster's controls were chains and cables so a bit of wire to scale takes care of the ones for the trim controls. The map is the midlands one from earlier. I've replaced the rudimentary pipe on the resin2u part and added some accurate pipework from both sides that passes under the plinth to the sidewall. To the front there's no forward "stop" for the column so that's been scratch built. Also added is the manual release for the upkeep bomb. It's the silver lever to the front of the trim assembly. I've popped a tint decal on the top which I guess says "don't pull!!". The story of the WAAF who accidentally did while a live upkeep sat in the bay is legend and caused the fastest evacuation known to man (or Woman) as the bomb hit the ground.

To the rear, I've replicated the pipework to the sidewall where, as far as I can make out, it joins the pipework carrying the chains for the ailerons and elevators aft.


Fitting it was a nightmare. Dry fitting gave me some clues.



As we speak, the IP is fitted and set (another nightmare) and the plinth is in and getting 2 days to go completely off when I'll get some photos on. Then its just a job of fitting the rest and finishing up by doing the bomb aimers section and closing it all up.




While all that's going on, I've put together the long centre section. None of this can be seen except where the crew door is which I'll detail later. It's all been accurately painted but not weathered.

As I just mentioned, the only bit showing is the crew entrance door, which will be open on this model. Prominent is the flare launcher so that's got a bit of attention. Some scratching, shading and labeling. The label isn't skewed BTW, the whole part sits at an angle so it'll be straight when attached.


Well, that's it as I wait for the cockpit to well and truly set. Thanks for looking and comments, as ever, are appreciated.

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So, finally in a marathon session of updating posts, here we are up to date!

The cockpit is finished! The tricky bit was working out the order to add stuff so nothing got in the way of anything else.

First was the pilot's plinth area. Getting it levelled up and seated snugly against the throttle control column.



Seat went on next and the hydraulic connections made then worked over with a bit of engine oil enamel wash

Followed by the navigator's table after checking I could get all the gubbins in under the table OK and its support bulkhead at the front and column to the rear.





Also on this pic are the batteries and the HT/LT boxes for the Transmitter/Receiver, all plumbed in, reference diagram here:

m6aRyjom.pngJust hope it's all accurate:oops:

The Dalton computer and course and speed calculator appear front and right on the nav table. The pilot's seat plumbing is done and I've added a wire bundle travelling aft as well against the inner fuselage wall.

Column holding the navigators chair came next. God only knows what HKs representation was but it has the seat fixed at two points to the column so it could't swivel whereas the original swivelled out and round to allow passage of crew and for the navigator to actually get into the seat. I've redesigned it with a centre spindle.


There's no lamp for the navigator's panel so I had to fashion one and put it in place:



Lastly, the Gee equipment. HK are a bit out with their under floor boxes. All the H2S ones went out the window but I salvaged the two to the right side of the navigators table and under it which look remarkably like the Gee Mk I receiver and power unit shown here:

ZN7nX2Bm.jpgOn the kit parts they appear side by side so I had to separate them and build a little cage assembly to house them under the table.





From there it's the contentious issue of the Gee indicator unit.

On later Lancasters with H2S, the radar indicators sat at the right hand end of the nav table in a little cage housing affair fastened to the bukhead as in this later Canadian Lanc as well as the Border model CAD drawings:



That meant the Gee indicator had to be moved to the dividing wall of the navigators and Radio operators sections which is where many perceive it always was, as here:



But, in actual fact before H2S, the Gee receiver sat at the right hand end of the nav table on a little tray as in this CAD drawing from the Border models Lanc:


So that's where it sits in mine. Everything is plumbed in now. The next stage is to close up the cockpit get the canopy on and relax a bit as I can't knock anything off then!


As ever, thanks for looking and here's a few shots from various angles of the finished cockpit. Some are before the gee indicator was fitted, some after:








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Great detailing of the innards of your Lanc. If I would ever build one, your log would be one of the prime sources. 
For replicating tiny levers, I often use lead wire, which I have in different diameters. It's very easy to bend and to flatten, even with tweezers, which is great, especially if you have levers with rod like appearance and flat parts combined.

Cheers Rob

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  • 2 weeks later...

A not so quick update before I disappear on hols for a bit.

Mostly my time has been taken up with fixing the many errors in the kit kindly added by HK 😒

  • First up, the false dinghy stowage on the port wing. HK have simply mirrored the wing halves so there are two dinghy stowages instead of just one on the starboard wing. Filler, sanding, polishing and re-scribing/riveting all done



  • Next, the engines. Four lovely Rolls Royce Merlin XX engines.......except they're not lovely they're horrid. I didn't expect Packard built engines as on a proper BIII (I've only just realised BTW that all through this thread up to now I've used MK III instead of B.III. God only knows why!😵🤪) The engines are small for the scale in my eyes and not very detailed TBH. Certainly nowhere near the standard of the ones on Airfix's 1:24 Mosquito or even the 70s Superkit of the Hurricane, but I've built them and all the attendant struts and tanks although none of it will be seen as I've been asked to build with cowings on. Good job really given the quality of the engines. It would have been easier if they'd provided blank engines for modellers who intend to cover them all over but nothing in the instructions.



  • Next the rear of the radiators. Awful. They're just a wall of plastic with no way to see the rear of the radiator. I've drilled and cut and filed them out to show the radiator as well as thinning down the shutters which signalled the end of a mission with the now legendary "rad shutters auto!"



Now, the observant among you might look at these snaps of the rads and say "where's the engine?" and you'd be right. The explanation is that, remember those non existent engine blanks? Well they might not appear in the instructions but beavering around at the bottom of the box guess what popped up?



Yep, four dummy engines. Thanks again HK! So I used em on the one I hadn't fitted yet. The rest are in their housings


  • Next up, landing lights. That clever trick of mirroring the wings means there are landing lights on the starboard side as well as the port. Not only that, again they're blanked out plastic. Did this kit really retail at over £400?? Drilled out and I've sourced som car headlights at exactly yhe same diameter of 5.8mm. Lucky. The surplus to requirement ones are filled and sanded.



  • I've started on the landing gear by taking off the stay that was there to prevent accidental folding of the undercarriage as this aircraft was off to drop a quirky device roundabout some dam or other.



  • Lastly for now, I promise, are the landing gear bays. I've made up the roofs of the bays and varnished them ready for a load of oil and gunk as well as lots of extra wiring and pipework. I've seen the tanks in white as well as brass so I've gone white and stuck a couple of little decals on there to tart them up a bit.




Now to where I need some info please. The side walls of the bays. HK provide them blocked in (again).


I've seen the bays blocked off, with just the struts and you can see the wing fuel tank through them but I've also seen pics of the covered with what looks like canvas. Can anyone shed any light PLEASE?? Driving me nuts.



I've gone with canvas for now



And that's about it for now. I've just fastened the starboard cockpit half to the port side so I can leave it a week to cure while I'm away. I've tarted up the bomb aimers section a bit with wiring and a hydraulic recuperator for the upper turret. Also almost finished the inside of the turret but I'm waiting for some lovely brass gun barrels from Master Models which really do make a difference. As a result most of the extra wiring is in but I'll add the last bits when the guns are in place. Another query before I go. I've seen pics of the forward FN.5 turret and the guns look brass coloured? I'd have expected gunmetal/black type colouring. Any info, once again, gratefully received. Thanks for looking as always



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2 hours ago, Bomber_County said:

Looking amazing Craig, the turret is a mini work of art…….tomorrow  I’m going to Ostlers Plantation which is the site of the bomb dump and ancillary disciplines for RAF Woodhall Spa during the war………..I’ll see if there anything left…….

Careful. Don;t want you on a local news report tomorrow describing an "incident" LOL

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5 minutes ago, Bomber_County said:

Ostlers Plantation is a time capsule, look over the fence and you are staring down the old runway of Woodhall Spa. The plantation still has revetments, bomb drop earthworks, brick buildings and tie downs in all the revetments very evocative……

Oh that sounds fantastic. We're only in Sheffield so we'll have to try and get over. Round trip East Kirkby, Conningsby and Woodhall Spa

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