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It's taken me near on a year, but my 1/32nd scale Halifax is finally complete.

 

I really enjoy vacforms and a modelling challenge, and as the two go hand in hand this ticked all of my modelling boxes! 

 

These kits are incredibly basic, with just the exterior shapes of the fuselage, wings, engines and tail - along with some very nice vacformed clear parts - provided, but the rest is down to the modeller to reproduce. All panel detail has to be scribed on to the model, the interior, undercarriage, propellers, bomb bays, turrets and practically everything else of the finer details needs to be scratch-built or sourced from elsewhere. You really get the opportunity to go to town on these projects, and as they are a blank canvass you can add as little or as much as you want. 

 

I find the scratch-building aspect of these builds the most fun - it certainly won't be the most accurate Halifax ever built as I don't worry too much about being accurate to the nth degree, neither do I worry if I have to make up my own details if pictorial references aren't available - with projects like this there is a danger of becoming so bogged down with this sort of thing that you'll never get it finished - I just go for it!

 

For those interested, a full WIP is available here: http://forum.largescalemodeller.com/topic/1428-132nd-scale-halifax-very-nearly-there/

 

When researching aircraft to replicate I came across a number of MkII Halifaxes that were transferred out of Bomber Command and into Coastal Command. As the more powerful and generally better Halifax MkIIIs came into service, the older Merlin powered machines were transferred into Coastal Command. Most were repainted into the Coastal Command colour scheme, but a number weren't - the Halifax I've replicated being one. They retained their Bomber Command scheme, but the dull red codes were replaced by grey ones. Therefore, this aircraft really interested me, and it's my own small tribute to both Commands, of which the Halifax gave sterling service. 

 

On to the model...

 

The aircraft I replicated is a Halifax GRII Series IA, serial JP328/BH-Y of 58 Squadron, based at St Davids, from the summer 1944. This aircraft was upgraded with Merlin 22s, and had the late type nacelles with Morris-Block radiators installed. The most striking feature was the fitting of 4-bladed propellers, often seen on Transport Command Halifaxes, too. This aircraft also had extra bracing fitted in the nose to mount a .50cal machine gun. After almost a year in the front line with Coastal Command, this old workhorse was SoC on 6th May 1945 and scrapped shortly after. 

 

Handley-Page Halifax Mk/GRII Series IA - JP328/BY-H, 58 Sqn, St Davids, Summer 1944.

 

(1/32nd scale vacform)

 

The interior was completely scratch-built on this model - all you see here has been made from Evergreen strip, plastic card and a bit of imagination. Here is the fuselage about to be joined together - the instrument panel and other details in the flightdeck were added later in the build. Thanks to Cees Broere for sending me his unwanted fuselage parts:

 

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The bomb-bays and wing cells were all opened up and the details again scratch-built:

 

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As there was no undercarriage supplied in this kit, this too had to be scratch-built - thanks to 'Lancman' for the resin wheels which helped out a great deal. The engine is a modified Tamiya Spitfire powerplant, backdated to a Series XX engine, with the firewall and radiator being scratch-built:

 

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The rudders and elevators were mis-shapen in the kit, so I made my own from plastic card. The fairing for the rear turret also was home-made:

 

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The kit prived an early mid-upper turret; mine needed the later type so I crash-moulded my own using a milliput master. The interior was scratch-built, but the guns came from Aries with Master brass barrels - one of the two areas I used aftermarket products on this build. I also opened up the dinghy hatch and scratch-built the details to add a little more visual interest to the wing:

 

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The rear turret was also completely scratch-built - again crash moulded with scratch-built interior:

 

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With the exception of the fuselage roundels, all markings were sprayed directly onto the model:

 

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With no propellers being provided in the kit, I made a master blade and then had them cast by CMK. The carburetor intakes were given the same treatment: a master created and then cast in resin. Spinners were again crash moulded, and the exhausts made from scratch:

 

 DSC_0062.jpg

 

Part Two to follow...

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The kit's transparent parts were used for the flightdeck windows - the distinctive shape of the Halifax cockpit with its sloping starboard quarter was captured well. I used an aftermarket seat belt set, but all other parts of the cockpit interior were scratch-built:

 

DSC_0037.jpg

 

The nose piece had the additional bracing made, and the .50cal came from Aries. The propeller on No2 engine was made fully feathered - engine problems meant the cowlings are off for inspection!

 

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All paints were Xtracolour enamels:

 

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A few general shots of the completed model:

 

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All in all a great, fun build. I've never seen another 1/32nd Halifax in the flesh, so I have a real sense of achievement building an almost unique model. Kits like these certainly aren't for the faint-hearted, but they push one's modelling skills to the limit, and to me, that's what this hobby is all about!

 

Tom 

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All of the above.

;)

 

Superb job. Love to see this degree of artistry on a kit.

Ditto. It's a rare bird in LSM World.

Makes for a refreshing change from injection kits.

 

I doff chapeau, monsieur.

 

Regards

 

Ross

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