When I was 12 I got a book called “Aircraft The Story of Powered Flight” which had a drawing of an East African Airways VC10, from then on I wanted a model of one because I thought it was so cool looking with the engines mounted in pairs.
When Airfix rereleased their K2 Tanker kit I figured it would be an easy conversion into the Airliner version. My build was a quick and dirty version that I figured would take about 2 weeks. I ordered a set of decals from Welsh Models and away I went….. I carved off and filled in the refueling position on the bottom of the fuselage and got ready for paint. I was in a sense of denial for the first little while thinking that the Airfix kit was the longer Super VC10 and that it would work, after the decals arrived reality set in and I was going to have to stretch the fuselage.
I had always shortened kits and never stretched one so I had to think for a few days on what would be the easiest way to solve the problem, I came up with the idea of rolling up some small sheets of .020 sheet stryrene and sticking them into the fuselage sections to lengthen it. It worked! A pound of filler later…..I thought I was ready for paint again. At this point I realized that I had to do something about the wing fences, they would have to be removed and new ones made. After more pondering the solution was simple, I cut into the top of the wing with a razor saw and inserted some strips of styrene which were then trimmed to size.
The decals were quite nice, I was skeptical as the colours didn’t look that solid but they were great. Whenever you have large decals you never quite know how they are going to fit around different parts of the fuselage you only get one chance to put them on, to take away some of the guesswork I make a photocopy of the sheet and cut out the decals so that you can see how and where they are going to fit on the model. In the case of the VC10 I had to know where the stripes were going to go around the engine mounts. The decals worked out great. My two week quick build took about 5 months to complete. I am very happy with the results, it may not be hysterically accurate but I find that my favourite builds tend to be the ones that I have cut up and modified or cobbled together out of spare parts.
Alex Bigey does a nice article on Building a VC10 Airliner that is worth checking out.