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The 1/144 Airfix kit with Welsh Models vacform fuselage
Author: Alex Bigey
Submitted by:   Date: 05-29-2004
Comments: (3)  

A safe, reliable, and economic transcontinental airliner for many years, this 5050 shp RR Tyne Mk512 turboprop aircraft suffered from medium range jetliner introduction in the market during early sixties, so only 44 Vanguards were built, initially ordered by BEA and Trans Canada. BEA began operations in December 1960 with Type 951 (G-APEA to G-APEF). The Vanguard 953 (G-APEG to G-APEU) is the late variant, G-APEP being the last one to fly when ferried back to Weybridge on 17th October 1996, as a Merchantman (converted to freighter) wearing the Air Bridge / Hunting Cargo Airlines livery.

Since I had spent hours reading the wonderful airfix catalog in the seventies, I wanted for long to build a Vanguard, but a BEA "Red Square" Vanguard or nothing! So I managed to purchase an old Airfix box (with the beautiful artwork I had seen in the 1975 catalog). In addition, I ordered the Welsh Models Vacform kit and an Aeroclub metal prop set.

The wings, engine nacelles, prop spinners, tailplane, landing gear, landing gear doors, red squares, registration decals and union jacks, are from the Airfix kit.
- The fuselage, nose intakes, window decals, access doors decals, are from the Welsh Models kit.
- As the nice Airfix props were mostly broken, I used an Aeroclub metal prop set but elected to keep the Airfix spinners.
- Scratchbuilding went on for cockpit framing and glazing (with evergreen stick and Micro Kristal Klear), then for other small detail or decal,
- The main reference material was showing a huge collection of Vanguard pics. An anonymous article about the very same subject in the January 1991 issue of Scale Aircaft modelling magazine was also very useful as well as the "Classic Airliners" book by Tom Singfield (Midland Publishing).

Tamiya spraycans were used to paint the model:
- Primer, bottom fuselage and spinners: AS-16 Light Grey USAF
- Top Fuselage and tailplane: TS-27 Matt White
- Wing leading edge and engine nacelles: TS-30 Silver Leaf
- Wings: TS-49 Bright Red
- Cheatline and tail top: TS-29 Semi-Gloss Black
- Prop blades and gear doors: AS-12 Bare Metal Silver
Upon decalling, the model was sealed with "Satin Varnish" Humbrol Spray ( A gloss finsh gives a toylike look to your model, I guess), except for wing leading edges and engine nacelles.

by Alex Bigey

Member Comments :

 comment by: Andrew posted on 06-07-2004, comment #93

Well done Alex!

Great to see aircraft of this era. Now where are those TCA decals??


 comment by: skippiebg posted on 03-31-2005, comment #554

Just amazing. Especially the flightdeck windows which look immeasurably better as done by you, Alex, than with decals.

 comment by: VC tenderness posted on 02-05-2008, comment #4914

Fantastic !! It shows what can be done