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Heller 1/72 Vampire F.3

April 26, 2013 in Aviation

This project started with me buying the new Airfix Vampire T.11. When starting that build I realised that some synergies could be gained by doing another kit in about the same paint scheme.

Many years ago I got a few plastic-only Mexico-pressings of the nice Heller Vampire FB.5 from my friend Jens. He had bought about a truck-load or so of these for the Marivox Vampire F.1. When he had taken all he needed he still had a little less than a truckload left (a little less than a truckload is still almost a truckload…) so the rest of these were handed out to friends and foes alike!

Combined with a rather impulsive buy of a Norwegian Vingtor decal sheet for RNoAF Vampires, the ball was rolling…


A small conversion job was needed on the wing tips, the kit has the later, squared-off ones. while the F.3 has the earlier rounded ones. Some scrap plasticard and a bit of putty did the trick nicely!

A bit further down the line… All panel lines were sanded down and were rescribed, easy on the wings, trickier on the rather chubby little fuselage!

I wasn’t so sure that this was a clever thing to do but it turned out well!

And now it looks like a Vampire!

Quite a putty monster this one! The quality of these pressings is significantly lower than that of the Heller originals.

Things went rather quickly between the last two photos, it was primed and painted silver in one evening using Tamiya rattle cans. It might sound a bit brutal but I find it the easiest way to apply a silver laquer finish! Decals have been applied – Cartograf, the stuff that dreams are printed on!

The rather monotone finish was broken up using oil paint washes and pastels along the panel lines.

A quite eye-catching addition to the collection even if the final result could have been better with some more TLC and a better kit! Now I feel I have done my bit towards us getting a state-of-the-art single-seat Vampire. Or do I actually have to build the other two that I have in the stash?

It got a silver at 08 Open at the first weekend of April, thank you Plastic Gods!

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10 responses to Heller 1/72 Vampire F.3

  1. this is probably one of the weirdest and more bizarre planes I’ve seen, but nevertheless is such an interesting machine to look. And what you have done with this kit is simple marvellous. Thanks for sharing your building process!


  2. nice build…very intresting

  3. Jorge! De Havilland had quite an assortment of oddities in their product line, I’ve got one that is even worse planned for later this year: the Sea Vixen!

    Bob! Thanks!


  4. Really nice job on the Vamp.

  5. Jim! Thanks! It was quite a bit of work and it wouldn’t have hurt to invest even a bit more into it…



  6. Great job Magnus , I built one back in 73 when I was in the service . you did a great job on yours .

  7. Gary! Probably not this kit then as I think it was released in the late Seventies. But there were of course others before it!

    Do you still have it? What markings?

    Thanks for your kind words and for awaking this thread 🙂 !


    • Gary and Magnus:
      Frog had one about 1970, which I still have. Swedish markings and one for an RAF Auxiliary Sqdn in N. Ireland. It came in a plastic bag with a header card (like early Airfix) with the assembly directions and color drawings of the choices.
      Was my first Squadron mail order. I was still in the Army.

  8. I googled this one, there are quite a few photos of that kit around on the Internet! If you ever get around to building it you’ll have to write a report on it 🙂 !


  9. What I’d call typical Frog, good basic outlines, minimal interior, and surprising decal choices for the time.
    Exotic stuff indeed, for the time and for me.
    Got the bug reading RAF Flying Review, then Air Pictorial.
    I’ll see about doing a build, I just found it again, recently.
    The panel lines are more restrained than the Heller.

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