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Victor – I don’t believe it!

June 1, 2017 in Aviation

Fans of a certain BBC TV sitcom will recognise the headline! It is, of course, the Handley Page Victor B. Mk 2 (BS). The Victor was a jet powered strategic bomber, which, alongside the Avro Vulcan and the Vickers Valiant, formed an essential part of the UK’s nuclear deterrent during the early part of the cold war. The Victor was designed to carry out long-range low altitude retaliatory attacks. Subject to the RAF’s requirements for greater tactical manoeuvability and a higher ceiling, the B.2 variant, with much more powerful Rolls Royce Conway engines was developed in 1959. 34 were produced, several of which were later converted for reconnaissance and aerial refuelling purposes. Two RAF squadrons formed on the B.2 when it entered service in 1962. Following the “sale of the century” and the introduction of submarine launched Polaris missiles in 1969, the Victor was gradually relieved of its role as a nuclear deterrent but it remained a valuable asset to the RAF as a tanker (most famously helping in the deployment of the Vulcans in the Falklands War) up to its retirement in 1993. Of the three V-bombers the Vulcan caught the public eye but I always thought the Victor was a more graceful design.

The kit is of course Airfix’s recent release in 1/72 scale, and is the first 1/72 aircraft I’ve built since I was in short trousers. Airfix give you the choice of two different markings and I chose the all white version from No 139 Squadron based at RAF Wittering from 1963-64. The white livery was designed to protect the aircraft and crew from the flash of a nuclear explosion. The most scary thing for me is that, basically, if a real nuclear attack had taken place the crew were on a one way mission as there would have been no landing place left at home………… The kit goes together beautifully and any fit issues are down to my lack of skill and patience. It definitely pays to study the 23 page instruction book carefully and Airfix give you the choice of two different versions. You can also choose to lower the flaps, open airbrakes (I drilled out the lightening holes on these) and open or close the access door, a ladder is supplied in the kit but for some reason I forgot to put it in place for the pictures.

OK, that’s it, as far as I can see thi is the first V-bomber on iModeler and I thought I’d sneak this in before Louis’ group build entries are posted. Thanks for looking, George.

Craig, sorry, I nearly forgot, it’s 486mm long and 408mm wide, that’s 19.1 inches x 20 inches.

10 additional images. Click to enlarge

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27 responses to Victor – I don’t believe it!

  1. Very nicely done, George….don’t see many of these built. Good work!

  2. Nice to see the Airfix kit built. How are the intakes set up? Yours look pretty seamless! I don’t build many 1/72 planes, but I do have a Valiant Vulcan and Victor to do, but my Victor is the Revell/Matchbox and the intakes are pretty daunting! She is one cool looking bird!

    • Hi Josh, thanks for looking. Airfix have designed the intakes pretty well. There don’t seem to be many reviews of this kit, I looked on scalemates and found a link to the Netherlands IPMS site who have a very useful review and comparison (in English) with the old Matchbox kit.

  3. From a modelers point of view I´d say it´s way more interesting to look at with all bumps and wharts than the flat Vulcan pancake. But beautiful…nah. It got a soulmate in the EE Lightning, also a contender for Ugliest-but-coolest-looking-aircraft-ever. I reckon the anti-flash paint was a way to trick the crews into doing their jobs, like “You will be fine, just drop the bomb and get back in time for tea”. Nice looking model, you still got space on the shelf after putting it up for display?

  4. The Victor is certainly the nicest looking of the V-bombers and the Airfix kit is definitely a far better kit than the old Revell kit. You did an amazing job on this one!!! Well done!!!

  5. A real nicely done build. Bully for you.

  6. Looks great George !! Gotta get one.

  7. Big plane George, and you have built it well mate.
    Now where do you display her?

  8. Fantastic! Great looking model George. I have a fascination with the V-bombers, but due to shelf space constraints, have decided to forego adding them to the collection…!

  9. Nicely done George. A big too.

  10. Looks very good. Mine is coming along, ready to paint once I get through a big load of writing. I agree it’s a really interesting looking airplane and the kit is very well-designed.

    Did a little research and discovered that the first 139 Victor to get camouflage was freehanded without “hard edges”, and the Xtradecal sheet does that airplane. So my painting choice is easy.

  11. Thank you for your kind comment, Tom. I finished mine in white because that’s how I remember seeing them, though I think the camouflage makes them look a little more interesting. I think where the upper markings go under the leading edge of the wings will make for an interesting masking job. Looking forward to seeing your Victor posted here.

  12. Beautiful build sir of a great aircraft !

  13. Beautifully done, George. This lovely bird is one we didn’t see much of over here in Midwest America.
    Your take on this iconic British bomber is excellent. Thanks for sharing!

  14. Nicely done George, one of my favourite aircraft, we had a couple flying here at Woomera testing the Blue steel ! I had a small scale model many years ago !

  15. Cool build George, and a big one!
    Cool article as well, I didn’t realise that’s why they were painted white!

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