Trumpeter 1/48 Vampire FB Mk. 5
As a memento of the IPMS/UK 50th Anniversary Tour, and being unable to model a massive bout of constipation, and unwilling to spend £40 for one of the Alleycat kits, I purchased the new Trumpeter Vampire FB Mk. 5, when I got home. Little did I know that the accuracy of this kit would more closely resembled the former than the latter...:-). Well enough of the potty humor and on with the build. I had no fit problems and had the model pretty much assembled before I found the comparison build with the Alleycat kit on Britmodeller.com. At that point the only errors I decided to correct were the tailpipe and the sit of the landing.gear. I cut the "bell" off the kit tailpipe even with the end of the fuselage, then augured out enough room to insert a short piece of brass tube. To correct the sit I shortened the main gear struts ~3mm and substituted the nose gear strut from the SAC white metal replacement set. This is definitely a tail sitter and while I don't know how much weight I needed but it was a lot. I had to add more during final assembly due to the nose high sit. Of course the glue found a way to the inside of the windscreen, but I was able to pry it off and vac-u-form a replacement. The only addition to the cockpit was a sutton harness and some mostly imaginary painting to make it look busy. I used Tester MM enamels for the camo & masked with Blu-tac..I used Xtradecals sheet X48124 for a RaAF aircraft based at RAF Ouston that was shared by No. 607 & No. 608 Squadrons, hence the different flashes on each boom. Other than that, all markings are from the kit and went down well, a little silvering cured with Solvaset and a hair drier. That's pretty much it. It's virtues are excellent fit, nice detailing, fine engraved panel lines and the rivet guy didn't run wild. Of it's vices,as shown in various articles by Vampire boffins, they are legion and run from easy to nearly impossible to fix. I agree with the conclusion that you'd be better off getting the Alleycat kit if you want an truly accurate model of the Vampire, and if I build another Vampire, that is the kit I would buy. On the other hand with good references and the use of some use of greater or lesser modeling skills you can bring this kit up to probably 80-90% on the Vampire goodness scale for between 1/3 to1/4 the cost of the resin kit. In end I enjoyed building this kit, it's a nice looking little jet, with colorful markings and let's me recall the best and worst parts of my trip to England.
Now, I wish Christmas would get here, my wife says Santa's bringing me some Hobgoblin Ale
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