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Tamiya Lancaster

This was a project I completed some five or six years ago. It represents a Lanc which was destroyed by the explosion of its photoflash flares during arming up for a winter mission over Germany. Amazingly, there was no secondary detonation and, I believe, no loss of life.

I saw it as an interesting way to show some interior detail. Modelling the aircraft pan was quite nostalgic for me, having been based at Waddington in Lincolnshire myself (in the Seventies). I well remember chipping the ice and snow from the surface of the airfield. Not fun!

1:48 scale. Humbrol enamels.

23 additional images. Click to enlarge.

22 responses to Tamiya Lancaster

  1. Making something that is screwed up is LOTS harder than making something all nice and perfect. This is great modeling. Superb work!.

  2. Thanks, Tom.

    I really enjoyed this one. I like a diorama with an interesting story. The engineers in this one are discussing, with some heat, the best way to de-bomb a Lanc at such an extreme nose up angle.

    I sympathise with the guard with the freezing feet wondering ‘What the hell happened here and when is the cocoa coming?’

  3. Don, is the guard RAF Regiment, or a deputised Erk? No clue as to RAF pattern webbing, same color as the uniform?
    Did you scratchbuild the work scaffolding?
    I’m guessing the guard is from the Tamiya British infantry figure set, and “Chiefy” came with the kit, what about the other bods?
    Really good idea for a diorama, and execution.
    The Yank

    • Thanks, Yank

      The guard is just an erk on duty. It’s my understanding that the Rockapes were more likely to be defending the UK airfield with AA guns.

      I’ve accumulated figures from lots of places over the years so I can’t tell you who was from where. I do remember that the Guard was a white metal figure though.

      RAF webbing was a paler blue that the uniform, or white for ceremonial use.

      Yes the staging is scratchbuilt from plastruct and plasticard.

      Yes the staging is scratchbuilt from plastruct and plasticard.

      • Don, thanks. Is there a go to source on the RAF Regiment? Years ago there was in article in a modeling magazine about armored cars in the RAF, caught my interest. Got to thinking about adding a Regiment vehicle to a WW II dio. I know they had Bren carriers, what about Dingos?
        Guessing that’s it for the available vehicles.
        I really like that Erk figure. Dartmoor or New Hope Design? (oxymoron, seems)
        Yeah, I figured he wouldn’t be blancoing his webbing to guard a U/S Lanc.
        Does give a whole new meaning to fire watch, huh?

  4. Very cool. I’ve always wanted to try something like that , but my figure painting is not up to snuff.

  5. Nicely done, Don…it ain’t easy to create a “believable” diorama like that.

  6. This is really caught in the eye!!!
    dioramas that illustrate the real event are some of the most beautiful
    and convincing.
    Nice build and presentation.

    BIG LIKE!!

    • Thank you , PK

      As soon as I saw the photo of the real thing, I just had to tell the story. I don’t always do dioramas, usually just stand-alone aircraft, but the dios with a human story were always the most popular when I attended shows.

  7. I add my compliments on a different, well-executed scene. Tell me, the folded back sections of fuselage, made from thin plastic sheet or thin sections of sheet metal?

  8. Great work – on the one hand it seems like a waste of a perfectly good model, but it’s always fun to depict history in such fashion, and engage on a unique project. Congratulations on an excellent result.

    One curiosity – I would have thought that a blast of that force would have left more powder burn/staining on the inside – but it doesn’t seem overly charred. Was that the nature of the material that caused the explosion – more pressure and not so much residue I wonder?

    • Thanks Greg, for the interesting comment. “waste of a perfectly good model” lol. That’s what I was thinking when I first took a saw to it. But as you say, it became a unique project, and let’s face it, standard camouflaged Lancs are so boring!

      As to the nature of the explosion, I guess it was the bursting charge of the flare that went off and not the pyrotechnic itself. Burning magnesium would surely have caused a fire/explosion and destroyed the aircraft totally. I guess the charge was little more powerful than a grenade, but inside the fuselage was enough to pressurise and burst the thin skin. Remember, Lancasters were not built to handle any pressure differential at all.


  9. Not having had access to iModeler for a while I’ve only just seen this. Great idea and brilliantly executed. Having served in the RAF in the late sixties/early seventies (as a shiny) I can sympathise with the guard waiting for his cocoa………

  10. Hello Don
    I think you have recreated the explosion in which my Grandfather was sadly killed. OF-A on 28th December 1942 at Woodhall Spa. His name was Aubrey G Taylor, 20 years old, the armourer, and I was told he warned everyone else to get away. Is your model still at a museum? Which one? Thanks

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