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Marc Barris
96 articles

Revell (Matchbox) 1/32 Scale Vampire T Mk 55 SAAF, Part 1

September 26, 2016 · in Aviation · · 13 Comments

Here we go again, I think I have finally gone totally insane, I am truly a s****r for punishment. Let me wipe the tears from my eyes and continue with this tale of horror.

Let me begin by saying that the only reason for me building this kit is that I had the privilege of flying in this aircraft, and Flying the aircraft, that is based at the SAAF Museum at Zwartkop in South Africa, It was an experience that I will never forget, so I have always wanted to build a model of it to keep as a memento.

The Kit, well what can I say, except that it is awful, I don't know how we survived these early kits, and still remain true to this hobby to day.

The kit I am busy converting is the Sea Venom, and there are quite a few changes and modifications that need to be done to get it to the T Mk 55.
Here is a list of work done so far.

Rudders need to be changed. Scratch built the whole cockpit including the ejection seats, cut out flaps and air breaks, scratch built wheel wells and landing gear, remove bulges on top of wings, navigation lights, Undercarriage doors and hydraulic jacks, linkage to gear doors, wheel hubs were scratch built, etc etc. I could carry on for ages. With the model still in progress there are still a lot of things that need to be done and I will list the changes for any one that is interested.

I am going to stop working on it this week as we have out National Model Competition this coming week end and I need to decide what kits I am going to enter, I have enclosed a few pictures of my cabinet and cupboard to give you an idea of the choices I need to make. Hard work (Ha Ha).

Well I hope you all enjoy the terrible pics of the build so far,



16 additional images. Click to enlarge.

13 responses

  1. Nice work despite the pitfalls...and if that's what I think it is on the top left of the penultimate pic (a Skyraider)...take THAT one to the show for sure.

    • I think so, I have packed out all the models I have and got my wife and Daughter involved with the choices of what to take. I will keep you posted on what happens with a few pics of the show. Thanks for the comment.

  2. Excellent work. Is that a Hawker bipe next to the Skyraider ?, that'd be a nice choice.

  3. Marc, another vote for the Skyraider, and you are going to take the Mirage, I hope? People ought to see that one! The B-25 also looks good. Ditto the Tex- uh, Harvard. Ha!

    I was at an air show and this private owner was performing with his Vampire and a two seater Mig 21(!). I was standing on the line when he cranked up the Vampire and started to taxi. That's a LOUD aircraft.

    Think he was an interesting kinda guy, he flew the MIG into restricted airspace near the local major airport, and THEY then told him no more MIG flights that day. The MIG seemed to take a looong time to unstick, I recall.

    Still doing them scratchbuilt gear wells! Great stuff!

    Good luck at the show, break an exacto knife!

  4. Hey Bernard, the Vampire is a great aircraft to fly, I did a few rolls and Barrel rolls with it, it is amazing to fly, Bit like doing aerobatics in a in a glider, slow and easy. I have been flying aircraft since I was 18 and that was by far the best.Thanks for the comments.

  5. The reason for those types of kits is to build up our modeling skills, and it's obvious yours are paying off! Your detail work is fantastic! I'm curious about what looks like an aircrobra on the shelf - love the desert tan scheme if that's what it is!

  6. Your work is amazing. I think Yo can take any of them from Your shelf 🙂 Good luck for the show!

  7. Hi Marc. Great looking Vampire. Your models are as usual top notch. You will definitely walk away with a couple of prizes at the Bloemfontein Nationals. Wish i could attend, but work obligations have intervened. My favourites are the Mirage, Skyraider and Wessex ! Sterkte ou maat !

  8. With your talent why bother with a kit of this low caliber? You do far better scratch work than kit manufactures.

    Many years ago in the eighties, I remember seeing an airworthy Vampire with civilian markings just south of San Antonio Texas. I never did find out who owned it or what it was dong at a small private airport. Then there were those five DH Mosquitoes with slipper tanks curiously parked out in the weeds behind San Antonio International. That was in the late sixties.

    I also seem to remember at least the early versions of this aircraft did not have ejection seats. I once read about a pilot transitioning into the vampire who related how a grizzled ground instructor bluntly stated to the pilots gathered round, "Gentlemen, you will not survive a bailout from this aircraft."

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