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Airfix 1/144 Handley Page H.P.42 “Heracles”

Hi everyone,

This is my Airfix 1/144 Handley Page H.P.42 built about ten years ago.

The Handley Page H.P.42 was a four-engine biplane airliner designed and manufactured by British aviation company Handley Page. She held the distinction of being the largest airliner in regular use in the world upon the type’s introduction in 1931. 8 of them were built (together with the very similar H.P.45 – which is referred as “H.P.42” anyway): Hannibal, Horsa, Hanno, Hadrian, Heracles, Horatius, Hengist and Helena.

The “Heracles”:

G-AAXC was named after Heracles, also known as Hercules, a figure from Greek mythology who was the son of Zeus and Alcmene and was noted for his extraordinary strength. On 8 August 1931, Heracles took her first flight. It was most commonly deployed on the airline’s services between Paris, Cologne, and Zurich; on 23 July 1937, the aircraft was recorded as having accumulated one million miles servicing the aforementioned routes. Heracles was impressed into service with the RAF on 3 March 1940. The aircraft was destroyed in a gale on 19 March 1940 at Whitchurch Airport, Bristol, when she was blown together with “Hanno” and damaged beyond repair.

The vintage (1965 origin) Airfix kit was a 1993 copy, found somewhwere in between the shelves of my local hobby shop in 2005 at only 5 euros. It was very sweet, fit was good and was built with great joy. Had some issues with the cabin windows clarity, me to blame! Painting was easy: Humbrol 11 all over. Canopy was (typically for me) hand painted. Rigging was done with streched sprue.

I’m not very much into airliners, but who could resist in building such a beauty?

Happy modeling!

13 additional images. Click to enlarge.

24 responses to Airfix 1/144 Handley Page H.P.42 “Heracles”

  1. SPIROS:

    All I can say is: AWSOME. I studied the head on front view photo and it looks like your alignment is “RIGHT ON.” Beautiful model. Rodney.

  2. Well done Spiros, I can’t remember seeing any of these displayed at modeling shows. Some how the Brits have designed some of the best looking as well as some the ugliest aircraft on earth. Your Heracles is not a head turner IMHO but I understand why one would want to build this model. Nice job.

  3. This kit is on my “to do” list along with the Airfix Boeing Clipper which I added to my collection last year ,I think you made a great job of a tricky kit Spiros , I hope mine turns out as good, well done.

  4. Excellent model of a wonderful machine !
    You were lucky to find the kit (hard to find it on e-bay for less than 35 Euros + shipping), but you were also very good in build it!

    • Thanks a lot, Peter! It was discovered at my local hobby shop, forgotten together with the Vickers Vanguard, during those heroic pre- mail order and globalization times here in Greece. I found and bought many-many gems from that shop (and other shops) at ridiculous prices (Nichimo’s 48ers Jake, Kate and nick for instance – 10 euros each!). Hopefully I will post as I build!
      All the best, my friend!

  5. Very cool, Spiros! I love seeing those old Airfix kits built up.

  6. 1/144… Wow! Big respect!!

  7. Superb job on a challenging kit! Those struts would have driven me to distraction. Your excellent photos from multiple angles show that you got the alignment perfect. Did you make a jig to get things to stay in place during construction? I have heard that LEGO on a solid base plate works really well for that. I have been thinking about that for my own future builds.

    • It was a trial and error process, Colin. If I remember well, I assembled the lower wing, glued the struts and then laid the upper wing to check if all the struts fitted at their corresponding positions. Trimming here and there, then, after a brave deep breath glued the upper wing.
      I don’t use some special jig. I just improvise with whatever comes handy: humbrol cans, MM bottles, stacked CD cases, books…anyway whatever comes in handy. Legos are really nice, I’ve used them lately, being happy with them, till my sons (2.5 and 5) found out. Guess what: the end of the Lego jig era…..!
      Thanks for the kind comments, my friend!

  8. Really nice result! Super work on this old chestnut.

    I see some guy on eBay has both 1/72 and 1/48 3D-resin kits of this monster. Tempting but where to put it – 1/144 is about right for it.

  9. Great build. Another example of what can be achieved with a classic kit and skill.

  10. Excellent finish of an Airfix oldie. Well done as it was most likely not an easy task.

  11. Nice work, Spiro!

  12. Excellent! I haven’t seen this aircraft built before – love unusual subjects!

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