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Justin Bronk
36 articles

I Remade My Oldest Surviving Childhood Model Kit

October 1, 2020 · in Aviation · · 23 · 2.6K

An old and flawed kit, but one that has a special place in the memory banks for me - when I was 12 we were told we could have a home made mascot on our desks for end of primary school exams. I persuaded my parents to get me a model kit for my 13th birthday and by exam season it was ready. Despite my teachers' horror at such an oversized mascot, they were amused enough at the odd child with the plane to let it slide, and it sat on my desk proudly for my entire Common Entrance exams (which went well enough to get into the school I wanted).

Despite many moves since, I still have the old 'Memphis Belle' sat in my workshop at aged 30, looking more than a little tired. So I figured since I'd got back into model making after a 10 year absence about 3 years ago; it would be a nice thing to find the same very old kit and make it again - to keep the old and the new side by side.

I don't normally do 1:72 scale as I find weathering effects tricky when going below 1:48, and the detail starts to go. Am really pleasantly surprised by how this came out though - despite the atrocious kit transparencies, lackluster detail which necessitated quite a bit of scratch built detail near the windows, and the strange panel texture on the nose. One issue was right at the end, I dropped superglue on the right wing when trying to rig up the radio aerials, which left a very ugly mark and meant I had to eventually sand down and paint over the whole panel. I couldn't match the colour or weathering again so I tried instead to represent a battle-damage replacement panel with un-faded Olive Drab.

Short video build summary video here for any who are keen:

Anyway, I hope you all like her!

Reader reactions:
17  Awesome

15 additional images. Click to enlarge.

23 responses

  1. Gotta love the Fortresses! Great job on yours, and I like the idea of building the kit you built as a kid again.

  2. I built this in the sixties. Used to set it up next to my HO train set with other Revell fighter kits.

    Brian Riedel

  3. Nice project! Great work, I too built one way back, but it didn't have the interior detail that this one has. I managed to save the instructions.

    1 attached image. Click to enlarge.

    • Wow those are serious vintage instructions - love them! Probably not losing too much in terms of finish either if you make the radio room and waist positions with the windows shut - not much of a view into a Fortress all closed up!

  4. Hi Justin!
    This is a fantastic job!
    I loved seeing all those nice details you added inside.
    Excellent pain job and weathering too.
    Now your 30 year old friend has a nice company!

  5. Great job on an ancient biscuit! Those colors really pop.
    Now let's see you do the old Revell Lancaster. Or Liberator. Or Condor.
    Had 'em all back in the prehistoric daze.

    • Thanks very much Bill!
      Might be a little while before I attempt another old four engine bomber kit to be honest... although a Condor is tempting! Ooooh, or may be a Sunderland flying boat...

  6. Nothing to add to the above comments, Justin.
    Looks fantastic, especially the interior.
    Really like the idea of re-building the same model you did earlier.

  7. Great job! Great video! I re-built a B-25 Mitchell, Air Line FROG kit from '65, a lot of good memories! see May 9th post

    1 attached image. Click to enlarge.

  8. Looks great ! I probably re-did a dozen or more older builds as my skills developed.

  9. Those old kits we remember as kids are some of my favorite to build! A great-looking Fortress you built there - well done.

    • Cheers Greg! Not sure I'll go back to the other things I remember building as a kid though - 1:24 scale Spit, Hurricane, 109 and Stuka from Airfix are all now a bit big, unsophisticated and expensive from a boring adult perspective 😉

  10. Great work on a small kit. I had to double-check that it wasn't 1:48. Great story too.

  11. Modeling-wise, that's quite a road to travel over 17 modeling years (subtracting the 13 awayu, tho they do prove it is like riding a bicycle). Very nice result, and wow to all the interior work, especially since you can't see any of it after final assembly.

    • Haha, there is a fair bit of difference I'll admit! Thanks Tom - the interior was a bit of a self-indulgence to be honest... as you say, it's not very visible once closed up. Although without the plasticard floor section painted 'wooden', the waist positions would look very odd! 🙂

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