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Tim T
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A Suitcase that Flies! Handley Page Hampden in 1/72

December 14, 2020 · in Aviation · · 17 · 3.1K

This is my version of 's Handley Page Hampden, depicting AT 246 of 489 Squadron. An early version of the twin-engine fighter bomber, it was deployed in key missions before being quickly superseded by craft that were less vulnerable to attack. A beautiful and unlikely looking war plane, it's broad wings and narrow, long-tailed body make it seem like the offspring of a bat and a pregnant seahorse.

The Valom model is no shake-n-bake: a limited run kit, it lacks any locating pins or obvious means for one piece to attach to another - beyond a butt joint and a lot of liquid cement. Made from thick and rather unpleasant plastic, it challenges you to carve and add what you need to make a replica durable enough to handle while painting. However, once the parts have something to grab onto, the fit is quite good (apart from the engine cowlings to the nacelles).

There's a couple of sheets of PE details to figure out, plus a small sheet of misaligned decals.

The only other version of this plane in 1/72 is the vintage Airfix kit. I chose this one because of its bizarrely intense surface detail; row upon row of rivets pepper the surface, and while its certainly inaccurate for the scale, it's fun to paint nevertheless.

I added canopy transparencies and masks from AZ Models, and a pilot from PJ Productions. Apart from that, I adapted it to in-flight mode, which required shaving the wheels down and some surgery on the undercarriage bay doors. The black underside hides a load of shaky craft trying to get this to work.

I know it's a poor crafts-person who blames the kit, but I had to take some shortcuts with this one. Some more sanding and filling, and a few more hours with the painting would've produced something better. However, I enjoyed trying to wrestle this tough little kit into the unique lines of the Hampden.

Reader reactions:
20  Awesome

9 additional images. Click to enlarge.

17 responses

  1. You did a wonderful job on this difficult kit, Tim!
    I also love the Hampden looks.
    I love to see challenging kits finished, especially in such a great way.
    The in-flight posture is nice and dramatic. Suits the Hampden perfectly.
    Well done!

  2. Great job. I hope to do as well on my airfix kit !
    One of 3 Early workhorses of bomber command that took on the nazi’s.

  3. Love the original and love your model of it. You have really managed to show all quirky details and odd bits with your photography. A really cool looking aircraft.

    • Thanks, Stellan. It is a cool plane - eccentric, really. Hard to think of what this evolved into. It's easier to see a line of succession between Blenheims and Beaufighters.

  4. Great looking Hampden in action, Tim @timtozer231
    A not so often seen build very nicely finished.
    The paintwork on the transparant parts looks great.

  5. You're a braver man than I, Tim T. A true victory of talent and perseverance over plastic.

  6. That's a real beauty! I've built Valom kits, and they are not easy! I've got the Airfix kit of this and now I'm motivated to build it after seeing yours. Love the paint and weathering work on this.

  7. Thanks, Tom and Greg.
    You'll have to let me know how the Airfix kit works - I had some buyer's remorse as I looked at the parts and approximate instructions for this one, but It was a fun painting experience even so.

  8. Looks like a tough bird that's seen some serious action. Nice work.

  9. Nicely done Tim, I have one of these to do myself, apart from the lack of locating pins it looks quite detailed !

  10. Great job on what is obviously a difficult kit, and your excellent photography shows it at its best. Definitely liked.

  11. Excellent work, Tim. Really impressive in-flight pose too!

  12. Great job. A challenge is nice every now and then. I looked at one of those in the box at the LHS and put it back on the shelf, reasoning it’s only a matter of time before Airfix retools the Hampden

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