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Bob Torres
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Matchbox 1/72 Avro Lancaster

August 3, 2021 · in Aviation · · 32 · 3.3K

This is my that was built in 1985, originally I started on the Airfix kit that was released in the late 70's but I had some pretty bad warpage on both wings. Usually I can fix warpage issues but both wings were twisted in the wrong direction and I end up damaging one wing. So instead I went on to build the Matchbox release of the Lancaster.

Back then I built a lot of Matchbox kits, I ignored a lot of the complains that some other modelers were saying and had a blast building them. Pretty much my build on this kit had no surprises for me to deal with. There were no warpage and it all went together nicely. Since Matchbox usually have little details in their kits I went on to do some updates to it. I added antennas (stretch sprue) and aerial wires (fishing lines). I also added all of the wing tips navigational lights (clear sprue), and lights on the bottom of the wings and ID lights on the bottom tail. All spinners were reworked to give it a more rounded look since they came flat looking. I went on to use Almark decals and Polly S paints was my choice for painting.

The end result gave me a solid looking Lancaster that I enjoyed building and still have today. These shots were taken not too long ago after I gave it a good dusting.

Reader reactions:
14  Awesome

4 additional images. Click to enlarge.

32 responses

  1. An excellent build out of the solid Matchbox kit, Bob!
    I love Matchbox kits, especially seeing them built so well!

  2. Fine looking Lanc Bob. The paintwork is outstanding.

  3. Looks great. There's no such thing as too many Lancasters.

  4. Great looking Lancaster, Bob.
    Matchbox was a staple way back - still fun to build.

  5. Looks great, but the most important thing is that you had fun building it.

  6. A solid kit (Matchbox) with excellent upgrades added. You have done justice to the good folks who manufactured this really fun kit.

  7. Looks great, nice job and I have to agree that the old Matchbox kits were fun to build, not to mention the great box art they used captivated me as a young modeler. I still have their 1/72 Heinkel HE-115 that I build back in the early 90s.

  8. Great looking Lancaster, Bob @v1pro
    Even after all those years she is still good looking.
    I've heard several cleaning tips already but are wondering how you cleaned this one.
    Matchbox brings back memory, unfortunately they are hard to find these days.

    • Thank you John, in regards to cleaning I brushed the dust off and used a slightly wet cotton swab to clean the clear parts. Still this kit needs a good cleaning, on my next attempt I will probably spray soapy water then spray clear water and hopefully renew its looks.

    • In regards to buying Matchbox kits in today’s world, they are in eBay but way too expensive for a lot of the kits on sale. In model events usually the venders have them for less.

  9. I always ended up building the single engined Matchbox kits which I always enjoyed.
    Great to see the Lanc built up and looking great!

  10. Great build! I'm still building Matchbox kits...just too much fun.

  11. Nice work, Bob. That was one of Matchbox’ better kits. Yours shows that it really still stands up well today. I’ve always had a 1/72 Lanc in my collection. I built that kit in 1984 and didn’t replace it in the collection until 2019 with a Hasegawa Lanc.

    • Thank you John. I felt the Lancaster and Halifax was their better 4 engined kits, followed by the Privateer and then the B-17. I no longer have the Halifax but I remember that being a good kit, it won a few contest for me back then. My next Lancaster is going to be the old Frog kit, sounds crazy but I want to give that kit a try.

  12. Great work on this old kit. I remember getting the original Airfix 1/72 Lancaster kit for Christmas in the 1950s, spinning propellors, working turrets, what memories.

    • Thank you George, my first Lancaster was from the MPC/Airfix kit in the early 70’s. I was pretty excited to finally have one built. This Matchbox build replaced that kit. Great memories from my first Lancaster build.

  13. That’s a beautifully built Lancaster. The nose art is surprising, I wouldn’t expect to see “ Uncle Joe” on the nose of a British bomber.
    I’ve got this old Airfix kit still factory sealed, I hope it doesn’t have any warping issues. The box still like factory new, I almost hate to open it.

    1 attached image. Click to enlarge.

    • Thanks Jay, looking at it now seeing Joe Stalin on a British plane does look weird. I remember using the Almark decal because the set that came with the kit were out of registered and not clear. In regards to your Airfix kit still sealed, I am sure yours should be fine. This Airfix kit was a big improvement from their old release. It had fine raised details and a lot more clear parts. Mine had the soft light blue styrene.

      2 attached images. Click to enlarge.

      • Seeing those decals, brings back a faint memory of seeing a Halifax kit with the name Vicky on it. Revell had released a new Halifax a few years ago. I wish I had bought it, but I was foolish and let internet complainers dissuade me because it had misshapen props and spinners. I haven’t seen it in a long time.

        • I ended up not buying Revell’s Merlin engine Halifax for the same reason. But I do have two of the Matchbox Halifax kits in my stash in which I am okay with those two kits. About two years ago I managed to picked up the Revell’s Hercules radial engine Halifax, to me it looks like a pretty nice kit but I do feel Revell did blow it on their Merlin versions.

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