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Thomas Probert
53 articles

1/48 HP Halifax BIIIFonderie Miniature

January 14, 2023 · in Aviation · · 24 · 1.1K

This build has been on and off (more off than on to be fair) the bench for the last 7 years! It finally crossed the finish line earlier this week and thank Christ for that!

Fonderie kits have a poor reputation but when I first bought this and fellow modellers imparted their horror stores I didn't think it could be that bad. I was wrong. It was worse. It didn't look too bad in the box to be fair - lots of flash but nothing a good clean up with a new blade and a sanding stick couldn't put right. It was when I started building the thing that the true horrors emerged. The fuselage was badly warped, the interior parts simply didn't fit, wings were different thicknesses, one stabiliser was positioned higher on the fuselage than the other, the vacformed canopy and tail turret were hopelessly inaccurate and not worth using, the rear fuselage had the turret faring missing and it was too narrow, props were completely the wrong shape, most white metal parts, including the undercarriage legs, were badly warped and mis-shaped, dropped flaps fouled the bomb bay doors and the decals, probably due to age, had yellowed and broke up when I tested them in water. In short, it was a nightmare and was a resident on the Shelf of Doom for long periods as I plucked up the courage to do some more work to it. 7 years later and it was finally done.

Work completed is summarised here:

  • Interior mostly made from scratch
  • Scratch-built bomb-bay and wing bomb cells
  • Bomb load from the Tamiya Lancaster
  • New vacformed canopy
  • Rear fuselage widened and new turret fairings made
  • Sanger vac rear turret transparency used
  • Prop blades slimmed down and rounded (I'm still not happy with the shape!)
  • 100 Group aerials added
  • Xtracolor enamels
  • DK decals

Anyway, it was fun I suppose and she's not come out too badly. My model represents Handley Page B Mk III MZ913, Z5-N of 462 Squadron RAAF, Foulsham (100 Group), April 1945.

All the best,

Reader reactions:
31ย  Awesome

9 additional images. Click to enlarge.

24 responses

  1. Tom, excellent work on your build...๐Ÿป Your dedication to stay with it and the improvements done to it makes this one heck of a beauty Halifax. Congrats!

  2. Impressed by both the model and your perseverance.

    1 attached image. Click to enlarge.

  3. This is an absolute triumph over a most challenging kit, Thomas!
    You tamed the beast, Tom!

  4. Some how, and in some way, in another alternate universe if Eduard where to make a Halifax BIII it would look like your build Thomas.
    Your article reads like a Mary Shelley novel. Where you can say, "Its alive, its alive " only, there is a happy ending and the doctor is the hero.
    What you need for this build is a T-shirt that say's "I survived Fonderie Miniature."

    Congratulations, on a job well done. Well done indeed.

  5. I don't think anyone will top your effort on this dog of a kit. Ultra well done!

  6. Ya got to really WANNA on something like this. Guess the Halifax is a fave of yours. That is a fabulous silk purse out of a sow's A--. Transparency work is superb. Would never know it's a Fonderie F bomb.
    On the other hand I have you beat for shelf of doom time. Been "working" on and off for 40 years on the Koster B-17C/D vac conversion. Actually on it's 2nd incarnation. One of these decades...

  7. Congratulations, Thomas, your Halifax emerged from its seven year hibernation like a newborn. When youโ€™re young seven years seems like a lifetime, when youโ€™re older it seems like just a week

  8. Yes, a pig-headed unwillingness to recognize reality was definitely needed here. A triumph of skill, talent, and sheer stubbornness over plastic.

  9. A fantastic build build Thomas. Hats off to you for beating this beast of a model ๐Ÿ™‚

  10. That's a beaut and a rare one at that! Well done.

  11. All the extra work definitely paid off, Thomas @vacform
    Well done.

  12. She's beautiful Tom !

  13. Building that kit to such a high standard is a huge triumph!

  14. Well, I'll be...what a great result from a FM model! ๐Ÿ˜ƒ Your skill and perseverance are so admirable sir! ๐Ÿ†

  15. Congratulations on finishing that beast in only 7 years! It turned out well. Now, if only ICM or somebody would give us a 1:48 Halifax and Stirling...

  16. I am glad posts like yours come with warnings, because otherwise the errant soul would look at your fantastic finished product and think "it can't be THAT bad." It can. It is. It is like you said, much worse. The comparisons to absurdist comedies based on WWI trench warfare are most apt for the entire FM stable, and you truly knocked the stuffing out of this one!

  17. G'day Thomas (@vacform),
    I've never come across a Fonderie Miniature kit and it sounds like they are kits "for laying down and avoiding".
    I wouldn't avoid a closer look at your build, though.

  18. You're a genius Tom! Don't deny it!

  19. This is one impressive build!

  20. You arm-wrestled this into an impressive model! Great work!

  21. A really great result Tom...well done!

  22. Hello Tom,

    An admirable approach to what is possible and what is not.

    My FM Hallifax came with unusable Bolton Paul E Turret glazing which was crushed beyond rescue. Any suggestions for a replacement part, either from Fondertie Miniatures or from a talent 3D printer?


    Allan Mearns

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