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Handley Page Victor K.2

by Jan Forsgren

 

Handley Page Victor K.2

 


Revell's 1/72 scale Handley Page Victor is available online from Squadron.com

 

Introduction

 

For me, the Victor represents aircraft thinking of the fifties - big, bold ...and beautiful

Seeing this plane with its large tail is like seeing an old dinosaur. It ended its life as a tanker and saw action in both the Falklands conflict and in the Gulf War.

 



I intend to build a Gulf War tanker and a white V-bomber later, but this time it was XL192 from the Falklands in 1982 that was built. This was the K.2 tanker that followed Vulcan XM607 on both the trip to Asuncion and on the first Black Buck mission.

 

 

The Matchbox 1/72 scale Victor

 

The old Matchbox Victor is a very good kit, the only drawbacks are the trenches some panel lines look like. Overall measurements seem good enough, and itís a lot of plastic! In my case in white, grey and dark green as I had the Matchbox edition (there is a grey plastic Revell edition of the Operation Granby Victor).

Flightpathís K2 set with white metal cones for the tailplane and some PE to enhance the in-flight refueling equipment was purchased. And of course there was the brass framing for the cockpit glazing! The frame looked beautiful with small rivets and lots of detail. This was to be used.

 

 

Construction

 

Fuselage

Aeroclub seats that looked like the right ones replaced the originals, apart from those only original parts were used. I had no clue of how much weight to put in the fuselage, so that had to wait.

The longitudinal panel lines were rescribed before joining the fuselage halves, the fuselage halves were glued together and the other panel lines were scribes.

Then it was time for the wing attachment areas to be prepared and here some work was needed to get a good fit for the wings, due to Matchbox very unusual solution. I found it necessary to strengthen the fuselage with extra spars made from heavy duty tubes. This I do on most airplanes as too much strain is put on the fuselage joins otherwise when handling it.

 

 

The kit ram air intakes for the turbines in front of the fin were too simple, and had to be replaced. Holes in the fuselage were cut, and new intakes were modeled from Plasticard and finally there was a PE part for the front edge. Tabs were glued on the inside of the fuselage and painted black, and the new intakes were glued to the tabs after painting the fuselage.

The air brakes on the rear fuselage did not look good, in fact this is the only area Iím dissatisfied with on this kit! I decided to have the air brakes in the closed position as open air brakes destroy the clean lines of the rear fuselage, and the internal mechanism were so rudimentary the choice was simple. I glued them shut, applied some Milliput and sanded everything flush, then I scribed along the edge of the air brakes and made new strakes from Plasticard.

 

 


Wings

The wing halves were scribed before joining upper and lower halves.

The intakes are difficult to improve as there is a plethora of guide vanes inside that are virtually impossible to put there. The lower lip was extended slightly downwards with Milliput and all the inside was lined with Plasticard.

 

 

The guide vane closest to the opening was replaced with a more correct one, and covers for the inlets were made and painted bright red.

The wings have a dihedral where the inner and outer wing panels are connected, but this was not present on the kit and had to be corrected. Photographs and drawings were used when preparing the outer wing panels. A piece of the wing forward edge was cut and angled downwards to represent extended slats. I chose to have the flaps in the extended position as it gives more weight to the plane, and some rails and rods were added for the extension mechanism. The rear end of the faired in wing tanks had to be cut off and modified to fit the extended flaps, this is something Matchbox has missed to do.

The wings were mated with the fuselage and everything looked good, but later a former RAF mechanic told me the wing tips with the pitot tubes should be twisted downwards. This can be seen on photographs but I missed it! The inner/outer wing panel joins were very good, no problem at all in spite of the old kit.



Tailplane

The vertical fin was thinned down substantially and rescribed. When aligning the tailplane it is best to place the model horizontally on the desk to get the tailplane absolutely vertical. As a symmetrical airframe is vital this should always be done, and to be able to adjust the tail while the cement is curing it is best to use old fashioned liquid cement. The stabilators were added on top of the fin at the correct angle according to photographs.

Flightpath white metal cones on the back and front of the tailplane replaced the original cones, this required some Milliput and lots of work.

 

 

The model almost completed and time to check for necessary nose weight by balancing the model on the main gear, or piano wire representing it. Twenty-five grams was needed and lead was glued into the nose from a hole in the fuselage belly.



Cockpit Canopy 1

Now to the nerveracking part of this story!

The PE canopy framing was formed to a cylindrical shape over a tube of the right size, but the problem is that the Vulcan canopy is curved in two planes which is impossible to obtain unless heating, cutting and soldering the brass, but I could live with this simplified canopy as the framing was beautiful. The next obstacle was to find the thin ďwindowĒ plastic, and as I found it necessary to use CA glue to fix the plastic to the brass it must resist the glue. Eventually I found a suitable piece and glued the plastic film to the PE framing (already painted) and installed it all to the fuselage. Some Milliput and it all looked beautiful, except a small problem in profile because of the omission of the double curvature.

 

 

It looked like that for a week, then the windows cracked! I did it all again with another window material and this time it lasted for three weeks and then I gave up!

At this stage the model was painted and almost ready, and itís not the first time I had to change course completely when building models. I have repainted several models when I was unhappy with something. Itís never too late to improve the model!



Cockpit Canopy 2

The thick, terrible looking original canopy was retrieved from the scrap box and thinned down from the inside, polished and dipped in Johnson Kleer and glued against the Plasticard fuselage rim, as I had to build up the fuselage after the brass frame experience (picture 6) The fuselage and canopy were sanded flush and polished to a beautiful shine!

 



The location of the glass panels was measured, and the framing covered by tape strips, then the glass panels could be masked. When all panels were covered the tape covering the framing was removed and all could be painted.

 

 

Why didnít I do this from the beginning, the result was perfect!



Landing Gear

The gears are standard with a small PE fret. When testing the landing gear height the model sat perfectly with wing tips at equal height! The gears are sturdy enough to carry the weight of the model in my transport box.

 

 

Painting and Markings

 

Painting was done after the first cockpit canopy attempt, and was completed after the final canopy was there! I used Xtracolor paints and ordinary masking tape for the sharp demarcation lines between the different colors. The standard paint scheme was dark green and medium sea gray with white underside.

 

 

Before putting on decals I gave the whole model a coat of Johnson Kleer, which I repeated after the decals were set. Then I used a wash of white spirit and dark brown oil color to tone down the colors.

For the final weathering touch I used dry pastel powder and a small brush on the matte surface achieved by a small amount of Tamiya Flat Base in Johnson Kleer.

 



Iím glad I finally built this monster aircraft, and looking at it in my glass cabinet is rewarding.

Two more to go!

 

 

Additional Images

 

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Air War in the Falklands 1982
Combat Aircraft 28
 

US Price: $19.95
UK Price: £12.99
Publisher: Osprey Publishing
Publish Date:
 June 25, 2001
Details: 96 pages; ISBN: 1841762938
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Model, Images and Text Copyright © 2004 by Jan Forsgren
Page Created 29 April, 2004
Last Updated 29 April, 2004

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