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Airfix's 1/72 scale
Wellington B.Mk.III

by Eddie "Grunticus" Wilson


Vickers Wellington B.Mk.III


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Here is something you don't see everyday - this is the Airfix Wellington B.III kit, assembled and painted as best as my limited skills and even more limited patience permitted.



This is one of those oldies from the early 1960s and aside from several of the larger parts belonging on the bridge of Star Trek's USS Enterprise ("warp SIX, mr. sulu!"), it had all of the control surfaces as separately hinged pieces. presumably the intent was to instruct the tender English laddies in the principles of aerodynamics... although it is more likely they received a practical lesson in the use of filler and sandpaper. A very aggravating situation indeed.





In any event, after I rescued this kit from the forlorn indignities of a local garage sale for the princely sum of a quarter (25 US). I did my best to give this model some respect. Very little of the interior would be visible once the airframe was assembled so I used the kit parts as is for the most part. Hence I put the main emphasis of the build on the exterior, replacing all the gun barrels with steel rod, scratch building some new landing gear struts, replacing the wheels with something more suitable, and replacing the fuel dump tubes and exhaust manifolds with aluminum tubes.
One of the props was missing when I got this kit so I replaced them both with propellers from the equally-ancient Monogram 1/48 fw-190 (HERESY! HERESY!)


The clear parts in this kit were never very good but with no replacements to be had I just sanded and thinned them out as best I could and glued them on with crazy glue. The thickness of these pieces is especially apparent with the gun turrets but some decent recreation of the metal framework mitigates this somewhat. I was able to replace the horrible astrodome from something long forgotten that I re-discovered in my spares box, along with a new ADF fairing. I added some navigation lights on the wingtips and rudder by means of some transparent red, green, and clear styrene scrap. For the antenna wires I used some 2-lb test fishing line from my tackle box and glued that on with microscopic drops of CA.



Paiting and Markings


Once the beastie was assembled I painted it with Model Master enamels, using masking tape to create the hard demarcation lines typical of RAF aircraft used in WWII. the decals are from the kit, but I would have replaced them if there were any alternatives available to me. they were very thick and had yellowed terribly so I cut away as much of the carrier film as I dared.



They refused to settle down using conventional decal fixatives so I was forced to make do with a diluted solution of white glue and vinegar. Even then they do not look quite right but "C'est la vie" as the french are wont to say.

I hope that you enjoy it and happy modeling.

Model, Images and Text Copyright 2005 by Eddie "Grunticus" Wilson
Page Created 15 December, 2005
Last Updated 14 December, 2005

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