Saturday, 27 February 2016

Airfix 1/72 Vickers Valiant BK. Mk.I

One of the new breed of Airfix toolings produced since the Hornby take over, this kit provided a much sought after filling for a hole in the cold war back catalogue of kits.

The kit is true to the new Airfix style. Slightly soft, thick heavy plastic but very sharply moulded. The fit is as good as you can expect in a modern tooling in the mid range kit market - not quite up to the standard of the best of the far eastern offerings but so much better than Airfix's older models.

I have only two significant complaints - firstly, the panel lines, in common with most recent Airfix releases, are far too thick and heavily engraved. Secondly, the surface detail on this model is not actually that good. Just thick panel lines, no rivets or raised details. I went some way to make up for this by using Eduard's surface panel set which does add a lot of nice relief to what would otherwise be a very plain and arguably, primitive looking model. I also went to town on the cockpit interior using Eduard's interior set, although this is barely visible in the finished model of course.

My customer chose a PR version, with a little help from Airfix's own enhancement set. I had forgotten how tricky white aircraft were to make. Every blemish shows up like a sore thumb and it is also quite tricky to stop it looking like a toy. My usual panel line wash and post shading would be far too strong on a pure white model (especially with those trenches) so I limited myself to some subtle pre shading (not something I normally like doing) and light panel line enhancement with pencils. This raised it above the look of a die cast model and went some way to providing some authenticity in the result.

But I am pleased with the end result, an imposing model of a very important aircraft.

You can see the progress photos here.