14th December 2016
And with much anticipation, and high expectations – here we go!
The starting point is (as usual) the office. And this aircraft has a large and spacious open plan affair with seating for 6 operators…
I’m not sure how much detail I will need to put into the cockpit area as the windows on a Victor are rather small – I don’t think much of it will be visible in the finished article so I’m going to go for a quick dry fit of the flight deck and fuselage to get an idea of how visible it will all be.
Afterall, there’s no point putting hours of work into a part of the model that will never be seen.
Here’s the flight deck dry fitted together and mildly fettled.
First impressions of the plastic are not all that great I have to say. It feels rather soft and the detail is a little soft in places too. I was expecting razor sharp detail in this hot off the press kit, but it all seems a bit old school at this stage. Still, it’s early days and these are just first impressions.
The fuselage is huge on this one considering it’s a 1/72 kit. The two halves seem to go together Ok, not brilliantly but Ok. Might be different when everything is fitted and being brought together for real.
I’ve applied some Tamiya tape over the side door (which I will be modelling closed) and also where the framework of the glass would be in order to reduce the amount of light into the office.
The glass is amazingly clear, as you can see in the photo below there is no problem seeing the internal detail so this tells me I will need to take a bit of care with the internal paint job.
Looking from a more head on angle you will notice that you can’t really see right into the back of the flight deck, so no need for tons of detail right at the back.
Next up was the seats…
Here’s two of the crew seats. As you can see the moulding is very soft – reminds me of the sort of moulding you’d get in a box of 1/72 Airfix soldiers.
Also note that the seat cushion doesn’t fit under the rear of the seats, I had to sand away the area marked in blue sharpie.
None of this is a particularly big deal, the seats won’t be very visible. But I can’t help feel that for a £60 kit the first impressions aren’t very good. Having to spend time sanding down seat cushions for softly moulded seats doesn’t fill me with confidence for the rest of the build.
Anyway, bear with me as we go along. These are just first impressions and the kit still has plenty of time to impress me where it matters 😉
It’s a similar story with the ejection seats. The moulding is poor and the two halves don’t go together particularly well.
Here’s the top view of one of the ejection seats, again not very pretty is it?
Moving on I make a start on the forward wheel well.
The parts for this assembly seem to be better moulded than the seats, there’s some fairly nice detail here – not mega sharp but not bad.
The parts go together nicely, the side wall registering in place very positively.
But then there’s a cock-up with some of the pipework. As you can see in the photo below (circled in red) the pipes just don’t line up with the holes.
As it happens this bit won’t show in the completed model, but again it’s a bit of a blow to the confidence when you get a part that just plainly doesn’t fit.
Pipework issues aside, the rest of the forward wheel well went together really nicely. The side walls all fit perfectly and positively so there’s no doubt that the parts are located in the correct positions.
Next according to the instruction is to attach a bulkhead to the wheel well assembly. This part doesn’t register positively in place so best to locate the assembly in the fuselage temporarily and fix the bulkhead in place with a small amount of Tamiya Extra Thin applied just to the parts that are away from the fuselage wall. Being careful of course not to inadvertently glue the assembly to the fuselage at this stage.
I’ll let the glue dry and then remove the assembly and apply more glue to finish the join later.
Flitting ahead a little randomly perhaps, but I wanted to include this shot of the front wheels. The tyres are not well moulded as you can see here. It’s tricky to see in the photo but the moulding of the tyres is not even around the circumference of the rims. Looking at the wheel on the left you can see the area where the tyre meets the rim is deeper on the left than on the right.
I might have to invest in some Eduard resin wheels as I’m not impressed with these ones.
Onto the tail…
Here’s the two halves of the horizontal stabiliser.
These are nicely moulded and cleaned up really easily.
Remember to drill a 1mm hole as circled in red as there will be an antenna mounted there at the end of the build.
Again, the elevators are nicely moulded and the two halves fit perfectly. Hopefully this is where the quality of the kit will start to shine!
The two halves of the horizontal stabiliser also fitted really nicely, I doubt if any filler will be needed here.
While the horizontal stabiliser dries it’s time to move onto the wings.
The instructions call for the protrusion shown below to be removed. A job for the trusty razor saw (one of my favourite tools).
NOTE FROM FUTURE ME: I recommend you DO NOT cut off this part as it looks like there is an error in the instructions. The part that should be removed is actually on the lower wing panel and is only to be removed if you model the flaps in the raised position. I’ll post more about this on a future page when I post another update. Rich
The kit includes some really meaty spars to align and strengthen the wing tips.
I use Tamiya white glue for this as it’s nice and thick (it has resin filler in it apparently) and it stays wet for longer than Extra Thin so you have time to apply it to the parts and then bring them together.
Again it is very encouraging to note that these parts fit like an absolute glove.
Next job is to attach the upper halves of the intake assembly, and to fit some braces that will ultimately lock into the main fuselage.
At this stage I’m really starting to enjoy the build. The initial disappointment with the seats and the faulty pipework has subsided and at this stage the kit is going together like a charm. Things are fitting together perfectly and it’s going together with quite a pace.
Well that’s it for this update. A slightly shaky start, but things are really looking up at this stage.
Here’s a shot of the horizontal stabiliser alongside a 1/72 Vampire to give an impression of the size of a Victor.
Next update – more work on the main wing assembly…