1/72 Airfix Avro Vulcan B Mk 2 – Build Log

30th November 2014

Well, 4 months to the day since my last update on the mighty Vulcan!

After the last update (30th July) I spent a few weeks into August working on the bodywork and then hit a massive mojo killer which saw me shelving the kit until today…

I’ll start off this update with some work that was actually done back in August, and then we’ll catapult back into the present day.


Working on the underside, I had given it a coat of Uncle Phil’s Magic Wash (the ‘Grime’ edition), and after it has been wiped back she was coated with a liberal coating of Klear.

It all looked great apart from the underside of the leading edge of the starboard wing which was looking distinctly virginal and in need of corruption.



A good going over with a bit of Uncle Phil’s Grime and we’re in business!




And here she is with the underside (almost) complete. Streaking was done with chalk pastel dust, and the engines were grimed up by spraying with Tamiya Smoke, with a little Tamiya Clear Orange over the top to add colour, and finally more chalk pastel dust.

All of that got another 3 or so coats of Klear to seal it in and act as a final clear coat.




After the previous stages I had gotten to a point where she was painted, decaled, weathered and Klear coated. All seemed well…


However the next stage drove me to put her on the shelf for 4 months…




As I said, all seemed to be well, except that the final clear coats had gone badly wrong and I ended up with the dreaded sand paper finish. But not just in the wing roots, it was over most of the model’s surface. All I can think of is that I had the air pressure cranked up too high and the Klear dried on its way onto the surface, that and some bad vortexing of air in the nooks and crannies.

What made it worse was that my plan was to do a glossy finish to the Vulcan to replicate how they were painted with glossy polyurethane paint in the 60’s and 70’s. For this I want the finish to be super smooth and without the inevitable grainy-ness and orange peeling that you get when applying clear coats.

Well I’d totally blow that seeing as you the surface finish I’d achieved could be used for filing your nails on.


What followed was about 2 weeks on and off of micromeshing the entire surface of the Vulcan to dress the clear coat down to being flat again.

I started with 3200 grit micromesh, then 3600, then onto 6000 – finishing with 8000 for the final shine.

As you can imagine this caused a fair bit of trauma and damage to the clear coat and paint which would require a bit of touching up.

This was the point she got shelved, I just couldn’t face any more bodywork (bearing in mind how long I’d already spent re-scribing the thing!).


I picked her back up today and had an afternoon of finishing off the sanding job… The following shots were all taken during and after today’s session…


Here’s a shot of the port wing where you can see I sanded through the clear coat and started getting to paint…




The tip of the tail has gone down to plastic so that’ll need a bit of titivating…




And the aileron jobbies have had a bit of a scuffing ad will require paint.




The leading edge of the port wing had worn through and will also need a touch up…




So after an afternoon of fettling and touching up, here she is just waiting for a bit of Klear over the touch ups (at the correct freaking pressure this time) 😉




The next few shots are all at odd angles because I was trying to photograph the shininess of the clear coat.  I wanted to show that all that pain of micromeshing has paid off, resulting in a really smooth finish where the reflections are razor sharp and not fuzzy as they would be if the clear coat had any grain or orange peeling to it…




The Airfix 1/72 Vulcan is a dog. No doubt about it. But when it comes together it certainly captures those gorgeous curves that are sadly lacking on modern day jets. You have to hand it to the likes of Avro and Hawkers, they used to design aircraft to look like pin-up girls – with French Curves!




Another angle trying to catch some reflection in the surface…




A front view, I need to tame down the white lines around the windscreen – looks like the primer is showing through a bit there…




This one captures the surface reflections quite nicely. When she’s finished I intend to take some outdoor shots in bright sunlight to get some real life scenery reflected in the bodywork.





Ah, would you look at that?  The little feller’s only gorn and fallen asleep!

Shhh… don’t wake him, they’re unpredictable when they awake suddenly!



That reminds me, I can unmask the bomb aimers window under the nose now 😀

Thanks for visiting!

I write this blog for fun, to share what I've learned, and to share my builds with you. If you like what you see here please leave a comment, and head over to facebook and like my page!

Cheers - Rich

6 comments on “1/72 Airfix Avro Vulcan B Mk 2 – Build Log
  1. James says:

    I’m about to start his model and I’m going to scribe the panel lines – how did you remove the raised panel lines?

    Great article and pics btw

    • Richard says:

      Cheers James… I sanded the panel lines down using a Flory Skinny Stick – FMS008 X12 Fine Skinny Sticks on this page http://www.florymodels.co.uk/skinny-sticks/ but you could use any fine sanding stick. The trick is to work one line at a time, sand them down until they are barely visible (but not erased altogether) then re-scribe them in using the remnants of the original line as a guide.

  2. Mark cannon says:

    Wow mate fantastic just read Vulcan 607 by Roland white and I’m terribly jealous! Would love to take the build on as I love the plane since seeing its final display at southport but all that scribing and sanding puts me right off as I’m currently struggling with eduards su 27b and another tough build would put me into therapy!

    • Richard says:

      Cheers Mark 🙂 Vulcan 607 is a great read! The Airfix kit does need some stamina to complete it, but the end result is worth it. Just so long as you can avoid the ensuing mental trauma. Good luck with the Su27 build!

  3. David Wahnish says:

    I may only be an ignorant Yank, but I have always loved the Vulcan since I saw Thunderball as a boy, and I know a big beautiful bird when I see one ;).

    Jolly good show Richard!

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