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

16th July 2014

I haven’t had a lot to post about the Vulcan recently, mainly because I’ve been spraying the white underside. And there’s only so many photos you can take of coats of white paint and remain interesting. In fact 1 is about the number of photos of white paint that is the accepted value before things get tedious.

Previously the underside had a few coats of Tamiya flat white to get rid of any grey-green tones that may have shown through from the JN Grey primer.

Next I 3/4 filled a colour cup with Tamiya flat white and added a dab of Tamiya flat black to make it a dirty white. The dab was literally just the tip of a paintbrush dipped into the black, just enough to make the white go ever so slightly grey. The reason for this is if I used pure white for the underside, I would be able to go any lighter with bleaching effects. Also the white underside doesn’t want to be “Dulux Pure Brilliant White with Added White”, in reality it’s going to be slightly duller than that…

I forgot to mention last time that the pre-shading on the underside was done with Tamiya German Grey (XF-63) whereas the upper surfaces were pre-shaded with flat black. Because the underside is going to be white I didn’t want the pre-shading to be quite so stark otherwise it’d just tale more paint to cover.


In the above photo you can see a few bright white patches, these are where I had to do some touch-ins, after this I gave them a touch over with some of that dirty white to knock them back a bit.



So, with the underside complete it’s time to mask her up in readiness for the upper surfaces to be painted.

First off I masked the intakes. These were a complete fiddly pain to mask, trying to get the Tamiya tape to go where you want it inside the intake without sticking to the sides was one of those jobs that can only be accomplished by sticking your tongue out of the corner of your mouth.

With the masking tape in place I used a bit of sponge to plug the hole.

To be honest I’m not sure how accurate my interpretation of how the intakes are painted is going to be. It is tricky to find decent pictures of Vulcan intakes of the era that I’m nodelling (1970’s). From what I could tell the camo seems to go a fair way into the intakes, so I opted to have the camo go almost as far as the splitter and leave it white from there in.




With the intakes masked the next job was to mask up the underside. For this it’s back to the trusty old Tamiya tape, and a bit of kitchen roll to cover the middle area to conserve tape.




The Vulcan has a jungle of camo on it, so rather than work out where it goes as I spray I decided to mark the pattern on with a light fineliner. There was a risk that the marking would show through the paint, but the markings are light coloured and the paint is fairly dark.

As it was I got away with it, but not sure I’d use it again if I didn’t have to.




Here she is after about 3-4 coats of heavily thinned Tamiya Ocean Grey 2 (RAF) XF-82.

The pre-shading is just about still visible under the grey, I was torn as to whether to go for another coat of grey but decided to stop here. As usual I left it overnight and gave it a good coat of looking at in the morning, decisions as to when a paint job is finished are best done with fresh eyes.




For the camo on a 70s Vulcan you can do soft edge camo, but for all the reference shots I’ve seen of the camo upper/white lowers with a glossy finish the camo  is pin sharp.  So I’m going to mask the reen part of the camo pattern to make sure it has nice sharp edges…

Here I’ve been cutting 1.5mm wide strips of Tamiya tape using an exacto knife and a straight edge. The skinny tape strips are then like pin-striping tape and can be easily bent around the curves of the camo pattern. This also allows you to see exactly where you’re masking, rather than try to pre-cut masking tape into the correct curve where you might mask over an unpainted area by mistake.




The downside is that it takes quite a bit of time to fill in the gaps with tape, but to be honest I found it quite therapeutic.




And here she is after the grand un-masking 🙂


I would have put up a picture with before I unmasked her, but when it comes to unmasking time I’m like a 5 year old on Christmas morning – that paper is coming off – now! 😉

At this stage i’m really happy with the paint job. The pre-shading is there but not in your face, it doesn’t look like a war-torn Tomcat.


With the green I started using Tamiya Olive Drab (JGSDF) XF-74, but after a few coats it just looked too brown and, well, drab. So I did the final coat of green using Tamiya Dark Green 2 (RAF) XF-81. This is still a bit on the drab side, but will look more vivid after a few coats of Klear.

The grey I used was Tamiya Ocean Grey 2 (RAF) XF-82. To be honest the grey could probably do with being a few shades lighter i.e. Tamiya Dark Sea Grey (XF-54), but I’m happy with the way it looks so I’m not going to change anything at this stage.


And here she is, the in-flight display. Ok, well not quite, but it gives you a good view of the white undersides and the intake painting.



In some of my reference shots it appears that the camo wraps under the leading edges of the wings, so I replicated this here. I think it looks pretty cool and also is much easier than trying to mask a line half way up the leading edge.



I need to do a few touch ups on the camo where the grey wasn’t strong enough next to the green but before I do any touching up she’s going to get 2 coats of Klear to lock everything in. The way I see it is that if I seal the paint in now with Klear, and I then make a Horlicks of touching in I can easily strip the failed touch in back to the Klear coat without damaging the base coat.


Next update, Klear coat, touching in, adding black to the tail fin and nose and preparing for decals.

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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