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

22nd July 2014

I’ve had another good week on the Vulcan, things are moving quickly now 😀

When I was thinking of a colour scheme for this build, I must admit I didn’t do a great deal of planning. I decided against the wrap around camo of later Vulcans such as XH558 and wanted to do the glossy finish with a white underside and grey/green camo on top. Not really researching it that much I chose some colours that I though looked pretty close, and applied the camo according to the instructions (I actually used the camo markings from the instructions that came with a set of decals as I often find decal instructions are better than the kit ones.

With the paint complete I then decided which markings I would use. That’s when the problems started…

As it happens the grey I chose was too dark for most of the Vulcans of the glossy paint era (mid 1960’s to mid 1970’s). I also struggled to find a picture of a glossy white/camo Vulcan with the squared off tail fin. All of the mid 60’s to mid 70’s Vulcans had the rounded tail top (the squared off tail has PWR sensors fitted giving it the square shape).

With regards as to which squadron I could choose, this was primarily limited by the decals that I had, and also by whether the squadron was actually flying the aircraft in those colours at that time.

I had painted myself into a corner so as to speak…

Anyway, after much research I found a reference to Vulcan B.2 XM600 as flown by 9 Squadron. This beauty has glossy paint and is a rare Vulcan to have Dark Sea Gray instead of the usual lighter shade of grey.  What’s more I had all the decals for XM600 in my aftermarket decal set. The only downside was that I didn’t have the red white and blue “Type D” roundels so I had to put an order into Hannants for a set of Xtradecals.

Here’s a great picture of XM600 reproduced by kind permission of David Howley from the Warpaint #30 book of Vulcans (thanks to Regis at http://www.guidelinepublications.co.uk/).




So now that I know what I’m building – it’s time for that tail to receive a make-over 😉




Most of the meat of the PWRs was removed with a razor saw. It’s a simple matter to remove the rest of the plastic using a coarse sanding stick.




Unfortunately my camera crashed at this point and I lost a couple of progress pics, but nothing too important. I’d masked around the tail to protect it from over-sanding and also re-shaped the rear of the tip of the tail.

Looking much more 1970’s now 😀




And here’s the re-profiled tail ready for some paint.




Here the tail tip has had a coat of Tamiya flat black with a few touches of Tamiya Nato black. It’s also has a coat of Klear at this stage.




And for the nose, no surgery here but masked up ready for the radome housing to be painted black.

BTW, I really should have removed the bump from the front of the nose (Terrain Following Radar housing) but I left this on as a bit of artistic license. I’ve seen plenty of photos of glossy paint finish Vulcans with the TFR housing on, so it’s perfectly feasible that XM600 could have had one fitted at some point (if it hadn’t crashed that is, but that’s another story).




And the painted radome housing, again Tamiya flat black with a few touches of Nato black and a coat of Klear.




Before decaling I had a few touch ups to do. Here you can see some pale patches where the grey paint has feathered too much where it meets the green.

There are a few of these such areas and they’ll need touching in before decaling.




To do this I made a kind of paper French curve but randomly cutting curves into a piece of paper using my scissors.

It’s then a case of aligning the curve on the paper with the curve of the camo, and then lightly blow grey paint over the edge.



And here’s the same area after touching in. Still a slight bit of fading but it won’t notice when she’s weathered up and finished.

I’d rather do too little touching up than to much, too much and it will obliterate the pre-shading and will look worse than too little. Also with too much touching over you run the risk of spraying hard lines onto the surface which are a pain to deal with.




And onto the decals!

Here’s the kit decals. What a pile of pants they are. Very fuzzy, way out of register and some of them are misprinted to the point of almost being blank.

I’m going to use the stencils from this set and use aftermarket decals for the rest.




This is a set of Model Decals I picked up a while back. It’s a multi-purpose set that covers 1/72 Vulcans, Phantoms, Sea Harriers and Sea Kings. These will do for the squadron markings.




And finally a set of Xtradecal Type D RAF roundels.




The worst bit of decaling was having to use the Airfix decals. I hope they’ve improved the decals in the later re-boxes of this kit because mine were dire.

But here she is decaled up as she would have been as part of 9 Squadron at RAF Cottesmore in the late 60s.



BTW the day after I finished decaling I came across these guys – http://www.fundekals.com/vulcan72.html I seriously wish I’d had a set of these because they look excellent and their instruction manual which you can download as a free PDF is brilliant. They do a lot more decals for WW2 prop planes, so definitely worth checking them out!


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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