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Friday, 30 July 2010

Airfix George Washington

Airfix's 1980 Series 2, 54 mm kit of George Washington astride his horse.

George Washington was born in Virginia in 1732. His early career was spent as a surveyor. In 1752 he was appointed Adjutant General in the Virginia militia and in 1754 rose to the rank of Lieutenant Colonel.

He took part in several actions against the French Canadians and in 1755 was promoted to Colonel and made Commander of all the Virginian forces.

In 1758 he was made a Brigadier General and elected to the Virginia Provincial Legislature. In 1759 he married a wealthy widow, Martha Custis and retired from the military to become a planter.

Initially he grew tobacco which was exported back to Great Britain but later diversified into other crops such as wheat which could be sold locally in America.

Up until 1767 Washington concentrated on his business activities rather than politics. Several new taxes and Acts of parliament had been imposed on the Americans by the British which were widely unpopular and lead to growing resistance and unrest.

In May 1769, Washington introduced a proposal which called for a Virginian boycott of British goods until these Acts were repealed. Parliament did repealed the Townshend Acts in 1770 and the crisis abated for a while.

In 1774 the British passed further new Acts of parliament which Washington regarded as "an invasion of our rights and privileges". In July 1774, he chaired the meeting at which the "Fairfax Resolves" were adopted, which called for, the convening of a Continental Congress.

In August 1774, Washington attended the First Virginia Convention and was selected as a delegate to the First Continental Congress.

In April 1775, fighting commenced between the Americans and the British.

With his long military experience, charisma and leadership skills Washington was the natural choice to become Commander in Chief of the newly formed Continental Army.

He assumed command at Cambridge, Massachusetts in July 1775. The Continental Army was short of supplies including powder for their guns. The Americans had an ally in France, long at war with Britain.

The war ebbed and flowed over the next few years with the Americans winning some battles and the British others.

In 1777 France entered the war on the side of the Americans after years of tacit support. The tide turned in favour of the Americans and in 1781, a French naval victory enabled the British Army to be trapped in Virginia. The British surrendered at Yorktown on 17th October 1781 and this marked the end of major hostilities.

In September 1783 Great Britain finally recognised the independence of the United States and the Continental Army was disbanded. On 23rd December 1783, Washington resigned his commission as Commander in Chief.

Despite his apparent lack of interest in politics, Washington attended the Constitutional Convention in the Summer of 1787, and was unanimously elected president of the Convention.

In 1789 Washington was elected first President of the United State of America. He was re-elected in 1792 once more with one hundred per cent of the electoral votes.

Washington retired from the presidency in March 1797, having declined to run for a third term, and returned to his farm in Virginia.

On 4th July 1798, Washington was commissioned by the new President John Adams as Commander in Chief of any armies to be raised for a prospective war against their former ally France.

Since the end of the war with the British, the French had been trying increasingly to interfere in domestic American politics. The Americans had already made peace with the British and were trading openly and very successfully with them once again.

Washington died from pneumonia on the evening of December 14, 1799, at his home in Mount Vernon, Virginia aged 67.

He was interred in a tomb on his estate on 18th December 1799.

This kit is currently for sale on Ebay. For details of the auction, please see here.

Other post you may enjoy....

Revell Sopwith Camel

Airfix RAF Rescue Launch

Heller de Havilland FB.5 Vampire

Airfix Ford 5-AT Trimotor

A 1993 vintage Airfix Ford 5-AT Trimotor kit in 1/72 scale.

This kit is part of the Classic Airliners range issued by Airfix in the early 1990's.

The Ford Trimotor, nicknamed the "Tin Goose" first flew on the 11th June 1926. It eventually saw service with over one hundred airlines worldwide as well as with the US and foreign military forces.

A total of 199 aircraft were completed by the time production ceased in 1933.

Although designed mainly for passenger use, the Trimotor was used by some airlines for cargo transport -the seats in the fuselage could easily be removed.

Of a revolutionary design when it first appeared, the Trimotor was rapidly superseded by more modern aircraft such as the Douglas DC2 and Ford decided to concentrate on vehicle production.

Despite this change of focus, Ford did build B-24 Liberator bombers on a huge scale during World War II (under licence form Consolidated).

Trimotors continued in service with smaller airlines and cargo operators until the 1960's.

An example of this kit is currently for sale on Ebay. You can view the auction details here.

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Thursday, 29 July 2010

Airfix Handley Page Hampden

This Airfix Handley Page Hampden kit in 1/72 scale is another example of the "map top box design" introduced in the 1980's.

The aircraft depicted is a Hampden B Mk 1 which served with 49 Squadron RAF based at Scampton.

The Hampden first flew on 21st June 1936 and entered production soon after. 49 Squadron received it's first Hampdens in September 1938.

At the start of World War II the Hampden, together with the Whitley and the Wellington formed the backbone of Bomber Command and took part in the first night bombing raid on Berlin and the first thousand bomber raid on Cologne (Koeln).

The Hampden was nicknamed the the "Flying Suitcase" or "Tadpole" by it's crews.

Early in the War, on daylight sorties, Hampdens suffered heavily at the hands of German fighters so they were soon switched predominantly to night operations remaining in service with Bomber Command until late 1942.

A total of 1,430 Hampdens were built: 500 by Handley Page, 770 by English Electric and 160 by the Canadian Associated Aircraft Consortium.

In 1943 Hampdens were used by Coastal Command as long range torpedo bombers and for maritime reconnaissance. No 455 Squadron RAAF operated aircraft from bases in the Soviet Union on Arctic convoy protection duty. Their aircraft were later transferred to the Soviet Naval Aviation.

Apart from the RAF, RAAF and Soviet Navy, Hampdens also saw service with the RCAF and RNZAF.

This kit is currently for sale on Ebay here.

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Thursday, 17 June 2010

Airfix Westland Whirlwind Mk 1

An Airfix Westland Whirlwind Mk 1 kit in 1/72 scale which dates back to 1987. This is another example of the "map top box" design introduced by Airfix in the mid 80's.

The aircraft depicted above served with 137 Squadron Royal Air Force in 1942.

The first prototype Westland Whirlwind flew on 11th October 1938. Following numerous modifications to the prototype, Westland received an initial production order for 200 aircraft in January 1939.

The Whirlwind was powered by two Rolls Royce Peregrine engines giving it a top speed of over 360 mph, in line with the single engine fighters of the day. However, the aircraft only had a combat operating range of less than 300 miles which made it largely unsuitable as a bomber escort fighter.

Unfortunately the Peregrine engines were not particularly reliable and Rolls Royce reduced production in favour of the Merlin. As a result, the supply of Peregrine engines to Westland was greatly hampered, with the first ones only being delivered in January 1940.

The Whirlwind, armed with 4 x 20 mm cannons in the nose, packed a lot of firepower but was found to be more suitable in a ground attack role than for use as a fighter with the introduction of more suitable aircraft such as the Spitfire.

Continued delivery problems with the Peregrine engines, lead to the end of Whirlwind production in January 1942, after the completion of just 112 front line aircraft.

Initially 25 Squadron Royal Air Force took delivery of three Whirlwinds in May 1940. These aircraft were transferred to 263 Squadron Royal Air Force based in Grangemouth, Scotland in mid June 1940.

The Squadron became fully operational in December 1940 and was transferred to Exeter where it undertook convoy patrol duties as well as providing bomber escort missions.

137 Squadron Royal Air Force was equipped with Whirlwinds from September 1941 until June 1943.

In mid 1942, both 263 and 137 Squadrons' Whirlwinds were fitted with racks to carry two 250 lb or 500 lb bombs and redesignated Whirlwind IA. The aircraft were very successfully employed in cross Channel ground attack missions against targets such as airfields, railways, bridges and shipping in enemy occupied France and the Low Countries.

The last Whirlwind mission to be flown by 137 Squadron occurred on 21 June 1943 when five aircraft attacked the German airfield at Poix. In December 1943, 263 Squadron, converted to the Hawker Typhoon.

Although the Whirlwind was held in great affection by it's pilots, sadly none of the original aircraft have survived to this day, most having been scrapped during the latter stages or the War.

This kit is currently for sale on Ebay. Please check out the auction here.

If you have enjoyed reading this post, please feel free to leave a comment. They are always welcome. You may also like the following posts....

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Thursday, 13 May 2010

Heller Humbrol Lockheed T-33 Thunderbird

An early 1980's Heller Humbrol kit in 1/72 scale of a Lockheed T-33 Thunderbird.

In 1981, French model kit maker Heller was taken over by the holding group of Humbrol based in Hull, UK.

One unfortunate result of the takeover (in my opinion), was the change in the quality of box art.... for comparison, please see my blog post I made about a Heller kit of a de Havilland Fb.5 Vampire.

The Lockheed T-33 Shooting Star, also known as the Thunderbird, was a training aircraft first flown in 1948. The T-33 was developed from the Lockheed P-80/F-80. Production of the T-33 continued in the United States until 1959. It was produced under licence in Canada and Japan. A total of 6557 aircraft were delivered including 5691 by Lockheed.

T-33's have seen service with over thirty different air forces around the world mainly in training roles although a few saw combat, for example with the Cuban Air Force during the failed Bay of Pigs invasion in 1961.
The Bolivian Air Force continue to operate the T-33 to this day.

This kit is currently for sale on Ebay. Please click here to view the auction now.

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Tuesday, 23 March 2010

Matchbox Walrus Mk-1

An early 1970's Matchbox 1/72 scale three colour kit (PK-105) of a Supermarine Walrus Mk 1.

The aircraft depicted on the box lid was carried on board the Royal Navy ship HMS Sheffield in 1938. The kit also includes decals for an RAF aircraft from 283 Squadron stationed in Italy during 1944.

The Walrus (originally called the Seagull V) was developed in response to a request from the Royal Australian Navy for an aircraft which could be carried aboard their cruisers and launched by catapult with a full payload.

The aircraft, designed by R J Mitchell (who also designed the Spitfire), was first flown in June 1933.

When flying from a warship, the Walrus would be recovered by touching-down alongside, then being lifted from the sea by a ship's crane. The aircraft's lifting-gear was kept in a compartment in the section of wing directly above the engine - one of the Walrus crew would climb onto the top wing and attach this to the crane hook.

The aircraft was usually armed with two .303 Vickers machine guns - one in the nose and one at the rear. It could also carry up to 760 lbs (340 kilos) of bombs or depth charges.

Twenty four aircraft were delivered for service on Australian cruisers including the Canberra, Sydney and Perth between 1935 and 1937.

Further orders followed from the RAF and other overseas Air Forces and Navies (see below) and eventually 740 aircraft in total were constructed.

The Walrus' main intended use was a gunnery spotting aircraft during naval engagements but this only happened on handful of occasions. It's main use was as a patrol aircraft, helping to locate enemy submarines and surface raiders. It was also used by the RAF as an air sea rescue aircraft around the British Coast, in the Mediterranean and India.

By 1943, catapult-launched aircraft on cruisers and battleships were being phased out, having been superseded by advances in radar technology.

Apart from the RAAF, Fleet Air Arm and RAF, Walruses saw military service with various forces around the world including the Irish Air Corps, RCAF, RNZAF and Soviet Naval Aviation.

Post war, aircraft saw service with the Argentinian Navy, the French Navy (Aviation Navale) as well as with the Egyptians and Turks. A few aircraft found civilian use aboard whaling ships operating in the Antarctic which had been fitted with ex Navy catapult equipment. Some others were used for carrying passengers in places such as Canada, Norway and Australia.

This kit is currently for sale on Ebay here.

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Monday, 22 March 2010

Airfix RAF Rescue Launch

An Airfix 1/72 scale model kit of an RAF Rescue Launch. This is another example of the "map top box" style artwork introduced by Airfix in the mid 1980's.

The launch depicted on the box, HSL 156, is one of a series of sixty nine so called Type 2 "Whalebacks" built by the British Power Boat Company in Hythe and Poole for the RAF between 1940 and 1942.

It was 63' long with a displacement of 21.5 tons and a maximum speed of 35 knots. The hull was made from African mahogany.

The launches were used by RAF Air Sea Rescue units stationed around the British Coast as well as in the Mediterranean and India later in the war.

They were fitted with two aircraft style gun turrets which each housed a single .303 machine gun. Additional Lewis or Browning machines guns were usually fitted and some launches were armed with a 20 mm Oerlikon cannon.

HSL 156 was commanded by Flying Officer Geoffrey Lockwood, D.S.C. and operated from Newhaven, Sussex as part of the 28th Air Sea Rescue Unit during 1943-44.

Notable amongst the rescues accomplished by HSL 156 was the successful retrieval of two American B-17 crews, a total of nineteen men, from the middle of a minefield in October 1944

An example of this kit is currently for sale on Ebay here.

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Wednesday, 17 March 2010

Airfix Short Sunderland III

An Airfix 1/72 scale kit of a Short Sunderland III flying boat dating from the mid 1980's. This is a good example of the distinctive so called "map top box" design which Airfix introduced around this time.

The aircraft depicted on the box belonged to 423 Squadron of the Royal Canadian Air Force and operated from Castle Archdale, Northern Ireland in 1943 - 1944.

The first S.25 (Sunderland Mark I) flying boat built in Short's factory at Rochester, Kent, flew from the River Medway on 16th October 1937. The Air Ministry was very enthusiastic about the new aircraft and had even ordered 21 production examples in March 1936, well before the first test flight.

The first production Sunderland Mark I's entered service with 230 Squadron RAF based in Singapore in June 1938 and by the outbreak of World War II in September 1939, forty aircraft were operational with RAF Coastal Command.

The Sunderland could carry up to 2000 lbs of bombs, mines or depth charges. The aircraft was also well protected with up to eighteen machine guns and could hold it's own against German fighter aircraft.

The aircraft was used for a number of roles including air sea rescue, as a troop carrier, as a transport and in convoy protection (anti submarine).

Apart from at Rochester, Sunderlands were also built at Short's factory in Belfast, Northern Ireland and by the Blackburn Aircraft company in Dumbarton, Scotland.

In August 1941 the Sunderland Mark II was introduced with Pegasus XVIII engines, a modified tail turret and a dorsal turret with twin .303 machine guns.

Later in 1941 production switched to the Sunderland Mark III which became the most common variant with 461 built mainly by Short Brothers in Rochester and Belfast. 35 aircraft were produced at a temporary Shorts plant at White Cross Bay on Lake Windermere.

The Sunderland Mark III was very effective in the fight against German U boats during the battle of the Atlantic. The aircraft flew on long patrols of up to fourteen hours meticulously hunting down the U boats which were attacked with depth charges and strafed with machine gun fire.

A Sunderland Mark IV was developed (later designated S.45 Seaford) for use in the Pacific theatre. Thirty production models were ordered but only eight production were completed and never got beyond operational trials with the RAF.

The Sunderland Mark V was powered by American Pratt & Whitney R-1830-90B Twin Wasp engines which were also used on the Catalina and Dakota. These engines provided greater performance and enabled the aircraft to be flown in an emergency with only two of the four engines operational.

The first Mark V reached operational units in February 1945. The last Sunderland was delivered in June 1946 after a total production run of 749 aircraft.

Apart from the RCAF and RAF, Sunderlands saw service with the RAAF, RNZAF, French Navy, the Norwegian Air Force, the Portuguese Navy and the South African Air Force.

Post war converted military Sunderlands were used by many airlines around the world including BOAC, Ansett, Qantas and Aerolineas Argentinas. Short's civilian conversion of the Sunderland was called the Short Sandringham.

An example of the Airfix kit is currently for sale on Ebay here

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Thursday, 25 February 2010

Heller Republic F-84 G Thunderjet

A Heller 1/72 scale kit of a Republic F-84 G Thunderjet.

The aircraft depicted on the box lid was flown by the 1st Escadre de Chasse of the French Air Force in 1955. The kit also contains decal options for an aircraft of 331 Squadron of the Royal Norwegian Air Force.

This kit is currently for sale on Ebay. If you would like to view the auction, please look here.

The prototype Republic F-84 first flew on the 28th February 1946 and officially entered service with the United States Air Force in December 1947, although due to numerous structural design and engine problems, the aircraft was not considered fully operational until the 1949 F-84D model.

The F-84G variant as featured in the Heller kit was introduced in 1951.

During the Korean War, the F-84 Thunderjet was the USAF's principal strike aircraft and flew over 86,000 combat missions and was credited with destroying 60% of all ground targets as well as eight Soviet-built MiG fighters. 335 Thunderjets were lost during the war.

In total 7,524 F-84's were produced and over half served with NATO air forces including Denmark, France, Germany, Greece, Italy, Belgium, The Netherlands, Norway, Portugal and Turkey.

The F-84 Thunderjet was the first production fighter aircraft to utilise in-flight refueling and the first capable of carrying a nuclear weapon (the Mark 7 nuclear bomb).

The Thunderjet remained in service with the USAF until the mid 1960's when it was replaced by the Super Sabre.

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Heller N.A. F-86F Sabre

A French made Heller kit of a North American F-86F Sabre.

I wrote a post about the history of the Sabre in an earlier post which you can see here.

The aircraft depicted on the box top is actually a Canadair (licence built) Sabre Mk 6 as flown by the 2nd Staffel Jagdgeschwader 71 "Richthofen" of the Federal (West) German Air Force in 1958, however, the kit also contains decal options for a North American F-86F of the USAF 51st FIW.

This kit is currently for sale on Ebay. Please see here for details of the auction.

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Sunday, 21 February 2010

Heller de Havilland FB.5 Vampire

A Heller 1/72 scale kit of a de Havilland FB.5 Vampire. This is the first Heller kit to feature in this blog although I must confess I am an admirer of the Heller box top art.

The aircraft depicted on the box served with 112 Squadron Royal Air Force.

An example of this kit is currently for sale on Ebay here.

The DH100 Vampire was commissioned by the RAF during World War II and became the second jet fighter to enter their service following the pioneering Gloster Meteor. The maiden flight of the prototype aircraft took off from Hatfield on 20th September 1943 and the first production model flew in April 1945.

The Vampire did not see service during the war but continued to serve in front line RAF combat roles until 1955, and as a trainer until 1966.

The Vampire was a very successful aircraft both in the UK and with many overseas air forces (see below) and a total of 3268 were eventually built. Of this total approximately 25% were constructed outside the UK under licence.

Many different variants were produced including night fighters and naval aircraft for service on carriers. In fact, on 4th December 1945 a Sea Vampire became the first jet aircraft to land and take off from an aircraft carrier (HMS Ocean).

The Vampire was also the first RAF fighter aircraft to have a top speed in excess of 500 mph.

In 1948, the aircraft set a new world altitude record of 59,446 ft and during the same year six Vampire F3s of 54 Squadron RAF became the first jet aircraft to fly across the North Atlantic.

The Vampire was mainly used by the RAF in a ground-attack fighter-bomber role and the FB.5 variant's maiden flight was on 23rd June 1948. The FB 5 could carry a a 500 lb bomb under each wing as well as eight three inch rocket projectiles.

At it's peak 19 RAF squadrons flew the FB 5 and it was used in combat operations during the Malayan Emergency in the late 1940's/early 1950's.

Overseas air forces operating the Vampire included Austria, the RAAF and RAN, Burma, Ceylon, the RCAF, Chile, Egypt, Finland, France, Indonesia, Iraq, Italy, Ireland, Japan, Jordan, Mexico, Lebanon, the RNZAF, Norway, Portugal, South Africa, Switzerland, Sweden, Syria and Venezuela.

Four Vampires of 45 Squadron the Indian Air Force were in action on 1st September 1965 during the Indo-Pakistan war. Returning from a ground attack mission against Pakistani army units, the Vampires encountered two F-86 Sabres of the Pakistan Air Force. The Sabres were armed with air to air missiles and in the ensuing dog fight three Vampires were shot down and the last of the four was destroyed by ground fire. Following this set back the Vampire was withdrawn from front line service by the IAF.

The last air force to use Vampires was the Rhodesian Air Force. They operated the aircraft for almost thirty years, finally withdrawing them in 1979 following the end of the civil war.

If you have enjoyed this post please feel free to leave a comment. They are always welcome!

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Sunday, 14 February 2010

Matchbox F4U-4 Corsair - PK-14

An early 1970's vintage Matchbox "two colour" 1/72 scale kit of a F4U-4 Corsair.

The aircraft depicted on the box top was in service with the US Marine Training Squadron VMFT 20 based at Cherry Point in 1952. Included with the kit are decal options for an aircraft of the US Marine Squadron VMF 211.

The Corsair was designed as a carrier based single seat fighter aircraft for service with the US Navy and the prototype first flew in 1940. However, the Royal Navy Fleet Air Arm were actually the first to operate the aircraft from carriers. Over 2000 aircraft were eventually delivered to the FAA.

US Navy units initially experienced difficulties landing the large high speed aircraft safely on their carriers many preferring to stick with their slower, smaller but easier to handle, Grumman Hellcats.

As a result, most Corsairs saw service with shore based US Marine squadrons. The Corsair was a very fast aircraft for it's day with a top speed in excess of 400 mph and it was very effective against the Japanese fighters with a reported 11:1 kill rate in it's favour.

The Corsair was also used successfully in a fighter bomber ground attack role in support of Allied Forces in the Pacific theatre.

During the Second World War, several squadrons of the Royal New Zealand Air Force were also equipped with Corsairs and fought against the Japanese.

The Corsair was used during the early years of the Korean War but soon became obsolete following the introduction of more modern jet aircraft.

In total over 12500 Corsairs of all variants were produced.

An example of the Matchbox kit is currently for sale on Ebay here.

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Saturday, 30 January 2010

Airfix Auster AOP VI

A 1981 vintage Airfix 1/72 scale kit of the Auster AOP VI (manufactured in France rather than the UK - the quality of the packaging is much poorer than the British made kits!).

The aircraft depicted on the box top flew with No 651 Light Aircraft Squadron Army Air Corps based at Middle Wallop in the early 1960's.

The prototype Auster AOP (Air Observation Post) VI first flew on 1st May 1945 and entered service with the RAF in September 1946.

It served in many theatres including Malaya during the emergency, in the Middle East and Germany as well as in the UK. The mark VI remained in service until around 1955 when it was replaced by the AOP 9.

Approximately 400 aircraft were built. Apart from the RAF, the Auster AOP also served with the Belgian Air Force and many Commonwealth Air Forces.

An example of this kit is currently for sale on E-bay here.

Further reading/sites which may be of interest.....

Airfix Henschel Hs 123-1

Auster AOP VI pics

Matchbox Hawker Fury

Please feel free to leave a comment.... they are always very welcome!

Friday, 22 January 2010

Airfix 1930 4.5 Litre Bentley

A classic Airfix 1/32 scale kit from 1981 of a 4.5 litre supercharged "blower" Bentley.

The Bentley Motor Company was founded in 1919. Before designing and building cars, it's founder Walter Owen Bentley was known for making rotary aero engines for First World War aircraft such as the Sopwith Camel.

The 4.5 litre Bentley evolved from the earlier 3 litre model and first appeared in 1926.

In 1927 a 4.5 litre Bentley was entered in the Le Mans 24 hour race but crashed out. However, he following year another car Bentley driven by Woolf Barnato and Bernard Rubin claimed Bentley's first Le Mans victory.

The first supercharged Bentley was a 3 litre model which had been modified in 1926.

Walter Owen Bentley hated the supercharged car and it's designer Henry Birkin decided to develop the "blower" Bentley as a private venture.

In 1929 he set up a workshop in Welwyn Garden City with a team of former Bentley mechanics. They produced a team of four supercharged Bentleys—three road cars to compete at Le Mans and a single seater track car mainly for use at Brooklands.

The supercharged engines were definitely not green!

A non-supercharged Bentley had a fuel consumption of about 17.5 miles per gallon, at 100 mph whereas the "blower" Bentley had a fuel consumption of only 2.8 miles per gallon at 100 mph.

Despite their promise the 4.5 litre "blower" Bentleys never achieved a major racing success due to their poor durability.

W O Bentley later went on to develop the larger 6.5 litre car that gained back to back Le Mans victories in 1929 and 1930.

In 1931 Bentley was taken over by Rolls Royce and is now part of the Volkswagen group.

If you are interested in motor sports, why not visit the Lights 2 Flag blog.?

Monday, 18 January 2010

Matchbox F-86A/5 Sabre PK-32

A mid 1970's Matchbox 1/72 scale two colour kit (number PK-32) of the North American F-86A/5 Sabre.

The box lid shows an aircraft of the USAF 4th Fighter Interceptor Wing operating in Korea on 8th July 1951.

The Sabre first entered into service with the US Air Force in 1949 and was the most widely used US fighter aircraft during the Korean War where it fought with great success against Soviet built MiG-15's.

The Sabre remained in front line USAF service until 1956 but was widely exported to other countries. The total production ran to nearly ten thousand aircraft including versions built under licence in countries such as Canada, Australia and Japan.

The aircraft was used by the Pakistan Air Force in the wars against India in 1965 and 1971 both as a fighter and ground attack aircraft.

The last country to use the Sabre in front line service was Bolivia where it remained operational until 1994.

I cam across the following video about the Sabre which I hope you will find of interest....

An example of this kit is currently for sale on e-bay here.

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Matchbox Hawker Fury

Sunday, 17 January 2010

Matchbox Hawker Fury PK-1

1/72 scale Matchbox two colour kit Pk-1 which first appeared in 1973 of a Hawker Fury biplane.

The aircraft pictured on the box top flew with the RAF's 43 Squadron known as the "Fighting Cocks".

The Hawker Fury (originally named Hawker Hornet) entered service with the RAF in 1931 and served as a front line fighter with several squadrons until 1939 when it was replaced by more modern aircraft such as the Hurricane.

Apart from service with the RAF the Fury was also used by a number of foreign air forces including Spain, Yugoslavia, South Africa and Persia.

The Yugoslav Air Force operated the Fury against the Luftwaffe in 1941 but it was by that time a poor match for the superior German 109's.

The kit also contains decal options for a Yugoslavian Air Force aircraft.

An example of this kit is currently for sale on e-bay here.

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Novo Supermarine S 6B Racing Seaplane - F164

Novo was a plastic model kit manufacturer based in the USSR. In the late 1970's they bought many of the moulds from defunct UK company Frog.

This 1/72 scale kit is of Supermarine S 6B seaplane S1595.

On 13th September 1931, Flight Lieutenant J N Bootham, flying S1595 won the coveted Schneider Trophy at an average speed of 340.08 mph.

Sixteen days later, Flight Lieutenant G H Stainforth flew the same aircraft at an average speed of 407 mph - an new world record at that time.

Following their pioneering work on the S 6B, the Supermarine company later went on to design and build the iconic Spitfire.

An example of this rare kit is currently for sale on e-bay here.

Thursday, 14 January 2010

Airfix Henschel Hs 123-1

This 1/72 scale Airfix kit which dates back to the late 1970's is of a Henschel Hs 123-1 single seat dive bomber/ground attack aircraft.

The aircraft pictured was used during the Spanish Civil War by the Condor Legion.

The Condor Legion was a unit composed of "volunteers" from the Luftwaffe and from the German Army which served alongside General Francisco Franco's Nationalists against the Communists between 1936 and 1939.

It gave the Germans an excellent opportunity to test their aircraft and tactics as well as provide their pilots with combat experience before the start of the Second World War.

The Henschel Hs 123-1 first flew in 1935 and remained in service with the Luftwaffe until as late as 1944.

It was active in many theatres during the Second World War including the German attack on Poland in 1939 and the Blitzkrieg of 1940 as well as later in the Balkans and on the Eastern Front.

Tuesday, 12 January 2010

Revell Sopwith Camel - H.628

Welcome to the Vintage Model Kit blog!

I have decided to start this blog to show case some of the classic kits contained in my vintage model collection.

I particularly enjoy looking at the quality box top art which is sadly lacking in modern plastic model kits.

I really hope you too will enjoy reading this blog and would be very pleased to receive your comments!

For my inaugural post, I am showing the 1/72 scale Revell Sopwith Camel kit number H-628 which dates back to around 1964. Unlike Revell kits today, this one was manufactured by Revell (Great Britain) Ltd in Potters Bar, Hertfordshire.

The kit was one of a series that Revell produced of World War 1 aircraft which included amongst others, the Spad XIII, the Fokker DV11, the SE-5A and the Nieuport 28.

The Sopwith Camel first entered service with the Royal Flying Corps in July 1917 and proved very capable on the Western Front. It had a wingspan of 28' and a length of 18'6". It's service ceiling was 18000 feet.

It's most reknowned World War 1 victory was the shooting down of the infamous Red Baron - Manfred von Richthofen by Captain Roy Brown on 21st April 1918.

The Revell model kit represents Captain Brown's Sopwith Camel F-1 of 209 Squadron RFC.

A similar kit to this one is currently for sale on E-bay. Please click here