by: Andy Langridge [ ]
The Lancaster doesn't need much in the way of introduction, not here in the UK anyway. The Lancaster was a development on from the failed Manchester Mk 1 bomber.
The addition of two extra engines made a remarkable difference to the plane.
Nearly half of the length of the fuselage (30ft) was given over to the bomb bay, which could carry a bomb load up to the 20,000 tallboy earthquake bomb. Defensively it was armed with 8 .303 cal machine guns, 2 in the nose, 2 in the dorsal turret and 4 in the tail, later models had a twin .50 cal rear turret.
After the surrender of Germany, some Lancasters were re fitted to FE (far east) spec for deployment against the Japanese.
When you open the box two things strike you:-
1 – it's a big kit.
2 – it's a big kit.
I know technically thats only one thing, but it is worth mentioning twice, you'll need a big space to build, spray and display this model. Wingspan is almost 650mm, fuselage length is nearly 450mm, this is a big model.
The box contains the fuselage halves, and the following sprues:-
2 Sprues for the wings
1 Sprue for the tail planes.
1 Sprue for the bomb bay and bomb load
4 Sprues for the engines, nacelles and wheels / wheel bays
1 Sprue for the interior
1 small sprue for the optional .50cal rear turret machine gun
All the above are in light grey styrene
A Pale grey sprue containing 5 figures.
2 Transparent sprues containing turrets, canopy and fuselage windows.
In total there are 305 parts included in the kit, most of them to Tamiyas usual high standard. The surface detail on the wings is incredibly finely done, along with some great side wall detail in the interior.
A real plus point for the kit is the inclusion of 2 Merlin engines, enabling the kit to be shown undergoing maintenance, with the engine covers off.
2 different types of engine covers are included, with exposed exhausts or shrouded, enabling both MkI and Mk III Lancasters to be modelled. Also included are different propellers for the two marks available to be made, and a choice of checkerboard or smooth tyres, all of which have very realistic bulges moulded on them.
A couple of low points, the bomb bay doors, which can be modelled open to display the bomb load, have some raised ejection pin marks on them, and due to the complex concave curve of the doors these will be quite difficult to remove, especially as there is rivet detail on the interior surface of the doors.
I've dry fitted the fuselage and wings, and it looks like filler will not be being used on this kit, as is usually the case with Tamiya kits. The engineering of the wing joints, each wing being braced against it's opposite number, looks really good and should manage to hold the weight of the kit. It also looks like this joint will sit on top of the bomb bay / cockpit floor (Part G9) further strengthening this area.
instructions and markings
Also included are a typical Tamiya A4 instruction booklet of 16 Pages and a decal sheet containing markings for 4 Planes as follows:-
ED808 No 103 Squadron
ED905 No 550 Squadron
NG347 No 424 Squadron – this has some scantily clad nose art
TW880 No 35 Squadron
The first 3 options are the standard Bomber Command camouflage scheme of Dark Green and Dark Earth over Night. TW880 is a FE spec Lancaster, finished in White over Night.
The listed cost of this kit from Hannants is £69.99, but thanks to Heritage Aviation Models for knocking these out at £50 at Elvington Show.
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