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1/48 Tamiya Lancaster. RAF Squadron 101

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Hi Guys,

For those of you following my 1/32 CF-18B build, you’ll wonder why I’m starting another project with the Hornet only half finished. Well, the answer is that I just HAVE to build this for my Uncle Will and I HAVE to do it now. The bug can wait.

This is a build of many firsts for me, because all I’ve built so far are American 1/32 fighters. This is my first prop build, my first at 1/48 scale and my first attempt at camouflage painting. Like all my projects when I first start them, I know almost nothing about the Lancaster, so I could sure use any tips you guys might have to offer as I go along.

I’m using the Tamiya 1/48 No. 105 kit with just a few Eduard photoetch details parts. I have the FE371 interior, # 49034 seat belts, # 48565 Bomb Rack kit, and # 48553 Bomb Bay which are all easy to buy. Now the decals were another story. Although my uncle Will is Canadian, he flew with the RAF 101 Squadron, which has “SR†as the code letters on the side. The only Lancaster decals I could find with “S or R†in 1/48 scale (after searching for a month) are the AeroMaster Lancaster Part One (48-451) and Part Three (48-453) sets, which I found in England because they are long out of print. I also plan on putting on some nose art that is unique to my uncle’s Lanc, which I’ve got a family member to make from scratch. If anybody knows where I can find “Vicious Vicky the Virgin†in 1/48, be sure to let me know!

Here’s the obligatory “getting started†kit pic…..


Now a little bit about my uncle. Uncle Will will soon be celebrating his 88th birthday, but after doing some research on Bomber Command, he’s very lucky he made it to even his 28th birthday as a Lancaster “Bomb Aimerâ€. Here’s why:

• Bomber Command lost 55,573 airmen during WWII, 10,000 of which were Canadian.

• Of every 100 who served, 55 were killed in action, 3 were injured enough to be discharged, 12 became prisoners of war, 3 were shot down but evaded capture and 27 survived without any of the above. Uncle Will was one of the very lucky 27.

• Squadron 101, in which my uncle served, had more sorties over Germany than any other squadron and suffered more casualties than any other squadron. Sqn. 101 alone lost 145 Lancasters and had 1,176 killed in action.

One other thing that gives me inspiration for this build is that my uncle was one of 5 brothers, including my late father, who served in the Canadian Air Force (4) or Army (1). They all came home, which has to be a genuine miracle.

I’ve been fortunate to photograph and touch every one of my builds so far and this Lanc is no exception, even though they are very hard to find. Just south of Calgary Alberta is the small town of Nanton, which has an aerospace museum with a Lancaster as its main attraction. They have a website, which is here:


Yesterday my uncle and I made the trip down to Nanton and took a few pics. As a matter of fact, I took about a 100 pics, because you can never have enough walk around references, can you?. They also have a very nice library of reference material, so I bought the reference book on the left and my uncle bought the nose art book on the right. Unfortunately, “Vicious Vicky†is not one of them….


There’s also a pretty moving memorial at the front of the museum. Here’s my uncle Will in front…


And behind the Lanc inside. I’m pretty sure he wore that "RCAF" jacket on purpose :cheers:


As I’ve done with my CF-18B build, I’ll be showing many reference pics I took along the way. Here’s an example of the bomb bay. Good thing I bought that Eduard set. This bomb bay looks complicated!


I’m going to give this build link to my uncle to follow my progress. The internet can be really cool sometimes, and this is a perfect example.

Stay tuned and thanks for looking.

Edited by chuck540z3
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Get the popcorn, seats and beer, this one will be epic ARC style!

I have the same kit and i've been dying to see a good in progress of it; my dream came true!

Btw.. if you have any spare aftermarket decals you won't use, do you think we can arrange a trade of some sort??

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I salute your uncle, thanks to him and his fellow soldiers,airmen and seamen, i still live in a peacefull holland

Thanks guys,

One of the highlights for my uncle was dropping food over Holland at the end of the war. I believe this was called "Operation MANNA".

Research, research and more research…..

Before I start a model build, I try to get as much info as I can about the aircraft as possible. Besides reading all I can, I search the web and download every pic I can of certain areas that I’ll be trying to replicate. Unlike the fighter jets I usually build, there aren’t a whole lot of Lancaster pics of the cockpit, etc., likely because these birds are now so rare. With the pics I did find, there is a wide range of colors of some of the details, likely due to many years of painting and re-painting by those who may not have tried to keep the aircraft looking “originalâ€.

Other misc. stuff I’ve found so far is:

• The are only subtle differences between the Mark I and Mark II variants, which is mostly the differences in the Merlin engines. Squadron 101 flew both versions, so I’m going to go with the Mark I “C†version of the kit, mostly because the exhaust tips are exposed and it has a cool belly bulge so that the crew could see underneath the aircraft (I think).

• Most of the windows along the side are painted. I’m not sure if it was real glass painted or metal inserts, but almost every window is opaque and painted fuselage colors. Weird.

• You can build 2 engines for the port side only, so I assume you have to leave the engine covers off this side if you do. Since the engines don’t look all that detailed, I’m going to leave mine closed.

• There are 2 sets of bulged tires, smooth and treaded, as well as 2 different props, depending on engine.

• The cockpit is fairly dull without much detail, so the Eduard Lancaster interior and seatbelts are going to come in handy. The sort of good news, I guess, is that you’ll have a tough time seeing much through the complex windows and gun turret blisters, so perfect detailing of the cockpit is likely a waste of time.

• I need more than the Eduard “bomb rack†detail for the bomb bay, because the real deal is really complicated and the kit is not. Eduard also makes a “bomb bay†kit, so I just ordered one (# 48 553).

• The plastic is VERY soft, so be careful when cutting the parts off the sprues.

• The rivet detail and panel lines are all raised. Now this really isn’t a big problem, because the real deal has raised rivets as well. Re-scribing the panel lines isn’t worth the grief, because you’ll remove the fine rivet detail if you do.

• There is no landing flap detail, unless you buy either the Eduard or Flightpath detail kits. These suckers look more complicated than the Eiffel Tower. I think I’ll pass.

I also found a couple of cool sites that explain some of this stuff. The best one for kit parts is here:


And if you really want to see how a pro can build up this kit, check this site out. It is VERY humbling….


What I’ve done so far is build up all the little kit parts of the cockpit and guns. I did not glue some of the parts in yet, because I want to paint stuff separately first. There are a LOT of pin and injection marks all over the place on every tiny part, so this step took some extra time to sand every piece…..


Even the inside of the fuselage has large circular marks and you need to remove a few details for the Eduard photo-etch set to fit flush. Here's a work in progress pic....


I just painted everything flat black, because quite a few of the parts should be this color while others, like the interior green, will look better if it’s sprayed on in a blotchy pattern to replicate wear and tear. Stay tuned and thanks for checking in.

Edited by chuck540z3
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“January 28th, 1945. The first target of our operational tour was the Stuttgart marshalling yards. We faced medium flak (anti-aircraft shells) and one Messerschmitt attack.â€

My uncle kept his operational diary, so just for fun I’ll post his 27 sortie comments at the start of each new post. The one above was his first sortie after almost 2 years of bomber training in Canada, Scotland and the UK.

I wasn’t able to model much this weekend, so I did some more reading about the Lancaster and my uncle’s squadron instead. I’m sure glad I did.

As mentioned before my uncle was assigned to RAF Squadron 101, which was based in Ludford Magna, Lincolnshire. This squadron was a “Special Duties†squadron and some of the Lancs stationed there used the latest electronic gadgetry during bombing missions. One of these contraptions was called “ABCâ€, short for “Airborne Cigarâ€, which was a Radio Counter Measures (RCM) device to jamb German messages to their fighters. My uncle remembers that they used this ABC radio jamber, which consisted of three 50 watt transmitters and three 7 foot aerials on the aircraft. He also remembers that they had an 8th crewman, who was a Special Duties Officer who spoke fluent German and operated the equipment.

“ABC aircraft operated as normal bombers flying on all the main force raids and were spread throughout the stream of bombers, therefore at greater risk than normal, since German fighters could home onto the ABC transmissions.†(Aviation Classics, Avro Lancaster, page 101).

It turns out that one of my decal sheets (AeroMaster 48-451) not only has the “SR†code of the 101 squadron, but it also has a great pic of what one of these aircraft looked like in the middle below. Note in the pic below the 2 huge aerials on the top of the fuselage and one just behind the bomb aimer’s front window at the bottom. Also note that all the side windows are painted and the bottom bulge is not present. Since my uncle cannot recall the serial number of his aircraft, I’m going to go with this as a build template…..


One error on the decal sheet is that “SR-W†is assigned to the 100 Squadron, but there’s a great article on this Lanc in the above publication (page 98) that clearly shows that it belongs to 101. I also noted this weekend that my other decal sheet, AeroMaster 48-453, sold on ebay for almost $53 US! Wow! These out of production decal sheets are pure gold.

Although it pains me to paint clear windows, I did the deed tonight to match the decal instructions…..


Note the pre-shading of flat black gives the interior green some relief and a bit of a warn look. I also gave the front, which is flat black, a bit of green over-spray to replicate black paint wearing down to the green undercoat. I’ll be doing a lot more detail later when I put the cockpit together.

Thanks for checking in.

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Hi Chuck

Enjoyed your posts so far. Keep up the good work. My respects to your relatives for their service. One thing, most of the time when people talk of "painted out windows" on the Lanc, they are referring

to the series of windows along the rear fuselage. I haven't seen any pictures of the forward (bomb aimers' or navigators') windows painted out. Don't take this as gospel, but it might not hurt to check

references again before you get too much further. Cheers, Brian

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I haven't seen any pictures of the forward (bomb aimers' or navigators') windows painted out. Don't take this as gospel, but it might not hurt to check

references again before you get too much further. Cheers, Brian

Thanks Brian. This is one of those dilemmas where all I have are the decal instructions, which call for painted windows, including the one at the front mentioned above. One can only hope they are right, but as I've found many times, decal instructions are often wrong. The instructions above clearly show this window painted over while the other versions are clear up front, so you know it's intentional. Having said that, why would a bomb aimer want less of a view at the front? It makes no sense to me. Photographs of the Lanc I'm trying to replicate are very hard to find, so maybe somebody has one to settle this dilemma? Deleting the paint on the window is very easy at this stage, but it won't be soon when I get everything buttoned up. Anybody?

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EDIT: I will be opening up the window on the front and at the radio operator's desk after all. After assembling the cockpit, I've come to realize that without these windows open, you can't see many interior details which I'd like to see. Second, if everybody thinks the window at the front should be open, it's going to be pretty hard to convince anybody else it should be closed without any solid proof. Hopefully, this won't prove to be a mistake in the long run.

Edited by chuck540z3
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"February 1, 1945. The first target for the day was the chemical works, Ludswigshaven. Medium flak and searchlights; bombs aimed at fires beneath clouds."

I'm feeling a little intimidated by posting this in the prop forum, because I've never done a prop or WWII build. Being a modern jet guy, I've learned to weather aircraft and I'm a pretty decent painter, but the details in the cockpit of this Lancaster have me stumped, mostly due to a lack of good photographs. Although I have found many pics, they are usually of the restored birds that have been painted dozens of times, so I find many inconsistencies to paint schemes and colors from aircraft to aircraft. Anyway, here's my progress so far.....

Starboard side fuselage....


Close-up of Eduard photo etch gauges. There's no way you'll see those ejection marks with the canopy on.....


Port side with the edited windows....


Close-up. This is why I cleaned up the window. You can't see any of the interior detail later if you leave it painted.


Now the floor. Ludford Magna, where Squadron 101 was located, was often called "Mudford Magna". The dirty floors reflect some of that as well as wear and tear....



Now for my first kit issue. When you dry fit everything together, there's something very wrong about the vertical table supports and the steering wheel column.....


Not only are these table supports not touching the table, they are too far forward. The right one completely blocks the instruments on the right. What was Tamiya thinking? These supports now need to be removed, the bases ground off, then moved about 1/2" to the left. I recommend that you do this right off the bat and attach them to the table and floor during final assembly....


The front instrument panel area also has a few problems. If you attach the steering column first as per the instructions, the steering wheel is in the way of the fuselage and future windscreen. It needs to be moved about 1/8" towards the rear to clear these parts. Also, if you use the Eduard interior set, don't place parts 7,8 and 9 on the top of the instrument panel because they won't clear the fuselage if you do. I may add them later, but for now they needed to be removed.....


Speaking of the Eduard instrument set, it looks pretty darn good. I sprayed a little dull coat on it to tone down the super shiny finish....


Sooooo, two steps forward, another one back to fix the cockpit glitches and add the Eduard seatbelts to all 4 seats. I've found that other builds of this kit have either been proactive and fixed these issues right off the bat or they have just lived with them. I wish I'd known earlier, but now YOU know!

Thanks for checking in.

Edited by chuck540z3
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To say you are a modern jet guy, I

think you have a tremendous eye for detail for the old Warbirds,

and looking pretty AWESOME.

Love the detailed interior, and the slightly dirty-ness to it gives it

that Warbird that has" seen some action " to it.

I love what you have done with the IP panel..

VERY NICE work so far!!! ;) :woot.gif:

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Are we talking about this lady?


Yes- and maybe no. That nose art was for 3 Canadian Lancs, KB905, KB913, and KB994, but not necessarily for an RAF 101 Squadron Lanc. I've found that popular nose art is often not exclusive to just one aircraft. My uncle has a poor quality pic that shows just "Vicious Vicky" which is similar, but not exactly the same. We'll see.

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"February 2, 1945. Target: Weisbaden troop center. Slight flak over the target. Used GEE navigational system for precision bombing and bombed through the clouds."

Here's a quick update of the fixes from yesterday and the addition of the Eduard seatbelts. First the new look and corrected position of the table poles. The bases were removed, sanded, then the floor was repainted and weathered. Don't worry about the back of that side seat- it sits against the far wall and you can't see behind it.....


The seatbelts, like all Eduard photo-etch kits, are awesome, especially for the pilot's seat. Here's a view from the front with the other seat belt types in the background, which are admittedly too large. From about 12" away they look fine.......


..... and the side, showing the multi-layers of the belts.....


Next up is to seal up the fuselage then get started on those COMPLEX gun turrets and canopy. I'll be masking clear plastic for weeks!

Thanks for checking in.

Edited by chuck540z3
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I'm really enjoying this build. Lancasters have a special meaning for me. My father's cousin flew 79 missions in Lancs in the RCAF, and survived to tell about his experiences. Keep up the excellent build, and thanks for the history behind it. :)

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"February 7, 1945. Target: Troop concentration at Kleve. Army cooperation from First Canadian Army. Descended through full cloud coverage to bomb by sight. Very little flak, many searchlights"

I finally got the two halves of the fuselage glued together. With the bomb bay/cockpit on top, there are 3 large pieces to get together, which is never any easy step to do right. For this I usually use a little bit of extra glue, so that the parts don't separate later and it makes a nice "putty" fill along the seams when it dries. After sanding, everything looks nice and smooth, but with the raised panel lines and rivets, you lose a lot of detail. So much so, I've spent many hours re-scribing most panel lines and punching new rivets with a needle.

After checking my reference pics, I found quite a few panel line and rivet errors, which I tried to fix along the way. One thing that really noticeable on the real deal is that there are a LOT of rivets and many of them are very big. Fortunately, many rivets are not very straight, so my shaky hand isn't as unrealistic as it might be.

The following is 5 pairs of "Before/ After" pics of various parts of the fuselage. First the forward part.....


The nose of a real Lanc has a zillion rivets, soooo....


Just behind the cockpit. Note the use of Dyno label tape to aid in re-scribing a curve....


I was going to putty the center line, but I found out that it really exists on most of the top. The clear parts, F4 and F5, should be inserted now to ensure a tight fit. Mask off the circular clear window......


The bottom of the nose does need the center line removed. This is the trap door in the middle......


With a little re-scribing, the trap door comes alive.....


The rear is fairly boring with little detail.....\


Not any more.....


The top turret hole needs some trimming to allow the turret to rotate freely inside.....


Now this top turret fairing is unique to British Lancs and not Canadian Mark X ones. The Canuck Lancs have a much different one which I'll post below, so you don't want to use this kit part if you're making one.....


Edited by chuck540z3
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Canadian Mark X Lancs have a much different top gun turret fairing. It is more flush with the fuselage and it has reinforcement plates on the sides. Here's a pic of the Nanton one I took a few weeks ago.....


Thanks for looking in!

Edited by chuck540z3
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  • 2 weeks later...

" February 13, 1945. Target: Dresden troop center. We witnessed two of our aircraft colliding and bursting into flames shortly after take-off. All crew members killed. Met medium to heavy flak with no search lights. We bombed visually from 18,000 feet."

Not a lot of real progress to show today, but it's not for lack of effort. These tiny windows for the gun turrets and main canopy are really, really hard to do. After a few attempts at traditional masking, I finally cut Tamiya tape into small strips, framed each window pane, then used liquid mask to fill the center- and I did this on BOTH sides. I sure hope this was worth it!...


Meanwhile, I ordered some new Merlin engines from Belcher Bits, since the kit ones kinda stink, as well as new resin tires. Here's the Belcher Bits web site for those who might be interested:


So much for a quick mostly OOB build! :thumbsup:

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Now this top turret fairing is unique to British Lancs and not Canadian Mark X ones. The Canuck Lancs have a much different one which I'll post below, so you don't want to use this kit part if you're making one.....
Canadian Mark X Lancs have a much different top gun turret fairing. It is more flush with the fuselage and it has reinforcement plates on the sides. Here's a pic of the Nanton one I took a few weeks ago.....

Well, yes and no. The Nanton Lanc (FM159) has a Frazer Nash FN 50 mid-upper turret fitted which is identical to those used on British-built Lancs and early Mk Xs.

Canadian-built Lancs KB700-KB854 were fitted with the FN 50, and then the Martin 250 CE turret was fitted to KB855 and onwards. It was heavier than the FN 50, which is why the hole was relocated further forward.

(FM213 or 'KB726' C-GVRA in Hamilton is fitted with the Martin turret)

So, FM159 originally had the Martin turret, but because it is painted to represent a British-built Lanc, they have fitted the Frazer Nash turret. Hope this makes sense. :wacko:

Great build so far. Love how you're replacing the rivet detail. I'm doing the same on my Airfix Lanc build at the moment.


Edited by rcaf_100
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