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Lancaster B1(FE)

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My latest finish, hot off the workbench. It represents a slightly unusual Lanc, TW669 of the Central Photographic Establishment at Benson in the late 1940s. It's slightly unusual in that it apparently received a photographic fit, but was never converted to the full PR standard - as you see, it retained the turrets.

It's the Tamiya 1:48 kit with Belcher engines, and some Eduard detail, notably seat harnesses. Decals were kit decals for stencils, "generics", and the large underwing serials were done with custom-ordered (and recommended) Miracle Masks. Walkway lines masked and sprayed.





It took three years elapsed time, which did include many periods on the "pause" shelf while I did something smaller and less daunting - but finally finished it yesterday. As I did, I was listening (as is my wont) to Classic FM. As I stuck the prop for engine no 4 in position, thus completing it, the radio launched into Handel's "Halleluiah Chorus" - appropriate or what?

Anyway, thanks for looking.

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Thanks for the kind words guys.

Falcon20driver, it is certainly big. When you say "Tamiya", and most people think of a kit that falls together almost perfectly. And whilst many Tamiya kits are like that (notably their P-51s) this is not one of them. The fit is not bad, but not up to the usual Tamiya standard in places.

Most of the problems are around the engine nacelles. The instructions specify fitting the main undercarriage units early on in the build, and I could not work out a way to leave them until later; this makes them a bit vulnerable.

The fit of the engines is the worst part. Each is made up of the main nacelle, to which is added two cowlings and a front end for each engine, as well as two optional engines for display with the cowlings off. They fit where they touch. The Belcher engines remove the need for this work, although they also need some fettling to fit, but also they are a much better representation of the Merlin.

The last boxing issued contained additional parts, including both types of prop, treaded or plain mainwheels, and the later rear turret. If you're building the earlier version, note that the gun mountings are reversed in the instructions. And finally I would thoroughly recommend the Eduard canopy mask set, especially for that "glasshouse" canopy.

But yes, I would recommend it provided you set your expectations accordingly and don't mind a bit of work.

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Very nicely done, MikeC! Love the colour scheme. I have one of these on the shelf awaiting my attention.

If you don't mind some mild criticism regarding the exhaust staining...due to the positioning of the outboard engines and wing dihedral, there was usually little to no exhaust staining on top of the wing on the outboard side of the outer engine nacelles. Airflow drove it almost completely underneath.

I don't have a photo of an actual Lanc handy but this is a good indication of what I mean.


I hope you take this in the spirit it was given. I love what you have done with your build.



Edited by Big Daddy
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Hi Big Daddy, and thanks, no problem re mentioning the exhaust staining. I was working from a number of photos including some this book and came to the conclusion that it could appear, although it was certainly less - you'll notice I've tried to make it less than on the other areas. But fair comment. :)

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