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DeHavilland Vampire of Rhodesia

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I'm awaiting some decals for my Zambezi CRJ-200, so in the meantime I started my 1:72 DeHavilland Vampire T.11 in Rhodesian (former Zimbabwe) Air Force markings. I'm using the new Airfix 1:72 Vampire with a set of MAV Decals from South Africa, for the Rhodesian colour scheme.

The forums have been offline for quite a while, so I've gotten quite far without a lot of photos.... sorry!

This kit is with no doubt the best Airfix kit I've ever built so far. The detail level is great, with very nice engraved smooth panel lines (which some might find too deep, but hey, nothing a good layer of primer can't fix). The decals have a lot of detail stencilling. I paid only 7 euros for it, in a store that does not maintain the cheapest prices for their kits.. Anyone who still thinks of old, poorly moulded and inaccurate kits when thinking of Airfix MUST reconsider their opinion.


The parts are very crisply moulded, but there was a very little bit of flash on one of the vertical stabilizers and quite a bit around the main wheels, but a sharp knife took care of that in a matter of seconds.

The parts fit perfectly well. I applied a good amount of glue on the fuselage halves so the molten plastic squeezes out a little bit at the seams when joining the halves. After it has dried, the 'welding' line can be sanded down in a matter of minutes, without having to use any filler.

However I had to use a little putty on the nose, but that was because of the lead I put in there causing a minor fitting issue.

There's a complete engine inlet channel with a stage of compressor blades at the end. Very nicely done, but NOTHING can be seen of it once it's fixed inside the fuselage.


The instrument panel is moulded flat apart from the glare shield on top. A nicely detailed multi-coloured decal is provided for it, which reacts nicely to Micro Sol.

The ejection seats look good in shape, but are quite sparse in detail. I added some generic photo etched seat belts which I painted light blue, and the grips on top of the head rests using thin copper wire. The seats are not finished yet, they are dry fitted in the cockpit for these pictures. The canopy is very clear so paying some attention to the cockpit really pays off in the end, no matter what option you choose for the canopy's position(opened or closed).


The instruction sheet wants you to assemble the horizontal stabilizer to the tail booms and then attaching that construction to the wing/fuselage section. I chose to first attach the tail booms to the wings and then putting the stabilizer between it by gently pushing the tail booms apart a very little bit.


The main landing gear legs should be fixed in place before adding the wing's lower halves. I still have to paint the wheel wells so I did not attach the lower wing halves yet.

Also I haven't decided about using the drop tanks. If you use them, you have to drill some small holes through the lower wing halves from the inside.


greets Jelle

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I did some more work on the cockpit, especially the ejection seats.



I used paint to fill some very small seams where I wanted a panel line to keep visible.


Then I painted it aluminium using Humbrol enamel paint. I used a black primer for a nicer metallic shine.


Then masked and painted the red areas


I think it came out quite nice, but unfortunately I messed up the metal finish on the left wing by trying to remove some red overspray.. but I'll fix that.


greets Jelle

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  • 4 weeks later...

Unfortunately the MAV Decals that I had were inaccurate, at least when you don't want to build the preserved jet that still flies. A Vampire in this colour scheme should have roundels with 3 spears, not just 1. Also, the registration number is inaccurate. If anyone is interested in the MAV decals with 1-spear roundels, you can have it for mail costs.

I decided to make those new roundels myself. First I dug up some RAF roundels where the red center dot was printed separately for register reasons, as done by Revell.



Then I printed a new center dot with 3 spears on blank decal paper:




I messed up the center part of the canopy, but luckily Airfix/Hornby sent me an entirely new clear sprue!! Thanks for such a good customer service! I have to print the registration numbers and apply a lot of small details and some more weathering here and there.

greets Jelle

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