De Havilland Chipmunk

1/72 scale kits of the Chipmunk: Airfix (and AZ) 
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The Chipmunk was a trainer designed by De Havilland Canada to succeed De Havilland Tiger Moth biplane. First flight was May 1946, powered by a Gypsy Major piston engine. The structure is stress-skinned alloy with fabric controls and fabric rear wing sections. Canada ordered the type entering armed services in 1948. The type was also ordered by the British Royal Air Force and manufactured by De Havilland in the U.K. The RAF T10 had a few small differences with eventually over 740 Chipmunks flying at RAF training schools. 

Some small changes were done on several variants, like different Major engines, added anti-spin strakes forward of the tailplane, exhausts etc. 

Chipmunks were license built by OGMA in Portugal from 1955 to 1961 with some 66 trainers delivered to the Portugese Air Force.


   Chipmunk T10 seen during a museum Tour by me in the U.K. in the 1990s.


Airfix issued this 1/72 scale kit #134 way back in 1969, that is over 50 years ago. It was a logical subject choice as many Chipmunks were widely used for training by the Royal Air Force. The old kit is basic but nevertheless nice and panel lines and rivets are raised. There are about 25 parts. The cockpit interior is very basic with 2 crew figures.
The Airfix kit was released over the years in different boxes with often different decals. 

  airfix chipmuink 

Kit release #61054 from 1978 has decals for a RAF Chipmunk t10 flown at Leeming flying school 1978. 


Parts are seen here...  


Kit release #01054 from 1996 has decals for: 

  chipmunk airfix

(1) DHC-1, Canadian Armed Forces Air Command, flying school at Portage la Prairie, Manitoba, 1970
(2) T10, Royal Air Force, 7 Air experimental flight at RAF Newton,  1994 
(3) T10, Cambridge University Air Squadron, Cambridge, 1959.


In this later kit release an extra different non-frame bubble canopy hood is provided seen on the Canadian DHC-1 besides the frames' canopy.



Assembly was done rather straight out of the box of this kit. I tried to retain the raised rivets, typical for light aircraft of the period.


A little more detail can be added in the cockpit like instrument boards and the seats got some straps. Two control sticks/ columns were also added. Some side wall stringhers were suggested.  







The ailerons edges were sawed in with a razor saw for added realism. 



A few models were made.

The first model was finished in a scheme of the Kenya Air Force. It has the canopy with frames. It was unclear if the anti-stall strakes were fitted, I did not install these.

FA base grey coat was airbrushed with my favourite Revell Aqua 75 Steingrau acrylic paint for the base/ primer coat.   



For the Kenya scheme has a basic colour of silver dope for which I used Revell Aqua 90 "Silver"


The scheme has dayglow stripes. The dayglow stripes were made from spare decals found in an Airfix Jet Provost kit #A02103. The Kenya roundels of 5 millimeter diameter were home designed and printed by a Third Party. 

  chipmunk kenya
A small trim tab was added from strip at the rudder trailing edge and the small pitot tube below the wing as per kit. 

  kenya chipmunk

Some small aileron control rods were added on the lower wing. 

The model was not weathered, training Chipmunks were kept in well condition. After decalling, a final airbrushed coat of Johnson Future / Pledge protected the decals and provides a nice gloss sheen. 

The canopy frames were hand painted and the be set closed. Any small gaps were closed with white glue. When dry, paint. 

The propeller was painted and installed with a drop of white glue to fix it.


nmap  flag  roundel

[area: 580,367 | population: 55 million | capital: Nairobi | GDP USD 2,200 per capita nominal ]

The Kenya air force was established mid 1964 after it became independent from the U.K. Many British aircraft were supplied in 1964 with ex-RAF Chipmunks and in 1965 Beavers.

For more information about the Kenya Air Force, look at my Strikemaster page here...  

kenya chipmunk  


chipmunk kenya  

... at Mandabay...


Kenya chipmunk  

Another Airfix Chipmunk kit in 1/72 was made in a similar way as above. But now for an Air Force scheme of Lebanon. These T30 Chipmunks were seen with the large clear bubble canopy which was also provided in the later Airfix kit releases. The T30 also had no wheel strut fairings, slightly relocated gear struts and another type of propeller and hub. These parts were obtained from spares from an AZ Model DHC Chipmunk kit, parts #3, 23 and 32, 39.

The basic colour is again silver dope, Revell 90 Silber Aqua was airbrushed. The Lebanese roundels and rudder flag were spares from an AZ Model Chipmunk kit #AZ7558.

The propeller front was painted black, the rear light grey with yellow tips.
  chipmunk libanon      

A small wire antenna was added from sprue at the rear fuselage.

map  flag  roundel 

[area: 10,450 | population: 7 million | capital: Beirut | GDP: < 2,000 USD nominal per capita ]

The Lebanese air force ("Al Quwwat al-Jawwiya al-Lubnaniya") was founded in 1949 assisted by RAF advisors and got British aircraft like the Chipmunk. The main base was at Khaldeh/Beirut and Rayak. 

For more information about the Lebanese Air Force, look at the Vampire page...

lebanon chipmunk

libanon chipmunk
chipmunk lebanon
Another few little models for the World Air Forces in Plastic collection.
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Books and magazines:

- Scale Aircraft Modelling, June 1991, pages 400. (nice schemes)
- Pilot Notes Chipmunk T10
- Air international magazine, Volume 50, pages 284-290
Internet: Wiki Chipmunk page
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Created this page
Sep 21, 2023