Avro Shackleton
1/72 kits
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Avro Shackleton models in 1/72 scale
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This webpage looks at the new Revell Shackleton MR3 in 1/72 scale. This kit #03873 was released October 2019.

03873 box shackleton

For a brief history about the Avro Shackleton , look at page1.  

The MR3 was quite a re-design with now a nose strut with twin wheels, deleting the rear wheel strut. The fuselage nose was made deeper to accommodate this nose undercarriage. Also a crew entry hatch was set in the lower forward fuselage aft of the nose gear bay leading to the flight deck though also the rear door was retained. The main undercarriage now also got different twin wheels and retracted forward in the nacelle bays. The first MR3 flew in 1955. Ground handling was far better and sound insulation and better rest stations in the rear vastly improved crew effectiviness. The dorsal turret was not used anymore but weapon capability improved. The controls were improved with large ailerons and also tip wing tanks were installed, enlarging the wing area slightly. The cockpit canopy got less frames improving visibility. The weapon capability was improved as well. 
As this all increased MR3 take-off weight, and most MR3 aircraft got a Phase 3 upgrade by fitting a few new systems and new wing spars to cope with fatigue. Another option was to install a pair of Viper jets to assist take-off at higher weights. One Viper jet was situated in the rear of each outboard nacelle with a straight jet pipe. For air provision during take-off a retractable panel was deployed below the nacelle. (some 38 were manufactured).  

shackleton-mr3-mdv
Here an old photo of a RAF MR3 I took at Duxford, probably in the early nineties. At the far end a Concorde can be seen.

The Shackleton was also exported to the South African Air Force. The SAAF got the first MR3 end 1957 with deliveries starting of 8 aircraft. They had a paint scheme with the "springbok" roundels. These aircraft got a in the mid 1960s a Phase III upgrade in the U.K. but never the Viper jets. Than came the arms embargo and the remaining Shackletons a new paint scheme and other roundels. These aircraft were used until 1984 when they became unserviceable due to fatique and lack of parts. 

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page 1 
page 2
page 3

page 4

RAF-roundel

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A comparison of this new Revell MR3 kit with their earlier AEW 2 kit # 04920 and other findings. 

The brand new tool REVELL GERMANY Shackleton MR3 kit # 03873 was released October 2019.  
As compared to the Revell AEW 2 kit # 04920:

sa   

sprue A looks common but has the different wing tips;

pa

sb

sprue B looks common but has the different wing tips;

pb


sc

sprue C is common;

pc

sd sf

sprue D looks to be common; 

p

sprue F is new for MR3;

xse
sprue E is common;

si 
sprue I is new for MR3 main parts nose, ailerons, wing tip tanks and optionable Viper nacelles.  
pl

sk-sl

sprue K is new for MR3;

pk-pl

sprue L is new for MR3;
sm-so
sprue M is common; clear parts are a bit "unclear"

pm-po
sprue O is new for MR3 with cockpit windows, but main cockpit glazing a bit "fogged/ not very clear"

mr3 decals

Different decals for 2 MR3 RAF schemes; the RAF roundel blue looks "too dark".

booklet

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Details with some photos...
 
parts with new MR3 nose section
nose
 
the adapted wing tip for MR3 with tip tanks to be fitted.
wing tip mr3 tips

 
the cockpit glazing that looks a bit unclear. Probably the frame indicated with "V" needs to be sanded off and glass polished.
transparancies glass


 
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COMPARISON TABLE NEW 1/72 REVELL SHACKLETON KITS
- (2)  REVELL AEW  2
       #04920
(4) REVELL MR3
       #03873
general characteristics of the kit the kit looks to have the correct dimensions and looks for AEW 2 with large SP-20 radar radome;

fuselage has four halves: rear and nose section separate;



four large wing parts with separate ailerons and lower flaps;

crisp parts but thick sprue gates, use a razor saw to separate the parts!
the kit looks to have the correct dimensions with also the wing tip tanks;

fuselage has four halves: rear and new nose section for the nose gear is separate; (tail dragger wheel area not applicable and closed with panel)

four large wing parts with separate new MR3  ailerons and adapted wing tip for the wing tanks;

lower flaps with our without Viper jet flow gap;

crisp parts but thick sprue gates, use a razor saw to separate the parts!

some minor ejector pin marks can be present in the kit, e.g. nacelle insides; check on your kit;

some shrinkage on upper wing  in front of flaps, may need some putty;
outside details of the kit parts
finely engraved panellines including engraved fine rivets
(although not raised, they will look very good under a thin paint layer and advantage is that any sanding will not remove them). Convincing surface detail.

<-> similar comments

 
fuselage external detail correct for AEW 2 with large lower radome in forward bomb bay section;  

correct for MR3 with new nose and different weapons bay;
 


 


(continued...) (2)  REVELL AEW  2
       #04920
(4) REVELL MR3
       #03873
fuselage windows
 
window
very nice clear windows and cockpit glazing with nice frames;


window station positions look correct and include rooftop windows and dome; but the aft roof top window should probably not be in the center but be a little more off set to starboard;

glass M25+M26  suggests chaff dispensers?
 

the cockpit glazing in my kit is quite unclear and a bit foggy; there is a frame which probbly needs removal and polishing;

window station positions look correct and include rooftop windows and dome; but the aft roof top window should probably not be in the center but be a little more off set to starboard;
fuselage internal details (but often hidden inside with only small windows)  nice cockpit flight deck detail;
nice seats but missing cockpit roof instrument console; 

wing assembly very good with very nice separate spar interior parts looking good; 

raised forward crew "MR3 only" entry hatch on cockpit floor (part A4) in front of bulkhead A5, can easily be sanded flat;

observer nose station simplified with seat on tunnel that seems for MR3 (and not a seat on struts) but hardly noticable from outside;

no crew station details in centre section above bomb bay but hardly noticeable; 

rear stations and crew rest area has some nice detail (although a bit generic);

rear crew entry door can be set open with inside stringer details. 
tail cone station with slide floor and part M49 suggesting a "curtain";
 


<-> similar comments...
 
so this means that no specific MR3 cabin interior changes have been made;
but it will be almost invisible.

cockpit instrument panel is similar but with a different decal layout; MR3 has almost same layout as a MR2. 

 

(continued....) (2)  REVELL AEW  2
       #04920
(4) REVELL MR3
       #03873
bomb bay internal correct shorter bay as AEW radome is fitted up front;

nice bomb bay roof / floor engraving;

bomb bay doors internal details a bit simplified;

no "stores" or weapon options;

has new "roof" parts for the MR3 weapons bay with good and correct engraving. (superdetailling can be done by the modeller); 

new pair of MR3 type weapon bay doors with "correct insides"; doors can only be set open (or close your self with some sanding needed);

no weapons are provided like torpedoes; so need to be sourced elsewhere.  

nose needs weight to avoid "tail sitting";  

(bay colours are mainly satin white)

 

wing external details
wing for MR2/ AEW that scales up to within 1,5% of the actual 1421 sq.ft and has the correct straight outboard trailing edge including the ailerons;  

ailerons are separate parts;
ailerons have the correct taper ratio and scaled correct area of 110 sq.ft;  

wing tip chord looks about 2 mm too large at the tip running gradually through the front areas but hardly noticable as the ailerons are good; 

separate trailing edge flaps at both inboard and outboard wing with nice internal rib details; 

nice wing surface details but no rivet details;

the squared upper panel at inboard wing is not of MR2, can be filled with putty;
 

wing changed at tips with straight tip for fitting wing tip tanks;





changed ailerons are MR3 type and are separate parts;


 

checking the wing tip chord not (yet) possible without assembly; it is probably that any small errors are hardly noticeable with the tip tanks and new ailerons fitted. 
 

separate trailing edge flaps at both inboard and outboard wing with nice internal rib details;

 

nice wing surface panel but no rivet details;

check of inner wing panel was not possible due to lack of photos;

some shrinkage on upper wing  in front of flaps, may need some putty;

nice option is using other trailing edge flaps provided with a gap when Viper nacelles are installed. (see below the drawing)

flap gap viper  viper nacelle    

  optional flaps with appropriate Viper nacelle

rear prop

 <- rear props need a small correction in diameter  

(continued....) (2)  REVELL AEW  2
       #04920
(4) REVELL MR3
       #03873
tail surfaces correctly size tail surfaces with correctly no dihedral; 

nice separate rudders and elevators in multiple parts with nice details including engraved rivets;
 

<->  similar coments 

engines and nacelles

correct MR2 (and thus AEW) style engine nacelles; 

nice fine exhaust pipes and optional setting cowl flaps; 

good and fine counter-rotating propellers; but the aft propeller diameter is 2 mm too large. By carefull sanding this could be corrected by removing 1 mm at each blade tip and sanding a curved tip. 

 
 

correct style engine nacelles (2 +2);

nice option for 2 Viper jets inside 2 different outboard nacelles with jet pipe and air inlet doors; (see drawing above).

good and fine counter-rotating propellers; but the aft propeller diameter is 2 mm too large. By carefull sanding this could be corrected by removing 1 mm at each blade tip and sanding a curved tip. 

the mid wing part #116 container  could not be checked;

nice wing tip tanks;
 

undercarriage and wheel bays correct "tail dragger" undercarriage arrangement with twin rear wheels and nice bay;

good main wheel bay details inside inboard nacelle with also rib detail;  

  

main wheels show nice tyre pattern but "not weighted flat" area; 

very nice struts but look vulnerable, their fit inside the bay is simplified; 

new tricycle type MR3 gear;

nose gear has twin wheels and main wheels are different as well as on MR3; 

very nice and fine main wheel bay details inside inboard nacelle with multiple parts and rib detail;

new gear doors;

main wheels are different but "not weighted flat" area; 


very nice struts but look vulnerable, their fit inside the bay is simplified; 

main gear  nose gera   raf

s1  

s2
 

(continued...) (2)  REVELL AEW  2
       #04920
(4) REVELL MR3
       #03873
decals and schemes
two schemes for RAF no.8 squadron AEW aircraft in overal dark sea grey with yellow walkway lines:
(1) coded "WL756" and nick name "Mr.Rusty" 
(2) coded "WL795" for the "Zebedee".
 
 

the RAF roundel "blue" looks to dark printed;

very nice stencilling with appropriate yellow walkway lines;

two schemes for RAF aircraft in overal dark sea grey with yellow walkway lines:
(1) MR3 coded "WR975" of no.206 squadron at Kinloss, Scotland 1965.
(2) MR3 with Viper coded "WF703" of no.42 squadron, St.Mawgan, Cornwall, 1970; no lower RAF roundels. 

again the RAF roundel "blue" looks to dark printed;

a lot of carrier film between codes, remove or ensure gloss surface before applying;

very nice stencilling with yellow walkway lines; could not verify yet accuracy of line pattern. 

OPTIONS?

 
 

"Viper nacelles" optionable with appropriate adapted flaps;

parts with our without nose guns (see instructions step 55);

crew access door in nose only in closed setting;
 
REMARKS AND SUGGESTIONS very good kit for AEW 2 with superior surface details;

slightly too large wing tip is hardly seen; 

fill upper inboard wing panel quadrant;

some other minor issues can be corrected such as observer seat and interior although not really noticeable;

the aft propeller diameter error can be corrected; 

use better RAF after market roundels;

add missing long wire antennas;

very good kit for MR3 with superior surface details and choice for Viper jet nacelles;

slightly too large wing tip could not be checked and if so, is hardly seen; 

filling upper inboard wing panel quadrant is probable and can be done;

some other minor issues can be corrected such as observer seat and interior although not really noticeable;

the aft propeller diameter error can be corrected;

use better RAF after market roundels if desired; 

add missing long wire antennas;

ECM?  parts #138 in step 72 is optionable; check antenna layout for your specific model.
 
NOTES - I will make the Revell MR3 kit of the South African Air Force but than will need aftermarket decals (like from "Kits at War" series from Dutch Decal which are reprinted for this kit);

These SAAF MR3 aircraft did not have Vipers jet in the nacelles (so look at Revell instruction steps 39+40);

The SAAF obtained some  8 MR3 aircraft serialled 1716-1723 from end 1957 and were flown by SAAF no.35 squadron; the aircraft  had a few very small changes to the RAF MR3 for the local environment.
First flown with "springbok roundels" with greyish scheme.
saff-old
The SAAF fleet got a Phase III upgrade mainly for the wing spars (but never the Viper); later the "castle" type roundels and often white tropical roof;
saaf
Flown until 1984 as spare parts were difficult to obtain due to arms embargo
-- (2)  REVELL AEW  2
       #04920
(4) REVELL MR3
       #03873
CONCLUSION:  VERY GOOD KIT VERY GOOD KIT


 

A model that needs to be build!

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Published this page 
March 30 , 2020