1/72 scale model kits of De Havilland DH.100 Vampire
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The Vampire DH.100 has also been made in 1/72 scale by the MPM company as seen here:
It appeared from 2014 in several kits under their brand Special Hobby.
(a) Kit SH72279 enables the built of a F.Mk 3 or FB.5(52) and has markings for no less than 5 Royal Air Force / Auxiliary air force schemes in high speed silver;
(b) Kit SH72281 "In Northern Skies" has decals for FB.52 of Royal Norwegean Air Force "Luftforsvaret" in the 1950s, for a Finnish FB.52 in high speed silver and a Swedish FB.52 (designated J-28B) in camouflage scheme.
The same MPM moulded kit appeared as Azur FB.5 kit #A115 with French Armee de l'Air and French Aeronavale schemes.
Revell released the same MPM /Special Hobby kit as Vampire F. Mk 3 (kit #03934) with 2 RAF schemes. But still the same parts. (note: thus not the earlier Heller/Revell/Airfix kit).
The common sprues of the many listed kits are seen here:
The parts offer a choice or wing tips, rockets and/or fuel tanks. Some parts are unused.
Panel lines are nicely done and finely recessed.
The Revell decals are for:
- Royal Air Force Vampire F.mk 3 of no.601 squadron, North Weald, 1952;
- Royal Air Force Vampire F.mk 3 of no.608 squadron, Thornaby, 1951.
(these RAF schemes are in high speed silver liveries).
The RAF blues in the roundels are unfortunately too dark (this is a common problem with recent Revell kits for RAF aircraft).
A comparison of the moulds/ kits listed above with also the Heller Vampire offering and the two seat Airfix T.55 revealed that kits with the MPM origin (e.g. Azur, Revell) are a bit different in shape. I also checked various photos and concluded that:
- horizontal stabilizer, tail booms and fuselage shapes are pretty similar;
- wing intake openings look a bit small;
- near the wing root and intakes the chord is 2 mm bigger in the MPM mould Vampire but span and tip chord are pretty similar.
So probably the MPM/ Azur/ Special Hobby wing is indeed a bit too large.
However, it takes a lot of effort to correct the wing as the air intakes also need than to be tackled. So it was decided to built these kits rather straight as out of the box, concentrating on different paint schemes and air force liveries.
Several MPM moulded Special Hobby/ Revell / Azur Vampire kits for the F.Mk 3 or FB.5(52) will be made.
**NOTES on other more recent Vampire kits:
Azur kit #FR0041 is also from MPM origin but has extra parts for the French version SE.535 Mistral: other type intakes, different upper fuselage, slightly different nose, resin seat
.. and decals for French Mistrals.
Special Hobby kit #SH72383 released in 2018 is for an early F.Mk 1 Vampire with extra parts for: tail booms with more rectangular fins, horizontal stabilizer with different elevator, wind shield and smaller bits.
Decals are for a camouflaged RAF, a RAAF Australian Vampire and French test Vampire 1955.
The first MPM moulded kit made is the AZUR released kit #A115. It was made rather straight out of the box as FB Mk.5 of the French Aeronavale as per kit ("camo A.").
The interior is nicely done.
In stead of using black here giving a black hole, I used very dark grey with also some drybrushing. Ensure to add a lot of weight in the nose to avoid "tail sitting".
After fuselage closure, clamps were used. (later on I discovered still NOT enough weight was added.... ).
The uncorrected wings followed and set. Some sanding, putty and again sanding is needed, also at the wing edges.
The clipped FB 5 wing tips are separate parts (also for other versions) and transparant enabling to keep the anti-collision lights clear.
Aligning the horizontal tail plane should be carefully done and the tail boom joints need sanding and filling. After sanding the result is seen here...
A base grey primer coat was airbrushed using Revell 75 Aqua after the tiny wing tips lights were masked.
Soon followed the "blue" for the Aeronavale scheme. I used Gunze Sangyo 328 (FS15050) but you can also use H54 (approx FS25042).
The kit decals are very thin but otherwise fine.
For the remainder the smaller parts like landing gear were installed and gear and bays painted dull aluminium. Note that the door parts #39 and #40 should be set on the other sides.
After decalling, a gloss varnish coat was airbrushed using Johnson Future/ Pledge.
Canopy frames were painted but note that the rear portion of the sliding canopy hood #CP3 is not to be painted blue. The wind shield and sliding canopy were fixed with Bison white "wood" glue.
No armament was installed (the kit gives you fuel tanks and unguided rockets).
Oooops... I still had a tail sitter... so a small rod was needed below the fuselage
Vampire FB. Mk 5 , Aeronavale Escadrille 57.S (Ecole de Chasse a Reaction), Khouribga Aeronavale base, Morocco
The second MPM moulded kit made is the Revell kit #03934.
It will be finished as a colourful Mexico air force Vampire Mk.3.
Mexico acquired in February 1961 some 15 ex-Canadian Vampires as there a result of a conflict with Guatamala in 1959. The type was called the "Avocado" as many were painted green. The Vampire was the first military jet in Mexico and got several schemes.
I saw an old photo of unknown origin (with tail fairings removed for maintenance) and a nice drawing on the net of mr. Aldo Flores for a FUERZA AEREA MEXICANA scheme of a "Tercera Version Enero 1964 - 1968" of probably Escadron de Pelea no.200 with a silver scheme. (some were also painted dark green for night flying).
I had ESCI decals with also Mexican markings but these old decals tend to break up. But after over airbrushing with gloss varnish (or apply Microscale decal film) these can be used when individually cut out from the decal sheet.
Kit assembly was the same as described above but the wing tips installed are the F Mk. 3 rounded ones with clear parts #C5, C6.
The livery is "painted high speed silver". Any gloss silver can be used here. I airbrushed Revell Aqua Silber acrylic no 90 ; note that Vampires had large portions of wood used, so not metal.
After masking the orange bands were airbrushed Gunze Sangyo H24 orange.
Also the large fuel tanks were airbrushed.
The unit badges are also on the sheet. The tails had to be hand painted, for which a cherry red/ purple paint mix was made. The Mexican flag rudder bands are also seen on the insides. The ESCI decal set was first overcoated to avoid breaking up . It provides only the outward fin flashes but I was lucky to have 2 sets.
A nice goodie are the large fuel tanks to be installed. White glue closed any lower pylon gaps and was painted when dried. Landing gears were installed and smaller details. Also a few grey painted unguided rockets as per kit were installed.
This photo shows the nice lower details in the kit.
The shark mouth on the nose is a decal but needed a bit extra paint. On the intakes edges, a cream yellow paint mix was painted. A gloss varnish coat was airbrushed and finally the wind screen and canopy painted and fixed with Bison white "wood" glue.
Dimensions Vampire mk.3 (with curved tips):
length = 9,37 m or 130 mm in 1/72 ; model: 132 mm;
span = 12,2 m or 170 mm in 1/72; model 170 mm.
So the Revell model is accurate in size.
[ area: 1,972,550 km2 | population: 127 million | capital: Mexico city | GDP USD 10,000 nominal per capita ]
The Vampire was the first jet combat aircraft used by the Mexico Air Force with some 17 aircraft delivered end 1960 and in 1961. It was called the "Flying Avocado" by the crews. Some were also dark green for night flying and the Vampire had no ejection seat. They flew until 1970 while more T-33's were delivered. From 1982 Northrop F-5E Tigers were delivered.
For more information about the Mexican air forces look at the F-5 page here....
Vampire F Mk.3, FUERZA AEREA MEXICANA, Escadron de Pelea no.200
MORE 1/72 VAMPIRES TO FOLLOW!
CHECK OUT a 1/32 Vampire made here...
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Created this page
Sept 23, 2021