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GWH Handley Page Victor B.2

RELATED TOPICS: AIRCRAFT
Kit:L1004 // Scale:1/144 // Price:$49.99
Manufacturer:
GWH
Pros:
Excellent surface detail; detailed wheel wells and speed-brake bays; terrific decals
Cons:
Clear parts need sanding for a flush fit; canopy is fragile
Comments:
Injection-molded, 78 parts, decals
FSM-NP0215_34
FSM-WB0415_GWH_Victor_01
FSM-WB0415_GWH_Victor_02
FSM-WB0415_GWH_Victor_03
FSM-WB0415_GWH_Victor_04
FSM-WB0415_GWH_Victor_05
FSM-WB0415_GWH_Victor_06
The Victor was the last of a trio of Royal Air Force bombers that provided Britain’s nuclear deterrent during the early 1960s. They were collectively called the “V-Bombers” — the Valiant, Vulcan, and Victor.
 
Following its Vulcan, GWH brings us a Handley Page Victor B.2. Like its predecessor, this kit is a beauty, with finely engraved surface detail and nicely detailed wheel wells and speed-brake bay. The speed brakes can be posed open or closed. Decals provide a choice of three RAF bombers during the 1960s.

With only 78 pieces, the 10-step assembly is straightforward and quick with clear instructions. However, I deviated from the construction sequence in a few places to facilitate painting.

As I expected when, as recommended, I installed the speed-brake assembly in Step 1, I subsequently broke two of the hydraulic arms. This faux pas complicated attaching the starboard speed brake. I suggest installing only the bay’s center wall (E13) and cutting the retraction assembly (E11) in half at the mounting ring. Then, you can install each half along with the hinge (E12) after painting.

GWH did a great job with the overall fit. The wing-to-fuselage joins are so precise that a layer of paint will inhibit fit.

I drilled holes in the inner faces of the wings and a corresponding indentation on the fuselage to insert sticks for painting.

I needed a little filler on the intake splitter plates, and the clear parts needed sanding for a better fit. I applied a little too much pressure to the canopy (G2) when gluing it and cracked it. Luckily, the crack followed a frame and was easy to mend with Pledge FloorCare Multi-Surface Finish (PFM).  

There’s a full-size color four-view painting guide for the camouflage. After gray primer, light and dark grays pre-shaded the model.

The Victor is replete with bumps and curves, so my frisket masks for the gray-and-green camo didn’t work very well; I resorted to painter’s tape.

I used the Gunze Sangyo paints recommended in the instructions for the upper colors. Contrary to the guide, I painted lower surfaces with Tamiya flat white, which research indicated was a more likely color than the called-for light gray.

GWH’s decals have improved steadily over the last few kits I’ve built. With a touch of Microscale Micro Set and Micro Sol, the markings settled nicely into recessed detail without silvering.

I sealed the model with PFM mixed with a little Tamiya flat base for a semigloss sheen.

I enjoyed the 25 hours I spent on the Victor — most of it masking and painting — and I’m pleased with the result. It makes an attractive companion to the Vulcan.

Because of the many tiny parts and complex camouflage, I recommend this kit to modelers with a couple of builds behind them.

Don’t let us down GWH: Release a Valiant so I can complete my small-scale V-Bomber collection.

Note: A version of this review appeared in the April 2015 FineScale Modeler.

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