by: Rowan Baylis [ ]
Originally published on:
The Vulcan holds a unique place in the hearts of British aviation enthusiasts, so it's particularly welcome to see Dragon release a new kit of the aircraft, the first in a new range of 1:200 kits from the company.
The model arrives in a study and attractive conventional box, with the main sprues and accessories bagged separately for protection. The kit comprises:
80 x grey styrene parts (9 spare)
1 x clear styrene part
Decals for 2 x colour schemes
The kit is nicely moulded with quite an impressive level of detail for this small scale. I found no flash or sink marks on the review sample. Surface detail consists of quite delicate engraved panel lines which purists will probably feel are rather overscale, but should look pretty good under a coat of paint with some light weathering.
The construction of the airframe is a little unusual, made up of just three pieces; a one-piece moulding for almost the entire fuselage and wings, into which slots a lower section that forms a strip along the base of the fuselage and the centre area of the underside of the wings. This is all topped off with a separate fin. The kit is also intended for release as a pre-painted finished model, and the way it is moulded will speed up production of these by avoiding any awkward joints along the wing leading edge and at the wing roots – the seams being out of sight on the underside. Those of us building the Vulcan as a standard kit will want to fill the seams where they don't follow natural panel lines. The trailing edge of the wing is solid, so it'll be worth thinning it down for a better scale appearance.
This version includes a Blue Steel stand-off nuclear bomb, and the belly section of the kit is separate for the weapon's semi-recessed mounting. It's clear a conventional bomb bay is planned at some point. I found the belly section sits a little low against the surrounding area, so I've added styrene pads to raise it a bit. The joint is a tad loose, but a drop of Mr. Surfacer will hopefully blend it in with the panel lines around it.
Despite the small scale, the kit includes a degree of cockpit detail, with seats and a control panel. There is even a pair of tiny crew figures, although strangely these aren't shown in the instructions. The multi-wheeled undercarriage is quite complex but should be pretty sturdy when assembled. The gear can be built raised or lowered, but there's no stand provided if you want to display your Vulcan in flight. If you go for the landing gear down, there's even a tiny boarding ladder. There's no mention of adding weight to the nose, but the kit looks like it may be a tail sitter if you don't.
Instructions and decalsAssembly is broken down into 7 easy stages – my only misgiving being that joining the main upper and lower section is left until last, whereas I think most modellers will want to deal with any seams before attaching the undercarriage and other details.
Decals are provided for two aircraft:
1. XL321 of 617 Sqn., RAF Scampton, 1962 in anti-flash white overall.
2. XM595, Scampton Wing, RAF Scampton, 1970 with camouflaged upper surfaces.
The decals are printed in perfect register by Cartograf and should be excellent quality as we've come to expect from this company. I think the pink of the anti-flash roundels may be a tad dark (especially for this scale), so I'll spray a light coat of thinned white over the centres.
ConclusionDragon's Vulcan is very neatly produced and easy to build. It will make an ideal "weekend build" and the result should be very attractive. I have to admit I would have preferred to see it released in 1:144 to tie in with the large number of military aircraft kits available in that scale; as it is (browsing the list at Hannants, anyway) 1:200 seems largely devoted to airliner models, so it'll be interesting to see how Dragon's new range fares.
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