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Avro Lancaster Mk.I/III

 

Revell, 1/72 scale

 

S u m m a r y

Catalogue Number: Revell No 04300 - Avro Lancaster Mk.I/III
Scale: 1/72
Contents and Media: 244 parts in light grey plastic; 34 clear parts; markings for two aircraft
Price: from 12.76 available online from Hannants
Review Type: FirstLook
Advantages: Completely new kit; superb detail inside and out; very fine and crisp recessed surface features; includes engine detail for two nacelles; many useful and appropriate options including shrouded or ejector exhausts; narrow and paddle blade propellers, Mk.I or Mk.III transparencies, H2S fairing, blanking fairings for upper and ventral turrets; open bomb bay structural detail plus ordnance (including Cookie); excellent clear parts (with escape hatch in the right place and a full forward turret!)
Disadvantages: Half-hearted detail on wheels and machine guns; questionable outer-wing dihedral.
Recommendation: Highly Recommended


Reviewed by Brett Green


Revell's 1/72 scale Lancaster will be available online from Squadron.com
 

FirstLook

 

Revell of Germany's release schedule over recent years has been as prolific as it has been diverse. We have seen modern gliders and a Heinkel He 162 in 1/32 scale; an S-Boat and several U-Boats in 1/72 scale; a new tool Bismarck in 1/350 scale; and a 1/48 scale Eurofighter to name but a few.

Revell seems to have taken a particular interest in the area of large, four-engine Luftwaffe aircraft in 1/72 scale. Recent examples have included their Blohm und Voss 222, Fw 200 Condor, Heinkel He 177 and Junkers Ju 290 A-5.

All these models boast excellent moulding, fine surface features and a high level of detail.

Not content to rest on their laurels, Revell of Germany has now extended their subject areas to the cover the RAF. They have released an all new 1/72 scale Avro Lancaster B.I/III. This has nothing in common with the original ancient Revell Lancaster, and it is not a re-boxing of the Hasegawa kit.

Revell's 1/72 scale Lancaster B.I/B.III kit comprises 244 parts in pale grey plastic, 34 parts in clear and markings for two aircraft.

 

Click the thumbnails below to view larger images:

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The exterior surfaces feature very fine and crisply recessed panel lines combined with raised detail and subtle fabric texture as appropriate.

The fuselage interior is alive with structural detail and instruments moulded to the sidewalls. This authentic environment is complimented by separate detail parts for the pilot, navigator and radio operator cockpit positions. The pilot's seat is very impressive, with raised cushion and harness details. The armrests are cleverly moulded in place. The instrument panel looks great too, with its recessed dials and crisp throttle quadrant. You'll have to add the handles yourself though, as long as you have a good eye and a steady hand! Tables, bulkheads and boxes help populate this busy front office.

 

 

This high level of interior detail is carried through to the bomb bay, which offers optional ordnance including a nice looking cylindrical Cookie bomb. The inside of the bomb bay doors feature the characteristic double curve too.

Revell has supplied two nicely detailed Rolls Royce Merlin engines for the inboard nacelles, which may be displayed behind open cowlings if desired. The level of structural detail in the wheel wells is outstanding too. Separate parts are included for the open lattice structure opening onto the interior of the wings.

A large number of options are offered. These include:

  • both B.I and B.III style clear nose, astrodome and canopy side blisters (or flat sections)

  • both narrow and paddle blade propellers

  • alternative pilot's seats (one with armoured headrest and back cushion, and one without)

  • H2S fairing in clear plastic

  • shrouded or unshrouded exhausts

  • fairings for covering upper and ventral turret positions as required

  • different styles of rear turret fairing

Moudling quality is first rate. I have not found any sink marks, and there is no flash. There are a few holes in the back of the armoured pilot's seat and a few bulkheads (a result of the deeply moulded parts), but these can easily be filled and sanded flat. There are a couple of ejector pin circles on the inside of the fuselage, but these have been positioned so that they will not be visible once the halves are joined.

The only areas that are not up to the standard of the rest of the kit are the wheels, which look slab sided and have featureless hubs (even the Airfix wheels are better), and the underdetailed machine guns. Fortunately, Quickboost has released a set of 1/72 scale machine guns for Hasegawa's Lancaster that will be suitable for this kit too.

The kit breakdown is fairly typical of a modern mainstream model. The parts feature locating pins to assist alignment. The wings and horizontal tailplanes will be mounted on large box spars which are installed between the fuselage halves, much like the real aircraft. This should result in a robust fit and positive dihedral.

The transparencies are very thin and crystal clear.

 

Click the thumbnails below to view larger images:

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In addition to all the options required for both the B.I and the B.III variants, the clear parts include the strip of fuselage windows seen on early Lancasters, landing lights, navigation lights and inserts for the small round windows on the upper fuselage.

The decals are satin in finish. Register is good.

Markings are supplied for a Lancaster B.III of 1000 Squadron RAF in April 1945, and a Lancaster B.I of 9 Sqn. RAF during 1945.

 

 

Stencil markings are included, as are optional decals for the instrument panels, radios and harness straps.

 

 

Conclusion

 

A new 1/72 scale Lancaster might seem a surprising choice for Revell.

There is hardly a shortage of 1/72 scale Lancasters today. These include the venerable (basic but still quite accurate) Airfix kit, and the more recent Hasegawa offering. In fact, Hasegawa has released at least five variations of their kit - a B.I/III, a B.III, a Tallboy version, a B.I with Grand Slam and a Post War version (MR.3). Hasegawa's Lancasters are nice kits with crisply recessed surface detail, although they are a bit let down by almost non-existent interior detail, incorrect canopy escape hatch position and only a partial forward turret.

As good as the Hasegawa Lancaster might be, the Revell kit clearly surpasses it in terms of detail, the number of options provided; and it is more accurate and complete in a number of important areas.

What's more, Revell has delivered their beautifully detailed new Lancaster at around half the price of Hasegawa kit (at least in the UK). Remarkably, the Revell Lancaster is even cheaper than the old Airfix kit!

There are some minor dimensional differences between the Hasegawa and Revell kits, and the dihedral of Revell's outer wings is flatter than Hasegawa's. After checking many photos, I think that the correct dihedral at rest might be somewhere between the two. If you want to add a degree or so of dihedral, though, the surgery will not be too difficult.

With nearly 300 parts, this kit is not for the absolute beginner (Revell themselves rate the kit as Skill Level 5 - their highest ranking), but a moderately experienced modeller should not have any problems.

In my opinion, this is the best model of the legendary Lancaster that we have seen in any scale to date.

I can't wait to build mine!

Highly Recommended.

Thanks to Hannants for the sample.


Review Text and Images Copyright 2007 by Brett Green
Page Created 19 December, 2007
Last updated 28 December, 2007

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