Avro Lancaster B.Mk.I
Test Shot Preview
HK Models, 1/32 scale
by James Hatch
Eduard's Limited Edition 1/48 La-5
is available online from Squadron.com
I was lucky enough to have been in attendance at the Shizuoka Hobby Fair 2018, when Hong Kong Models’ forthcoming Lancaster B. Mk.I test shot was on display. We were also lucky enough to receive our own test shot to bring home and look more closely at, before we actually build it up for you and show you what it looks like. What you must understand from the start is that things WILL change from what you see here, more specifically in what you see as external details, although we can’t rule out internal amendments too. As soon as the tooling was used to produce these parts for the Shizuoka show, they went straight back into the machine shop for completion. This is envisaged to last another 6 weeks, approximately.
HKM has invested a lot of time in this release, and the production kit will have stressed skin appearance. Notice this is totally missing at the moment, as are panel lines and rivets. What we see here is a basic exterior appearance but with quite a comprehensive interior. One of the niggles of the B-17 was the ejector pin marks in between the various internal details. You’ll notice here that the Lancaster has no such marks and is ready for assembly and paint. The fuselage itself is split into two sections, with the nose being separate to the main fuselage. The latter is moulded with windows, as befits the early B. Mk.I machines, and this means that HKM can easily produce the windowless B. Mk.III version later, should they so choose. HK designed the split in the fuse to be the same one that Avro used in the manufacture of the bomber. Whilst the main fuselage is moulded in grey styrene, for the purposes of this test, the nose is moulded in clear styrene. This could be used for a limited-edition version in the future, with grey styrene then used as a standard edition. We’ll have to see. I’d love to see HKM release the nose as a separate kit too, so the modeller can choose to maybe build a range of nose-art subjects. Now that would be very cool indeed. The interior of the fuselage has stringer and frame details from front to back, with the nose section fitting cleanly to the main fuselage. For the upper turret, there will of course be a fairing, but this is on a sprue which is currently unfinished. You’ll see it in the final release.
We all know the levels of detail in the B-17, and this seems to perhaps surpass even this landmark kit. In my photos you’ll see much of what constitutes the interior of this future release, along with some images I’ve included from the Shizuoka show. I don’t have all the interior here, with there being parts missing that belong to the main interior, plus some floor and bomb bay sections, but you’ll get a general idea. Having seen the CAD as well as the test shot, HKM seem to have very much captured that interior, including the infamous main spar area, and the stabiliser as it passes through and into the rear fuselage area, just forward of the tail turret. Also of note are the double doors that separate the rear turret from the fuselage interior. Please remember that I’m still exploring this kit at the moment and will get a better grip on things as I start to glue things together, and I’ll share those findings here. Internals are included for the forward turret in my test shot, but not for the others due to the fact that the tooling process is still ongoing. I hope you get the general gist from what I can show.
I received two clear sprues for this model, with some extremely nice details. The main canopy is almost a single part, with the two forward side windows being separate parts. Forward and upper turrets are moulded as halves whilst the rear turret is a single clear part. Also note the inclusion of the blister for the H2S radar which would be fitted to a later variant. Two nose blisters are also included. These are the early production shallow blister, and also the deeper type used on later versions, again hinting of course at the B. Mk.III being a future kit. Note that a canopy blister is also supplied as a separate part.
As soon as I have the final test shot for my magazine work, I’ll provide a clearer and more expansive look at this much anticipated release.
Thanks to Neil Yan of HK Models for this test shot.
Text and Images Copyright © 2018 by James Hatch
Page Created 15 May, 2018
15 May, 2018
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