Bristol Blenheim Mk.IV
Classic Airframes, 1/48
u m m a r y
|4138 - Bristol Blenheim Mk.IV
|Contents and Media:
57 parts in gray styrene, 66 parts in cream
colored resin, 5 clear injection molded parts and 2 vac-formed clear
parts. Instructions, decal sheet and painting guide for 5 aircraft.
MSRP - USD$65.00
Available from Squadron Mail Order
Crisply engraved and excellent surface detail;
newly designed wheel wells and wheels.
Some modeling experience is always helpful. Very
clear but brittle clear parts.
Steven "Modeldad" Eisenman
Airframes' 1/48 scale Blenheim Mk.IV is available online from Squadron
But, this time there is nothing to fear. The most
evil wheel wells from hell are dead; they are no more, and unlike Carrie
or Freddy, they will not take revenge from beyond.
Basically, this is the same Bristol Blenheim Mk. IV
that Classic Airframes released seven years ago, and
reviewed at the time here on Hyperscale. (...and I must say that
Brettís photography has come a long, long way since then). But while
the contents are mostly the same, there have been some changes.
The most obvious difference is the redesign of the
wheel wells. In the previous incarnation, the molding block was on top
and required careful cutting and sanding of the well, as well as
scraping of the inside of the wing-top to get the well to fit between
the wing halves. The new well requires virtually no effort to fit
between the wing halves. You do not even need to remove the pour stub.
However, unlike the previous well and due to the new molding design, the
new well is made up of three pieces.
As I have shown in the accompanying pictures, I
merely placed the well molding in the lower wing and put on the
wing-top, taping the two together. (Iíd like to thank my assistant,
Thing, for holding the wing while taking the picture)
the thumbnails below to view larger images:
The other change is the inclusion of beautifully
molded resin wheels, which scale out to 36 inches. The undersized
plastic wheels are not used and will be just an addition to the parts
Those who have the older kit will also notice the
styrene is not the same. It is now the darker gray type that you will
also find in the newer MPM kits. It is less brittle than the plastic in
the previously issued kit.
You will also notice that the clear parts are much
clearer and thinner than before. On the down side, the clear parts
appear to be quite brittle, similar to the clear parts in the MPM Fulmar
and Special Hobby Skua. So care should be exercised in holding them.
As with the initial issue, there is a good array of
armament included in the kit. These include both early (Plexiglas) and
late Frazer Nash FN-54 turrets for under the nose. It also includes the
belly four-gun pack for the Mk. IVF. There is also a Vickers K and a
pair of Browning .303 machine guns.
There are markings for five different aircraft, two
of which were included in the original kit. The decals are well printed
by Cartograph of Italy. While the center dot for the roundels is not
printed separately, all the roundels appear to be in good register.
the thumbnails below to view larger images:
V6374,105 Squadron, 105 Squadron, Lossiemouth, circa late 1941.
This aircraft is in the Costal Command scheme of Extra Dark Sea
Grey, (Dark?) Slate Grey and Sky.
WM*Z, Z5722, 68
Squadron, High Ercall, 1941. This is a Mk. IVF (fighter) with the
four-gun belly pack. The aircraft is in overall black.
White 14, Z9583,
Groupe Lorraine, Free French Air Force, Egypt, circa 1941. This
aircraft is in Dark Earth and Middle Stone with Azure undersides.
The Middle Stone was painted over the original Dark Green, therefore
the serial number was left on a Dark Green background. The kit
includes Cross-of-Lorraine marking for six positions. While it is
clear from photographs that they were carried on the fuselage and
under the wings, there is not much documentation as to whether they
were also applied to the top of the wing. One other point is that
the blue, white and red French colors may have been applied using
the darker RAF colors. But, it is unclear from the photographs.
This aircraft most likely had the late style Frazer Nash chin
turret, even though the painting guide appears to show the early
X, T2249, 84
Squadron, Aqir, Palestine, circa April 1941. This aircraft is in
Dark Green, Dark Earth and Sky.
BL-129, Finnish Air
Force, 1942. There are some issue with the identification,
construction and camouflage with regard BL-129. The instructions
indicate that it was with LeLv 42. But, it was never with that
unit. At the time of the applicable markings it was with
Photoflight/LeLv 48. The aircraft did not have an under-nose
turret. Rather, where the turret would have been was a circular
opening for the camera. It appears the bombsight was left in
place. Also, the shape of the camouflage scheme was slightly
different from that shown on the paining guide. This aircraft
carried out 95 missions and photographed 40950 km2 by the beginning
of winter 1942. If you want to do BL-129, I would recommend that
Suomen Ilamvoiment Historia (Finnish Air Force History) #10, Bristol
Blenheim, which has an excellent series of photographs of
This is a great kit to have back in production.
Even better now that the wheel wells have been redesigned and new wheels
are included. I built the original issue of the Mk. I when it came out,
and while the clear nose to fuselage join requires careful work, the
model is not all that difficult.
This is a reissue that I believe many will
appreciate, especially as Classic Airframes responded to the requests of
many a modeler. At the moment, and for the immediate future, this
appears to be the only model of this famous British bomber. One can
wait for the perfect wave, but having built one long ago, I find that
there is much satisfaction in have the old war horse Blenheim as part of
Classic Airframes for
the review sample.
kits are available worldwide through hobby retailers and from
Review and Images Copyright © 2007 by Steven "Modeldad"
Page Created 17 September, 2007
Last updated 24 December, 2007
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