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Vampire Night Fighter
RAF, Italy

Classic Airframes, 1/48 scale

S u m m a r y

Catalogue Number: 492 - De Havilland Vampire Night Fighter
Scale: 1/48
Contents and Media: 45 parts in grey styrene; 16 parts in grey colored resin; 1 clear injection molded part; instructions; decal sheet and painting guide for three aircraft.
Price: MSRP USD$50.00
Review Type: FirstLook
Advantages: Finely recessed panel lines, impressively detailed resin parts, accurate; colourful marking options; includes corrected intakes; separately packed clear part
Disadvantages: One piece canopy
Recommendation: Highly Recommended

 

Reviewed by Brett Green


Classic Airframes' 1/48 scale Vampire Night Fighter  may be ordered online from Squadron

 

FirstLook

 

Classic Airframes has expanded its Vampire family to include the Night Fighter variant.

Kit number 492 contains parts to build a Vampire NF.10 in the markings of either the Royal Air Force or Italy.

Classic Airframes' Vampire trainer comprises only 45 parts in short-run injection moulded plastic, one part in clear, plus 16 grey resin pieces. The plastic is shiny and smooth, with finely recessed panel lines. The fuselage is split into port and starboard halves, with the nose supplied as two separate halves. The bulbous night fighter nose is different to the two-seater trainer, and the distinctions have been captured well.

 

Click the thumbnails below to view larger images:


The tail section is common with the single-seater fighters..

The canopy is provided as a single part in injection moulded clear plastic. You'll need to do some careful cutting if you want to display the canopy open, but the good news is that the plastic is very clear and free of distortion.

The resin parts are beautifully detailed. The instrument panel (with integrated coaming and separate night-fighter console) is very impressive indeed. The cockpit sidewalls are also noteworthy, as they have cabling detail, throttles and even the trim wheel cast onto the parts! You'll need to source your own harness though. The intakes are the same as the improved version supplied in the FB.5 "Foreign Versions" kit.

 

 

Some of the parts, including the main cockpit floor, the seats and the instrument panel, are cast onto stout blocks so a combination of a good razor saw and caution will be required when preparing these resin components.

Three interesting marking options are supplied - two RAF, one Italian. The decals are thin and perfectly in register. The marking guide is on black and white, but a colour version is available on the Classic Airframes website. I have also included the colour guide in thumbnail format below.

Click the thumbnails below to view larger images:

 
 

 

 

Conclusion

 

It is pleasing to see that Classic Airframes has continued their 1/48 scale Vampire series to include the night fighter, with its aggressive lines and interesting camouflage.

Classic Airframes' Vampire Night Fighter will need a little more cleanup and preparation of parts than a long-run kit from Tamiya or Hasegawa. Also, the lack of locating pins will call for extra care and dry-fitting. In other words, modelling skills are required, but anyone who has already built a Classic Airframes kit should not have any trouble coming up with a good result straight from the box.

Having already built a single seat Vampire from Classic Airframes, I can suggest that there will be some work required thinning the inside of the wings to make room for the resin wheel wells, and that reinforcement of the tail booms is advisable (but not mandatory). With its large hollow nose, at least it will be easy to add plenty of nose weight to the Night Fighter!

Classic Airframes' kit will be warmly welcomed by fans of night fighters and post-war British military aviation. The kit is fairly simple, with a small number of parts but a very high level of detail.

Highly Recommended to experienced modellers.
 

 

References

 

  1. Warpaint Series No. 27, de Havilland Vampire, by W. A. Harrison, published by Hall Park

  2. http://www.groundhog.org/

Thanks to Classic Airframes for the review sample.


Classic Airframes kits are available worldwide through hobby retailers and from Squadron.com


Review and Images Copyright 2006 by Brett Green
Page Created 18 October, 2006
Last updated 21 February, 2007

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