u m m a r y
||Kit No. 463
|Contents and Media:
Low-pressure injection plastic - 32 grey styrene and one clear parts for
canopy. 57 parts in pale cream-colored resin (Note: there is an
unexplained fifth cannon.). Four pieces in white metal. Etched metal
(Which includes 12 pieces for the Sutton harness!). Instructions, decal
sheet and painting guide for 2 aircraft.
All the parts necessary to do either the fighter or “Whirlibomber”
Some small resin parts damaged in transit.
for moderate to
Reviewed by Steven "Modeldad" Eisenman
Classic Airframes' 1/48 scale Westland Whirlwind may be ordered online from
Deja Vu All Over
This is a
bit more than an in box review. It is a remembrance of things past and a
marking of time.
September of 1992, Scale Aircraft Modeling had an Aircraft in Detail
article by Alan Hall on the Westland Whirlwind and Welkin. It was
love at first sight. That little bit of a fuselage between those
massive twin engines and four 20mm.cannon in the nose; that little baby
meant business. I wanted a model of that aircraft, even knowing its
history of destined for failure. The Peregrine (not Merlin) engines
made it slow and ineffective for combat other than as a low level fighter.
Its range made it ineffective as a an escort fighter.
although the four cannon packed a punch, it was limited to about 10
seconds of actual combat time. As a result only 114 Whirlwinds were
built and only two squadrons were equipped, No. 263 and No.137, Finally
the Whirlwind was relegated to a low level fighter-bomber role until it
went out of service in December, 1943.
after that article appeared, rumors began to circulate of a vac-form
release from Cooper Details. I followed those rumors until the Spring of
1994, when rumors became reality. I had to have one, even at the price of
$43.95 (“gulp”). It was absolutely beautiful, a magnificent combination
of resin, white metal, etched metal and vac-form plastic (thank you Roy).
I did it as a “Whirlibomber” in Dark Green and Grays with the White and
Black marking that I had seen in the SAM article (more about this later).
wanted to do another one in Dark Green and Dark Earth, but for some reason
I never got my act together to get another Cooper kit and I missed out on
what appeared to be the quickly sold out Classic Airframes release in
1999. At the time, it was said that resin in the CA kit owed its heritage
to Cooper Details. Since then, there has always been a blank spot in my
collection for an early Whirlwind.
blank spot can now be filled with Classic Airframes’ re-release of the
As far as I know, it is the same kit with three changes,
and these for the better! The new kit has bombs included and a very clear
injection molded canopy. While molded in a single piece, it should be
easily cut apart with a bit of care. The other change is the etched metal
is now steel instead of brass.
Click the thumbnails
below to view larger images:
One of the
advantages of a re-release is that you do not have to wait for a build
article. With a mere click of your mouse, turn the clock back to January
1999, and follow that “novice” Brett Green through his
and painting of this fine kit in his Feature Article.
has a nice set of decals from Microscale for two different aircraft.:
HE*V / P6969 of No. 263 Squadron
Green, Dark Earth and Sky underside (click the
thumbnail at right to view larger image).
The eye catching making here is the
fin flash which runs the full height of the tail fin. There is some
debate as to the color of the fuselage band and spinners. The color guide
calls for them to be painted in Sky. The picture and some articles
indicate that they were a lighter color, such as a Sky Blue. A modeling
There is also the possibility that this aircraft had a black
port wing, but not nacelle underside, in December, 1940.
For modelers who
want to do something different, the first Whilrwinds had the top-side
camouflage wrap around the bottom of the fuselage and nacelles. There are
profiles of Whirlwind P6967 with this style, but it did not have any
squadron codes. The spinners were in Dark Earth, and the fin flash was
the full height, as in the kit. The roundels were also the same as in the
kit. It most likely had the black port and white starboard under-wing.
HE*Z / P6874, also of 263 Squadron
Green, Ocean Gray and Medium Sea Gray underside (click
the thumbnail at right to view larger image).
This aircraft carries
very distinctive special marking. The entire nose is white and the outer
wing undersides are black with two broad white stripes circling the outer
Now for the debate. According to the instructions and the
September, 1992 issue of SAM, these markings were used to identify
aircraft used in raids on Dieppe in August of 1942. But according to Ian
Hartup, in a Summer, 1999 (exact issue date unknown) issue of Aircraft
Modeller International, these markings were used in an Army co-operation
exercise called “Operation Spartan”. Also, Ian shows that the entire undersurface of the wings (including the center
fuselage portion, but not the nacelle undersides) was painted black.
of the historical reference for this scheme, to quote Ian, “Cor, sexy”.
one, am very glad that Jules from Classic Airframes decided to re-release
this kit. Even though the aircraft itself was but a mere footnote to the
air war in Europe, it is a great addition to any WWII aircraft model
no question that, like other CA kits, this one is less than “perfect” and
will take a little work to construct (I understand the wing and nacelle
fit require close attention), but then again no mainstream model company
would produce the aircraft that Classic Airframes has chosen to issue.
the greatest satisfaction can be had from the hard work needed to flesh
out those footnotes to history.
Review sample provided courtesy of Classic Airframes
kits are available worldwide through hobby retailers and from
Review and Images Copyright © 2003 by
Page Created 30 June, 2003
Last updated 09 November, 2003
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