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Airfix Whitley Mk.V

FineScale Modeler reviews the 1/72 scale plastic model aircraft kit
Armstrong Whitworth’s Whitley, a pre-World War II bomber, performed yeoman’s work for the Royal Air Force early in the war. From bombing to dropping paratroops and hunting U-boats, it was in heavy action.

Airfix’s all-new Whitley comprises well-molded gray plastic and features a detailed cockpit, bomb bay, and interior, posable flaps, and optional clear parts. A lot of windows grace the fuselage, and Airfix cleverly molded them in clusters that install from inside to speed assembly.

The fuselage builds from a front section including the cockpit and a long rear fuselage comprising three parts. These assemblies mate with the central wing module. Crew doors can be posed open, and boarding ladders are provided.

Assembly of the wings posed no problems, and they blended with the center section with help from sturdy spars.

Fit of the well-engineered parts is tight and precise. Be sure to keep mating surfaces clear of paint for a trouble-free build; I needed just a little filler at the wing roots.

The combination of clear and solid parts made construction of the gun turrets a bit finicky. I had problems aligning the rear turret’s four guns, and the internal parts fit a little too tightly with the clear section. The nose turret’s opening was too narrow for the machine gun to pass through, so I cut off the barrel, closed the turret, and reattached the barrel.

Detail fills both bomb bays, which can be displayed by cutting apart the four-section doors. Four bombs complete the load.

I painted my Whitley with a combination of Tamiya acrylic and spray paints.

Cartograf decals provide markings for two aircraft, and they settled nicely over a glossy surface with the aid of decal-setting solution.

The model looks good when compared to photos and drawings in Warpaint No. 21 — Armstrong Whitworth Whitley by Ken Wixey (Hall Park, no ISBN).

I completed my Whitley in 28 enjoyable hours and was impressed with the fit and engineering. While not for beginners, it can be handled by modelers with a little experience building small-scale kits.

Note: A version of this review appeared in the July 2017 issue.


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