Thursday, April 22

Build review Pt I: 48th scale Avro Lancaster B Mk.1 From Hong Kong Models

Hong Kong Models 48th scale Avro Lancaster B Mk.1 has been a popular topic with modellers, and we have looked at it with an in-depth review from Gary a few weeks back. Today - the very talented Adam O'Brien starts his build of the kit, the inside of the whole interior put together, painted and weathered in Part I of his build review... 

Build review: Avro Lancaster B Mk.1
From Hong Kong Models 
1/48th scale
Kit No# 01F005
Approximately 360 parts
Photo-etch parts included
Completed size: 648 (total width) x 443 (total length) 
Cartograf decals included for two marking choices
Poster of the boxart is included
Price: ¥11,000 ($105 USD/ 75 GBP/ 86 Euro)
Product Link on the HLJ Website
Product Link on the HK Models Website
Part I - Interior
Not surprisingly, HKM have scaled down their monster 1/32 Lancaster kit into the more manageable scale of 1/48. Even so, in this scale, the model is still quite large with a length of 443mm and a wing span of 648mm. This will be one of the largest aircraft models I have ever built. I will not go over ground already covered in Gary’s excellent in-box review of a few weeks back – suffice to say that this model is stunning “in the plastic” – lets hope it goes together without too many hiccups !
The almost A3 sized glossy instruction booklet consists of grey scale images of the 3D model used to produce the kit. The construction process looks reasonably clear on the exploded views, though exact location points for some parts is a bit “fuzzy” – I’ll address some of these as I progress through the model.

Parts 1, 2 & 3 in the instruction booklet are concerned with the construction of the pilot’s seat and cockpit, rearward to the main wing spar. The pilot’s seat itself is a lovely molding that required only the removal of the kit’s thick headrest armour plate. This was replaced with a newly fabricated part made from .75 styrene sheet – for better scale thickness. At this stage I also removed the molded instrument panel detail, to facilitate mounting of the Yahu Models pre-painted panel. The Yahu panel was made for the Tamiya kit, so the fit was not perfect. Once hidden under the fuselage front, the slight curvature difference is not seen.
Parts 4 ,5 & 6 continue with the remainder of the interior. I chose to construct the entire assembly prior to any paintwork, simply for speed and the fact that the majority of the interior will be very difficult to see once the fuselage is buttoned-up. A few shallow ejector pin marks on the floor were filled with CA glue and sanded flush. Also, as can be seen in the photos below, I covered the most difficult to sand pin marks with a sheet of 0.5mm styrene. This is the floor area adjacent the rest bed. 
Placement and fit of the parts to this point is excellent. Detail is adequate given most of the interior will not be seen, though it is a good base for the super-detailer…
The internal ribbing and external surface detail of the fuselage halves is brilliant and will take some subtle weathering to bring out the best in these parts…
Also, the internal ribbing has no moulding imperfections for the modeller to have to remove.
Painting of the interior consisted of a primer – Mr. Finishing Surfacer 1500 Black, airbrushed on, thinned 50/50 with Mr. Levelling Thinner. I normally use a black primer on all my work as it creates depth and shadowing for free, once the colour coats are started. The second colour applied was a couple of thin coats of silver lacquer, sprayed predominantly from above to allow some of the black to remain in recesses etc. Third, a coat of acrylic satin varnish was applied. Here I used the VMS HD top coat product – easily the best varnishes I have ever used. The last paint coat applied was the RAF interior green ( AK Interactive RC293). Once the green coat was dry, I very carefully sanded through to the silver base, to show areas scuffed and worn away by crew movement through the body of the aircraft…
Most of the detail painting of the interior was completed with Vallejo acrylics, followed by a subtle oil wash using MIG’s Oilbrushers – Dark Brown predominantly, with Medium Grey used on the black areas such as the instruments and radio’s. The leather parts of the seats, and the rest bed were first covered with a dark brown leather decal from Uschi. Once the decals had hardened, I again used subtle pin washes of dark brown to blend the decal to the surroundings and create some shadowing. Highlighting on the leather cushions was done with a buff coloured Oilbrusher – blended with white spirit. Finally, to the pilot’s seat, I added a harness from my spares box. This is most likely not 100% correct for the Lancaster, but it will add some extra detail viewed through the canopy…
Moving on to the fuselage internals, the paint process was essentially the same as described above. The first coat of black was masked-off to prepare for the green coat. I did not use the silver intermediate coat here as I was not going to show any scuffing etc. on the fuselage sides. The remaining black areas were highlighted with a medium grey wash, mixed from the Oilbrusher with white spirit. The photo below shows the subtle grey wash on the black areas.
The internal ribbing was highlighted with MIG’s enamel “Dark Wash”, a jar that I’ve had for a decade or more! This is a fantastic, very dark brown which is ideal for adding shadows to almost any colour.
To remove the wash from the ribbing, I use a plastic handled foam “brush” These are from the Gaianotes “G-Goods” series (purchased from HobbyLink Japan). Moistened in a small amount of artist’s white spirit, they do a great job of removing excess wash, without drawing the wash out of the recesses that you want it in. To do some final blending of the dark tones, I use a completely dry brush, swept over the ribs to soften the edges of the wash.
As can be seen above, the wing attachment system that HKM use, creates an unsightly area that can just be seen from outside – through the small windows. I decided to fill-in this area with a sheet of .75mm styrene, cut to the wing opening size and ribbed to match the surrounding walls. This will be extremely difficult to see on the finished model, only through the small side windows.
The underside of the floor area is the bomb bay “ceiling”. This was simply painted satin black and weathered with a medium grey oil wash. The bomb mounting ribs were picked-out with a dark grey acrylic to added some highlighting on the basic black.
A test-fit of the cockpit interior to the fuselage side…
The completed interior – ready to be “buttoned-up”
Next up - PART TWO – "GUNS ‘n’ BOMBS" is coming soon to TMN...

Adam O'Brien

Thanks to Hong Kong Models for sending this kit to Adam to build and review. You can see more about this kit and the others in HK Model's range on their website.

Appendix: Instruction booklet