Thursday, August 24

1/48th scale Lancaster B.Mk.III Dambusters kit from Hong Kong Models ready for release...

Hong Kong Models new 1/48th scale Lancaster B.MK.III Dambuster is due for release in September. We look at the information on this kit including markings in our preview...

1/48th scale Lancaster B.Mk.III Dambusters kit from Hong Kong Models ready for release...

Avro Lancaster B.MK.III 
From Hong Kong Models
Item no #01F006
1/48th scale kit
Plastic injection moulded kit with photo-etch for seat belts included
Markings for four nose arts included
Release due in September
Price: $101.85 USD on the Hobbylink Japan Website
The Subject: The Avro Lancaster B.MK.III "Dambuster"
Shortly after the outbreak of World War II, Dr. Wallis of Vickers proposed bombing and destroying the dams that supply electricity to the Ruhr region, Germany's largest industrial area. A drum-shaped bomb filled with about three tons of explosives was given a spin in the opposite direction that the aircraft carrying it was traveling in, jumped on the surface of the water, hit the parapet of the dam, sank at that position, exploded at a depth of nine meters, and destroyed the dam. 

Dambuster Bouncing Bomb Tests before the raids...
The Lancaster B Mk.IIIs equipped with this bomb had been remodeled into a shape with a large scooped-out fuselage underside to mount this special bomb, the "Upkeep" bouncing bomb used for dam busting bomb mounted under Lancaster B III (Special). The chain was driven by a hydraulic motor and gave the bomb its backspin. 
From 9.28pm on 16 May, 133 aircrew in 19 Lancasters took off in three waves to bomb the dams. Gibson was flying in the first wave and his aircraft was first to attack the Möhne (pictured below after the raid) at 12.28am, but five aircraft had to drop their bombs before it was breached. The remaining aircraft still to drop their bombs then attacked the Eder, which finally collapsed at 1.52am. Meanwhile, aircraft from the two other waves bombed the Sorpe but it remained intact. Following the raid none were fully returned to standard Lancaster B.III configuration as it was too difficult or too costly to refit the bomb bay doors.

You can see the large cut out and fairing of the aircraft without a bomb prior to the mission.
After the dam raids, eight were used in August 1943 for trials with forward rotating Upkeep mines at the Ashley Walk bombing range in the New Forrest near to Fordingbridge. The idea was that a sea launched Upkeep mine could roll up the beach and penetrate coastal defences and also potentially be used to attack strategic canals. Though the trials were successful the idea was taken no further. During the trial one of the Lancasters was caught in the slipstream of others in close formation and crashed.
A single Lancaster was used to dispose of a single Upkeep in April 1945 and 3 of the Lancasters were used on Operation Guzzle in August to December 1946 for disposing of the remaining 37 live upkeep mines in the Atlantic Ocean about 280 miles west of Glasgow. All the remaining 11 were all unceremoniously scrapped post war.

The Möhne dam after the raid...
This new kit in 1/48th scale shares the same boxart as it's larger, 1/32nd scale cousin. There are many of the same features in this kit, just smaller in scale:

The feature list of this kit:
  • Photo-etched parts
  • Color manual and a poster
  • New FN20 Rear Turret
  • Realistic Surface Detail
  • Detailed cockpit
  • Detailed Packard Merlin Engines
  • Brand new Dambusters specific parts including the "Upkeep" bouncing bomb.
The interior is just as detailed as the 1/32nd and previous Mk.I 48th scale kit...
Decals for one aircraft by Cartograf. These consist of national markings and markings for Gibson's "AJ-G"
Gibson's aircraft markings...
Marking Choice:
The aircraft chosen in this kit is the Avro Lancaster B.MK.III ED935 "AJ-G" from 617 Squadron.
Flown by the Squadron lead Commander Guy Gibson. AJ-G was delivered to the squadron at the end of April, 1943, this aircraft's initials were chosen because of Gibson's father's initials of Alexander James Gibson (AJG).

Guy Gibson (atop the ladder) and his crew climb aboard Type 464 Provisioning Lancaster Mk.III Special ED932 at Scampton on May 16, 1943
AJG Survived the mission after dropping its upkeep mine and returned safely to base. It was re-coded to "AJ-V" , then "YF-C" and survived the war until 1947 when it was scrapped after damage incurred at takeoff in November, 1946.

A practice ‘Upkeep’ weapon attached to the bomb bay of Wing Commander Guy Gibson’s Avro Type 464 (Provisioning) Lancaster, ED932/G ‘AJ-G’, at Manston, Kent, while conducting dropping trials off Reculver. This shows the later design without the spherical casing.
This kit is due for release in September - You can get more information on this kit from the Hong Kong Models website.