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Wellington

Trumpeter 1/72 Wellington Mk.III Kit First Look

By Michael Benolkin

Date of Review August 2008 Manufacturer Trumpeter
Subject Wellington Mk.III Scale 1/72
Kit Number 1627 Primary Media Styrene
Pros Nice interior, bomb bay, & wheel wells Cons Geodetic details on wing and tail surfaces slightly overdone
Skill Level Intermediate MSRP (USD) $47.95

First Look

Wellington
Wellington
Wellington
Wellington
Wellington
Wellington
Wellington
Wellington
Wellington

In response to Air Ministry Specification B.9/32 calling for a medium day bomber, Vickers put forth a design in 1932 using a geodetic framework to create a robust aircraft without the weight penalty. This design had been previously used on the Wellesley single-engine bomber. The resulting Wellington would replace the RAF's biplane bombers with a capable monoplane bomber.

Despite being technically obsolete by the time the second world war rolled around, the Wellington not only served with distinction throughout the war, it also continued into civilian service after the war. Not only did the Wellington serve as a medium bomber in the early years of the war, it would also serve Coastal Command as a patrol aircraft, Training Command as a multi-engined trainer, and even work in the special mission worlds as well.

The Wellington Mk.III was powered by two Bristol Hercules engines rated at 1,375 horsepower each (375 more than the Bristol Pegasus-powered Mk.IC and 230 horsepower more than the Merlin-powered Mk.II). The tail turret was also upgraded to a quad-gun configuration.

Trumpeter has released the second installment in the Vickers Wellington series in 1/72 scale. The most noteworthy feature about the Wellington in full-scale is the geodetic construction. The lattice-type framework is very distinctive in every photo of the subject. This detail has been thoroughly captured in the kit. As with other aircraft of the era, the Wellington was fabric-covered. That means that under the right lighting conditions and at the right angles, you can see the underlying structure of the aircraft against the drum-tight fabric skin of the fuselage, wings, tail, and flight control surfaces.

In this kit, the fabric-covered geodetic framework is a bit overemphasized, but the build-ups of the 1/48 scale versions I've seen after painting really look nice.

The kit is comprised of ten parts trees molded in light gray styrene and three parts trees molded in clear styrene. The kit has some great detailing molded throughout. According to the specs, there are 203 parts in this kit.

The kit features a detailed interior. Not just the cockpit, the whole interior. The navigator and wireless operator crew stations are also provided behind the main flight deck even though you won't likely see these details after assembly. The main cabin floor doubles as the top of the bomb bay. This kit has a very nicely done bomb bay and cabin interior.

The Hercules engines are nicely rendered and have your choice of two carburetor intake scoops. The kit also provides your choice of open or closed cowl flaps.

In addition to the cowl flaps, you also have positionable ailerons. Since this is a scaled down version of their beautiful 1/48 scale kits, as I've mentioned above, the bomb bay is nicely rendered, but there is no provision for open bomb bay doors (though the task would be daunting in this scale. The Wellington was impressive just for the sheer number of doors for the bomb bay! Thirty (30!) to be precise. In this release, there is a single part to cover that large opening.

Markings are included for two aircraft:

  • Wellington Mk.III, Z1382, BH-V, 300 Sqn, RAF Suffolk, 1942
  • Wellington Mk.III, DF640, BT-T, 30 OTU, RAF Suffolk, 1943

Aside from the somewhat exaggerated geodetic detail molded into the wing and tail surfaces, this still looks like a nice kit with no serious build challenges in construction.

My sincere thanks to Stevens International for this review sample!

Resources

  • Vickers Wellington, Alan W. Hall, Warpaint Series No.10, Hall Park Books Ltd

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