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Wellington

Trumpeter 1/48 Wellington Mk.III Kit First Look

By Michael Benolkin

Date of Review January 2007 Manufacturer Trumpeter
Subject Wellington Mk.III Scale 1/48
Kit Number 2823 Primary Media Styrene, Photo-Etch, White Metal
Pros Nice interior, bomb bay, & wheel wells; no photo-etched control hinges; positionable flight controls & flaps Cons Geodetic details on wing and tail surfaces slightly overdone
Skill Level Intermediate MSRP (USD) $109.98

First Look

Wellington
Wellington
Wellington
Wellington
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 1/48 scale. Where the first release covered the Mk.IC (reviewed here) whilst this kit has the updates to build the Mk.III. As with previous release from Trumpeter, this kit has lots of detail inside and out.

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.

As mentioned in the Mk.IC review, the fabric-covered geodetic framework is a bit overemphasized, but the build-ups I've seen after painting really look nice.

The kit is comprised of fourteen parts trees molded in light gray styrene and two parts trees molded in clear styrene. The kit has some great detailing molded throughout. There is one fret of photo-etched parts that are essentially the inner walls of the main wheel wells. An acetate sheet containing the printed instrument faces goes behind the clear instrument panel. As with the Mk.IC, this kit features white metal landing gear struts for the main gear and the tailwheel. The wheel hubs are styrene, but the tires are rubber.

The kit features a detailed interior. Not just the cockpit, the whole interior. The main cabin floor doubles as the top of the bomb bay. This kit has a very nicely done bomb bay and cabin interior. In fact, you'll note that there are three trees of bombs providing one of the nicer array of early RAF bombs I've seen. There are 2000lb AP bombs, 1000lb GP bombs, 500lb GP bombs, 500 lb SAP bombs, 250lb SAP bombs, 250lb B bombs, and 250lb GP bombs included in the set. The instructions show seven different loadout options for your bomber.

As with previous Trumpeter releases, the Hercules engines are super-detailed models of their own right. The kit provides your choice of open or closed cowl flaps, and if you opt to leave the flaps open, there will be plenty of detail inside to see.

In addition to the cowl flaps, you have positionable flight control surfaces, positionable landing flaps, and your choice of open or closed bomb bay doors. The Wellington was impressive just for the sheer number of doors for the bomb bay! Thirty (30!) to be precise. Don't worry, if you opt to leave the bomb bay closed, there is a single part to cover that large opening.

Markings are included for two aircraft:

  • Wellington Mk.III, X3662, KO-P, 115 Sqn, RAF 1942
  • Wellington Mk.III, X3763, KW-L, 425 Sqn, RCAF North Yorkshire, 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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