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Sea Vixen 1/72 Sea Vixen FAW.1 Kit First Look

By Michael Benolkin

Date of Review January 2012 Manufacturer DML/
Subject Sea Vixen FAW.1 Scale 1/72
Kit Number 5051 Primary Media Styrene
Pros Easy Build Cons Nothing noted
Skill Level Basic MSRP (USD) $47.69

First Look

Sea Vixen
Sea Vixen
Sea Vixen

The de Havilland Sea Vixen was follow-on design for the Royal Navy Sea Venom, also a de Havilland design. This was the first aircraft to incorporate axial flow turbine engines (originally developed by Germany) as the centrifugal flow engines used until this point were growing too large for the power they could generate. The overall design retained the same twin-boom arrangement that started with de Havilland's Vampire series. The Sea Vixen started off as a standard fighter design but like many other fighters of the day, its guns were deleted in favor of an all-missile armament suite. The radar operator sat to the right of the pilot in an enclosed cockpit which provided better viewing of the radar set in most operating conditions. The Sea Vixen is usually associated with Hawker Siddeley as the aircraft was entering production about the same time as de Havilland's company was merged with the Hawker Siddeley group. The Sea Vixen would serve with the Royal Navy well into the early 1970s until replaced by the Spey-powered F-4 Phantom II.

DML's '' brand has released the much anticipated Sea Vixen in 1/72nd scale. This first release covers the Mark 1 version and the tooling hints at a Mark 2 in our future. Molded in light gray styrene, the kit is presented on four parts trees plus a single tree of clear parts.

Despite the kit's small scale, it does feature some impressive details. The first step has you building up the intake ducts that feature compressor faces at the ends as well as the tailpipes that likewise end with turbine faces. Assembly of the cockpit also starts in this first step and it has some great detailing in the raised pilot's cockpit as well as the radar operator's recessed 'pit. Fortunately the radar operator's overhead hatch is positionable to allow for viewing down inside that pit. The pilot's canopy is likewise positionable.

Among the overall features of the kit:

  • Detailed pilot's cockpit
  • Positionanle sliding canopy for pilot's cockpit
  • Detailed radar operator's cockpit
  • Positionable hatch for radar operator's cockpit
  • Intake ducts with engine faces
  • Tailpipes with turbine faces
  • Positionable landing flaps
  • Positionable tail hook
  • Positionable speed brake
  • Positionable rudders
  • Positionable ailerons
  • Wings can be posed folded or flight-ready
  • Positionable landing gear
  • 2 x rocket pods
  • 2 x external tanks

The kit provides markings for the following six examples:

  • FAW.1, XN650, 893 Sqn, C/456, HMS Centaur, 1963
  • FAW.1, XN691, 892 Sqn, H/219, Royal Navy, 1963
  • FAW.1, XJ482, 766 Sqn, V/713, Royal Navy, 1967
  • FAW.1, XJ576, 899 Sqn, V/488, Royal Navy, 1962
  • FAW.1, XJ525, 890 Sqn, H/241, Royal Navy, 1961
  • FAW.1, XJ526, 890 Sqn, R/248, Royal Navy, 1964

This is an impressive kit and I wish DML would consider up-scaling this gem to 1/48 as well. This kit provides another nice installment to the de Havilland twin-boom fighter family.

My sincere thanks to DML For this review sample!