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Vickers Viscount

Glencoe 1/96 Vickers Viscount Kit First Look

By Michael Benolkin

Date of Review July 2006 Manufacturer Glencoe
Subject Vickers Viscount Scale 1/96
Kit Number 6501 Primary Media Styrene
Pros Simple build Cons
Skill Level Basic MSRP (USD) $15.00

First Look

Vickers Viscount
Vickers Viscount
Vickers Viscount
Vickers Viscount
Vickers Viscount
Vickers Viscount

In post-war Britain, the jet age was clearly at hand. While de Havilland was still getting the world's first jet-powered airliner ready (the Comet), Vickers launched the Vickers Model 630 Viscount in July 1948, powered by four Rolls Royce Dart turboprops. The Model 630 had a capacity of 32 passengers.

The Model 700 Viscount followed shortly afterwards, and this aircraft was stretched to accommodate 40 passengers. The Model 700 entered service in 1950 with Aer Lingus, Air France, and Trans Australia.

Serving as the first 'regional jet' of its day, the Viscount was a big hit with the airline industry as it was fast (334 mph at 20,000 feet), quiet, and comfortable.

Glencoe has re-released the Model 700 Viscount kit in 1/96 scale. This kit is molded in light gray styrene and presented on three parts trees, plus the two fuselage halves.

A fourth parts tree is also provided molded in clear with all of the windows. As an insert in the box suggests, DON'T use the clear parts - rather use MicroKlear or even white glue for the windows after the aircraft is assembled, painted, and decals applied. The results will be better-looking and with less hassle than trying to employ the original windows.

According to the styrene forensics expert, John W. Burns, this kit was originally tooled by Hawk. The kit was also offered as a promotional item (produced by Hawk) from Northeast Airlines, one of the North American operators of the Viscount. Glencoe has released this kit previously with different decals.

Given the history of these molds, you'll recognize that this kit is not a Tamiyagawa product, but neither is it complex. The surface detailing is raised, but not overdone. An AMS modeler could easily use the Micro-Chisel and scribing tools from Mission Models to bring the kit up to contemporary scribed detailing, but the average modeler will not at all be unhappy with the kit as it is straight from the box.

You can see that the forward and rear cabin doors are separately molded. You'll probably want to close these as there is no interior. Once again, an AMS modeler can fashion an interior for this kit and really create a show-stopper. Either way, a set of air stairs are also included for your display.

Markings are included for Viscounts operated by Northeast Airlines and Air France. These decals are printed by Scale Master and are very nicely done.

This is the only kit I am aware of that has ever been produced of this historic aircraft in injection-molded styrene. While 1/96 is an odd scale, your other choice is to hunt down one of the 1/72 vacuformed offerings of this aircraft at a greater price and a bunch more work. This kit is recommended!

My sincere thanks to Glencoe Models for this review sample!