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Vulcan Kit

Great Wall Hobbies 1/144 Vulcan B.2 Kit First Look

By Michael Benolkin

Date of Review November 2012 Manufacturer Great Wall Hobby
Subject Vulcan B.2 Scale 1/144
Kit Number 1001 Primary Media Styrene
Pros Beautifully done model of this distinctive aircraft Cons Nothing noted
Skill Level Basic MSRP (USD) $47.99

First Look

Vulcan Kit
Vulcan Kit
Vulcan Kit
Vulcan Kit

The AVRO Vulcan was one of three bomber types built as part of Great Britain's V-Bomber force as part of the Cold War nuclear deterrant. Each of the V-bombers was required to be able to scramble away from their bases in very quick time due to the much shorter time of flight for incoming bombers or missiles that might strike the UK. In the case of the Vulcan, the aircraft was powered by four non-afterburning Olympus engines that gave the aircraft the ability to speed away from home and provide an appropriate response to any hostility.

While the Vulcan was never called upon to deliver a nuclear strike, the aircraft did see combat during the Falklands War as it staged from Ascension Island to fly surveillance, electronic warfare, and strike missions against Argentinian targets. One of the Vulcan missions ended prematurely when it was unable to air refuel and was forced to make an emergency landing in Brazil. The aircraft was eventually returned to the UK on the condition that it no longer took part in the war.

Great Wall Hobby is a kit manufacturer from China that has been producing a number of great subjects overlooked by other manufacturers. This latest release is their first in 1/144 scale and from the looks of this kit, I certainly hope it won't be their last! This is the Avro Vulcan B.2 and it has some very nice detailing. While not the first kit of this subject in 1/144, it definitely looks like one of the best to date. Anigrand produced one over three years ago and it was a nice kit, but resin kits are not the first choice of the average modeler. Here we have an all-plastic kit, molded in light gray styrene and presented on six parts trees plus one tree of clear parts and one display stand molded in black.

You can see that the parts layout provides the basic aircraft with the upper and lower airframe halves in the first image, plus the two parts trees in the second image, and the clear parts and display stand in the third image. Oh yes, and this kit provides two optional crew figures in this scale! So that leaves the one parts tree in the third image which represent the subject of this release - Operation Black Buck. The two aircraft depicted in this release took part in the Black Buck missions including the flights with the Shrike anti-radiation missiles for strikes on air defense radar sites. You can be sure that with the open weapons bay molded into the lower fuselage, you'll be seeing other variations of the Vulcan coming in the future.

Markings are provided for two examples:

  • Vulcan B.2, XM597, 101 Sqn, RAF Ascension Island, Operation Black Buck, Falklands War, 1982
  • Vulcan B.2, XM607, 44 Sqn, RAF Ascension Island, Operation Black Buck, Falklands War, 1982

Painting instructions are provided in the new Gunze Creos color standard.

This is one of the nicest Vulcan kits produced to date and I sincerely hope they'll consider scaling up this kit into 1/72 scale.

My sincere thanks to Great Wall Hobbies for this review sample!