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Westland Whirlwind

Trumpeter 1/48 Westland Whirlwind Kit First Look

By Michael Benolkin

Date of Review June 2014 Manufacturer Trumpeter
Subject Westland Whirlwind Scale 1/48
Kit Number 2890 Primary Media Styrene
Pros First all injection-molded kit of this subject in this scale Cons Don't throw away your Classic Airframes kit (see text)
Skill Level Intermediate MSRP (USD) $49.95

First Look

Westland Whirlwind
Westland Whirlwind
Westland Whirlwind

When one looks at the lines of the Westland Whirlwind, you might assume that you're looking at a late-war development that didn't go far because it was one of many designs that stopped with the end of hostilities. You might be surprised (if you didn't already know) that the Whirlwind was designed before World War 2 in parallel with the Supermarine Spitfire. The aircraft fast at low-level, but the Peregrine engines that power the aircraft didn't have superchargers for high altitude performance. The engines also had reliability problems which ended up taking the only two squadrons of Whirlwinds offline in 1943 for other equipment. Ironically the Peregrine turned out to be more reliable than the follow-on Napier Sabre engine that would power the Typhoon.

Until now, the only choice for a Westland Whirlwind in 1/48 scale was the Classic Aiframes kit that was issued twice before the company ceased operations. Trumpeter has take on the subject and we'll take a closer look at this latest effort. The kit is molded in their standard light gray styrene and presented on four parts trees plus one tree of clear parts.

The cockpit is simple but with the addition of a good throttle quadrant, pilot restraints, and a few other details, the front office will look nice. Since the tailwheel doors are molded open, it is a safe bet that you'll be leaving the landing gear down. The interiors of the main wheel wells have basic structures in there and will need some detailing to get them looking right. The landing gear is fine though you'll want to add brake lines.

The great mystery to me is the upper surface of the wings. If you look at the sections outboard of the engines, it looks like the rear of the fuel cells are not properly fastened into the wing. The problem is that the kit is molded that way. You'll have to sand that portion of the wing flush with the rest of the wing, then rescribe the corrugations that add strength to the upper tank surface, you'll have to add the same corrugations to the tanks in front of the main spar as well as those are not molded into the wings.

Markings are provided for two examples assigned to 263 Sqn.

Even though the kit will make for an easy build for the average modeler, this is going to take a little work to get this kit fixed hence the reason for the 'experienced' skill level. Since the flight control surfaces and flaps are all molded neutral/closed, the only option is canopy open or closed. The alternative is to hang on to your Classic Airframes kit and give that a go.

My sincere thanks to Stevens International for this review sample!