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HKM 1/32 Lancaster Mk I pre-build work up

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  • Member since
    November, 2004
HKM 1/32 Lancaster Mk I pre-build work up
Posted by snapdragonxxx on Monday, March 11, 2019 8:43 AM

The cockpit update parts have arrived and a paint test has been done. Some other extra parts have also arrived and with a kit of this size and display options with the clear fuselage parts preparation and plans take time. As this is new on the market, detailing companies  take time to catch up and Eduard has just released the cockpit, seatbelt and masking set, with next month (April) a bomb bay set and flaps set that I know of. 

Exterior painting sets are becoming available and these will be added to the build. You have to have a clear idea of just how YOU want the finished thing to look and formulate a plan for this as well as building in some flexibility for something that is released that is going to increase the detail that you didn't know about. This is why builds of this scale take longer than you think it will!

Eduards cockpit parts have arrived and I think they will be a great enhancement. Eduard have a steel seatbelt set available, but I think HGW's set when it comes available will be better.

The Main colours of the Lancaster are dark green, dark brown and black. Vallejo have the correct chipset colour for the green and brown, but the black is a bit peculiar.

Night black, as applied to bombers is not a true black but a blackish grey but so dark is looks black. To give a totally matt non-reflective surface, soot was added to the mix and it was usually applied with a brush rather than a spray gun.

Today, we can produce this without the need to add soot and get totally covered slapping it on to a huge aircraft. Just Jane, the BBMF and Canadian Lancasters show this colour, but for we modellers this is a hard colour to replicate which makes us cast about for alternatives.

In my opinion, the best available susbstitute is NATO black from Vallejo as it is chipset accurate and is probably 5% lighter than the original and to me and my eyes it looks the same.

Using a cockpit exterior part that won't be used in the actual build I did a paint test with NATO black from Vallejo directly onto the plastic with no primer. The primer used is just a little darker and will compensate for the 5% making the paint match exactly.

I have run the photos through photoshop as my camera paniced when pointed as the middle of a black subject and I have altered the levels to produce the correct result. This is also due to the changing light in my build room and lights in the room.

Vallejo's NATO black is totally matt and sits nice on the part and the detail that could be hard to see, now comes out and under this colour looks fantastic! I think the nail has been hit on the head and I would like to know what others think.



  • Member since
    August, 2012
  • From: Parker City, IN.
Posted by Rambo on Monday, March 11, 2019 8:50 AM
I agree HGW's cloth belts will look a lot better over the steel belts


  • Member since
    May, 2013
  • From: Indiana, USA
Posted by Greg on Monday, March 11, 2019 8:53 AM

I can't imagine how big the Lancaster will be in 1/32.

I've never seen a 1/32 Edward cockpit/panel PE set in person, the photos look good.

This should be fun to watch.


  • Member since
    November, 2004
Posted by snapdragonxxx on Monday, March 11, 2019 10:04 AM

Just to give greg an idea on how big his workbench needs to be for this one...

the 1/32 kit has a wingspan of 972mm and a length of 664mm. - you'll have to do the maths for inches (feet!)

I presume that you know the size of the Vallejo NATO black bottle!!! Big Smile and the card is A2 in size. The tape is the preliminary marking out for painting areas on the clear side. the final marking out will be once the floor etc is defined so that fixing will not be seen from the outside. I have already decided that where the flight engineer's panels are fixed, that section will also be painted externally to hide the rear of that panel and mount as there is no detail behind that, but the detail can be seen from the cockpit on the port side.

Here's a paint test for the Insignia. The paints are MRP RAF WWII insignia colours.

I am checking the blue with a company who specialises in rebuild, restoring, repainting and operating warbirds here in the UK just to make sure, but I am pretty sure it is BS 105 Oxford Blue.

A nice touch for the Merlins

but a right b******* to paint the letters red!

It might be around July when I start as with a clear fulselage side, you just can't cheat and with this being such an iconic and well documented aircraft with flying survivors, you need to get it right!

I hope that putting up this kind of thing shows why to produce a great looking kit, even with a low skill set you need to sit down and just think on how you want the thing to look and then work backwards to the start and factor in some flexibility and never be afraid to ask for help and opinions etc.

The price is big, the display options are what YOU want it to be and also the opportunity to learn new skills etc is huge.

For instance, I know the Merlins are detailed but basic. Adding the name plates is easy as it is a tiny blob of superglue and placing carefully onto the cylinder heads. Painting the red letters is not going to be easy and will probably be some thinned down RAL 3000 red paint. adding detail to the engine such as piping, etc takes extra planning and lots of photos from the internet and also a Merlin maintainance manual. You can do this on one and leave the covers off or do it to all 4 Surprise ARC's recent overhaul of the BBMF Lancaster PA474 and new paint job was well documented on their facebook page and is a huge resource for builders as they had it in small bits!

With these things it is just how far do you WANT to go!


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