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HK Models 1/32 Avro Lancaster Dambuster build

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  • Member since
    November 2004
HK Models 1/32 Avro Lancaster Dambuster build
Posted by snapdragonxxx on Saturday, June 8, 2019 7:25 PM

This is a little taster to show everyone what I have been up to today now that the Shinden is finished. I want to show you all my process' with this build if I can so please join in and ask questions, comment etc.

First of all I formulate a plan (yes... I have already photographed the kit as it comes in the box, but please be patient!). This plan evolves in several ways but I need to work out just how the kit has been designed and produced and also how it is built up in the instruction book. This gives me an idea of just how I can display the finished thing or maybe do something a little different.

I also need to see the size of the thing when done.. or pretty close and so out comes masking tape, parts and a knife etc. It helps to know just what size I am dealing with. Tanks are pretty easy to guess size wize, but aircraft.... The Lancaster is a big aircraft in 1/72 but in 1/32.... It's *********** massive! I can quote dimensions etc, but really a picture helps.

I normally work on A3 card stock (don't know what that is in the US. Maybe some kind soul will translate for me!) as you can see, the two sheets of A3 card (one is upright to provide a backdrop for photographing the sprues) Don't come close, but it does give you a size reference, as do other objects on my bench.

It is quite tidy at the moment but it won't stay like that for long!

Now, Plans don't survive first contact. every military officer will tell you that which brings the acronym FUBAR to mind... but we can't allow that! so every plan I have has backups and a bit of leeway and wriggle room.

For instance, the cockpit. Just how much can be seen through the canopy? Quite a lot so we have a need for detail. That comes in the form of Eduards' Cockpit set. It is the B1 set for the first release, but the only real difference between the Mk 1 and the Mk III is the change to a more powerful Packard Merlin. Same size etc, just more output and no Rolls Royce logo on them! The cockpit layout remained the same so I don't need to worry. The kit etched seatbelt set doesn't cut it and HGW haven't got theirs out yet so I have to use Eduards' painted steel set and after looking through that I do need to add some paint on the reverse side of one part. I think I should also add the curtains that blocked light from the Navigator and radio operatior's positions as well as the one that covers the top of the inside of the cockpit. This means using some thin wire amd I don't have a clue what to use for the curtains yet! they will be in the stowed position anyway!

I have no intention of using the decals after seeing the size of them. Trying to get them to lay and look like paint is not going to bne easy and the best way is to get masks from Maketar and DN models and paint them. It is going to be much easier.

Vallejo model air is the paint I will be using for the majority of the build. To get the upper surface correct I will be using masks again from Top Notch models. THe lower surfaces etc of the Lancaster was a colour referred to as RAF Night. It is not a true black as most people think and after conferring with the company that did the recent overhaul and repaint of the BBMF Lancaster I am going with NATO Black. THis is not a true black but like RAF Night it has a very slight blue cast to it. Hardly noticable really and Vallejo's NATO Black is accurate and also totally matt, like RAF Night. To get the totally matt effect, soot was mixed with the paint and then it was put on with brushes, not a spray gun.

With a kit of this size, you cannot really get away with using scale correct colours. it will look odd. You need the proper chipset accurate stuff and that's why Vallejo is my first choice for everything!

Getting the Roundel colours right too can be a pain. I'm still testing but I think I am close!

If anyone has information or wants to know something. Jump in and post. All are welcome!



  • Member since
    November 2004
Posted by snapdragonxxx on Sunday, June 9, 2019 6:24 AM

Ok. This is why you need to have a plan and constantly check the instructions, your work and do due diligence with researching your subject!

I have started the build with the Upkeep mine and associated equipment. Of course all this needs priming and painting!

What turns out to be the release mechanism for the arms in the instructions is in the wrong place. I thought I would get ahead with this and glued it in place where it told you to, but on dry fitting the rear fairing section there was an issue so I looked more closely removed the mechanism and used the actual release arms as a guide and did a complete dry fit of the area. This is why I get through lots of masking tape!

Holes are marked on the inside and you need a 1.6mm drill.

Actual place where the release mechanism goes

Rear fairing dry fitted. There are more parts to go at the side of the bomb bay.

step 27 Instructions remarked for you

strangely enough, step 28....

I have alerted HK's boss!

Fortunatly the rear fairing covers my original OOPS!

Here Endeth the Lesson! Time to start with the rear elevators/tailplane etc! Lets see what I can mess up now!

  • Member since
    August 2015
  • From: the redlands Fl
Posted by crown r n7 on Sunday, June 9, 2019 8:31 AM

Most impressive must of set you back  pretty penny 



  • Member since
    November 2004
Posted by snapdragonxxx on Monday, June 10, 2019 7:54 AM

I can't comment on the cost as I do research for HK models and the owner is a very good friend of mine. I would rather get a production kit as payment than money!

I think that you will be suprised at just what is in this kit, so keep following and don't be frightened to ask questions etc.

It is a huge kit, as is HK's B-17 Fortress kits with as much internal detail as can be done by injection process' and both the wings and tailplanes are designed to be removeable on the Lancaster. This is so that modellers have transportation and storage options.

I am looking to get Wingnut's version when it becomes available, depending on price, just to see what the differences are!

  • Member since
    November 2004
Posted by snapdragonxxx on Thursday, June 13, 2019 3:21 PM

Here's another update.

This build is not really complex, just big and I want to try and keep it that way. There are some areas that make you think but I want to make the areas seen detailed which is where Eduard comes in.

This is what I have been up to.

At this point I went on the hunt and am using a copy of official MAP (Ministry of Aircraft Production) Painting orders for the Lancaster.

I have gone with NATO black from the Vasllejo Model Air paint range. NATO black is not a true black, but is practically a copy of RAF Night and dries to a totally flat none reflective finish, which is what RAF Night was.

I masked up the space in the front section of the kit which was painted interior Green - BS381c 283.

Paint the area

remove the masking and you have the correct MAP paint scheme for wartime Lancasters inside and the cockpit.

There is some more masking to be done to paint the equipment panels that are already moulded on the correct black colour which should be different to the base colour and of course the Green. I can also prepare the side wall fixtures and fittings too that go on these two parts.



  • Member since
    November 2009
  • From: SW Virginia
Posted by Gamera on Friday, June 14, 2019 11:32 AM

Looks like an awesome kit and you're doing a great job on her!!! Yes

"I dream in fire but work in clay." -Arthur Machen


  • Member since
    November 2004
Posted by snapdragonxxx on Sunday, June 16, 2019 10:08 AM

Thanks Gamera. She's big and that means lots of paint!

I think I am going to leave off the blackout curtains on this one as it is attaching them that is causing a headache. you can see in this video of the cockpit from about 0.51. I could do to get into this aircraft and have a good look at this close up and personal before trying to replicate it!

Another update.

Upkeep mine done and ready to go on. Interior paint job progressing!

dry fits to make sure everything lines up so far!

Dry test visual check to see what is visible from an exterior point of view. There is soem estra painting to be dome as touch ups and more parts to add!

Once more, comments and questions welcome.. they also keep me forused which is a good thing!

  • Member since
    March 2012
  • From: Corpus Christi, Tx
Posted by mustang1989 on Monday, June 17, 2019 10:33 AM

Can't view this here at work but when I get home the first thing I'm going to do is look at this.



  • Member since
    November 2004
Posted by snapdragonxxx on Thursday, June 27, 2019 4:30 PM

Here is another update.

Let me first quantify a few things. there are some things being said on facebook, youtube and some forums. These are NOT true and are to do with the rear tailplanes and the detailing. They are not true and some anoracks have been reading the wrong books and technical manuals.

I di research for theis for HK over three years which included obtaining maintainance manuals for the various marks of the aircraft, electronic copies of original AVRO blueprints walkrounds of Just Jane, the BBMF Lancaster and the Canadian Lancaster while she was over here both inside and outside. with some 3000 images going over to HK models as well as many other details.

There is one guy, and I shall not mention his name who claims to be an expert who says there should be two dinghys one on the port wing root and one in the starboard wing root and the are manually inflated by the crew on ditching.

A shed load of brownie points to the first one that tells me the correct answer and the actual location of the manual release.

Also he and one or two others claim that the inspection hatch on the upper surface of the rear horizontal tailplane is in the wrong place and there were more.

This is the BBMF Lancaster PA474 during it's recent winter major overhaul and paint job. Notice the upper surface panel inspection hatches circled. They are for access to the linkage to the rudder movement control and are used to undo the linkages when removing the tailplne uprights.


Lower surface access panels. These match the blueprint locations AND the technical operations manual for ground crews

For this build I am using a copy of the original MAP (Ministry of Aircraft Production painting orders for this aircraft with original colour chipset paints from Vallejo apart from NATO black, which is the closest thing to the original matt finish of Night Black.

DN models masking set (inside and out have arrived.

There's a lot of dry fitting going on at this moment in preparation for putting the two fuselage halves together.

Comments and questions welcome.


  • Member since
    December 2018
Posted by Tosh on Tuesday, July 2, 2019 11:30 AM

Your builds are a work of art!  Amazing.

Your Friend’s, Ezra & Toshi

Reside in Streetsboro, Ohio


  • Member since
    November 2009
  • From: SW Virginia
Posted by Gamera on Tuesday, July 2, 2019 11:46 AM

She looks great James!!! 

I keep getting a hankering to build a four-engine heavy bomber and then I remember how much masking you need to do on those greenhouse canopies. Fantastic job on masking all those transparencies! 

"I dream in fire but work in clay." -Arthur Machen


  • Member since
    November 2004
Posted by snapdragonxxx on Tuesday, July 2, 2019 12:29 PM

Thanks, guys.

for the masking I used DN models masking set which gives you both inside and outside in one set.

most of the set gives you the outside borders and you mask the rest as you want to. I have used Tamiya masking tape trimmed to shape on the part with a sharp blade. On retrospect this has proved to be not a wise choice as I have ended up scratching some panels. Next time I will look at fluid and do a more in depth look at how I do things which will probably help people.

I decided to go with DN models as the Lancaster turrets and canopy interior needs painting as they are big parts and the inside of the canopy and turrets are easily seen. Eduard just provide the exterior in their set, but I don't think it would be much of a stretch to get two of them and use one inside but I do like having a go with something different as every kit should provide a learning experience for your skills, history etc.

The fuselage is together now and I am in two minds on painting the exterior now as there are lots of exterior extras to add And once those are added, moving it about etc might break them off.

maybe Airfix's new 1/24 would be a nice kit for masking techniques.

There is a lot of glass on the Lancaster and it does take time to put the masking on but it is a process you can do in bits over a few days. It does get a bit compulsive though lining things up etc.

DN Models' instructions are not as good as Eduards in my opinion, but the film they use is quality stuff and doesn't leave any residue behind. Eduard use kabuki tape and that can leave residue behind but a clean with hot water and dish cleaning fluid with a cotton bud(s) get rid of that. You have to make sure that the paint is properly cured, so I usually leave painted glass a few days before cleaning.

My main issue is fingerprints etc as I hate wearing gloves. They make my hands overheat and sweat!

  • Member since
    November 2004
Posted by snapdragonxxx on Sunday, July 7, 2019 4:29 PM

This weekend I have been at the Yorkshire War Experience Which has had wonderful weather and re-enactment menbers from all over the country.

While of a photographic excursion around the huge site I took a tumble and landed on my camera and lenses. My long lens(Sigma 150-500) just doesn't works any more, or at least the sensor isn't picking up an image and the Nikon 24-70 main walkabout expensive lens took a major hit to the glass at the front and is scratched to hell and there is no way I can take any photos as although the body seems fine mechanical wise and the Nikon lens works Everything needs a stripdown, check and refurbishment/maintainance/repair.

I will have to do this under my insurance and god knows how long it is going to take etc. You all know what these people are like.

This means that I won't be able to post photos of my builds for a while but I will still be working on the Lancaster so there is going to be a gap in progress!


Sorry about this, folks!


  • Member since
    November 2004
Posted by snapdragonxxx on Wednesday, July 10, 2019 2:55 PM

I found a very old Fuji s500 Dicital camera under the stairs, loaded fresh batteries and it works!

The Fuselage is together and painted.... almost.

I am using Vallejo Model Air NATO black to produce the non-reflective Night Black that the RAF put on their bombers and it just so works!

I let it totally cure for 24 hours and then masked it off. I should have taken the masking lower as I did manage to overspray while painting the wing root!

I will be using Top Notch camouflage masks so the base coat on the upper surface is Dark Earth (I hope!)

Masking removed. I will have to re-mask the fuselage again, but I didn't want the masking tape to weld itself to the paint and have it all come off! That's happened to me before! Would rather put fresh on!

That's all for now. While I wait for stuff to come through the post etc, I can paint the rest of the Upkeep fairings and fix those, the swing arms and bomb and then move on to the wings!


  • Member since
    December 2018
Posted by Tosh on Wednesday, July 10, 2019 3:35 PM

I’m glad you were able to find a camera.  I would hate to wait on your updates.

Your Friend, Toshi

Reside in Streetsboro, Ohio


  • Member since
    March 2012
  • From: Corpus Christi, Tx
Posted by mustang1989 on Wednesday, July 10, 2019 4:02 PM

Lookin' good so far. Plenty of parts to keep you busy that's for dang sure!!



  • Member since
    November 2004
Posted by snapdragonxxx on Wednesday, July 10, 2019 6:04 PM

Thanks guys.

I am going to be painting as much of the insignia and stencilling as I can. It will just look much better and with some of the decals just being so big they are nightmare inducing and would be very hard to get to lay down properly.

I will be ordering from DN models their set of stencils for the Lancaster and another canopy masking set. Once the guys from Top Notch come back from their holidays then I can order the camo masks.

Also, another reason why I am going down the mask route is that the paint I have used to replicate RAF Night Black is Vallejo Model Air NATO Black which is totally flat and I want to try and keep that and not have to use gloss etc to lay down large decals.

I do want to protect the paint, but would need a totally flat none reflective clear coat which is not going to change the colours at all!

Any ideas?

  • Member since
    November 2009
  • From: SW Virginia
Posted by Gamera on Wednesday, July 10, 2019 7:50 PM

The camo looks great!

I too am glad that you were able to find a replacement camera. Hopefully you'll get yours replaced soon.

"I dream in fire but work in clay." -Arthur Machen


  • Member since
    March 2015
  • From: Close to Chicago
Posted by JohnnyK on Wednesday, July 10, 2019 7:52 PM

Where are you going to display that thing? My 1/48 B-29 takes up a lot of space.

  • Member since
    November 2004
Posted by snapdragonxxx on Thursday, July 11, 2019 10:51 AM

The thing about these big aircraft from HK is that the wings are removeable and uses a locking and release system. This means that you can store it easily and transport it easily too. The rear tail fins etc on the lancaster are the same.

I am also in negotiation with my dad to help me build a large 1m square multi level display case which should enable me to display a lot of large kits. I might see if I can possibly make it larger.

  • Member since
    November 2004
Posted by snapdragonxxx on Friday, July 19, 2019 10:42 AM

I have moved onto the wings as I need to get things built and ready for when the camouflage and insignia masks arrive.

Working on the starboard side first. lots of test fits no fancy painting as most of the detail will not be seen unless you can get your head at a very unusual angle.

Undercarriage starboard side partially built and ready for painting. The pole going between the two main braces is to either be removed, or painted bright red and left in place. It is a removeable lock strut that was put in place by the cround crew during maintainance and bomb loading. It's to prevent the thing collapsing by locking the struts. So, remove is you have your Lancaster ready to go etc or leave in place and paint a bright red if a maintainance diorama is going to be done. On mine I am using them as an extra support until the indercarriage is in place in the nacelle and then they will be removed.

Inner nacelle/undercarriage painted and in place. Getting it is was not easy and it is very tight!

<a href=""><img src="" title="source:" /></a>

Some remedial paintwork to be done.

Starboard Outer engine covers painted. Just the inside of them to paint aluminium. One of the Exhaust Covers has gone AWOL. It should turn up!


Once thing that I am concerned about is the fact that although the NATO Black is a really good sub for Night Black, because it is totally flat with no reflectability at all, it shows up oils from my handling. Does anyone know of a clear totally flat protection coat that I can apply that is wipeable with a cloth or paper towel?

  • Member since
    November 2004
Posted by snapdragonxxx on Wednesday, July 24, 2019 3:02 PM

Much painting has been done. At this moment it is just too hot and humid to really do painting so I am working slowly on the engines.

Here's what's been done.

My apologies for the photos. I am still waiting for the cameras and lenses to be repaired.

  • Member since
    August 2009
  • From: Borlando Fla home of the rat
Posted by TREYZX10R on Wednesday, July 24, 2019 6:54 PM
Amazing build !
  • Member since
    November 2004
Posted by snapdragonxxx on Saturday, July 27, 2019 3:56 AM

Thanks TREYZX10R.

Like the rest of HK Models' kits they are imposing, big and when you open them, intimidating and full of detail.

when you actually start getting down to looking carefully and with the build manual how it goes together then you realise that it is not as intimidating as you think, just BIG!

In fact the design is to cater for all levels. For those with a little experience it is easy enough to put together and for those of us who have lots of experience there is enough in the kit to satisfy us and also for us to add as much extras as we want.

as you have seen, I have had no real issues in fit so far. Some have been very tight, such as fitting the inboard nacelle on the starboard wing which I am still working on, but that is probably my fault as the one piece wing can be a bit of work getting the wing tips right etc. Still, it's a very nice bit of thought and engineering.

The price (especially those set by some robbing distributors) can also be a bit off putting but once you see the detail and the amount of plastic in the box and the fun you are going to have then it is going to be a standout in the display case you are going to have to build!

HK's kits and subjects are always show stoppers when they hit a display table at a venue.

I was asked by the owner to bring some of mine, especiallly the Do 335 night fighter to go on their table as last year's SMW at Telford here in the UK, but as they were releasing the Lancaster then it didn't make it out of the box. But still the kit, sitting in the open box attracted much attention too as did the stand that was very busy all weekend.

You should ask for one for Christmas and give a really big bomber a good home!

  • Member since
    March 2012
  • From: Corpus Christi, Tx
Posted by mustang1989 on Saturday, July 27, 2019 10:12 AM

I hear what you're saying about the intimidation factor. I've got Zoukei Mura's 1/32 scale Ho 229 and it's very intimidating in the box. I mean just WOW!!

The same thing I'm sure could be said for this rascal here but like everything else, when you dive in and get going with it the build just seems to flow. Progress is looking very good so far with this one.



  • Member since
    November 2004
Posted by snapdragonxxx on Saturday, July 27, 2019 1:12 PM

That ZM kit is a real cracker with plenty of display options. It is intimidating when you open the box and you should spend lots of time with the manual as there is a lot of information in there.

Enjoy it. You will be looking for another ZM kit soon. Keep an eye out for their new stuff this year!

  • Member since
    November 2004
Posted by snapdragonxxx on Sunday, August 4, 2019 7:34 AM

Short update.

I wanted to get this up before the eggheads start messing about. Maybe we can get some better forum software!

The weather here is Yorkshire continues to play havoc with my building. Also my normal camera and lenses are still being repaired and I am getting suspicious! Apologies for "fuzzy" pictures.

The Starboard upper wing will be given two days to fully cure and then another coat of dark earth if needed.

  • Member since
    December 2018
Posted by Tosh on Sunday, August 4, 2019 11:05 AM

No need to appolagize, everything looks clear at my end.  The dambuster is looking awesome especially with it‘s payload.  Question: As for the weather being too hot and humid to AB, it sounds like or at the very least seems like you are AB outdoors.  Do you have a paint booth indoors even for a kit of this magnitude?  Thank you in advance!

Your friend, Toshi

Reside in Streetsboro, Ohio


  • Member since
    February 2011
  • From: Bent River, IA
Posted by Reasoned on Sunday, August 4, 2019 12:01 PM
Yikes, that thing looks almost as big as the 1/72 Monogram Peacemaker with 4x the detail...good luck :) Seriously though, excellent work thus far.

Science is the pursiut of knowledge, faith is the pursuit of wisdom.  Peace be with you.

On the Tarmac: 1/48 Revell P-38

In the Hanger: A bunch of kits

  • Member since
    November 2004
Posted by snapdragonxxx on Sunday, August 4, 2019 2:03 PM

Thanks for the compliments guys.

Toshi, I don't airbrush outside. I have a room where I do all my building and painting. It is just that the house was built with keeping warmth in and unfortunately the budget couldn't go with Aircon.

This means that during the summer the house can get hot and humid depending on the weather outside. All my windows upstairs are open to try and funnel some cool breezes.

On the other hand, during the winter the house is Always warm and comfortable! We use an air source heat pump for our underfloor heating, so the floors of the house are actually radiators!

Nice to see you following this, Toshi!


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