1/72 Aeroclub De Havilland Venom FB1

Gallery Article by Carmel J. Attard on Sept 13 2019

 

      

De Havilland Venom FB1
Make: Aeroclub
Type: limited run kit
Features: Injection moulded with white metal parts and one decal set.
Scale: 1/72
Price of kit: 8 Sterling.

History
This is a single jet engine aircraft that was used in the post Korean conflict period of expansion. The Venom was a progressive development of the Vampire designed to use the Ghost engine and featuring aerodynamic refreshments. It was in service as a fighter bomber by the Royal Air Force and air forces of Iraq and Switzerland.

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The kit
This is a short run kit yet simple to assemble. The kit consists of two fuselage halves, two wing roots, two wings, two booms and three pieces of tail planes. Contained in a separate bag there are the white metal parts consisting of the undercarriage and a detailed ejection seat.

As would be expected in these category of kits detailing to the cockpit office is lacking and it is down to the modeller to utilise plastic card to side consoles and research detail for this area. I also added an instrument panel, gun sight, control column and a crew figure in the compact cockpit. A clear acetate canopy is provided and care is taken to cut this right as from first attempt as only one set is included.

Construction
Being a tricycle type with weight of tail and booms at rear a suitable amount of nose weight is needed to obtain a proper sit. Probably the most important step during construction is the need to align the booms correctly in view of the little play there is when mating parts together so that in the end the tail plane is horizontal. Once this is achieved then it needs to be faired with a little filler. Like other multi -media kits I find super glue as the type to use when fixing metal parts to plastic. One point of note is that the rear nose door and the two outer main undercarriage doors along with finlets attached to rear of wing tip tanks all need to be shaped from a thin piece of plastic card. These can be first drawn to conform to shape depicted on the five view drawing that comes in the instructions. A pitot tube made from a small piece of metal string was added to port tail fin. Two short cross brackets were also added to inside of air intakes.

Colour and markings
The aircraft colours consists of disruptive grey/green camouflage on upper surfaces with PRU blue undersides which was a typical camouflage applied virtually all single seat Venoms. Although the finish was gloss the tendency was that the finish will tend to turn semi gloss when it fades in service.

Decals are included for a Venom Mk1 WE469/0 of No 45 RAF Squadron then based at Butterworth, Malaysia. Markings carry a winged camel on squadron crest which is applied to tip tanks on the outside. Decals were of good quality and adhered well. Model was finally given an overall semi gloss sheen lacquer.

Conclusion
It may be difficult to locate the kit these days. The Venom was quite common sight in our skies and one continues to wonder why a model of the less popular Swift was produced while a kit of the Venom was neglected for so long by main stream manufacturers. The Venom brought nostalgic memories when in the past flights in pairs made frequent overnight stop over at Luqa airfield during routine flights in and out of UK bases on the way to and from the Far East.

Carmel J. Attard

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Photos and text by Carmel J. Attard