Thursday, May 31, 2012

FROG D.H. Vampire FB.5

On the heels of the FROG Gloster Meteor (see previous post) is this 1/72 scale DeHavilland Vampire 5. As I mentioned earlier, Al Letcher gave me one of these along with the Meteor kit, and they made a great pair. Back in the 70s, FROG's FB.5 was the only Vampire model kit available. Heller came out with another FB.5 in the 80s, but I have a hunch they got the molds from FROG when FROG went out of business. The FB.5 differed from Al's Mk. III Vampire in that the MK. III had rounded wing tips. At any rate, FROG's little kit was close enough to Al's Vampire and I liked having it in my collection, especially having seen it fly on several occasions at Mojave Airport.
I have faint memories of my original Vampire assembled. I can't remember if I painted it or not, or whether or not I built it wheels down or up. In rebuilding this kit, I chose to do it wheels up in memory of watching this great airplane in flight. The RAF camouflage scheme was hand painted, while the underside was spray painted with Testors silver metallic. I did not have a pre-mixed bottle of dark sea gray, so I tried mixing different colors to get the right shade. It was rather difficult, and after wasting too much paint, I settled with a shade I think is too blue. Nevertheless, a foot away or more it looks acceptable.

At some point in the future I may wish to model Al's Vampire using the 1/48 scale Hobbycraft Vampire Mk. III. It would go well with the Classic Airframes 1/48 scale Meteor N.F. 11. There is a less expensive option however to do both in 1/72 scale since Amodel from Russia has recently released a Vampire Mk. III, which would go well with the Matchbox Meteor N.F.

No comments:

Post a Comment