This A-8 version was the most numerous and heavily armed variant, which entered service in , as an attempt to stop the Allied daylight raids, however, by then the new Allied fighters had begun to outclass it. The kit comes in an end-opening box, and the sprues are sealed in a clear plastic bag. The clear parts are sealed in their own, small clear bag. As far as I know, however, this paint line is not yet available. Regardless, concessions can be easily made for your favorite RLM colors. But, still… The markings and painting guide is a four-view color affair on the back of the box.
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Accurately shaped, with good interior detail, and good value. Disadvantages: Nothing serious - No parts map with the instructions; fuselage side windows are too large, and no chamfer on elevator outer edge both easily fixed ; exaggerated fabric effect on ailerons, and decaled rather than 3-D instrument panels. All is well however, and they did a nice job of the radial engines and their associated features, as well as providing the bulged bomb-doors and FN64 turret so often associated with the B.
It went on to be developed into the York, Lincoln, and Lancastrian, and influenced the design of the Shackleton. The B. II was developed in case a shortage of Merlin engines occurred. In the end only B. IIs, including the prototype, were produced. Avro developed the prototype, but Armstrong-Whitworth manufactured all production B. The first 26 B.
There were also changes to the carburettor air intakes, with shorter ones being adopted in , along with slightly longer oil-coolers.
All but the first few B. IIs had bulged bomb-bay doors to accommodate 8, lb bombs, and these often had a periscope-sighted FN64 gun turret aft of the doors, although this turret was largely ineffectual due to sighting limitations.
It was often deleted saving lbs in weight and he need for an eighth crewmember. The bulged doors and turret meant that H2S radar was not fitted to B. Initially fitted with an FN20 rear turret, many B. IIs were converted to use the similar but lighter FN which also had better sights. Sixty percent of B. IIs were lost on operations, and towards the end of WW2 most remaining examples were serving in heavy conversion units.
I am aware of two previous Lancaster B. II conversions, both in resin. The first by Paragon Designs provided engines, cowls, exhausts, props and nacelles as one set, and the bulged bomb-bay doors and FN64 turret were offered in another set. They also offered resin flaps, but again as a separate set. CMR offered a comprehensive and highly detailed resin conversion set that included complete wings with detailed wheel bays and separate flaps, closed bomb doors and FN.
The set included several decal choices, and was available in three versions, each optimised for the Hasegawa, Revell, or Airfix tooling Lancaster kits. The concept behind providing the B. II conversion set here on HyperScale in December The CMR conversion still makes sense for those with left-overs from a York conversion, and those who wish to have a Lancaster B.
II model with finely recessed panel lines as offered by both Hasegawa and Revell donor kits. However, the vast majority of modellers are sure to welcome the first ever Lancaster B. II kit just released by Airfix. There seems little point repeating my original comments and images, as the quality of instructions and the vast majority of parts are unchanged for this kit.
Therefore, this review will focus on the parts and decals related to the B. II option. One large sprue caters for the Bristol Hercules radials, their propellers, cowlings and nacelles. Also included are the bulged bomb-bay doors often associated with the B. II and the FN64 ventral turret carried by some aircraft. The parts are produced to the same standard as the rest of the kit.
The Hercules was an uncluttered and simple design externally although far from so internally with its sleeve-valves! There is an internal portion of the collector ring that includes the four bracing struts that run between the engine reduction-gear housing and the collector ring, but I feel these are a little thick and would best be replaced with finer items made from scratch.
I struggled to see these supports in any images of Lancaster B. IIs, but did find images of the very similar Hercules power egg from a Beaufighter that does show them clearly here and here.
Overall, the cowlings are nicely done, and the carburettor and oil-cooler air intakes look fine to me. The hedgehog exhausts are cleverly moulded as three parts, and combine to look quite convincing, and better than I have seen previously for injection moulded examples. The air intakes and exhausts are the standard later pattern, rather than style fitted to the early B. II Lancasters. The props and spinners also look good.
The kit includes the option of bulged bomb doors fitted to most B. The NN64 ventral turret is nicely done, and is an option as many B.
A blanking cover provides for those options that do not require it.
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