much hunting for an Aero club Wapiti in 1/72, I was finally gifted this
Wallace from a very frustrated friend who sources my models in Blighty.
I think the Frog (Novo) Russian mould kit is known quite well for
all the wrong reasons. But it
was quite a reasonable kit for a Wapiti conversion.
image below to see larger image
original Wallace kit with suitable stereotypical Indian setting
Westland Wallace, a development of the Wapiti, was a light bomber/general
purpose biplane that succeeded the DH9. 12 Mark 1s were built as Wapitis
converted by fitting a 520hp Pegasus engine, lengthening the fuselage and
adding brakes and a tail wheel in 1932. A further 56 conversions were
ordered before the specification was up rated and 114 Wallace IIs were
built. These featured a 680hp Mark IV Pegasus which increased speed to
over 150mph, and enclosed cockpits. Amazingly there were still 83 on
strength with the RAF at the outbreak of WW2.
reboxed kit that I received
cockpit Wallaces of the AAF
aircraft featured in the kit was Westland Wallace G-ACBR, which was converted
from the original P.V.6 prototype to take part in the 1933 Houseton Everest
Expedition, along with another converted P.V.3 Wallace, G-ACAZ. Powered by
highly supercharged Bristol Pegasus I.S.3 engines, and with the rear cockpits
fully enclosed and fitted with heating and oxygen equipment, these two machines
made aviation history on 3rd April 1933 by flying over Mount Everest,
the highest point on Earth. Thus
the aircraft needed to be modified in the following manner:
Remove engine cowling and replace the sad look-alike of the Pegasus with
an aero club white metal 9 cylinder Bristol Jupiter and propeller.
Add long exhaust pipes attached to collector ring of engine.
Re do the rear observerís accommodation and add Lewis gun and scarf
Replace one cm thick windshield with acetate piece.
Completely re do undercarriage with correct wapiti design.
Add .303 side-mounted gun next to pilotís cabin on port fuselage.
Add oil radiator below nose.
Organise complete rigging with model ship rigging line thread.
of the modifications were done with plasti-card and left over Sprue and the
wheels came from the spares box. The
decals were filched from a Hart kit and the serials were from the Tally Ho! RAF
serials set. The checkers markings
(recent research shows these were dark and light blue) came from a Corsair kit.
The wings were pre drilled for the rigging and then filled with super
glue. The aircraft was painted
overall silver mixed with matt white to represent fabric dope and the metal
forward fuselage was painted aluminum while the top decking was painted matt RAF
dark green and the struts matt black. For
more information on IAF Wapitis and their markings read my article at <bharat-rakshak.com/IAF/History/Aircraft/Wapiti.html>
Indian Air force-aircraft histories-Wapiti Mk IIA.
|A vic Of IAF
Wops over typically rugged terrain of the NWFP. The aircraft are K1290 (Mk
IIA ex 27 Squadron RAF Kohat), J9483 (Mk IIA ex 28 Squadron RAF, Ambala)
and J9755 (Mk V ex 11Squadron RAF at Peshawar). The two upper machines are
in the post autumn 1934 scheme without rudder stripes, while the nearest
machine is in the 1930-1934 rudder stripes scheme with red forward. 1
Sqnís ID band of dark Blue and Light Blue cheques can also be seen on
the port upper main planes. K1290 was lost off Cochin on 25 Jul 42 whilst
with 5 CDF.