1/48 Classic Airframes Westland Whirlwind

Gallery Article by Darius Aibara


This is one of Classic Airframes original releases which they followed by another early WWII RAF Aircraft - the Fairey Battle.  The kit comprised limited run injection moulded fuselage and wing parts with finely engraved detail.  The cockpit interior, guns and wheels were cast in resin with the main gear legs made of white metal.  A small photo-etched fret contained the instrument panel and wing radiator details.  You get two vac-formed canopies.  I invariably make a slip with the knife when there is only one canopy, but when two are supplied I experience no problems.  Consequently I have a growing supply of spare vac-formed canopies (if anyone needs a spare).

I prepared the plastic parts as per a vac-formed kit, carefully sanding the mating edges and then assembled the kit as per the instructions.  The resin cockpit sidewalls needed to be thinned to get them to fit between the fuselage halves but apart from that there were no major fit problems.  The connection of the separate prop blades to the resin spinners was difficult as a butt jointed affair - in hindsight I should have reinforced the joints with steel rod as the prop blades are wont to "ping off" at the slightest encouragement.


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The assembled fuselage and wings were primed with the usual grey spray auto primer and the brush painted with Humbrol enamels - including the sky fuselage band.  The kit-provided resin underwing ordnance was used, however the resin bomb racks are incredibly delicate.  The white metal undercarriage legs needed to be drilled to accept steel rod axles to mount the main wheels.  The resin tailwheel leg is not strong enough to support the tail and duly collapsed when the aircraft was finally set on its wheels.  I removed the tailwheel and mounted it on a new steel rod leg which does the job admirably.  My source of steel rod for all this reinforcement is a bulk supply of steel mapping pins which are carefully snipped to the correct length.   The kit decals were utilised and some light weathering applied using pastels.  

All in all an enjoyable kit of an unsung RAF hero. 

Darius Aibara


Photos and text by Darius Aibara