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442 Squadron DH Vampire Mk III

With the introduction of jet aircraft into the Royal Canadian Air Force, The City of Vancouver Squadron operated the DH Vampire Mk3 from April 1948 until October 1956 in a Fighter Auxiliary role.  The squadrons wartime crest featured a Nootka Indian Dragon and it was only fitting that with the introduction of the Vampire, a suitable design was required to emblazon the nose of this diminutive fighter. 

The Haida Vampire face was designed and applied and no two faces were the same.

This rendition of the squadrons Vampire is from the 1:48 scale Classic Airframes Mk5 kit which includes the rounded Mk3 wingtips.  The decals were obtained from Flightdecs Decals after Joe went out of his way to find the original Arrow Graphics sheet.

The kit is a mix of injected plastic and resin with a beautifully detailed cockpit which is virtually invisible once the fuselage is closed up.  Some difficulty was experienced in fitting the wing to the fuselage because of the resin jet intakes.  Some plastic sheet shims were required to fill the gaps at the wing roots.

Fitting the tail booms required a simple jig in order to line up the fuselage tail booms and horizontal tail and quite a bit of Tamiya putty was used to fill the minor gaps as can be seen in the photo below.

Prior to closing up the fuselage sides, I glued as much lead into the nose section as possible in an attempt to have the Vampire sit on all three wheels...but to no avail.  It was a "tail-sitter".   Fortunately I had a plexiglas mirror which served as a base and the model became permanently glued to it.

The RCAF Vampires were painted overall with Aluminum coloured nitrate dope and to simulate the proper finish, I first sprayed the model with Alclad II Grey primer followed by a buffing with an old cotton sock to give a smooth base.  Next came spraying the wing tips, horizontal stabilizer and nose with Model Master "Guards Red" enamel.  When dry these areas were masked and three coats of Alclad II Duraluminum was sprayed.

The decals were applied directly to the Alclad finish without a problem.  Thanks again Joe for going beyond the norm to help me with this model.

 

 

 
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