Airfix 80th Anniversary of 617 Squadron – Dambusters – Lancaster and F-35

617 Squadron; formed on Avro Lancaster’s and made famous by the costly but devistating raid on the 3 dams of the Rhur industrial area. A squadron that has become famous in the minds of aviation fans the world over – in part due to a popular film of the 1950’s.

Airfix are no stranger to commemorative boxings. Indeed, they’ve even done the Dambuster’s 20 years ago! That boxing was very different featuring a Lancaster in 1/72 and Panavia Tornado in 1/48. Since then we’ve seen dozens of interesting boxings from Airfix including Victoria Cross, Best of British, and Battle of Britain sets. So this set is perhaps not a massive surprise!

We looked at Airfix’s brand new starter set before (which you can read here) which is 1 half of this set. However, I’ve not yet reviewed the Lancaster. This article will try and do a little of the Lancaster in order to provide an overview of the set as a whole.

The set comes with quite a lot of supplies; 2 tubes of Humbrol glue, enough paint for both models, and 2 paint brushes. I, as usual, discarded the paints included in favour of my own Lifecolor paints – the only paints that weren’t Lifecolor in my build were the interior green (a custom mix) and the steel colour; both of these were Revell Aqauacolor. Also in the kit is an extra stand for the Lancaster. This is a big old black plastic stand and something I’ve kept for later use and opted not to use in this instance.

Their are sprues labelled A-G and a transparent H sprue. This kit includes parts for more than 1 type of the Lancaster as, for example, there are 8 propellers present for this 4 engined beast. This makes sense given that this has been release as a BI, BII, and BIII including this special edition version for the Dambusters.

The sprues are nicely detailed with panel lines that are deep enough to easily be seen, but not deep enough to be trenches. They easily survive primer and painting without any real need for significant washes. It’s something I need to consider in the future for my own development, but I’m genuinely impressed with the kit.

There were areas where I had difficulty – the undercarraige is a little fussy and took me a hot minute to get into place properly. I also found the navi table a little fiddly but this is more due to me being so extra due to my massive nails.

Overall though I made this kit within a weekend. A hard weekend, but a weekend nonehteless! I did lose several parts during the construction to the carpet monster (may they be appeased for several kits). This included the hydraulic motor/spinner for the bouncing bomb, one transparency part (which I’ve used Glue n Glaze for), and another part that is inside the model on one of the engine nacelles.

The F-35 as we discussed before is a joyous and easy build that I’ll always recommend. It’s made how massive it is next to the Lancaster – as both myself and my dad thought it’d be smaller (despite seeing both in real life). Remember to check out the full article by clicking here – but it’s a fantastic new addition to the Airfix range!

Buy or Fly?

This is something I struggled with wording in my video as I couldn’t figure out if I’m saying to buy it or not. Sometimes – like with the F-35 – it’s easy to say buy it regardless of whether you love the subject matter or not.

But for some reason I couldn’t comprehend recommending this kit. I think it’s because I felt I’d recommend the F-35 alone more so because the Lancaster is such a drastic level up in difficulty. Saying that, I view myself as very much an average model maker and I didn’t find it overly difficult (am I average though? I ‘ve done resin kits at this point…).

Either way, I’d say buy this kit. The Lancaster alone is normally £45 and the F-35 is £20. That means buying this set saves you £10 on average which is 1/6 of the total value.

Also, see the video below to see the F-35, Lancaster, and Tornado all together…flying beautifully.


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