by: paul [ ]
A brief history...The de Havilland DH.100 Vampire was a British jet fighter commissioned by the Royal Air Force during the Second World War , although it arrived too late to see combat during the war.
The Vampire served with front line RAF squadrons until 1953 and continued in use as a trainer until 1966.
Almost 3,300 Vampires were built in various versions, and served with many air forces worldwide.
first impressionsThe alley cat kit comes in a sturdy cardboard top opening mailing box, showing one of the 3 schemes as box art.
inside are 2 bags of grey resin, a one piece wing carefully packed in bubble wrap, 1 bag of clear resin, 2 bags of white metal(1 undercarriage parts and 1 nose weights), 1 fret of etch, 1 set of canopy masks, 3 sheets of decals and 5 sheets of instructions.....
this breaks down as:-
x24 grey resin parts
x5 clear resin
x10 white metal
mask and decals
…..I don't think I've missed anything !....
Instructions and decalsThe 5 instruction sheets are a4 , starting with a general resin/work guide, x2 of assembly instructions and x2 colour with schemes and decal guides.
Paint instructions are for 1 type of paint, Xtracolor, but as the colours are well known you shouldn't have a problem matching them to your favorite brand.
The decal sheets are very nice, excellent registration, nice colours and very little carrier film showing at the edges, with 3 colour schemes for no's 4 , 14 and 607 squadrons.
Also included are masks for the canopy, inside and out, a nice touch.
KitBeing a resin kit there are casting blocks on all the parts( inc. the clear parts) but these really shouldn't be a problem and once separated there is very little flash to clean up.
a very light sanding should deal with anything left, which is good as the detail on the exterior while being clearly defined is very much to scale, So careful with those sanding sticks!
The excellent detail continues inside the nose sub assembly with pipes and wiring on the cockpit walls, a lovely seat and well detailed resin instrument panel, not forgetting the etch details for levers, pedals and seatbelts. Its a shame that the interior is to be painted matt black as you probably wont see most of the detail...don't forget to put the supplied nose weights in.
The kit comes with a very nice one piece wing with moulded in wheel bays(the correct wine glass shape) and the correct shape air intakes,which have been a problem for various manufacturers, also the tail booms fit into nicely engineered slots on top of the wing.
That's pretty much all the main assembly done, after that we have the details such as wheels, undercarriage doors and the white metal undercarriage.
One thing to mention is that the clear parts are also resin, you could use them as they are but as it says in the instructions, a coat of future should enhance them.
You really do get everything you need here, in fact the whole kit has been well thought out in terms of assembly as well.
OverallThe kit has been around for a while now but we've only just got around to reviewing it here on Aeroscale, but this has given me the chance to checkout other people's builds and reviews, especially compared to the new Trumpeter version of the vampire.
Now, I'm no expert on the Vampire but other people who are, say the kits are like chalk and cheese, there seem to be very few issues with the Alley Cat kit whereas the Trumpeter release has come in for much criticism especially where the fuselage is concerned.
Please remember, when contacting retailers or manufacturers, to mention that you saw their products highlighted here - on AEROSCALE.