SNOOPER/NUCLEAR VALIANT FROM AIRFIX
Courtesy of previous, separately boxed conversion parts – and new decals – Airfix now provides 1/72 Vickers Valiants with a difference. CHRIS CLIFFORD reports…
Having already released its superb new-tool Avro Vulcan in 2021 (filling an overlong gap in the market for a modern kit), Airfix’s 1/72 Vickers Valiant has now been re-issued.
When the Valiant was first issued in 2011, its decals were for standard B.1 bombers and the second prototype WB215, but a separately available Airfix styrene conversion set allowed the portrayal of either the B(PR)K.1 or B(K).1, via new bomb bay doors with camera lens glazing, a Hose Drum Unit (HDU) and new decals.
Above: Parts that were available separately after the release of Airfix's original Valiant are now included in the re-issue. Note the all-important camera bay cover with glazing apertures.
Now, the base kit is back but with that same conversion set combined as item A11001A Vickers Valiant B(PR)K.1, and with a replacement decal sheet catering for two aircraft – although here the HDU is not employed… just the bomb bay doors with camera lenses. However, the second scheme option is for an Operation Grapple ‘nuke’ airframe, different to that provided in the first boxing.
For the uninitiated, Airfix’s Valiant was designed and produced soon after Hornby bought the Airfix brand; it’s respectable in terms of moulding and a fine replica can be completed. Panel lines are reasonably fine, full seating for the crew is supplied (along with flat instrument panels and decals), and this latest boxing still offers all the B.1 weaponry... so very handy for the spares box or other projects. There are seven runners in total, including the glazed parts. Decals for two schemes are supplied, and they are:
Valiant B(PR)K.1, WZ393, 90 Squadron, RAF Honington, Suffolk, 1957 (High Speed Silver)
Valiant B(K).1, XD818, 49 Squadron, Operation Grapple, Christmas Island, 1957 (anti-flash white)
The kit costs £49.49 direct from Airfix and its network of retailers. Visit: www.airfix.com