Heller 1/72 , with Combat Models decals.
The Boeing E-
The RAF Fleet is currently (2021) beginning a gradual draw-
Building the Heller E-
I can confidently say that this is my largest model built to date! Size alone brings
some interesting challenges -
That said, this is not a complex kit and fit is generally good, although once again size poses some challenges, for example keeping the very large fuselage joints aligned as the glue sets. One of my wings was slightly warped, but careful assembly and lots of spring clips pushed it back into shape. I went to town on the cockpit with scratch detail. Although very little of this can be seen once complete, it was fun to do!
The general sequence of building and paint needs some careful thought and I didn’t always follow Heller’s instructions; this is definitely not a kit that can be built, then painted. I was keen to keep the wing sections separate at the very last until build was complete. This aided painting by breaking it down into manageable chunks. Engines were assembled separately painted before attaching, in fact they were one of the first things that I built. Similarly the radome legs were attached early, but the radome itself was painted and decalled off the kit, then attached after the fuselage was painted, then touched up.
My wing sections remain detachable, which will help with storage and transport to
model shows (remember them? -
Background image and above: © UK National Archives /RAF Picture used under OGL Licence
Images and text © www.gengriz.co.uk unless otherwise noted
Painting was by hand brushing, using Humbrol enamel as is my norm. Large surfaces
such as this are not the easiest to cover and 3 thinned coats were needed (each one
offering the potential for disaster!). This task alone was spread over 32 weeks
and demanded a lot of patience. Heller recommend 85g of weight in the nose to allow
it not to tail-
Above and right: Added scratch cockpit detail, mainly sprue-
Above : The fuselage join was completed slowly and carefully, using liquid glue, applied in stages, nose first, then tail, then middle section, trying hard to keep the joints smooth and level.
Right: The radome legs were not a good fit to the fuselage top and did need some simple filler (I used Krystal Kleer).
This was the later Heller French Air Force/NATO 50 years issue of the kit. This
comes with the basic CFM-
In the same way as the RAF’s Shackletons were named after the characters in the children’s
TV series “The Magic Roundabout”, the E-
This is a fun kit to build, with only its size posing any real problems and it was an ideal “lockdown build project”. Assembly requires patience, but with care a good fit and relatively unfrustrating build is possible.
Below: The wing assembly on my kit remains detachable for storage and transport.
Right Top: Wing tips need to be trimmed and the provided RAF ESM pods added. The wing curve needs to be straightened and holes filled as they are too far outboard.
Right middle and bottom: There is a large gap either side of the wing roots. I added a plastic card gap filler as well as internal spreaders/braces.
Above and bottom: A little warping was obvious on the wing, but solved with careful assembly and the use of many spring clamps.
The real thing in its NATO guise:
For the “average Joe” modeller such as myself, taking photographs of a model this
large does pose some problems -