Mach 2 1/72 Vickers Viscount

KIT #: ?
PRICE: £45.51
DECALS: Two options
REVIEWER: Carmel J. Attard
NOTES: Injection molded with two decal options G-AMOG (BEA) N7429, Capital


The Viscount 700 was the original version of this widely used transport, the first production model being the Viscount 701 for BEA. The Viscount 700D has the same airframe, but 1,760 ehp.  Dart 510 supplant the Dart 506s,and the 770D is the basic North American version. The passengers reaction to the Viscount’s speed, comfort, and quietness, together with the airline’s appreciation of its operating economy and ability, affirmed BEA interests in the larger model, and an order of twenty six Viscount 701s was placed. By the time these entered service in April 1953, substantial orders for the Viscount 700 variants had been placed by Air France, Air Lingus, T.A.A. and T.C.A. The last named order, received in November 1952, was the Viscount’s first breakthrough into the lucrative North American market, and was soon followed by others from a number of US operators for the only propeller–turbine-powered airliner in production anywhere in the world. The largest U.S. orders totalling more than sixty, came from Capital Airline, but when this operator went bankrupt its Viscounts fleet was taken over by United Air Lines; and United, together with T.C.A.(now Air Canada), which was then the largest  operator of series 700 Viscounts. Two hundred and eighty-five 700 series Viscounts have been built.



 The Viscount has been around in vac form type to 1/72 scale for quite a time. Thanks to Mach 2 for the release of the type in injection molded form. The Vickers Viscount 700 series can be built in either of the two versions referred to as ‘A’ or ‘B’ and parts corresponding to either version are marked on the sprues.  Whereas version ‘A’ corresponds to the earlier British type without radar, Version ‘B’ is a U.S. type with a radar nose.  The instruction sheet contains nine stages, all in illustrated form.

 This is a beautiful model molded in cream-colored plastic. I find it hard to criticize the mouldings and it makes up into a delightful model, with a choice of two spectacular livery options. The British aircraft has early BEA livery while the American example caters for Capital Airlines in red and white. It is not easy to decide from the start which type to go for, as both liveries are heavy on nostalgia. The kit is well proportioned except that my calculations bring it closer to 1/73 in both length and span than to the 1/72 it depicts.

 The kit comes in a sizeable box with box art depicting a colourful Viscount of Capital Airlines in flight. This in fact should prove very useful when applying the decals, but same cannot be said for the BEA livery, since there is insufficient information, particularly in regard to the position of the wing markings. Kit parts are attached to two large sprues each containing parts for the’ A’ and ‘B’ versions. There are also clear plastic parts for the canopy and passenger cabin windows.

A quick look at the parts will show that the Viscount characteristic nose, tailfin and rudder are well captured and represented. There is a good amount of surface detail in the form of recessed panel lines on all major components, including the fuselage, engine nacelles and wing parts. Apart from a tiny long fin that runs the length of the upper fuselage, and which is easily scraped away, the rest of kit parts are clean. Another minor defect concerns the engine nacelle part that is integrated to the wing. This had sink marks that required little filling. There are no locating or guiding pins or interlocking ridges to ensure proper alignment when parts are glued but with little extra care it can be build into a delightful airliner, as the fit of components is very good.


 A simple instruction sheet illustrates various stages and it is a fairly straight forward built. However, it does pay if one spends a little time to ensure all parts are aligned correctly. The cockpit office is fairly detailed, but the only coloring indication covers the basic interior (gray) and the seats (black). Instruments are printed on the panel, while a central console, two control wheels, and two seats are all there, forward of a detailed cabin bulkhead. If on the other hand one decides to add detail to the cockpit interior, the windows are so small that little can be appreciated through the clear plastic. The boxed forward wheel well has a reasonable amount of interior detail. There are two sets of canopies since the British one differs from that fitted to the U.S. Viscount, which has a different side cabin window. There is also a rear-side cabin window that is left on in the event the U.S. version is built, or is faired over with filler for the other option. Again f the U.S. machine is chosen, this had a more pointed nose cone in which case the kit nose has to be gently removed with an x-acto saw blade and replaced with the alternative type issued. Another interesting feature is the provision of two types of engine nacelles, four parts for each version. There are also two types of propeller blades, square or rounded tips.. Oleo legs and wheels are well reproduced and one should insure that wheel wells are trimmed correctly and checked for fit before these were attached to the lower wing half., and before the wing halves are put together. 

I went for the British version. These were the most common types in Maltese airspace in the good old days after it replaced the Airspeed A.S.57 Elizabethan in the BEA airline service. The first thing I did was blank the triangular shaped cabin side windows, one on each side. For the Capital Airlines version these are painted black or drilled open, shaped with a triangular file and glazed with Kristal  Kleer.  Important to note that if this second option is taken then one has to ensure that the window does not interfere with the cockpit bulkhead inside. There is a misprint in part of the instructions that shows that version ‘A’ has the two small windows as well. Only version ‘B’ had them. Before the fuselage was closed I made sure that the passenger cabin windows were cleaned of tiny fins and also added an extra bulkhead to the forward fuselage so that in between the two bulkheads I could add lead weight ensuring that the aircraft rested on its nose wheels.

There is still room for improvement on the model. The two air intakes fitted to the inner engine nacelles at the root required cleaning first using a round needle file. In the middle of the intake a reinforcing web was cut to fit, using plastic card, and inserted. This was best added when the nacelle piece was not yet fixed in place. Each engine nacelle comes in three longitudinal pieces and a front piece. This later needed some filing at the end to allow it to be fixed at right angles to the wings. I also made sure that the air intake that the air intake fitted to the upper nacelle front ring is at the top, since no location guide is provided. For the nacelle to fit in the correct position. There may be a little play when fitting the four nacelles, and again I made sure these were all parallel to the fuselage axis when cementing in place. There are four rectangular ducts/vents to fit at the right side of each nacelle.. These come in two different shapes on the inside depending which type one builds. The instruction states that each part has to be reduced in thickness. In addition I also filed flat the area they rest upon on the nacelle side in order to provide the flush fit apparent in photographs of Viscounts.

When fitting the nose wheel well box to the front bulkhead square slot I found it is best to fit a spacer piece made from 4mm thick sprue from the kit itself between the cockpit floor and the wheel well space. This will ensure that the cockpit/nose wheel well assembly retains the correct shape when set and before these are inserted in the forward fuselage. When it came to positioning the wing undercarriage legs I referred to Aviation News scale plans, as the instructions were not clear enough regarding the exact position. There is an under fuselage air scoop for an air-conditioning heat exchanger. This is well represented and easy to locate at its correct position if photographs or scale plans are referred to. Although the passenger cabin windows were clear I did not use them for the simple reason that these would require delicate masking during painting of the model. Instead I resorted to Kristal Kleer and the window aperture was ideal for its application after all the paintwork was complete. One other item worth mentioning is that the tail planes fit very loosely. So I made a triangular guide piece from plastic card with an angle of 101 degrees to the vertical and used it as a template so that the tail planes retain this setting when glued.


The completed Viscount model was completed in the basically white top and silver the rest of the fuselage and wings. A coat of Klear was applied to the silver areas making them shinier in appearance. The decals are excellent in quality, but are slightly erroneous in that the registration of the British aircraft is incorrect. It has an extra ‘G’ and should be G-AMOG and not G-GAMOG. G-AMOG is a Viscount 701, BEA ‘Discovery’ class, Robert Falcon Scott. The decal also doesn’t include the long trim in red and white. This is not an easy trim to make., but was found  in the spare decal box. In view of this, representing the radar equipped Viscount in the livery of Capital Airlines would be easier than completing the BEA machine.


Generally speaking this is a most welcome kit and is well worth building, representing the aircraft that gave BEA some of its most profitable years. Despite the few comments I have raised in the end it turned out as a very pleasing scale model. I spent a total of 16 hours on construction, masking and painting which is about average for a kit of this size and type.

Carmel J. Attard

June 2011

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