Airways AVF 1/72 Vickers Viscount
KIT #:
PRICE: 16 Euro
DECALS: Two options
REVIEWER: Carmel J. Attard
NOTES: Vacuform kit



The Vickers Viscount prototype flew for the first time in the middle of 1948 with Captain “Mutt” Summers at the control. An order for a prototype 43 seat suitable for BEA requirement was placed in February 1949 and was known as the 700 series. Entering service with BEA in 1953 and substantial orders from other carriers had been secured including Air France QTCA. In 1953 BEA ordered 12 larger Viscounts seating 86 passengers, which formed the basis of the later 800 series. More than 450 Viscounts of this British post war design had been built.


In addition to widespread use by airlines, the Viscount is operated by a number of air forces for VIP transport duties including air forces of Turkey, Brazil and Australia. Viscounts were also operated by the Empire Test Pilot School displaying RAF military markings. Two such Viscounts type 745D, based at Boscombe Down during the sixties and early 70s were serial XR801 and XR802. Both carry identical colorscheme except for a slight variation. XR802 visited Hal-Luqa airfield, Malta on 15.4.66, 16.6.66, 14.10.66 and 20.10.66 presumably enrolled in Radar calibration. The series 700 was powered by four 1,540shp Rolls Royce Dart Mk506 turboprops and the civil version carried 63 passengers. This had a wingspan of 93’ 8.5” a length of 81’ 2” and had a range of 1,800 miles at 320mph.



A vac form kit molded in white plastic, white metal undercarriage legs and tyres. Two decal options…a Cambrian Airways livery G-AMON one that is red, white and silver finish; and an RAF Viscount in Empire Test Pilot School livery white top, black trim and silver finish with day-glow orange upper of tail fin and wing tips.


This is a Viscount series 745D but the type seems to have gone changes over the years particularly to the position and form of antennae that appears on top and below fuselage. While it is an early version with ten passenger windows and oval shaped entry doors, it has square type propeller tips that are Dowty-Rotol props and also has the triangular window at rear of cockpit housing the inspection lamp which is normally fitted on Viscounts 838 series. It also carries an HF aerial and has a pointed nose. The under fuselage air intake scoop is removed and the cockpit windscreen modified similar to that on later type series. Not a beginner’s model as several items therefore need to be scratch built and /or corrected.



Yet another interesting unusual model and with normal care at each stage of assembly a very acceptable and pleasing model will result. All main parts are first cut and sanded to conform to scale plans provided. These I found quite accurate. Just like any vac-kit built several times before, the parts are sanded using not so hard pressure as the plastic is soft. All window apertures are marked with a tracing paper their position copied from the scale plans that come with the kit. These are then opened and also the engine side intakes using small drills and needle files. When cutting the wings undercarriage doors these can be retained, alternatively one can make replacement ones cut from plastic card and slightly bent permanently accordingly. The undercarriage legs are in metal and this is important, as this is a robust kit requiring some repetitive handling even when the undercarriage is fixed. Steady wheel well floor mountings for these are important. These are made from backing plastic sheet from kit itself which are cut to fit inside the open engine inner nacelles and your discretion is required to build and detail the walls and well from inside forming a closed compartment. This applies also to the nose wheel well. I did not bother to detail the passenger area but added ample of detail to the cockpit office which was fully scratch built, including seats for crew of three, internal panel, central console, cockpit coaming, side lockers etc.


Three round bulkheads are shaped to fit inside as per sketch given in the instruction sheet. A set of parallel main wing spars are also cut and shaped to fit the wings. When aligning and fitting the wings at the correct dihedral angle it is essential to make jigs cut from thick cardboard. The wings once glued have to set hard when placed on these jigs. This was allowed to set overnight.


An internal plastic box compartment made from plastic card is attached to the forward bulkhead which is close to the fuselage front forming an enclosed compartment to house lead weight of sufficient amount to balance the model on the nose wheel undercarriage. Cockpit office was mainly painted black while the passenger area was medium gray. Fuselage was closed using plastic stubs at joint line as guides. Filler was required to several areas particularly wing roots and seams. This was rubbed down using fine sanding.


Note that I have used to my best advantage all surplus items that came from the previously built Mach 2 Viscount. These are small rectangular vents that fit to each engine starboard side of Dart 525 engine and the bent roof aerials. The four engine pods also came from the spare parts in the A-model kit. These were modified to a tube shape as the spare kit ones I had were of a later version. The square tipped propellers also came from the A-model kit. Measured length of plastic straws was inserted inside each of the engine outlet apertures. Fin top navigation light and cabin roof bacon light were made from shaped sprue. Under fuselage cabin air system ram inlet in the form of a scoop was removed for this version and a small fairing added instead. Flight deck windows were modified to suit the type that conforms to the later 800 series model. Note that originally these were shaped similar to those on the 700 series during earlier stage of construction. Up to this stage all window apertures were left open and when paintwork was complete Kristal Kleer liquid was applied to form the clear windows.



I had several colour photos for reference and the one that I made had white upper fuselage, silver lower fuselage and wings. I did the wide black trim first using Humbrol paint. When the airbrushed paint dried I masked the black trim and the white top applied. Having the white set, I again masked the white areas and airbrushed the rest in Model Master silver. Interior of wheel wells were also silver. When it came to applying decals I hoped for the best since this was a kit going back to the early 80s release. I only managed the tail serials, all remaining decals including under wing serials and all roundels I have retrieved from Model Decal sheets at my decal store! A coat of Klear helped to secure all decals in place and avoid silvering.



I always wanted to build this type of Viscount, a series 745D that used to make endless touch and goes at our airfield. Not an easy kit to build but if you tried vac form before and have the chance to find this model it is definitely worth the effort to build it.

Carmel J. Attard

September 2012

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