MPM 1/72 Blenheim IV






Three aircraft


Scott Van Aken


Multimedia short run kit


For the history on this aircraft, I'll refer you to an earlier review of the CA Blenheim IV. The box art makes much of Wing Commander Hughie I. Edwards. He received the Victoria Cross (the British equivalent of the US Medal of Honor) for leading the rest of 105 squadron in a daring daylight raid on Bremen in July of 1941. While this doesn't seem so daring, one must realize that during that time, there were no fighters capable of escorting bombers that far into Germany. This raid must have looked like suicide but it was determined that the target was such that it needed a daylight raid. 

The Blenheim wasn't exactly a pocket rocket with a maximum speed of 266 under the best of conditions, and in a raid such as was done, I seriously doubt if the aircraft traveled much faster than 225 This would be especially true with a bomb load. If I recall from reading, this raid was carried out at relatively low altitude in order to maintain some surprise. Whatever the case, doing such a deed in an obsolescent aircraft such as the Blenheim IV required a great deal of courage (or total lack of common sense)! 


Those of you who read the review of the Ki-83 that I did several months ago will realize that MPM has gone through a lot of changes; all of them for the better. The first thing you notice about this kit is that it has injected clear bits. Now to a person such as myself who really doesn't like vacuform canopies, this is a big bonus. It is especially nice on an aircraft with as much clear as the Blenheim. Now if only this trait could be carried on to the rest of the MPM family of kits, I'd be one happy camper!

The kit plastic has not changed too much. It is still in the relatively soft light grey plastic with very fine engraved lines that we have all come to expect. This kit has a touch of flash on a few bits, but not really that much and will be easy to clean up with a quick swipe of sandpaper. There are also a few sink marks, mostly on thick plastic parts such as the insert for the gun turret and the fuel dump pipe. As with most MPM kits, there is a small etched fret and some resin. The resin consists of engine fronts, turret guns, rudder pedals, prop hubs, and the control wheels. 

On the etched fret are seat belts, instrument faces and rudder pedals. All the rest is injected styrene. There are quite a few small parts, most of them on the circular fret that is also so common with MPM kits. The attachment points for these parts is rather large, so the use of a fine razor saw would be recommended for removing these. Most of the parts on this sprue are struts, scoops, interior bits and prop blades. 

Allow me a moment to inject a personal comment on separate prop blades, especially with short run kits. Frankly, I don't like them. I'd much rather see the entire propeller with hub as one piece. Gluing those props on that tiny resin hub just doesn't strike me as fun. Often as not I mess it up and either get the blade out of alignment or get the pitch wrong. With superglue, you don't have too many second tries. Possible options are metal props as with Aeromaster, resin props, or molding the whole thing in styrene. OK, I'm done.

The clear bits are quite well done and though it has a bit of flash, the parts are quite transparent. The nose section is broken into a left and right with the seam running down the exact center, just like on the real aircraft. Gluing the nose will be a bit tricky, but is MUCH better than any vacuform part.

Instructions are also typical of MPM kits with a parts breakdown followed by11 construction steps. Any colors needed are indicated in each step and are referenced to (I believe)  Humbrol paints with FS 595 colors given where required. There are decals for three aircraft, all quite different. The first one is the box art aircraft of 105 Sq in standard RAF day bomber camouflage. Next is a Free French aircraft  in desert camouflage from North Africa. Finally, a Finnish Mk IV as used in 1942. Decals are by Cartograf in Italy and look super with spot-on registration. In order to assuage the feelings of some European countries, the Finnish insignia are multi-piece.  With the Blenheim IV being used by numerous units and countries, the possibilities for alternate markings are huge. If only someone will do a nice decal sheet in this scale.

Overall, it looks like it will make into a very nice model. It is about time that a replacement for the ancient Airfix kit was available..

Review copy courtesy of

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