IntroductionI have been a life-long aviation buff but I still discover that there are so many aircrafts I know nothing about. The Westland Wyvern is such an intriguing aircraft. These precious (and all too rare) moments are what make modelling such an interesting hobby. Ever since I laid my eyes on the Classic Airframes version of this machine, I'm in love with it. It falls in all three of my "categories": weird, ugly and beautiful! In the same way as the F-4 Phantom, A-10 Warthog or the JA-37 Viggen does. The Wyvern has that sinister "no-nonsense, we mean business" purposeful look, simply put: an aircraft with an attitude!
The kitThis kit comes in a medium-seized cardboard box in Trumpeter's (now) usual sturdy lid/tray type. All parts are securely packaged with all sprues and decals in their separate plastic bags. Everything is crisply moulded in the "standard" light grey plastic, all surface details are recessed and not as overdone as on earlier kits. The clear parts come in their own little bag and they are very well moulded. All clear parts in my kit were extremely clear and flaw free. I only wish Trumpeter could have supplied the windshield wiper as a separate (etched) part. Having it moulded in the part makes it harder to mask around it later. All control surfaces are moulded in place (no more pins and hinges), the wheels are moulded in plastic with separate hubs (not weighted), the instrument panel is a etched part with acetate backing, propeller(s) only consists of 17 parts and can be built contra-rotating. Wings can be built folded or extended, flaps down or up and there's lots of things to hang under the wings (Rockets x8, 90Gal. wing tanks x2, 1000lbs bombs x2, torpedo, 150Gal. centre line tank and two RATOG bottles).
Decals are provided for three aircrafts, all in the same scheme of Dark Sea Grey over Sky. One option is J, WN325 830Sqn, HMS Eagle 1956, Suez (During Operation Musketeer), complete with all the black and yellow Suez-stripes. The other two aircrafts are 388 "Flook", WN335, 831Sqn, HMS Ark Royal 1957 and 278 "Dennis the Menace", WL879 813Sqn, HMS Eagle 1958. A first look at the decals gives a good impression being printed in register with good colours. Instructions are in the usual clear Trumpeter style with colour callouts for Gunze Sangyo only.
For pics of the contents in the box, please take a look at the in box review.
InteriorInterior I will take the build step by step here as my usual "building-sequence" is to jump around all over the kits in a rather disorderly manner.
So here we go, starting with step 1: Trumpeter suggests the cockpit to be painted in Dark Gull Grey with black panels, but it is not correct. According to the 4+ book, the Wyvern had a "traditional" British cockpit, that's all black! Late Spits, Meteors and Sea Hawks all had entirely black pits, so this seems more accurate. The seat consists of 10 plastic and five etched parts (the seat belts). It goes together very well, but the seat belts are quite thick and stiff. I painted the seat in matt black (Humbrol33), pads with Khaki (H26), head rest with Insignia Red (H153) and the seat belts with a light Tan (H148 Radome Tan). A quite heavy dry brushing with silver (H11) to bring out the details finished the seat (picture 1). I picked out the belt buckles with aluminium and added some small details.
n step 2 I assembled the cockpit, all parts fitted perfectly so it went rapidly. The instrument panel consists of an etched face with all instruments on an acetate backing, and a plastic "clean" panel. I painted the back of the acetate sheet white and glued it to the back of the panel face with white glue, and then I glued these parts to the plastic panel with super-glue. The effect is very good and much more realistic then those pesky all-clear panels Trumpeter have used in other kits (picture 2). I treated the cockpit in the same way as the seat; matt black all over, dry brushed with silver and "washed" with black/brown (pictures 3, 4 and 5). I left the seat until the very end of the build, making masking the cockpit easier.
In the next steps (3-4) we come to one of the most intriguing features in this kit: the contra-rotating prop! Assembly is very easy and straight forward, but be sure of what to glue or not as there are many moving parts here. All parts in step 3 are glued together. In step 4 Parts C25, C9 and C15 is glued together. Parts G1, G2 and G3 (the gears) are NOT glued together! G4 is placed over G2 and then the whole assembly is located (NOT GLUED) in C5! Then C4 is glued to C5 sandwiching the gears between those parts, take care to not gluing the wrong parts! Actually it was very easy although a bit fiddly to get everything in place! To anyone who wants to motorize the prop; don't forget to add a little grease to the gears as they are a bit rough. Trumpeter provides a plastic part if you don't care about the working feature, good thought! I painted the prop (and the finlets) in a Maroon/Crimson red (H20), the blades in satin black (H85) and the tips in insignia yellow (H154) and set it aside (picture 6).
Step 5 and 6 is the torpedo and rocket assembly. Note that only early versions of the Wyvern could carry a torpedo, the S.4 could, but very rarely did.
n step 7 everything comes together in the fuselage. The little camera is assembled and mounted on the rack. I mounted the camera between the brackets, but didn't glue it yet. Note the direction and that the long rod on the rack is forward. Propeller, Cockpit and tail wheel assemblies were glued to the right fuselage half. Part C32 is a very clever little part that ensures the tail planes get the correct dihedral. The fuselage halves fitted together perfectly! I had to poke around a bit with my tweezers to get the camera assembly lined up. Go easy and there are no problems! (picture 7)
wingsIn Steps 8, 9, 11, 16 and 17 the RATOGs (Rocket Assisted Take Off Gears) and bombs are assembled.
n step 10 we come to the main wing, now it's time to decide about the load out configuration. I Settled for Rockets and a centreline fuel tank. Be careful to open up the correct holes in the centre part of the wing. All holes are flashed over, BUT the holes for the rockets are already there. Not so good if you don't want to use the rockets, but easily rectified. Use a plastic rod of correct diameter, insert and glue in the holes and cut off. If this is done carefully there's almost no need for filler or sanding. On the upper wing panels (parts D18 and D5) I found the only ejector pin marks that had to be deal with. Luckily, they are easily filled and sanded, and not very visible on the assembled model (picture 8). As I wanted my wings spread, I continued with the outer wing parts, assembling the whole wing in one go (picture 9).
The landing gear assembly are step 12, 13 and 14. Trumpeter has moulded the wheels in plastic with separate hubs, making painting much easier. The wheels are not bulged, though. I painted the struts Alclad aluminium and the tyres a dark grey colour that I mixed myself from matt black and dark grey (H33 and H112). Wheel wells should be Sky, not Aluminium as Trumpeter suggests. I painted the wells Alclad Aluminium and when I got the 4+ book, it was too late to change (picture 10).
In step 15 I married the fuselage and the complete wing. It was a perfect "snap-fit" with no gaps anywhere. Very impressive indeed! The tail planes fitted very well even if the fit was a bit loose. Now I glued the rear cockpit decking (part B10) and canopy parts (pt. F1, F2) in place, once again a perfect fit. After masking it was time for the model to get into the paint shop (picture 11).
Copyright ©2020 by Stefan Ericsson. Images also by copyright holder unless otherwise noted. The views and opinions expressed herein are solely the views and opinions of the authors and/or contributors to this Web site and do not necessarily represent the views and/or opinions of AeroScale, KitMaker Network, or Silver Star Enterrpises. Images also by copyright holder unless otherwise noted. Opinions expressed are those of the author(s) and not necessarily those of AeroScale. All rights reserved. Originally published on: 2006-10-28 00:00:00. Unique Reads: 16085