MPM's 1/72 Vickers Wellington Mk. IC

By Chris Banyai-Riepl

The Kit

MPM's latest release has raised the bar yet again for this manufacturer, easily putting them on par with the likes of Revell-Germany and even Hasegawa.  The Wellington is a large aircraft in real life and makes for a good-sized model in 1/72.  I believe this is the largest kit MPM has done to date, and although the Ki-21, DC-2 and TR-1 are all close contenders in terms of size, this kit outshines all of those in terms of quality.  You get several trees of dark gray plastic and one tree of clear parts, all done to a very high quality.  A decal sheet with several choices, all with black bellies, rounds out the contents of the box.

The first thing that jumps out at you upon opening up the box is the beautiful way MPM has handled the geodesic construction of the plane.  The wings and tailplanes all feature smoothly blended shapes showing this unique construction, and the soft edges reflect perfectly how the surfaces would look underneath fabric.  The fuselage, having stringers on top of the geodesic construction, correctly shows linear fabric lines along the length.  On the inside of the fuselage is molded in all of the geodesic assembly, which will be interesting to paint but should result in a very realistic finish.

Speaking of interiors, this kit comes with a nicely done injection-molded setup, with the only thing missing being the seat belts.  The main assembly comes from a one-piece floor matching up to a one-piece bulkhead, with separate seats, control column and instrument panel rounding out the front office.  There is nothing behind the front bulkhead, although an insert in the instructions indicate that there will be several upcoming CMK resin updates including a bomb bay.  The other crew stations included in the kit are the turrets and these will be complicated assemblies, as the turret clear parts are separated into several pieces.  While this will be more of a challenge to assemble, the end result is likely to have more clarity than if the turrets were molded as one piece.

The wings and engines provide another glimpse into the careful thought MPM gave this kit.  In addition to the beautiful surface detailing on the wings, the landing gear arrangement is done in a unique and impressive fashion.  Rather than having simplistic or non-existent wheel wells, MPM has provided deep detailed wells by splitting them in half and molding them separately.  The landing gear legs match the quality of the wells and as this kit is completely devoid of all flash you'll only need to scrape a blade lightly along the edges to get a perfectly round leg.  The tailwheel assembly receives similar treatment, with a separate well split in half.  The engines are also impressive, being made up from a one-piece crankcase and separate individual cylinders. 

Another first for MPM that this kit has is locating pegs for the main assemblies, and solid tabs for the wings and tailplanes.  This will make alignment simpler and provide much strength to the wings as well.  With the crisp molding of this kit I wouldn't be the least bit surprised if the wings and tailplanes fit well enough to leave off until after painting.  In looking at the kit overall there is much to praise MPM for.  In fact, I could find only one fault with the kit, and that's the lack of geodesic construction where the fuselage windows are.  This is depicted on the boxtop but nothing is included in the kit.  Some thin decal strip or even plastic stock will fix this quickly, though.

Painting the Wellington will be quite simple, as this version didn't have much in the way of interesting schemes.  Two of the schemes included are the standard dark green and dark earth over black, while the third offers a bit of interest by having the upper surface finished in desert colors of middlestone and dark earth over black.  The decals are printed by Propagteam and are in excellent register and nice color.  The opacity appears to be quite good and there should be no problem going down over the black fuselage sides.


With this kit MPM can no longer say they're a short-run company.  This kit is easily on par with what we're seeing from Hasegawa and Revell-Germany and those companies now have some serious competition from the Czech Republic.  We can expect several different variants of Wellingtons in the future and I'm sure with the positive sales of this kit we'll start seeing more large twins from MPM in the future.  Bring on the A-26s!

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