1/32 Westland Whirlwind

By Frank Mitchell

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Inspired by the on-going Whirlwind build in Works In Progress, I thought I would throw out my attempt at one from long, long ago. Don't, however, look for any construction photos; it was originally built in the late 1970s or early '80s.

It started out as a Combat vacuum-formed kit, but only about 20% of that remains.

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The wings, horizontal tail, spinners, forward fuselage, landing gear, and other small parts were all scratch-built. The larger pieces were actually carved from balsa which was then coated in clear resin. This early kind of very hard resin was not easy to sand or to scribe, but at the same time, it was easy to go right through to the balsa. In summary, not a great way to build a model. In addition, I was still intimidated by the thought of scribing (still am, to a degree). So pencil was used to do the panels, etc.

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Over the years, the model deteriorated to the point that it was put on the I-haven't-got-heart-to-throw-it-away-shelf and left there for some more years. Recently, I pulled it out and decided to give it a bit of refurbishment which consisted of disassembly to the extent possible, scribing the whole thing and giving it a re-paint, this time of an aircraft from 137 Squadron. I still think the Whirlwind was one of the neatest looking airplanes of the period and am glad I took the time for the re-build.

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Actually, refurbishing an old model is kind of a fun thing to do, and it allows you to complete something that is not going to require more shelf space.

This article created on Wednesday, July 20 2011; Last modified on Thursday, May 16 2013