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Dora Wings 1/72 scale Vultee Vengeance Mk.I/IA plastic model kit review

Detailed model requires patience and care in handling small, fragile parts
Kit:72038 // Scale:1/72 // Price:$67.99
Dora Wings (Sample courtesy of mfr.)
Extremely well detailed; good fits; crisp moldings
Unnecessarily complicated; tiny and fragile parts
Injection-molded plastic (gray, clear); 259 parts (80 photo-etched metal); decals; masks
Developed as a dive-bomber by Vultee, the Vengeance entered Royal Air Force service in October 1942. Deemed unsuitable for the European theater, the aircraft ended up in Burma performing close-support strikes for British and Indian troops fighting the Japanese.

Dora Wings released a Mk.II version of the Vengeance in 1/48 scale a couple of years ago and comparing the instructions it appears that the new 1/72 scale Vultee Vengeance Mk.I/IA plastic model kit is almost a direct, piece-for-piece, scaled-down copy of its larger sibling. With 259 parts, the detail is outstanding. Molded in gray, the parts feature finely recessed panel lines and some rivet detail. The kit includes four marking options and a die-cut sheet of masks for the extensive canopy.

If you don’t have a magnifier and superfine tweezers, get both before tackling this kit. I recommend a good razor saw, too.

The large cockpit occupies 19 steps in the instructions and a significant portion of the parts. Some part breakdowns seem unnecessarily complicated to me. For example, each seat builds from four pieces when one would have probably worked. Parts like the photo-etched metal (PE) levers and switches are so tiny they are difficult to handle. But they do look cool if you manage to get them in place.

Parts fit is generally excellent. However, finding proper locations or holding a part in place can be challenging because locator pins or recesses are exceedingly small or shallow and don’t offer a positive join. Proceed cautiously and the results will be worth the effort.

You have the option to display the fully detailed bomb bay open. I intended to do so and built it including the door actuators and other tiny and fragile details. If I were to do it again, I would leave these parts off until the final assembly because I broke off most of them during the build. As a result, the bomb bay doors are closed.

I only had to use a little filler in a couple of spots on the long fuselage join.

The wings feature detailed wheel wells and separate control surfaces. The rudder and elevators build from two pieces and the join crosses a panel requiring the join to be filled and sanded. The wings butt-join with the fuselage and fit quite well. The PE dive brakes can be posed deployed, but the brass is thin and soft, so I don’t know how long they would hold up to handling.

Before painting, I masked the canopy. The kit-supplied, pre-cut masks were a tad too big for the panes and the material didn’t adhere well to curved surfaces. So, I masked the big canopy with masking tape and painted the RAF camouflage with Testors enamels. The decals went on flawlessly over a layer of clear gloss.

The Dora Wings 1/72 scale Vultee Vengeance Mk.I/IA plastic model kit scales perfectly with the dimensions on Wikipedia. I spent more time building it than I would typically spend on a 1/72 scale kit, but it is probably the most detailed kit I’ve finished in this scale. Because of its complexity and fragility, it’s best left to experienced modelers. Work slowly and carefully and the results are worth the effort!
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