This model was made from the Azmodel 1/72 kit using kit decals and represents a Vanguard in RAF colours and markings in 1942.
I made this mode for the whimsical purpose of making all the kits of Vultee aeroplanes that I have in my Treasure. It is a totally unremarkable fighter, hardly worth noticing apart from the fact that its very ordinariness made it unusual. The only reason that it got put into production was that Sweden ordered 144 of them for its air force. Even then it was unremarkable until the US government banned the export of this aeroplane to Sweden, leaving it with all these fairly useless fighters. For a while it looked as though Britain would take them to use in training fighter pilots in Canada but, after it tested one it decided it didn’t want them. In the end they were sent to China where the few that did fly gave the Imperial Japanese Army pilots a bit of target practice.
I would have preferred to have made this model in USAAC or Chinese markings because it seems likely that this was the only Vanguard to appear in RAF colours before the British decided they didn’t want them. But the kit I had offered only Swedish and British markings, and since I couldn’t find photos of any Swedish Vanguards, I was stuck with making the British one.
This kit was made straight from the box but since this is a limited run kit this meant there was still a lot of work to do to make the parts fit. The cockpit, which is highly visible, took a lot of effort to get right and there were plenty of gaps that needed significant filling and filing. Most difficult was the rear portion of the cockpit canopy which required much test fitting before it went in and then careful masking to hide the ugly join. The kit contains a piece to fill in the vast echoing space between the wheel wells and the fuselage but I couldn’t see how it was supposed to fit so I replaced it with a piece of plasticard, which is not ideal but at least fills the hole otherwise left.
I hand painted the model using acrylic paints, not ideal but it looks okay after a coat of Tamiya matt varnish.
Not a bad looking little model of an insignificant aeroplane.