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Bristol Blenheim Mk.I

 

 

MPM

                     

S u m m a r y

Catalogue Number: 72500
Scale: 1/72
Contents and Media: 3 sprues in "limited run" injected plastic, 1 photoetched fret, 15 resin parts, 1 sheet of decals, 1 clear film (instruments) and 5 parts in clear injected plastic.
Price: USD$21.46 from Squadron.com
Review Type: FirstLook
Advantages: Pleasing resin castings and photo-etch; nice engraved detail; fit appears better than some larger, well known brands.
Disadvantages: Some small areas of flash.
Recommendation: Recommended for experienced modellers (due to the multi-media nature of the kit)


Reviewed by Dale Smith.

 

Background

 

The Bristol Blenheim started its life as a design for a fast, twin engined transport aircraft capable of carrying six passengers and 2 crew . It was initially developed in 1935 by the Bristol Aeroplane Co. Ltd. 

The Bristol Type 142 was faster than any RAF aircraft then in service and soon came to the attention of the British Air Ministry. Certain modifications were made to the basic design resulting in the Type 142 M . These modifications included the fitting of a gun turret in the upper rear fuselage, and the moving of the wing from the lower to mid fuselage position so that the airframe could accommodate a bomb bay. 

The Blenheim Mk 1, as the aircraft was now known, first flew at Filton on 25 June, 1936. 150 aircraft were ordered by the RAF  with further orders being received from Finland, Lithuania, Turkey and Yugoslavia. The first aircraft were delivered to the RAF in March 1937and went to 114 (Bomber) Squadron. A further 434 airframes were ordered in 1936. During later years it was replaced in frontline service by the Blenheim Mk IV, however was still used in the training and second line order of battle bombing missions. 

The Blenheim was used very successfully later in WWII as a night fighter, being fitted with a belly pack containing 4 .303in machine guns with 2000 rounds of ammunition, as well as the first types of airborne interception radar.

 

 

FirstLook

 

MPM's 1/72 scale Blenheim Mk. I is molded in a light grey limited production style plastic with very little flash. 

Detail is very nicely engraved and I was unable to locate any sink marks or malformed parts. All the parts have a very smooth finish, not like some other limited run kits I have reviewed that would require considerable sanding down during construction. 

The injection molding gates on the parts are a little larger than, say, a Hasegawa kit, but will be very easily cleaned up during construction. The light grey resin parts supplied include 2 x engines, 2 x different style rear turret machine guns (single or twin), a resin upper fuselage turret base for the differing Finnish version, and 2 styles of propeller spinner. 

Certain detail items are supplied on an etched fret (by Eduard) such as seat belts, instrument panel, rudder pedals and an instrument side-panel for the cockpit. A film for the instruments is also supplied. 


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Three decal marking choices are supplied: 

  • 3rd Flight, 42 Bomber Squadron, Vartsila AFB, Finnish Airforce 1941. 

  • 90 Squadron, RAF, 1938. Aircraft serial K 7059 / TW. 

  • Royal Yugoslav Army Air Force, 1938. 

Colour painting instructions are called out during construction with referral to the Humbrol range of paints and the their catalogue numbers. Some FS numbers are quoted in the camouflage painting instructions as well.

During the review process, a number of parts such as the fuselage halves, wings, and engine cowlings were removed from the sprues, cleaned up and dry fitted with very pleasing results. I was impressed with the fit considering the limited run nature of the kit. Another area that was interesting is that the entire nose and nose glazing area is supplied as two halves in clear styrene that when joined, are added to the fuselage assembly (see pics). This assembly only needs careful masking before spraying to obtain an acceptable result. Careful with the glue though, as you'll have a difficult time cleaning up any blemishes on the inner surface! 

 

 

Conclusion

 

MPM are making quite a name for themselves lately, producing unusual subject items as well as popular aircraft in a limited run production process that is producing remarkably high quality at an affordable price. 

The multi-media nature of the kit isn't for everyone, and beginners may struggle with the resin and photo-etch, however the more experienced modellers will revel in the MPM kits. This Blenheim kit will build up into a realistic model and is highly recommended. 

My thanks to Squadron Mail Order for supplying the sample.

 


MPM's 1/72 scale Blenheim Mk.I is available online from Squadron.com


Review Copyright 2001 by Dale Smith
Page Created 30 April, 2001
Last updated 22 July, 2003

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