De Havilland DH.88 Comet (Black Magic) 1:72 Scale Airfix A01013 Kit Review

2013 March 13
by Doug

RoR Step-by-Step Review 20130312*
De Havilland DH.88 Comet 1-72 Scale Airfix A01013 Kit Review
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Fig 000

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The Comet number 88, in the sequence of De Havilland designs, was one of the most elegant racing aeroplanes of all time and owed its inception to the planned 100th anniversary celebration for the foundation of the state of Victoria in 1934.  The well-known Australian patriot, Sir MacPherson Robertson, proposed an air race from England to Australia for which he offered a total prize of £15,000 – £10,000 of which went to the winner.  When the race was first announced in March 1933, there were no British aircraft which had the speed or range necessary to compete in the 12,300 mile (19,800 km) race.  Eager to go ahead, De Havilland took the unusual step of advertising in the aviation press of the day to produce a 200mph (322km/h) aircraft for a cost of £5,000, if orders were placed by February 1934.  The race was planned for the 20th  of October and this gave De Havilland less than nine months to design, build, and test fly the new aircraft.  Built of wood and powered by two Gypsy Six engines, with a crew of two seated in a tandom cockpit with dual controls.  The first of the three aircraft ordered, (now named Comet), flew on the 8th of September – A bare six weeks before the race – and the other two flew shortly after.  The three Comets were distinctively finished in Red (Grosvenor House), Black (Black Magic), and Green, with Grosvenor House winning the race in a time of 70 hrs, 54 min, 18 sec.  The Aircraft has been restored and can be seen at the Shuttleworth Collection in the Old Warden Aerodome at Bedfordshire, England.

For the Modeler: This Airfix model is a skill level 1, 1:72 scale kit #A01013. It is molded in 24 gray and clear plastic. This Airfix kit only comes with decals to build the Black Magic version. This kit does not have a lot of parts or complexity.  Everyone from a beginner to expert can build this famous racer.  The end result is all about the seams and how much time you take to fill, sand, and prime. Dimensions are (mm) L122 x W186

Covered in this Review: If you want to perfect your build, basic construction; part preparation; seam identification and repair; clamping techniques; adhesive selections and application; assembly sequence; using Alclad paints for the black and chrome finish; body preparation; canopy masking; realistic landing gear finishes; decal preparation and application; using floor polish sealers; are all fully examined in this 13 page, full-color Step-by-Step review. 


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