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 REVIEW: Corgi AA37208 RCAF Handley Page Halifax B.VII "Vicky The Vicious Virgin"

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Join date : 2017-02-18
Location : Vancouver

PostSubject: REVIEW: Corgi AA37208 RCAF Handley Page Halifax B.VII "Vicky The Vicious Virgin"   Sun Jul 02 2017, 21:15

Corgi Aviation Archive
RCAF Handley Page Halifax B.VII, PN230/EQ-V ‘Vicky The Vicious Virgin’,
No.408 (RCAF) "Goose" Squadron, Linton-on-Ouse, Yorkshire, Spring 1945."

Announced in the Corgi Jan-Jun 2016 Catalog - Delayed to late August 2016.

Production Limited 1400 Units

The Handley Page Halifax had a particularly proud and distinguished service career with the Royal Canadian Air Force during the Second World War.

All 15 RCAF Squadrons of the all Canadian No. 6 Group were equipped with the Halifax at some point in their wartime service, and some were formed on and only operated the Halifax. As well, three RCAF Heavy Conversion Units were equipped with the Halifax to convert O.T.U. graduates to the Halifax.

According to the book In Canadian Service: Handley Page Halifax:

Out of a total of 37,000 operational missions flown in Halifax aircraft in the Second World War - 29,000 were flown by Canadian crews.

The Aircraft - Vicky the Vicious Virgin

This aircraft was portrayed in the June 2012 issue of "Flypast" Magazine where it states:

"This aircraft's bright and distinctive artwork was created by its Bomb Aimer, W/O Bert 'Scratch' Evans. Finishing his training at Topcliffe, Bert and the rest of his crew were Posted to 408 RCAF Squadron and assigned PN230 on February 22, 1945.

The Halifax received the code EQ*V. The crew deliberated over a suitable name for their aircraft, and eventually opted for 'Vicky The Vicious Virgin' following a doubtless humorous exchange concerning their more amorous exploits since arriving in England. Perhaps for somewhat similar reasons, Pilot W/O Ron Craven attained the somewhat dubious soubriquet 'Dirty Old Man', which was duly painted beneath the cockpit.

Bert Painted the aircraft's name on both sides of the nose, and created the image of a pin-up girl from a photograph he had been given by a friendly barber. Such Frivolity aside, the crew went on to complete 21 operations, the last 13 in PN230.

Before a major raid on Cologne, Ron noticed that the black underside paint on the Halifax was very rough and consequently had the entire surface waxed. On return from the March 2 'op', the crew observed that their airspeed had increased by about 20 mph as a result of the waxing.

Throughout March, 408 RCAF Squadron and 'Vicky' relentlessly attacked German targets, including Hamburg, Essen, Dortmund and Witten. While raiding the latter on the 18th, PN230 was attacked by a Night-Fighter but returned successfully. Another fighter attack on April 8 caused Ron to 'corkscrew down to 3,000 ft' in order to evade. The crew converted to Lancasters the following month, and having survived the war, PN230 was finally decommissioned on December 30, 1949."

The R. Craven crew from 408 Squadron standy in front of V "Vicky", Halifax VII PN-230.

L to R: Sgt S. Mason RCAF, Airgunner; F/Sgt R. Crawford RCAF, Air gunner; F/O A. Larsen RCAF, Navigator; W/O1 R. Craven RCAF Pilot;
W/O1 J. Dobbs RCAF, Wireless Op; Sgt C. Wong RCAF, Flight Engineer; W/O1 W. Evans RCAF, Bomb aimer.

Of Interest are the Crew "Nicknames" painted beneath the respective stations on the port side of the fuselage:

Pilot: "The Dirty Old Man"
Navigator: "Blood and Guts"
Flight Engineer: "Gassless"
Bomb Aimer: "Scratch"
Wireless Operator: "Gee Sam"
Mid Upper Gunner: "Hairless Joe"
Rear Gunner: "Rabbit"

The Model by Corgi

"Vicky" was a Halifax that many of us had been asking Corgi to produce for three years now. Corgi had yet to produce a RCAF Halifax and given Vicky's unique artwork it was suitably selected.

There were quite a few details that Corgi had to incorporate for this release and thankfully all of these were added.

These details (and corrections to the Pre Production example) included the following:

1) Being a Halifax Mk. VII the extended wing tips were required.
2) H2S Radar blister under rear fuselage was required.
3) Crew nicknames for the mid upper and rear gunner were originally missed on the Pre Pro but were subsequently added.
4) "SAM" was not originally centred under the triangular window.
5) Antenna mast aft of cockpit used on previous releases needed to be removed for a Mk. VII.
6) ADF Antenna was originally painted green but corrected to brown.
7) Correct the positions of the engine exhausts.
Cool incorporate for the first time the Monica aerial (tail warning radar).

The paint quality on my example was flawless and all the parts fit together very well. Optional parts are provided to display the model gear up or gear down and the bomb bay may be displayed open or closed. A black display stand is included as well.

All in all an example of one of Corgi's very best. A lot of effort went into this release and it shows.

Since my father served as a Navigator during the War on the both the Halifax and Lancaster with 434 RCAF Squadron - this was an absolute must for the collection.

Highly, highly recommended.


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REVIEW: Corgi AA37208 RCAF Handley Page Halifax B.VII "Vicky The Vicious Virgin"
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