Corgi's new 1/72 Avro Vulcan lands in the shops!

19 September 2014
imports_CCGB_aa27201-avro-vulcan_69026.jpg Corgi's new 1/72 Avro Vulcan lands in the shops!
The much-anticipated new tooling goes on sale around the country today. ...
Corgi's new 1/72 Avro Vulcan lands in the shops! Images
This is going to be big, and I don't just mean the physical presence of the actual model. Corgi's newly-tooled 1/72 scale Avro Vulcan (AA27201) is available to buy from today and judging by the buzz around the aviation model forums, this is going to be a huge success, despite this Vulcan being one of its premium priced offerings. With a production run of 4,000 units there are plenty to go around but, given the real aircraft's popularity, these are bound to be flying off the shelves.

At £179.99, this had better be a lot of model. It is. From concept to completion has taken a massive 18 months and has involved three separate tooling shots (prototypes), which is more than usual. But it has been well worth the wait and with a wingspan of 472mm, you had better make some serious space for this beauty.

I spoke with Corgi's Aviation Archive Development Engineer, Glen Richardson on the morning of the model's release. Glen has been involved with the project for pretty much the last 12 months, having taken over the reins from Martin Ridge.

The project really began in response to feedback from customers of Corgi's 1/144 scale tooling of the Vulcan, which was incredibly popular but with it being such a physically large aircraft, seen frequently at airshows and flypast events once again thanks to the Vulcan to the Sky Trust team, many wished the model to be produced at the larger 1/72 scale.

With sister company Airfix also under the Hornby Hobbies umbrella already producing a 1/72 scale kit, there was already plenty of information in house to refer to. But while this would be a starting point, the model kit is an old one, relatively speaking, so the CAD drawings produced for the new Corgi model were drawn completely from scratch, referring to the original Airfix drawings as well as working directly with the Vulcan to the Sky team. The real aircraft is simply too vast to measure with a tape obviously!

The first prototype was cast in resin and this was the one that we photographed in March this year (above) at the Corgi preview day in Margate. After the initial wow factor created by the sheer size, the next thing I noticed was its weight, or lack of it, so it clearly wasn't diecast at that stage. Had the model been fully diecast then it would have been really rather heavy and, coupled with the fact that the diecast process means some compromise when it comes to panel fit, with potentially unsightly edges, the decision was taken to cast the upper fuselage and wing section in plastic. This has brought about some much needed weightloss as well as allowing a much more detailed finish to the leading edges and finesse to the upper body.

Originally the nose section was to be part of this philosophy but when the first correctly materialled prototype was created, it was clear that the model would be a "tail sitter" so the decision was taken to make the nose section diecast with extra ballast inside to ensure a correct stance when displayed on its undercarriage. Special features on this model include detailed crew figures and photo-etched parts for aerials, wipers and the crew ladder underneath the cockpit.

The actual aircraft modelled here is the well-known airframe that is currently the only airworthy Vulcan in the world, XH558 and the model replicates the aircraft at the point when she returned to flying in October 2007. Frequently seen throughtout the UK since, 558 is based at the old RAF Finningley, now Doncaster/Sheffield Robin Hood Airport. I was lucky enough to visit her here a couple of years ago for an "underwing" tour and you can clearly see how big she is from the photo below with yours truly for comparison!

The last Vulcan squadron was disbanded in 1984 and, therefore, withdrawn from active service, but the Vulcan Display Flight continued until 1992. After 15 years of hard work by the Vulcan to the Sky Trust, a Vulcan graced the skies once more in 2007 and has been delighting crowds at airshows and casual observers on the ground as she travels to and from displays ever since. With the airframe currently only certified until the end of 2015, the next challenge is to secure substantial funding for the updates necessary for XH558 to continue flying. Amazingly, XH558 is funded completely by enthusiasts and receives no funding from either government or lottery sources. To find out more about how you could help keep her flying, visit the Vulcan to the Sky Trust website at

XH558 is shown above landing at RAF Waddington in July 2011, with XM607 in the background, the very Vulcan that successfully flew all the way from Waddington to the Falklands to bomb Port Stanley's runway during the 1982 conflict, not in one flight I hasten to add, but that is a story for another time should this version be released too. Requests on a postcard to Corgi HQ!

Corgi's website has details of how to order the model direct and also a video interview with Glen about the development of the model.

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