FROG F253 de Havilland Sea Venom, bagged, Rovex Tri-ang
NEW AND IN VIEW
"FROG Sea Venom F.A.W. 21/53. Blue series.
Another release from Frog of an often asked for prototype, the Sea venom is neatly moulded in grey plastic. The method of assembly is conventional but alas the match of some of the parts is not what can be provided with modern techniques. When you think of the number of kits available today where it is possible to virtually 'dry assemble' and the parts fit with little or no filler, it is disappointing to find that the nose, cap shape does not match the fuselage, the wing roots need a fair amount of filling, the wing-tip" tanks do not match tops to bottoms, and the tail booms need fitting at the joint position. . .even the two wing halves need putty and of course the trailing edge is too thick. . .this is rapidly becoming a Frog trademark. However when all the rather frustrating work is finished, the result is quite accurate and a good model of the prototype. The decals are very good in finish and register but mine needed some glue to hold them on. For those with patience a fair start to a very good model, for the stick them together brigade. . .just another model, but then we ARE supposed to be MODELLERS. . .so I expect to see a fair number on the display tables., .still good value pricewise.
The IPMS magazine, august 1973
FROG has released a very welcome 1/72 kit of the de Havilland Sea Venom FAW 21/53 two-seat night and all-weather fighter. Kits of British aircraft of this period are rare, although there are indications that more kits of aircraft from the 1950s and 1960s are to be expected in the future. Naval aircraft are also rather rare.
Naturally, any generally accurate kit of the Sea Venom is nice to have, but I am rather disappointed that Frog did not take a little more care with the fuselage shape of this model. Aircraft which are developed from earlier types through progressive stages usually exhibit marked signs on the major parts of the aircraft. The first steps towards the Venom were the installation of the Ghost engine in a Vampire I (TG278). To accommodate the larger Ghost engine the contours of the aft part of the fuselage nacelle were altered, with a straighter under-line and a more abrupt curve up to the larger jet pipe. The straightening of the lower fuselage contour was made to maintain the maximum diameter of the fuselage to a point further aft than on the Vampire in order to accommodate the larger diameter of the de Havillad Ghost engine. The upper surface contours were similarly altered, but on the Sea Venom this is less apparent because of the arrester hook fairing. On Frogs' model the rear fuselage curves up gradually and elegantly, but uncharacteristically.
The two-seat night fighter Venom was evolved from the two-seat Vampire NF.10 (originally developed for an Italian order, but taken over by the RAF), having similar fuselage and radome contours. The Venom NF3 and its counterpart, the Sea Venom FAW21 had a larger and longer radome which did not match the existing fuselage contours. There was, therefore, a slight imperfection in the radome fuselage intersection.
Frog's Venom has a rather blunt radome which is smoothly faired into the fuselage, again missing a vital characteristic of the subject aircraft. The model would look better if a new radome, less rounded and bulbous and possibly made from the front of a large model drop tank if available, was used in place of the one in the kit. It would be better if a slightly smaller diameter radome was made, cemented in a new position in line with the fuselage upper contour, and the lower fuselage filed upwards to join the new radome. This would give the small amount of "kink" necessary to give the right impression. In order to fit the radome in line with the upper contours of the fuselage it is necessary to remove the inner locating flange, on to which the kit radome is normally cemented. It would, of course, be possible to file down the existing radome, but this would seem to be more trouble than making a new one.
The rest of the model is accurate, although the main wheels look a little small.
This is a model that requires a lot of weight in the nose to achieve a balance on the wheels. This is best installed inside the radome before cementing. A large fishing weight held in. place by plasticine is a satisfactory method.
Items for installation under the wings include eight 60lb rockets or empty rocket rails. Bombs or drop tanks are not included in the kit, but these can easily be adapted from some other model. The rockets, on their tier mountings, look very realistic. The jet pipe does not look authentic, due to the extremely thick pipe. The small inner hole needs enlarging to leave a very thin pipe.
The transfers are, as is usual with Frog kits, of excellent standard. Two sets of markings are provided: one is for an FAW 21 of 891 Squadron, based on HMS Ark Royal, and the other is for an FAW 53 of 724 Squadron, HMAS Melbourne. Royal Australian Navy.
Frog's Sea Venom is not up to the same standard as its Vampire for overall accuracy, but nevertheless it is easily capable of being made into a nice little model. It costs 23p.
AIRCRAFT ILLUSTRATED 1974-04