Vickers Wellington Mk III – Painting the canopy and the gun turrets…

Very few parts are left to complete the Wellington Mk X. I had been staring too long at the clear parts.


I have painted the frames of the canopy, the bomb aimer window, the front turret and the rear turret as you can see here…


I will remove the excess paint using the scraping technique especially when the frames were hardly discernable.


The waist windows were also painted.



More later progress…




Vickers Wellington Mk III – Progress report – Filling or not filling…


It had to be expected…

Look closely.


I had filed the upper part of the fuselage and also the bottom.


The seam on top is more apparent and I hate to start filling then sanding. The left landing doors were glued with some problem since the parts are quite thin.




The waist windows had to be reglued because they had dropped inside the fuselage when I was handling the model.


It would have been hilarious to film how I was able to reglue them. Again Mother of Invention was at my side handing me cocktail toothpicks to stick into the waist windows and reglue them solidly.

I will file again the top part of the fuselage tomorrow… 



and we will see what happens.

Vickers Wellington Mk III – Progress report… Mating the fuselage

I had been procrastinating long enough with mating the fuselage.

I glued the fuselage yesterday expecting some trouble. The fit was not perfect and I had to use lots of masking tape.

I will have to reglue the aft bottom parts.

The fragile landing gear was glued with super glue.

The gun turrets were glued with clear acrylic paint. I had removed the bottom part on each one since I won’t be moving the turrets. 

This model kit proves to be a challenge since I am not building it for myself but for James’ tribute to 425 Alouette Squadron.

Wellington KW-W

Vickers Wellington Mk III – Progress report… More and more progress

Last time I had used two Vise-Grips to mate the engine nacelles with the wings. 

The upper parts of both nacelles didn’t mate perfectly with the top and the bottom wings. I had tried glueing the bottom parts first, but it did not work out.

So I had to unglue everything and then I used super glue at the wing roots. It did not work well either…

So Mother Invention had told me to…

Use a Vise-Grip…!

Well it worked a little but there were still visible gaps. I did not want to use a filler and have to file around the nacelles. Mother of invention told me to use a little dab of clear acrylic paint and take the excess of with my finger.

I always listen to Mother of invention.

Vickers Wellington Mk III – Progress report… A little more progress

Airfix has to be commended for its tribute to 425 Alouette squadron with its first model kit of the Wellington.

Airfix has come a long way since the late 50s when it made the Wellington Mk III. 

My next build will be Trumpeter’s 1/72 scale Vickers Wellington Mk X for my friend James who I am dying to tell you what he did a few years ago as a tribute to 425 Alouette squadron.

He wants me to take pictures of the steps while I am building it.

I will have to finish up the Mk III before, and it is not that easy especially trying to mate the engine nacelles with the wings unless you don’t mind if plastic cement is oozing out all over.

The upper parts of both nacelles don’t mate perfectly with the top and the bottom wings. I had tried glueing the bottom parts first, but it did not work out.

So I had to unglue everything and then I used super glue at the wing roots. It did not work well either…

So I had to ask Mother Invention who told me…

Use a Vise-Grip…!

Vickers Wellington Mk III – Progress report… Even more history about 425 Alouette Squadron

I could go on an on with the history of 425 Alouette… This I had written a few years ago about one member of the ground crew. It was about Corporal Lupien.

An official RCAF photo but with the wrong caption!caporal Lupien

[Photo PL18351] records the top left [ground crew LAC C. Schierer] four aircrew and bottom ground crew – L to R LAC E. Merry, Cpl. A. Lupien and LAC Y. Monette. These were the very proud ground crew who painted the impressive record of 46 operations [32 night and 14 day] plus the little « Turtle with Wings » nose art.

Corporal Lupien isn’t where the caption says he is. 

Clarence Simonsen told the story of Wellington Mk X Turtle with Wings. (be sure to click on the link)

Corporal Lupien is also seen on these photos taken at Tholthorpe in 1944.

Côté and Easy Does It 14 juillet 1944

PL-30750 identification

And also here in Montreal  16 November 1946!

caporal Lupien 16 novembre 1946

Vickers Wellington Mk III – Progress report… More history about 425 Alouette Squadron

This is KW-W at Dishforth most probably before 425 Squadron will leave for North Africa in 1943. We can see the air filter on top of the right engine. So I figure this is a Wellington Mk X and not a Mk III.

Wellington KW-W

Collection Réal St-Amour courtesy Chantal St-Amour

That photo was part of Réal St-Amour’s collection. Réal St-Amour was the Alouette’s adjutant from 1944 to 1945.

These next photos are from the collection of Roly Leblanc, courtesy of his son Michael. Michael had shared them back in 2011. His father was a ground crew and he took lots of pictures of Kairouan. 

We have a good idea of how were the living conditions for Roly Leblanc in North Africa in 1943.

This was taken from Gabriel Taschereau’s memoirs

“At noontime, the thermometer reached 130 ° F and even 140 ° F… “
Group Captain Gabriel Taschereau, D.F.C., C.D., A.D.C.

All crews were equipped with new aircraft, Wellington Mk Xs, especially adapted to face the tropical climate. After a remarkable war effort during its stay in Dishforth, Yorkshire, 425 Squadron was transferred to North Africa in the spring of 1943 to write the second chapter of its brilliant epic.

With few exceptions, airmen who already had more than twenty bombing missions to their credit were assigned to other Canadian squadrons residing in England. Those who insisted on following their squadron to Africa were informed that they would have to complete at least twenty other raids before being repatriated. This was the case for many.

Shortly before the big departure, the two deputy commanders, squadron leaders Georges Roy and Logan Savard, were promoted to the rank of Wing Commander and each were appointed to head a new squadron. All the crews equipped Wellington Mk Xs would be assigned in Tunisia, a desert location about thirty miles southwest of Kairouan, between two Arab villages called Pavillier and Ben-Zina.

Collection Roly Leblanc courtesy Michael Leblanc

The journey was made in several stages: Dishforth, Portreath, Gibraltar, Fez (Morocco), Telergma (Algeria), and finally the new base named Pavillier-Zina. From that time on, 425 Squadron became part of 331 Wing, part of the 205 Group of the North-West African Strategical Air Force.

This arrival on foreign soil was not without some inconvenience: no vegetation, no buildings; therefore, no shade to protect oneself from the rays of a blazing sun; sand and dust; flies, scorpions, tarantulas and mosquitoes. 

Collection Roly Leblanc courtesy Michael Leblanc

These last insects being carriers of malaria, we had to swallow one quinine tablet per day, as a preventive measure. Moreover, as water is a scarce commodity, it was distributed sparingly, especially since it had to be collected in a tanker truck from a well located about ten kilometres from the camp. And one day, the attendants of this service came back empty-handed, mentioning that the well was dry, and that the body of an old mule had been discovered at the bottom.

Gone are the relative luxury of Dishforth’s mess, with its clean rooms and pleasant mess the facilities in Kairouan were rather rudimentary.

Collection Roly Leblanc courtesy Michael Leblanc

Nevertheless, the morale of the troops remained high. Enthusiasm reigned at all levels. Under the command of the wing commander Bill St-Pierre, and his new deputies, the leading squadron leaders Claude Hébert and Baxter Richer, air operations against the enemy resumed more successfully, but under radically different conditions than those we had experienced at Dishforth. German fighters were still on the lookout, but were fewer in number; the A.A. guns and less threatening beams of spotlights. And we no longer had to face the formidable enemy that was icing. On the other hand, our engines often tended to heat up, which was not very reassuring.

In terms of comfort, it was neither the Ritz nor the Savoy. No more the relative luxury of Dishforth’s mess, with its clean rooms and well-stocked dining room; absent, the kind and dedicated “batwomen”, the angels of the W.A.A.F.; become chimeric the “pubcrawling” tours to Ripon Boroughbridge, Harrogate and York.

Collection Roly Leblanc courtesy Michael Leblanc

If the evening and night brought us a diversion in the form of bombing missions, the day, however, seemed endless. The only place we could relax a little was in the shade of our aircraft wings, because in our tents the heat was simply stifling. At lunchtime, the thermometer reached 130° and even 140° Fahrenheit, which allowed us to easily cook an occasional egg on a sheet of metal exposed to the sun. Another cause for celebration: the menu. At breakfast, we had “corned beef”; at lunch, more “corned beef”; and in the evening, to make a change always from “corned beef”.

Collection Roly Leblanc courtesy Michael Leblanc

To compensate for this lack of diet, some crews, during their N.F.T. (daily test flight), managed to simulate an engine failure near a U.S. Air Force base at lunchtime. We were then invited by our American colleagues to share their feast: a four-course meal, with beer, tea, coffee, fresh lemonade, ice cream, etc., etc. Thus, well fed and our engines rested, we took off again to return to our base, filled with the euphoric optimism of our twenties.

Our military objectives varied with the advance of infantry forces. Before the landing on July 9, we attacked by night the aerodromes of Catania, Messina and Gerbini, the fortified squares such as Sciacca and Enna, as well as the banks of the Strait of Messina. Later, after the invasion itself, our targets gradually moved up along the Italian boot. Thus, Reggio, Naples, Capodichino, Salerno, Scaletta, Avellino, Montecorvino, Aversa, Formia, Grazziani, Cerveteri and many other towns, seaports or yards were repeatedly attacked by the 425 Squadron Wellingtons.

Collection Roly Leblanc courtesy Michael Leblanc

The successes achieved by aircrew were largely the result of the close collaboration between “pigeons” and “penguins”. All these brave mechanics, gunsmiths, electricians, drivers, technicians of all kinds, under the expert guidance of flight Lieutenant Hilaire Roberge, never spared their time or effort to make sure the impeccable maintenance of the aircraft entrusted to them.

Collection Roly Leblanc courtesy Michael Leblanc

The administrative services, under the skilful direction of flight lieutenant Edmond Danis, were also always impeccable. Despite our isolation, and the difficulties of communication, our friendly Warrant Officer has constantly managed to manoeuvre to make sure the smooth running of the squadron’s machinery.

On the spiritual side, it was our devoted padre, Father Maurice Laplante, who was very successful in ensuring divine protection on his swarthy flock. He celebrated daily mass in the shelter of a “marquise”, and regularly blessed the planes leaving for their destiny.

Regarding the physical health of our troops, we have nothing but praise for our medical service. This service was run by Dr. Hector Payette, the “little doc”, who, despite his small size, has always been able to rise to the occasion. He was the one who managed to cure us of dysentery that affected us all at first, by feeding us castor oil through a funnel placed in his patients’ mouths. He was also responsible for administering quinine and atabrine tablets for malaria, and “mottons” of salt to combat water loss through sweat. And how many cases of sunstroke has he been called upon to treat! Not to mention the care of the wounded, as was the case for Sergeant Léon Roberge, a wireless operator who returned from a raid with a shrapnel in his thigh and machine gun bullets in his calves, following an unexpected encounter with a Junkers 88.

After a six-month stay under the burning sky of southern Tunisia, the squadron returned to England. But before we could enjoy a well-deserved vacation, we had to undergo a delousing cure in a hospital in West Kirby, to get rid of the sand fleas brought back from Africa, which had made their home between the dermis and the epidermis of each of us.

Most of the “navigators” were later directed to the O.T.U. (operational training schools) to serve as instructors, sharing their experience and knowledge with fresh crews from Canada. These new crews, once their internship in O.T.U. was completed, joined the sedentary services already installed at their new base in Tholthorpe, to begin the third phase of the epic history of 425 Squadron of the Royal Canadian Air Force.

425 45e 020 Gabriel Taschereau

Vickers Wellington Mk III – Progress report

I have been working just a little on the Airfix Wellington Mk III since I had lots of translation work to do.

I have started painting a base coat on some parts, but there is not much information on how to paint the interior and not much details to be shown later.

I have searched for information on how to paint the interior and found these links helpful.

What I make of this is not to bother that much about the interior and to proceed faster with building the Wellington. I have added a touch of paint to the figurines.


I will add more later this week.