Airfix Development News - Avro Shackleton MR2 1:72
Exciting news this week as we take you behind-the-scenes at Airfix HQ to look at the development of one of the key Airfix releases this year, the Avro Shackleton MR2 1:72 (A11004), due for delivery this December.
The 1:72 Shackleton's journey began back in June 2010 when the Airfix Development Team visited the Shackleton Preservation Trust at Coventry Airport, who are in the process of restoring the WR963 Shackleton to flight. Since then, several more research trips were completed in order to catalogue every inch of the massive airframe.
With special permission and help from the Shackleton Preservation Trust, Airfix were granted exclusive access to the original aircraft as well as the original manufacturer's drawings and manuals to produce the high detail CAD imagery for this model.
Matt from Airfix (back) with Richard and Dave Woods of the SPT, inside the Shackleton reviewing the design
Pages of data were then taken back to Airfix HQ, where the painstaking process of producing an accurate computer model of the plane began, a process that takes hundreds of hours, to build a highly detailed 3D computer model.
This highly detailed computer data was then used to produce the mould for the kit. The process of getting from CAD drawings to mould is highly complex, and far too lengthy to detail here!
Test kits are then produced from the mould, which is the development stage we have reached this week.
Below are some first-see pictures of the Shackleton test kits, plus the built test model.
The Shackleton test kits arrive at Airfix HQ
The first Shackleton test kit assembled
The finished Avro Shackleton MR2 1:72 (A11004) is due this December, and between now and then the model will go through several further stages of development, including refinement of the test model, design of the decal scheme, writing the instructions and design of the packaging, before the model is ready to go into full production.
We'll keep you updated as the development of the Shackleton progresses, but we hope this article gives you a small insight into the development of an Airfix model.
Finally, we would like to express our thanks to the team at the Shackleton Preservation Trust who have provided invaluable support throughout the creation of this model, and continue to input into its development. The work they are doing to restore this iconic plane is really fantastic - please visit their website where you can read a fascinating insight into the Shackleton, sign up as a Friend of WR963, and even make a donation towards the restoration fund.