Biplane airliner — almost

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Biplane airliner — almost

Airfix 1/144th scale Handley Page 42 almost completed by Everard Cunion in April 2022

Partly finished Airfix 144 scale HP-42

Notice the missing propeller

This is my last ever model kit, not because of any fault with the kit, but because of a problem that has plagued my (and apparently others’) kit building. I had it almost finished when I discovered that I lost a propeller. I am sure it was included in the kit because I painted all four propellers. If only three had been on the runner I am sure I would have noticed. My time is running out (cancer) and I cannot afford to waste it on the futile hunt for missing parts. As I mentioned on my pages about other kit builds, the floor of my room must contain enough assorted parts to build n imperial star destroyer. In which case, why can I not see them? (If I did not live on my own I would be certain that someone was deliberately taking the parts.) This unsolved mystery is one that I cannot allow to suck away my remaining time. The anger and frustration it causes me has to stop and the only way I can see for that to happen is for me to stop building models.

However, for what it is worth, here is the partial build as I experienced it…

The most important thing about this kit, at least for someone like me who builds aircraft almost exclusively in 1/48th and 1/72nd scale — is how small it is. The second important thing is that it is not a beginner kit: It is a biplane with thin inter-plane struts. Although the box includes a jig (a flat piece with cut-outs) to help hold the wings during assembly, such assemblies are always tricky regardless.

Sub-assemblies painted

Sub-assemblies painted

Because of its structure, I painted it (brush-painted in acrylics) and applied the decals (transfers) before final assembly. The unpainted flat thing (looks a bit like a rudder) is a jig for holding the wings during assembly. It is not part of the model.



The left front door does not come with windows, so I added them in gloss black paint. (The left rear door does have a window.) I painted the interior, which contains no detail, matt black. At a later stage I reached in with a thin brush and painted the curtains in pastel green.

Decals applied

Decals applied

The Airfix decal instructions show the lettering on the upper wing too close together. Photos of the real thing show a wider spacing. Some apparent color photos available online are actually ‘colorized’ black and white photos and they show the lettering as blue while the Airfix transfers are black. Incidentally, some of those decals are tiny and, on mine, they ended up a bit wonky.

I found the part numbering of the front large zig-zag inter-plane struts on the runner (sprue) ambiguous. If things don’t line up, try the other one.

There are some struts under the forward fuselage that are not supplied with the kit. Adding them was on my list, but I never got that far.

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