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Kit Preview: Trumpeter’s 1/48 Westland Whirlwind


I’ve always thought the Westland Whirlwind was one of the coolest looking airplanes of World War II. Of course, “cool looking” doesn’t count for much in combat. Problems with the aircraft, much of it centered around it’s engines, prevented it from making much of an impact.

Thankfully, wartime performance does not prevent the airplane from being kitted!

Trumpeter has released Westland’s twin-engined fighter, and it looks pretty good in the box.

Surface detail is very nicely done, with fine recessed panel lines and rivet detail. Cockpit detail is OK, with some general bits and bobs molded in place that should do for a basic OOB build, but it could certainly use some additional aftermarket goodness if that happens along. (Or some scratch building.) The seat looks a bit plain, but some belts and maybe a back pad will get it looking nice. Wheel well detail is simple but adequate. The tires are plain but nicely cast. The canopy is very clear, but surprisingly thicker than I would expect for it to be so clear. The instrument panel has recessed dials, but no raised detail. A decal is provided for the instrument panel.

Two sets of markings are provided, both for 263 Squadron Whirlwinds. One variant is Dark Earth/Dark Green, and the other is Ocean Gray/Dark Green. Double check your colors though, as I’m not sure Trumpeter’s callouts are correct in their instructions. The kit is made up of 71 parts. I picked mine up for US$35.

I suppose your opinion of the kit will probably depend on your overall opinion of Trumpeter products in general. While I haven’t compared it to any drawings for correctness, I’m assuming that it’s like most Trumpeter products- it fits the general shape, but folks who really pay attention to that aspect will probably find errors. (Legitimately, most likely, given their history.) Of course, maybe they’ll surprise us.

While I haven’t started this kit, I can say that every previous Trumpeter kit I’ve built has been an enjoyable, generally trouble free build, despite shape and detail errors. And most important to me- it’s NOT Classic Airframes’ kit. I’ve had enough of those for a lifetime… 🙂

As with any model- look at the photos, read the reviews, and decide for yourself.

Personally, I’m looking forward to getting started!