Lockheed Vega 5C 1/72 MPM

The Lockheed Vega was a single-engine fixed-carriage high-wing monoplane designed and flown in 1927 by the Lockheed Aircraft Company. Thanks to its extraordinary performance in those days, this machine went down in aviation history with many record-breaking flights. Names associated with Vega include Amelia Mary Earhart (the Lady Lindy machine, the first woman’s flight across the Atlantic), Wiley Post (the Winnie Mae machine, the first flight and solo flight around the world), or the polar aviators George Hubert Wilkins and Carl Ben Eielson (the first flight across the Arctic). The yellow-red Shell Oil Company machine was also piloted in the 1930s by the later US General James Harold “Jimmy” Doolittle.

The 1/72 scale plastic injected kit of this aircraft was released by the MPM company in 2003 and has been reboxed five more times to this day. The main parts of the kit are nice and at first sight, it seems that it would be a pleasant build. It’s not quite like that, it’s a classic short run, where we have to cut something here, fill in something there, make from scratch some omitted details and upgrade some existing parts. I’ll just mention the main modifications like moving the door from port to starboard (filled and scribed), lengthening the fuselage and making an exhaust pipe ring to give support to the engine cover and adding minor details. Mainly the lights on the leading edges with their blanks, venturi tubes, some round covers on the fuselage and wheel fairings, some details to the beautifully visible engine, position lights and antennas. As you may notice in the photos, after some time all my fuselage windows cracked like ice, so I definitely do not recommend gluing them with Tamiya Extra Thin Quick Setting glue. A coat of Future varnish helped them a little, but it’s still visible…

With the colourful civil Shell scheme, we are troubled by masking the contours of the wings and the dividing line of the colours on the fuselage and wheels fairings. The instruction manual would not help us really, because it is printed only in black raster on a small format, so we have to draw everything in advance by hand or PC or mask it manually with some micro masking tape. Working with decals is simple, the decals themselves are excellent and thin. Unfortunately, for the Shell machine, the vertical red stripes for the horizontal stabilizer roots are missing in the kit. I drew the stripes in a graphic editor and printed them on common decal paper, I couldn’t be without them… Once upon a time, I wanted to build several Lockheed Vegas: with floats, Winnie Mae, Lady Lindy… but now I think that one Vega from MPM is for now quite enough for my display case. Or…? 🙂

One thought on “Lockheed Vega 5C 1/72 MPM

  • 13. 6. 2023 at 4:38

    Excellent workmanship on display, utilizing scratch upgrades to create a beautiful Vintage Vega !


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