by: Tim Hatton [ ]
The Venom NF 2 night fighter, first flew on 22 August 1950 and entered service in 1953, having been delayed after some minor problems with the type. To accommodate the necessary two man crew (pilot and navigator/radar operator) were positioned side-by-side. The airborne interception radar was fitted in the large nose. It replaced the Vampire NF 10, and was followed by NF 3, which was the last night fighter variant of the Venom, first flying in 1953 and entering service in 1955. It had a relatively brief career with the Royal Air Force, having been only an interim solution. The NF 2A differed from the NF 2 in that the wing spar was strengthened after problems, that had led to a number of accidents, had been found with the NF 2 and other Venoms. The tail and the canopy was also re designed. The Venom night fighter was withdrawn in 1957 and replaced by the Gloster Javelin twin-engined all-weather fighter.
The top opening box with reinforced ends is very sturdy. There is an excellent illustration on the box cover showing the difference between the Venom NF 2 and the NF 2A. . All resin parts are placed in multi cell plastic bags which are surrounded in bubble wrap. Canopies, masks, decals and photo etched [PE] parts are sealed separately.
There are around 67 resin parts including two resin wing fuel tanks.
-4 x vac formed canopies. Canopies are in the closed position.
-1 x pre painted PE sheet created by Eduard.
-2 x set of paint masks for the canopy, created by Eduard.
-2 x decal sheets.
-6 x A4 page construction guide including parts map.
-4 x A4 pages of painting instructions.
-4 x A4 pages stencil guide.
-2 x A4 pages of photos.
The cockpit is made up from around 12 resin parts and quite a few photo etched parts. The Bakelite pilotís seat looks very good. There are separate cushions for the back and seat pan. The poor old radar operator had to make do with a bakelite pan to sit on! There are pre painted photo etched seat harnesses for both seats. The rear bulkhead is combined with the cockpit floor. There is a cut out in the floor to accommodate the separate wheel well for the nose gear. A smaller bulkhead for the forward part of the cockpit must be added to the floor before the fuselage halves are joined [don't forget to weight the nose]. The pre coloured photo etched instrument panel is typical Eduard. The instrument panel is fixed onto a small sheet with the instrument dials printed onto it. This in turn is fixed to the resin instrument panel. The resin instrument panel is nicely done, the radar operatorís side has further pre coloured photo etched parts to be added. There are some excellent photo etched trim wheels for the fuselage side on the left of the pilotís seat. The inside of the cockpit walls have good low relief detailing such as cables and boxes. A little scratch building is required to construct two reinforcement rods between the rear of the pilotís seat and the rear bulkhead. Colour notes are provided for the cockpit, but the colour is dominated by black.
There are two styles of vac formed canopy included with this release which are real gems. There are quite a few frames forming the canopy of the NF 2. The canopy of the NF 2A is much cleaner looking with less framing. With the amount of glass panes in the canopy the Eduard paint masks included will be very useful. A whip aerial will need to be scratch built for the rear of the canopy; the dimensions for the aerial and positioning are provided. CMR has included two canopies of eaxh style.
The fuselage is split vertically. The cut outs for the front undercarriage well will need the very thin layer of flash removing before installing the one piece undercarriage well. The front undercarriage well does not have a lot of detail just like the real thing. The recesses for the cannon troughs and the spent cartridge chutes are nicely done. The area where the wings locate has four holes for the four locating pegs in the wings. There is a recess in each fuselage halve where the air ducts for the engine are located. The recess for the air intakes and the small recess towards the rear provide the location points for the wings. The exhaust pipe for the Goblin engine needs to be fitted before the fuselage halves are glued. Panel, fasteners and rivet detail are finely recessed. There is low relief detailing representing cables and a box on the rearmost part of the cockpit decking. The overall shape of the fuselage looks superb. A look over both fuselage halves revealed a few tiny air bubbles underneath the fuselage that should be very easy to fill using correction fluid or filler.
The two one piece wings have the wing tip fuel tanks cast onto them. A test dry fit of the wings to the fuselage reveals an excellent fit. The two air intakes for the engine are cast separately, which offers the advantage of more accurate depth to the intakes. This approach to creating more realistic looking air intakes does mean that some care will be needed to ensure a good fit with minimum amount of blending into the wing, but it's worth it. There are two vanes to glue into each of the intakes. The main wheel and the flap interior wells are beautifully detailed with low relief frame work and actuating mechanisms. The joint for the tail booms is on the trailing edges of the wings. The flaps and the airbrakes can be displayed open or closed. The two one piece flaps are extremely thin and will need some care separating them from their blocks. If you decide to display your Venom with flaps down then there are tiny resin flap and air brake actuators arms. As with the fuselage the panel lines are beautifully done, crisp and recessed.
The rudder for the NF.2 and NF.2A are different and CMR has included both types. Each boom is cast in one piece and includes the fin, rudder and the extended outer tail wing. The rudders have incredibly thin trailing edges. There is a stub that provides good support for the attachment of the boom to the wings. A dry test fit of the wing to the boom showed that there is an excellent fit. There are two small 8 mm long aerials that you need to create and glue, one on each boom. The one piece horizontal stabiliser has four small pegs that fit into four small holes in the bullet fairings on the tail fins. The stabiliser needs separating from its block, but the contact area is very thin, so the tail wing should separate easily enough. Again the trailing edges are realistically thin.
The undercarriage legs are cast in black resin and are possibly stronger than the resin used in the rest of the kit. The detail is very good, the front undercarriage unit is cast in one piece including the actuator arm, and there is a little thin flash to remove. CMR has provided two types of wheels and they are rather nicely done; the distinctive twin raised tread of the front wheel is faithfully reproduced. The cast detail of the spokes for the main wheels is superb. There are PE torsion links for the legs. The resin undercarriage doors have wonderful low relief detail cast on them.
There is a choice of four schemes, all are RAF machines:
De Havilland Venom NF.2, WL830 ó No.23 Squadron, RAF Coltishall, 1955
De Havilland Venom NF.2A, WR873 ó No.253 Squadron, RAF Waterbeach, 1956
De Havilland Venom NF.2A, WR783 ó No.33 Squadron, RAF Driffield, 1956
De Havilland Venom NF.2A, WR872 ó No.219 Squadron, RAF Driffield, 1956
Camouflage is dark sea grey [FS16173] with dark green [FS14079] disruptive camouflage on the upper surfaces. Under surfaces are medium sea grey [FS16270]. The painting guides show both port and starboard profiles of each aircraft and a upper and lower plan views. Also included are the location points of the roundels and squadron number under the wings. There is no variation in the camouflage schemes off all four options, but the Squadron markings on the booms will certainly brighten up this night fighterís appearance.
The decals have very good colour depth and are glossy and thin. There are quite a few stencils to apply.
The four pages of building instructions take you through 14 building stages. The exploded line drawings are excellent and the parts key with all the components numbered is very useful. There are very useful colour notes for the various internal parts such as the cockpit, wheel and flap wells. There are also clear instructions of what to do with the PE parts as some require some bending. There is a very helpful guide for applying the paint masks to the windscreen and canopy. The paint guide has port and starboard profiles as well as upper and lower plan views. Each scheme is on an A4 sheet with details of the positioning of roundels, serial numbers, and the large squadron codes under the wings.
CMR has really done this subject proud and has captured the rather pugnacious look of the real thing very well indeed. Accurate in outline and with plenty of detail, that will embarrass some of the larger kit producers. This kit will reward the modeler, with an outstanding model well worth the price. This two seater will make a great contrast to the single seat Venoms. I have no hesitation in highly recommending this kit. If you choose to buy one you wonít be disappointed. Nice one CMR.