The Lincoln Mk.30 had it's first flight in Australia when A73-1 flew in March 1946. From then until August 1951 the Lincolns equipping the RAAF were standard Mk.30's which were similar to the RAF B.II. A few changes had been done to them over time including the fitting of Merlin 66's which had been used in the RAAF Spitfire MkVIII's. This stop gap was due to problems being found with the original Merlin 85B's that required to be withdrawn from service to modify.
The first major modification to the RAAF Lincolns occurred in 1949 when 14 aircraft were modified to the Long Range Navigation configuration for use in a joint RAF/RAAF exercise starting in October 1949. The next major modification, and the subject of this review, was unique to Australian aircraft and was brought about by an Air Staff Operation Requirement issued in 1949. This Requirement was issued for a modified Lincoln suitable for anti-submarine warfare, anti-shipping and reconnaissance over land and sea. The modification ran into two main problems - Centre of Gravity (CoG) and actually fitting all the required equipment into the aircraft. After much discussion and changing of the specification the definitive Lincoln General Reconnaissance (GR) Mk.31 appeared as a prototype in 1952.
The Lincoln Mk.31 had a 6ft 6in (1.98m) extension to the nose that held an extra crewman and equipment. It also had two windows, one either side, fitted with adjustable deflectors to allow the use of the direct observation windows which slid in and up on tracks. The nose extension managed to fix both the CoG and fitment of gear into the aircraft in one relatively easy fix. The extension was called the D1A section and fitted between the nose (D1) and cockpit (D2) sections.
This conversion is designed to be used in conjunction with the Paragon Designs 1/48 Lincoln Conversion (part number 4857) which does the main conversion of the Tamiya Lancaster into the Lincoln. This set will be review at a later stage. The set is a simple item, it is just one casting of the extension to be placed into the gap between the cockpit and nose sections when doing the Lincoln conversion.
The instructions are not really required as they are a small piece of paper that shows you that the extension does in fact go between the nose and cockpit. The main fuselage on the Tamiya kit needs to be cut just in from of the cockpit but this is shown in set no 4857's instruction sheet.
The one piece of resin is not to bad to look at but it has some very minor pin holes that are easily filled by either normal filler or super glue. The length of the extension is just about right, I measured it at about .5mm too short (40.75mm compared to scale 41.25mm) but it is good enough for me.
The set has one big problem in my eyes - i'm buggered if I know how it will fit the kit! As the item is just an extension that should go between the kit from just in front of the cockpit and the resin nose section from the main conversion set - to me the extension should be the same size either end. Unfortunately it isn't. The 'front end' is 51 mm high and the 'back' end is 49mm high with the resin nose section joint area is 49mm high. So from my perspective the window protectors are on the wrong side of the windows as the nose section is too small for the extension if used the 'correct way'. But if switched around the nose WILL fit and the window protectors will be on the wrong sides of the window so they would need to be moved to the other side of the window.
This is all moot as the kit just in front of the cockpit MAY fit the 49mm end but 51mm is way to big as far as I can tell. The images below show the resin extension in various views as well as matched up against the resin nose in what is supposed to be the 'correct' way. As you can see it doesn't look right.
The image below is the part in the correct way to fit it to make it fit the resin nose piece but then it won't fit the fuselage in front of the cockpit (I measured it against the Grand Slam kit) and the windows are in the incorrect position.
I am undecided about this set, obviously it must fit as no-one else has mentioned the problems I have found but I can't see how it does. To that end I am going to make my first ever 'undecided' recommendation as I am hoping it is just me stuffing up with my measurements.
Review sample courtesy of my wallet from Hannants in the United Kingdom.