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Northrop Delta Project

This page showcases my Canadian Vickers Northrop Delta modelling project in 1/72 scale.

Northrop Delta Side view

The Canadian version of the Delta is from late 1930s to the early 1940s. It served with Royal Canadian Air Force (RCAF) in the early days of WWII when the Canadians were short of more modern combat aircraft.

From the outset of this project, I wanted to stick to a policy where I would try to keep the project very low budget which meant that I would use whatever kits and parts that I already had on hand. Given that constraint, I knew that I would have to compromise on accuracy and just work to towards a reasonable approximation of the aircraft - sort of a 3-D sketch. Just capturing the look and feel of the aircraft would suit my needs. Along the way I was able to "inject" a little of my personality into the model, making it a one-of-kind piece.

I used the photos and drawings from William Green's little book "Bombers: Volume 7" as a guide to planning my model. After studying the photos and drawings, I decided to focus on the ski equipped version of the aircraft. I then rummaged through my junk box of scrapped models and my parts box. What I came up with as a starting point was a PM Model Beechcraft AT-11 Kansan. This kit was one that I had not built yet, but had got on sale for around $6.00. I would use the cockpit and main fuselage from this kit and save the remaining parts for some other imaginative project in the future.

Next I found several scrapped Airfix kits - Blenheim, Dauntless, and Devastator - that would be suitable for the cowling, front fuselage, tail, stabilizers, landing gear shrouds, and wings. I found a great set of left over ski gear from my Novo SB-2.

The photo story that follows shows how the model progressed during construction and finally there are several views of the finished product.

Northrop Delta parts and tools

(above) At this point the Dauntless wings, Dauntless front fuselage, and Blenheim tail have been grafted onto the AT-11 fuselage. Unfortunately I had already started this project before I began to record its progress with photos. This shot shows most of the collected parts and the main assembly. The center fuselage including the cockpit is from the PM Model AT-11 Kansan. The extreme front of the fuselage is from an Airfix Dauntless as are the wings and the cowling. The engine and propeller are Aeroclub castings. I made the landing gear shrouds from the outer wings of an Airfix Devastator that was scrapped. The horizontal stablizers came from the same scrapped Devastator. The tail is a leftover from an Airfix Blenheim that has been a doner kit to many of my special project aircraft (Cyclone Battle, Gladiator, etc.) Lastly the ski gear are leftovers from the Novo SB-2 that I built.

Northrop Delta Tamiya Putty

(above) Here you can see the Tamiya white putty that I applied over the joints were the Dauntless wings were grafted on to the AT-11 fuselage. The wing assembley had to be split in two places and stretched to mate with the AT-11 fuselage. The original AT-11 wing mounting points were cut off and filled in with sheet styrene.

Northrop Delta subassemblies

(above) In this photo the landing gear shrouds are attached and the skiis are dry fitted.

Northrop Delta prepped and primed

(above) The cowling assembly and horizontal stabilizers have been attached. The skiis are still dry fitted. You'll notice that there are four porthole style windows on the side of the aircraft. One of them was originally in the aft fuselage area. I cut a new hole in the forward area and repositioned it there so that I would end up with a set of four windows together. I did this operation on both sides. The real Delta featured a different window arragement, however, I like the my solution better.

Northrop Delta canopy installed

(above) The windscreen has been fitted and the tail planes have been blended in. I have added a DF Loop and a radio mast from my parts box. The real Delta did not feature these types equipment, however, I added them as they give the model a classic 1930s look.

Northop Delta Painted

(above) The model has been masked and painted and is ready for a gloss coat. The propeller is dry fitted in this view, but the skiis are now permanently attached.

Northrop Delta Finished

(above) ... the finished model. I opted for a camoflage on this model similar to RAF Bomber Command aircraft. I cannot claim that this is an accurate finish, however, it is possible that it could have been used. To give the model a Canadian "look" I added a code letter D that has been underlined in the RCAF style. I used a legitimate serial number of 673 which was ski equipped.

Northrop Delta Port Side 3/4 view

(above) The decals came from supplies on hand - the roundels and fin flash are from Xtracal, the code letter D is from an Airfix Spitfire Mk. 5 kit (left overs) and the serials came from Carpena and Model Decal. I made the white bar under the D from the letter X on the Airfix sheet.

Northrop Delta Port side view

(above) I used Tamiya JSDF Brown and Green for the upper surfaces and Floquil Engine Black for the lower surfaces.

Northrop Delta Starboard side view

(above) Here you can see the serial 673 on the rear fuselage. This is actually a legitmate number from an actual Delta that was fitted with skiis.

Northrop Delta Port Side view

(above) The two exhaust stubs were made from styrene disks that I punched out of some scrap sheet styrene I had on hand. The intake on top of the cowl is a left over from the Airfix Spitfire VC Tropical kit. The tail section from the Blenheim is ofcourse not like the real Delta's which was squared off. Still I like the looks and shape of the Blenheim tail and thus decided to leave it as is.

Northrop Delta Underside view

(above) The large white serials came from the Carpena sheet and give the model a RCAF look.

Nortrop Delta Head On

(above) Head on. The engine was painted with Tamiya XF-56 Metalic Gray.

Northrop Delta Low 3/4 Port side view

(above)The Dauntless wings give the right look but are probably about 5 scale feet too short in span. Even so they still help to capture the look and feel of the original aircraft.

Northrop Delta Top view

(above) Top view showing the overall model. Though it is not an accurate model, it certainly captures the look and feel of the original Delta.

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