Next off the line is another example of one of my favourites – the Blackburn Buccaneer.
This is a really ancient kit – from 1973 I think – so 45 years old!!! In those days I think Airfix were more about making plastic toys than models for collectors of such things. The fit of the parts is ropey anyway, but they had all sorts of odd ideas. For example, the nose cone is connected to the forward fuselage with an oversized and ill-fitting hinge so you can swing it back on itself. Nothing behind it, like a radar dish or some electronics. The wings can be folded as well, by pulling them outwards and upwards on some hinges built in to the outer sections. All very nice if you are playing aircraft carriers, but pretty rubbish if you are making a kit for display. In the photo below you can see the wing closure is wide and the nosecone hinge just in front of the masking tape. However, the alternative is to buy a resin moulded kit for tons of money (if you can find one), so it is out with the filler and the sandpaper and off we go.
It is worth the effort though. I think the S1 is the prettier of the Buccs. The smaller air intakes for the Gyron Junior engines look quite refined, for example, compared to the gaping mouths of the Speys in the S2. OK, so the S2 was something that, viewed from the front, would make your enemy realise their day is about to go spectacularly badly, but the S1 was a little more elegant I feel.
Anyway, the decals came from a special set made by Model Art – this is XN953, an 800NAS aircraft flying from HMS Eagle in 1964. I took the liberty of keeping the bare fibreglass nose cone instead of painting the extra dark sea grey and white ‘fleet’ scheme all the way to the front. Note also the pale roundels, used in the all-over white ‘anti-flash’ paint job used on nuclear-capable Buccaneers in the FAA but for some unknown reason also carried by the squadrons at sea.
So, one more Buccaneer to do, which will be an S2 with folded wings and all the extras. It’ll have to wait for a while though… funds ain’t wot they used to be!