So, while awaiting the new Airfix Buccaneer (due to be released on the 24th of September), I was at a slight loss. I mean, pretty much everything left to do for this project is either (a) very rare or (b) very expensive, or usually both.
So, to my rescue came a good mate who said he had something spare in his stash of models and would I like to make it? I did.
This is an Airfix Club edition of their very good 1/48th scale Messerschmidt Bf-109 kit. The ‘Club’ part is that they provide unusual decals – for machines flown in the UK and in Japan. I decided on the E3 version that was captured in 1941 by the British and test flown at the A&AEE Boscombe Down sporting RAF colours.
The kit comes in two plastic sprues plus one for the two canopy options (the Bf-109E3 and E7 are slightly different). The special decal sheet is at top left here. I found the kit exceptionally pleasing to make – all the parts fit together very well and there is absolutely minimal need for filling. Panel joints are deep enough for detailing but not stupidly so. Instructions are very clear. The only thing I added was an Eduard pre-cut canopy mask set so I could spray everything.
And I have to say I really like the result. I did the usual trick with brass wire for the radio antenna, which looks better at this scale, and a mixture of spray and brush for the camo. I love the way you have the option of having the flaps down and the leading edge slats open, you can decide on elevator, aileron and rudder position and you could, if you wanted, leave the engine cover off as the motor is also in the fuselage moulding.
Of course, the real problem here is that it now makes me want to do the whole 800 Squadron thing in 1/48th once it is done in 1/72. I would use one model per type, of course, but there are still issues of cost, availability and space in the house to show them. Mind you, a 1/48 Buccaneer is hugely tempting, and some guys in Spain have just done a limited release resin 1/48th Scimitar…