Saturday, 8 May 2021

RAF Valley Hawks


Friday, 7 May 2021

Picture frame ‘models’ with Airfix 72nd fighters

Here's an interesting way of displaying single-seat fighters by Ken Anderson and David Ulke. Beats sanding, filling and filing..

Monday, 3 May 2021

Shuttleworth drive-in airshow - first of 2021 - Hurricane at Shuttleworth 03 May


Saturday, 27 March 2021

more Royal Air Force Phantoms - RAF Wattisham, 16 April 1980 and Claes Sundin, 'Luftwaffe fighter aircraft' profile book, No. 10


Well, the blog is ticking over - only just. Since the turn of the year I've been hard at work on another publication covering the Luftwaffe aces. Not only working on my own book, but helping out Claes Sundin too with his 'Luftwaffe fighter aircraft' profile book, No. 10, which has just arrived here..another lovely book from Claes!  

But, fear not, with summer 2021 around the corner, there is plenty of model building on the horizon as (early) retirement beckons. After 28 years of night shifts and 3 am starts in my current job, the pandemic has led me to think that I need to start doing more of the things that I want to do, rather than spending days away from home at a time. Life is too short to waste time doing things you don't want to do!

And thanks to those who have purchased my Casemate 'Luftwaffe Aces' books ! I appreciate it very much. Another book is on the horizon. 

Models coming soon here; the new Special Hobby Emil, some P-51s and a Revell (ICM) Gladiator..and some F-4s!

Royal Air Force Phantoms at RAF Wattisham, 16 April 1980

RAF Wattisham was the scene for exercise 'Elder Forest', in April 1980, one of the biggest military exercises of the decade, in which the air force played out a response scenario to an enemy attack on the UK which included conventional and chemical weapons. ( Hence the hazard suits and decontamination of the Phantom )

Sunday, 7 February 2021

Alcock & Brown(e) XV 424 and XV 486 IAT 1979 Greenham Common Transatlantic flight June 1979


Sqn Ldr A.J.H. Alcock MBE and Flt Ldr W.N. Browne with Douglas Bader at the June 1979 IAT at Greenham Common. XV424 made the translatlantic flight on 21 June 1979. XV486 was the back-up machine and had the number on the front u/carriage door. Interestingly, XV424 is on display at one of the RAF museums but in standard squadron markings. (Below, signed colour picture in my collection)

Text by Patrick Martin, author of the two volume "British Phantoms" published by Double Ugly

In advance of the 1979 event, the IAT commissioned aviation artist, Wilf Hardy to design a special scheme for the Phantom. As Rolls Royce Eagle engines had powered the original Vimy and Rolls Royce Spey engines powered the Phantom FGR.2, the engine manufacturer agreed to sponsor the special paint scheme. Both XV424 and XV486, from No.56 Squadron were painted at RAF St. Athan in overall Light Aircraft Grey 627, before the Wilf Hardy special markings were applied. While XV424 did not carry its serial on the forward facing nose gear door, XV486 did and while at CFB Goose Bay was zapped by CAF (Canadian Armed Forces) personnel, receiving a small CAF roundel on the forward facing nose gear door in the lower loop of the number eight. Although a photo of both aircraft together at one point was taken without a serial on the nose gear door.

Both aircraft were sent to CFB Goose Bay for the crossing, aided by five in-flight refuellings from Victor K.2 tankers, with XV424 arriving at RAF Greenham Common on June 21, 1979. The crew consisted of Squadron Leader A.J.H. Alcock MBE, a nephew of Captain Alcock (who flew the Vimy in 1919) and Flight Lieutenant WN Browne. The second aircraft XV486 was prepared in case any last minute problems arose with XV424. Following the IAT, both aircraft were to appear at several events during the summer throughout the UK. While Phantom FGR.2 XV424 is displayed in the standard air defence finish and markings at Hendon, the nose of unrelated Phantom FG.1 XV591 was painted to duplicate the XV424/XV486 special scheme for display at the Cosford location of the RAF Museum. For the June 1979 flight, Phantom FGR.2 XV424 carried the toy black cat mascot - ‘Twinkletoes’ - that had been carried on the original 1919 flight. For the Atlantic run, XV424 was flown by S/L A.J.N. (Tony) Alcock MBE (a No.56 Squadron Flight Commander and nephew of Atlantic Pioneer Sir John Alcock) and F/L W.N. (Norman) Browne, the latter a former Phantom Navigator, brought back from his Buccaneer Squadron for the occasion. XV424 is currently at Hendon.

Both aircraft appear side by side in "Phantom Squadrons" by Richard War. The picture was taken at RAF St Athan where the scheme was applied. This photo along with a few others of each aircraft are also on Modeldecal sheet No55 instructions.

Saturday, 5 December 2020

KIT model shop in London ?



Kit Krazy model shop, Bexleyheath Broadway 2 post-lock-down 2 and a trip out to Bexleyheath, East London/Kent, to visit one of London's last 'old' classic model shops. From Peter Skipp's 'google' review;

 ".. wonderful haunt for scale modellers! Even if so many South East England mainstays had not sadly gone, I would still rate it as London's top model kit shop. A quiet atmosphere allows callers to browse undisturbed -- as they need to, in view of the huge stock that takes some browsing! A helpful and knowledgeable owner assists with even arcane queries. Parking in the area can be problematic, but public transport is plentiful and frequent, so spare your nerves and enjoy your visit undisturbed by using it! The area has plenty of nice greasy spoons where you can take a cuppa and refresh before continuing your pleasurable progress through Kit Krazy's stock!.." 

 Masses of stuff on site if you want to dig around and you will get a discount..

Saturday, 28 November 2020

Airfix 1/72 Douglas Skyhawk A-4B - Argentinian Skyhawk A-4 Q - Skyhawks over the South Atlantic (2)


3 Escuadrilla Skyhawk embarked aboard the Argentine carrier 25 de Mayo (ex-WWII Royal Navy carrier HMS Venerable) during April/May 1982. The A-4Q's most 'successful' sortie during the Falklands war took place on May 21, 1982 when three machines led by Capitan de Corbeta Philippi delivered the coup de grace to the damaged frigate HMS Ardent. All three Skyhawks were shot down by 800 NAS Harriers..

The Airfix kit is very nice, although the nose shape only looks 'right' from certain angles. Note the incorrect size of the AN/ARC 109 antenna behind the cockpit. The kit does not feature the VOR antenna on the vertical tail. Very impressed with the large decal sheet - the decals worked superbly. .