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Neither fear nor courage saves us. Unnatural vices Are fathered by our heroism. Virtues Are forced upon us by our impudent crimes. These tears are shaken from the wrath-bearing tree. The tiger springs in the new year. Us he devours. -- T S Eliot, "1920" "I would never have dared; and if I had dared, I would certainly have never dared stop." -- Winston Churchill, on Suez, c.1957 "We have created a system of international law and order in which we have to face the fact that the Security Council is, first, frustrated by the veto and, secondly, that it cannot act immediately. In a sense, the policeman has his hands tied behind his back. He has to wait a long time before he is allowed to play his part. "I myself believe that, if you have accepted that system, you are only safe if you also retain the rights of individual countries to defend their own nationals and their own interests." -- Selwyn Lloyd, 30 October 1956 I loathe starting a build before an old one is finished, but I await paint for a RAAF Sabre, and there's no sense wasting the waning days of my paternity leave on my son, seeing as he won't remember any of it anyway. (Have I said things to him in desperation, these past few weeks, that would get him taken away and me locked up if he could understand them? He will never know.) Oh no. the filial bond between me and young Winston (yes, I know in Britain only reggae musicians are named Winston now) can wait. It's time to build one of those kits we buy, and then talk about building, but never touch. Here's why: Everything I have built in 2015: (yes, my grotto is dingy) The Valiant: This is not a forced perspective shot. I'm running out of flat surface. But a man has to do what he can do while his squalling infant is still small enough to let him do it. So here we are: I'm building the Airfix Vulcan as a Suez Crisis jet, which means it's overall High Speed Silver as opposed to the classic "All-Out Thermonuclear War White". I have the base kit, the Alley Cat tail correction (as you can see, in a fit of misplaced confidence in my own abilities, I've already hacked off the kit tail), and the Freightdog Early Valiant Serials decals. Ideally, I would be doing a 207 Squadron Valiant, as they're rather well documented, but of course the kit markings don't include a 207 Squadron badge. Guess what the only identifier besides the serial was on Suez bombers. Guess. In fact, incredibly, the kit only has a 49 Squadron badge (in two sizes!), and that squadron didn't even participate in the Crisis. Why Airfix would even want to trouble itself with including a marking option for a Valiant that actually saw combat is beyond me anyway, of course, but there you have it. So, thanks to ACIG, which makes no mention of squadron badges for 148 Squadron, this helpful photo of a 148 Squadron Valiant on loan to 207 Squadron in 1955 showing no badge, and a good photo on p.166 of Wings Over Suez, we'll be going with Valiant XD815 from 148 Squadron flown by the Canadian Wing Commander Wilf Burnett (later Air Commodore Wilf Burnett OBE), who commanded the Valiant Wing during the Crisis. If anyone has any corrective or corroborating evidence, please tell me sooner than later. After I do something, I rarely undo it, which is why my wife and I are now parents. In any case, off to the races. I've sprayed the green bits of the cockpit Zinc Chromate Green (mixed with some Alclad Aqua Gloss out of sheer laziness), which looks a little light.