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Evening all. I'm hoping not to be the last entrant in the GB (but not hoping very hard) - have been a bit bogged down in other stuff and I'm only just getting to this. I fully expect to overhang the end of the build by a fair way ... so perhaps I can set a record for the most prolonged Group Build instead.

Anyway, enough of this nonsense. I'm in with an Airfix 1/48 Jaguar. As you can see, it's quite an old boxing (you should see the sides!) but it wasn't old when I bought it.


But to be a little bit different I'm going to be doing it as one of these:


- a Jaguar IM with Model Alliance decals. The IM is, of course, the Indian Air Force anti-shipping version with the Agave radar nose. Well, it was; they've changed to an Israeli radar and use the Harpoon now, and the colours are predictably tedious, so I'll stick with the original scheme. Though the yellow-and-grey test missile will be a bit beyond me.

With the help of these:


The nose and centreline pylon are from The Model Works - I found them on eBay quite by chance and I get the impression that's the only place you can get them. Despite their claim, Model Alliance seem never to have made an Agave conversion, so TMW saved me buying a Super Etendard and finding it had the wrong radome profile.

Also contributing will be these:


On the left, a Sea Eagle lifted from the Airfix Buccaneer; on the right, the very nice NeOmega cockpit set. I still need to find an image to show whether the IM had a radar display, but otherwise this is pretty much right for the original Indian cockpit layout.

I actually started this kit a fair while ago during a modelling demo in Hobbycraft. Didn't get very far but it was pleasantly therapeutic to nip bits off the sprue and trim them ... I did manage to get some bits together, though. As you can see, the wings need a little work under the tips:


And the cannon fairings need a little work too. They're not even the same colour as the fuselage.


More updates as they crawl through - hopefully some time this week, light levels permitting.

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A quick googling unearthed this reference. Scroll most of the way down for a cockpit shot.

Thanks, but - alas - that's the upgraded cockpit, whereas I'm after the original. The good bit is, if I can't find a reference and no-one else can, I can do as I will and who's to say I'm wrong?

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Thanks, but - alas - that's the upgraded cockpit, whereas I'm after the original. The good bit is, if I can't find a reference and no-one else can, I can do as I will and who's to say I'm wrong?

.....or you can put a canvas over the canopy so as to reflect heat


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  • 2 weeks later...

Looks very pretty with that radar nose (where's the pitot tube?) - gonna look fab in that 2 x grey wraparound camouflage.

I think actually that the chiseled nose of the RAF singe seater is a bit of an acquired taste. So much so that, sacrilegious as it may be, I think the RAF T bird is a better looking aircraft.

At the risk of some drift I found this recently on the t'interweb - one of the original - pre laser range finder - GR1's - now isn't that pretty! I remember this poster from when I were a lad.


Looking forward to yours Pigsty.


Edited by Fritag
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Looks very pretty with that radar nose (where's the pitot tube?)

Beats me! The main probe has no parallel elsewhere on the airframe. However, the two total-pressure probes just behind the nose are retained, and one advantage of the Model Works nose is that you get a much finer pair in white metal. They're better even than the Kitty Hawk ones, which themselves are way ahead of the old Heller/Airfix excrescences.

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  • 1 month later...

Ooh dear, this is embarrassing. Umpteen weeks on and very little progress. Effectively having two weeks away from the bench for Telford was no help (but no, I don't know how a four-day trip translates into two weeks). Also battery problems with the camera. This means that I've actually got a little further than these few pictures might suggest - though there are no new ones yet to prove it.

Here's the fuselage halves with nearly all the work they needed.


Reading from the front, first is considerable filling around the muzzle fairings. If I were doing this again I'd slip a fine shim behind the top front corner, as that bit sits much too deep into the recess. Next is the Two Mikes intakes. They're very nice but fitting them reveals how dodgy the kit is. It's only as you're settling the resin parts into place that you realise that the two intake trunks are different shapes in all directions. This entails a lot of filling and sanding, then rescribing (not yet done when this pic was taken). Somehow I managed to cut one intake short as they came off the casting block, which was no help. Next is the airbrakes, which are utter buggers. I wanted them completely flush. For some reason the real thing doesn't always close fully, it seems, but the kit part is so coarse at the aft end that it can be attached only in the open position. So the ends had to come off, but before they did I scribed round them on the fuselage flanks to give the impression of the airbrakes extending all the way back. Then the trimmed parts went on and had to be filled at both ends. Aft, it was to make a single panel out of them; forward, it was again to sort out the rotten fit. Then scribe round the edges again and (hopefully) there they are. Finally, the holes on the fin for the VOR aerials are filled, and replaced with a small flush antenna that I spotted on a couple of photos of the Indian Jaguar. Still to come here: breech bulges for the Aden cannon.

Next, the fally-off bits: kit tanks to either side of that borrowed Sea Eagle. The missile was refreshingly tidy. The tank's fins needed a lot of work to thin the edges, but they've gone together well enough.


And finally, them ruddy wings again, showing how much filling the misaligned tips needed. The good news that it is possible to scribe the lines back in and make them straight. You may also be able to see some filling along the edges of the flaps, where the halves of the wing refused to close properly. Still to come on the wings: new fences to replace the overwing launchers.


Ah well, it's the GB that never ends, eh?

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  • 4 weeks later...

Some more embarrassingly slow progress. This is why I don’t succeed in group builds ...

Here’s a couple of shots of the near-complete cockpit. As always with NeOmega, the quality is very high, and the fit is near-perfect without sanding and grinding. Also as always, the dials are deep-set hollows that are just about impossible to fill in with markings and needles, but I find it doesn’t usually matter. A suggestion of the artificial horizon and the radar display seem to suffice. And finally, as always, the instructions are a tiny little thing like out of a Christmas cracker, and quite, quite useless. This is why the rudder pedals are between the instrument panel and the seat, instead of where they ought to be.

I’ve left off the coaming. You can attach it to the top of the panel, but I’m happier waiting til I can instal it on top of the fuselage as well, to be sure of the angle and clearances.



The exhausts. If you’ve made the Heller/Airfix Jaguar, you’ll know the kit parts are just one plain circle within another. I wasn’t about to spring for a Paragon set, nice though they are. Instead I added eight little slivers of fine plastic (from a yoghurt pot) to the inner ring, then scribed some lines between them. Result, after some dry-brushing, a suggestion of the petal structure, I hope.


Here’s one side of the cockpit installed. These usually attach to the cockpit proper with NeOmega, but this time they go on the fuselage directly. They’re fantastically fine - so fine that one just flaked away and had to be backed with more yoghurt pot.


Some enhancements on the underside. I’ve added breech bulges and those odd little drain pipes. The breech bulge was sanded into shape from a piece of scrap sprue. The white bit in its middle is the remains of the handle I made from plastic rod to allow me to do that. I reckon about three-quarters had to be removed, but it’s a nice way to spend an evening, honest.

There’s more scrap sprue poking out along the centreline joint. The opposite side of the fuselage is both warped vertically - the nose is lower than its counterpart when the fin halves line up - and bowed inwards where the centre pylon attaches. I’d already been warned that this bit is a bit floppy after assembly, so I was going to reinforce it. The idea of these big chunks is that they’ll force the bowed bit back down to line up properly. They seem to cure some of the warp, too, which is nice.

You can also see the colour of the maingear well. I’ve got some ancient Humbrol Authentic zinc chromate and it works! - which is sort of a pity as it resembles the sort of mustard you get on hot dogs to warn you not to put them in your mouth.


And finally for now, here’s one of the new fences. A few minutes with a profile gauge, then a few more with a pair of scissors and some fine card, and away you go. Oh, and then a few more minutes sanding away, after you realise that drawing the same shape twice from the same template isn’t as reliable as you might like.


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  • 2 months later...

It's me again!

Many things have conspired to get in the way of updates but the Jaguar IM is still under way, and going fairly well. Losing the old computer was a bit of a problem and I've been wrangling with this Google Chromebook thing instead, which is taking some getting used to. (I dealt with the old computer using a 4lb lump hammer. Notice I didn't say "fixed" ...)

So, where were we? Ah yes, the cockpit, and the fuselage halves. Well, here they are all together:





- and you can see how much filler is going to be needed. The views of the underside show the persistent problem of warp. While bracing it internally did take out some of the coarse bending, the edges are never parallel, and where one rises the other falls and vice versa. Yet more filling and sanding beckons.

Here's the cockpit in close-up. Mostly It's OK, but more on this in a mo.


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Moving on, the coaming is installed. Oops.


The problem here starts with the instrument panel. I may have mentioned NeOmega's dreck instructions. Partly because of them, I installed the panel too upright. The clue should have been the way the rudder pedals just looked wrong. If anyone else is using this set, the key here is to put the bottom of the panel immediately ahead of the base of the control column, and then the pedals in the little slot ahead of that. Mine are too far forward at the bottom, which has pulled the top of the panel back and makes the coaming sit nose-high. My solution is to shave the underside of the coaming where it meets the panel, to restore the angle, and then to plug the gaps down the sides with bits of plastic rod. Under the windscreen it should look OK.

Also visible is the nose-cone, of course. This has gaps around the edges and both it and the kit part need some re-profiling to make them match up.

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Here are some close-ups showing various bits of filler.




Not only is the main underside joint horrible, so is the panel under the engines. It needs extra tabs inside, plus a load of filler, plus some of the panel lines are just wrong. Luckily, they're easy to replace.

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At last the shape is starting to develop.




The wing is a surprisingly sloppy fit. Get one corner sited satisfactorily and none of the others will. Get two right and the other end will fall away. On reflection, it might have been easier to pack the joints under the forward ends of the roots with thin plastic. Ideally you'd put a length of sprue vertically inside the fuselage, but measuring it would be a bit of a bother.

Instead, I've used thin card to pack the gaps: along the fuselage flanks underneath, and beside the flaps on top. One eccentric feature is that the panel lines above the maingear doors are so deep that they show through on top and have to be filled as well - hence the bit of rod visible in the last picture.

The big NACA duct leading to the air-conditioning pack is a sod because it's recessed and has a big seam up the middle. I put three layers of thin superglue in there and smoothed them as best I could with a rat-tail needle file. Under paint, the effect's not too bad.

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More progress down the back.


Here the ventral fins are on and there's still more work on that belly panel.

The fins are among the better surfaces in the kit. Unlike wings or tailplanes, their edges are quite fine, although you do have to deal with mould lines along them. However, the big bulge at the root is hugely overscale and needs gently thinning. Also essential is some re-profiling of the root to match the belly panel - the fin is much less curved than it ought to be. I got this slightly wrong and have been relying on glue to fill the remaining gaps.

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But eventually you can stop hacking at it and get on with the fun bit.

Very much not on consecutive days, or even weeks, here's the primer (good old Halfords grey):


And the base Barley Grey. I've slopped one coat on all over and then gone over the actual camouflage pattern more carefully, having drawn it in first:


And then the Dark Sea Grey:


Also visible in the last two is some of the black work on leading edges and such.

References for the Jaguar IM are thin on the ground - I'm basically using four photographs - and the Model Alliance instructions have the customary feature of the edges not meeting up from one view to another. However, all is not lost. The pattern is essentially the same as the standard grey-and-green one that both India and the RAF use. All you have to do is put the DSG where the Dark Green normally is, and the BG where the DSG used to be, and you're away. There's still a bit of a problem getting the pattern right along the underside, and you have to allow for the nose being a radome instead of metal, but my approach is, if there are so few references, it will take some work to prove I'm wrong.

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  • 3 weeks later...

Some more progress!

I've not been as good as I should have been in keeping this up to date - another reason why I don't thrive in group builds. This is mainly because I've been pushing ahead to get her ready for my first show of the season, and it takes more time than you might think to write this stuff up. Also waiting half an hour for Photobucket to wake up and let me organise things properly eats into the limited time ...

Anyhow. We left the Jaguar with the camouflage paintwork just about finished. For the next report, it's all painted, and a coat of Klear added for that decal-friendly finish. Additions since last time include the tailplanes - another example of the root profile being different on the two parts, so more gentle filing needed. Interestingly it's always the fuselage less curved than the thing you attach to it. Can't say why that should be. Plus, the bare metal panels under the tailcone are done. The dark section near the exhausts is Mr Metal Color, which is cracking stuff and behaves better than Humbrol Metalcote. My only real reservation is that you don't have so long a window in which you can buff it, but if you do buff it, it's worth it. The lighter tone is Rub & Buff. A friend swears by this stuff and, now that I've cracked it, so do I.


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And here she is with all the decals on and a coat of Vallejo matt varnish to take off some of the sheen. The national and unit markings are Model Alliance; the rest is from the kit. The silvering on the kit markings was disappointing and somehow the varnish made it worse. But for decals that were at least 18 years old, they behaved very well - mainly, they stayed stuck down and withstood a lot of handling. As for the MA bits ... if I told you that the wing roundels were probably too small, and the little dragons on the intakes should have been handed, would you be very surprised? But they're very nice all the same, and very robust.


As I write the model is in fact finished. Since these two were taken, I've spent several happy evenings adding the last details and weathering the finish. There've been a few challenges along the way:

  • somehow the maingear legs went on at different angles. You don't notice if you look from one side, but it left one leg shorter too, so I had to file down the opposite wheels to level her off. It nearly worked, too.
  • the struts connecting the inboard maingear doors to the legs are absolute fiction. They're far too long, they don't look at all like the illustration in the instructions, and if you fit them as told they have to go through the drag struts. So promise not to look.
  • the cockpit glazing is mank too. You'll have seen the dodgy fit of the coaming. That translated into dodgy fit for the windscreen, despite my efforts, and that's taken a long time to fair in. I think it's in the right place, though, which makes it odd that the canopy doesn't fit at all. But because the cockpit is so nice, I'll simply leave it off for display. Ahem.

Alas, I'm going to have to wait for the weekend to get some better light to take the final few photos. But if you're at Southern Expo on Saturday, she'll be there, hiding behind something better.

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  • 2 years later...

Youre a lucky man finding the pylon for the Sea Eagle in that Agave Jag set!

One embarrassing question for reference/scratchbuilding - do you remember if it is shown the correct way up in the photo on the first post?

Also - how did the MA decals perform overall? I have the set and also some of the large No Step hatched areas from them, the latter worry me a tad with all that clear and potential for slabs of silvering.

Lovely job you made of a not so straightforward kit. :) Well done! Im gonna copy it!

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do you remember if it is shown the correct way up in the photo on the first post

Yes, it is, and the forward end is to the left. So far as I can remember the two sides are identical.

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