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Bulldog T.1 & Sk.61 Bulldog (48005 & 48006) 1:48


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Bulldog T.1 & Sk.61 Bulldog (48005 & 48006)
1:48 Tarangus


The Bulldog was originally designed by Beagle Aircraft, who sadly went bust before they could honour any orders for this two seat prop-driven trainer, the first being from the Swedes. A new concern, Scottish Aviation took over and brought the Bulldog to market where it was used most notably by the RAF and Swedish Air Force, but by other countries too. There were several models made, many of which were designed for the export market, with the RAF using the 121 as the T.1, while the 101 was for Sweden, where it was designated Sk 61 in the Air Force, or Fpl 61 in army use.

The Swedish aircraft differed mainly due to the additional two seats in the rear of the crew compartment, behind the pilots who sat two abreast, with a wide expanse of Perspex giving excellent forward visibility over a short nose. The last RAF airframes left service just after the new millennium, and many have gone into private hands from all variants across the world. The now familiar Grob Tutor replaced the Bulldog as the entry-level trainer with the RAF and continues to serve today.

The Kits
A new tooling from Tarangus, this is a welcome addition to builders in 1:48 scale who have been poorly served in the past, with only a resin kit released a few years ago. There are two boxings initially, and as you would expect, the RAF version is one and the Swedish version the other. The RAF decal sheet does include some decals for other operators however, and there is bound to be an aftermarket sheet available soon to fill in any gaps. Tarangus' models are predominantly short to medium run, so do not expect the latest innovations in injection moulding, and be aware that some modelling skills will be required to make the best of your purchase. They make no secret of that, and as they are consistently designing kits that might otherwise not see the light of day due to the massive investment required, that's likely to continue to be the case. Their moulds are made by Special Hobby if I recall, so you know that the quality is going to be good, and they work hard to make the kits accurate, as they have a genuine love for their chosen subject matter.




Inside the small end-opening box is a large ziplok bag containing one sprue, a fuselage half that has been cut off the sprue to fit the box, and a spruelet containing a number of small parts, all in the same mid grey styrene, which has a semi-matt surface finish that should take primer well. There is very little flash evident, which shouldn't slow you down if you are going to clean up the mould seams anyway. The decals are separately bagged with the instructions that includes a single sheet of painting and decaling instructions in colour on one side, showing the aircraft from one side, above and below. The clear parts are also in their own ziplok bag, and I was disappointed that the canopy has been moulded as a single part. I would wager that either a resin or vacformed canopy will be available in due course for those a little wary of cutting their styrene one in half.

The build begins with the instruments and coaming, and you'll need to either paint the instruments or avail yourself of the excellent AirScale instruments and check your references for placement hints. The "door cards" for the cockpit sides look exactly like that, and these fit into the fuselage sides along with the rear windows, so you'll need to paint the interior before you close up the halves. The cockpit is based on the floor panel, which has a raised centre console, two blocks to place the seats on, and a raked rear bulkhead. The centre console has a little sink mark in the centre, but it's not obscuring details, so is easy to fix. At the front are the twin control columns and rudder pedals, the former fitting on a little raised block, while the latter fits onto the top of the centre console. The cockpit sits in the fuselage floor, and a simple bulkhead rests against a raised line forward of this with a pair of attachment points for the nose gear leg. A simple representation of the engine front and the flat round piece and shaft for the prop fit to the grille at the front, with the coaming sitting on top of the forward edge of the cockpit aperture once the fuselage is in place. As previously mentioned the canopy is supplied in one part, and don't be tempted to make the canopy side rails flush to the fuselage though, as these are supposed to hang over the edge of the fuselage as per the original. Also, don't forget the limited run nature of the kit means that there aren't any locating pins, which can be a source of problems on occasion anyway, especially if they're out of alignment.

With the fuselage complete, the strake on the rear lower fuselage is added, with a small bumper moulded in that protects the aircraft from over-enthusiastic take-offs. The fin is moulded-in, but the rudder is separate, while the elevators are moulded as single parts, and these butt-fit to flats on the fuselage, so you may consider adding some plastic or brass pegs and holes to ensure a strong join and good fit. A couple of blade antennae & such are added to the upper fuselage, and then the wings are built up from upper and lower halves, the upper section containing both sides of the trailing edge to keep it slim. A twin lamp fitting slides into the wing front, and a clear cover is added along with a clear lens for the wingtip lights, which is nice to see on a short-run kit. The wings have small tabs to secure them in place, but keep them at the correct dihedral while the glue sets.

Flipping the model over, a pair of exhausts attached to a shaped block are inserted into the rear of the chin intake, and you might want to drill out the tips if you feel they'll be seen. The front of the intake is then covered with a baffle, which the instructions incorrectly show you applying across the front of the engine. You don't wanna do that… The two blades of the prop fit into the back of the boss, where you'll have to ensure they're correctly aligned, as the parts aren't keyed. The spinner cap hides the assembly's working, and is then glued onto the shaft projecting from the front of the fuselage.

The nose gear is a single strut with a separate scissor link and tyre, which is slipped into the fuselage to latch onto the two locating cups on the bulkhead inside. The main gear is similarly fixed, and the attachment of the legs is achieved via a butt-fit with the positions marked in fine lines on the underside of the fuselage. The wheels fit onto pegs and then you need to add a bunch of aileron and flap actuator housings along the full length of the wing, plus the remainder of the exhausts, antennae and lights. That's it! You're done. Now get the paint out.

One boxing gives you the option of British and other nations, the other Swedish markings, including that gorgeous (and complex) splinter scheme. The Swedish kit has three options from their forces. You get four options in the RAF boxing, with only two of them being RAF. From the box you can build one of the following:

Bulldog T.1



  • XX621 Yorkshire University Air Squadron
  • XX537 RAF East Lowlands Universities Air Squadron
  • AS0023 Air Wing of the Armed Forced of Malta
  • 701 Kenyan Air Force

Swedish Sk61



  • Sk61A 61011 - F5 Ljungbyhed in original two-tone camo
  • Sk61A 61025 – F5 Ljungbyhed in post 1989 RAL livery
  • Fpl 61C 61061 Displayed at F11 museum in Nyköping

The profiles are 2.5 view, with one for each option from the side, from which we can assume they are symmetrical, and a 50/50 top/bottom view for each option. The decals are printed on vibrant blue glossy paper that is reminiscent of Eduard's recent output, and are of reasonable quality. There is a little bleeding of the black here and there, but it is only really visible on close inspection, however on our sample the red had been printed slightly out of register, which means the RAF roundels look odd. However, if your sheet is similarly affected they're easy enough to get hold of from spares or aftermarket. The watchword is check your sheet when you get them, and make the necessary enquiries promptly if there's a problem and you don't have spares.

The Swedish decals are nicely done and suffer no registration problems that I could detect, although a couple of miniscule white flecks do show up in the blue of the roundels.

It's great to finally have an injection moulded kit of the Bulldog in this scale, and even if you're not used to short to medium run productions, I don't think it should put you off unless you are an absolute novice. Take care with the fuselage and tail alignment due to the lack of alignment pins, and it should build pretty easily, as long as you take your time and test fit everything, which to be honest is what we should all be doing all the time. I'd have liked a 2-part canopy, but then I prefer to pose mine open and I know a lot of folks that don't.

Overall, well recommended.

RAF & Foreign Operator Bulldoig T.1 (48005)

Swedish Sk61 Bulldog (48006)

Review sample courtesy of

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