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1/72 - Blackburn Buccaneer S.Mk.2 by Airfix - S.2C & S.2B released - S.1 conv. set from Aerocraft & CMK detailing sets


Homebee

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18 hours ago, TEXANTOMCAT said:

Bound to be a Granby issue next year I’d have thought- how about a Victor/Bucc boxing? 
 

TT

I thought the same, not a joint boxing but the kits back out with Granby decals. 

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  • 4 weeks later...
52 minutes ago, vit79 said:

On the RAF variants that the new Airfix offers, should there be a MDC (miniature detonation cord) on canopy? How it will be implemented

 

Sadly, I suspect that they have not been provided for; the build in AMW does not have them.

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1 hour ago, vit79 said:

On the RAF variants that the new Airfix offers, should there be a MDC (miniature detonation cord) on canopy? How it will be implemented


Perhaps it will be supplied as a decal? 

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1 hour ago, Uncle Dick said:

Cracking "Low Fly Zone" art work perspective on that AMW cover - well done, hope it it makes it to to box top! 

That is the box art: Airfix posted an illustration of four newly-arrived sample kits in their farceboob page late last week or early this and that was conspicuous amongst them.  The 1/48th Blenheim box was amongst them and I’d buy that one if it came in a plan brown wrapper (thinks: especially if it came in a plain brown wrapper, it might be easier to get it past the present Mrs SteveR.🤣🤣🤪).

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3 hours ago, Uncle Dick said:

Cracking "Low Fly Zone" art work perspective on that AMW cover

Brings back some memories!

 

In the early 80s I was stationed at RAF Honington in the bomb dump.  The small arms storage buildings were alarmed and, just like car alarms today, would sound if there were any vibrations nearby.   We had them adjusted so that they would not sound when an aircraft took off. 

 

One summer, 237 OCU joined the airshow circuit.  Their designated crew took every opportunity to practice their routine, which was fast, noisy and low-level.   So low-level that it wouldn't be allowed these days.   The crew took great pleasure in keeping the display with the bounds of the airfield.  But that meant that they spent a fair bit of time over the bumb dump and the SA alarms would go off continually.

 

We got into the habit of sending people out into the dump every lunchtime to switch the alarms off and wait until the display was finished.   That fell to me one day.   I switched off the alarms just as the practice commenced.  I then thought that I would climb one of the building traverses (a tall earth berm designed to direct the blast of any inadvertent explosion upwards) and watch the spectacular display. 

 

Reaching the top, I looked for the aircraft only to be presented with a scene almost identical to that picture.  He was LOW !!!

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Fresh news about - ref. A06022 - Blackburn Buccaneer S Mk.2 RAF

Source: https://www.airfix.com/uk-en/news/workbench/the-raf-go-buccaneering

 

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Much more than just a TSR.2 substitute

 

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Magnificent new box artwork imagery which shows the RAF Buccaneer doing want it did more proficiently than any other aircraft for many ears during its service career

 

As one of the highest profile new model tooling projects announced at the beginning of last year, it seems as if we spent much of 2019 either talking about or bringing readers various update images from our new 1/72nd scale Blackburn Buccaneer S. Mk.2C tooling and for one good reason - you simply couldn’t get enough of it. A proud achievement for the British aviation industry, the Buccaneer was a superb aeroplane and one which incorporated many design ‘firsts’ on a British built aircraft, one which was initially developed to equip the Royal Navy with an effective airborne Sverdlov Class Cruiser killer. With the country in a period of austerity at the time and funding for a massive naval expansion being out of the question, the British response to the significant threat of the Soviet Navy’s new vessels was to develop an aircraft which was designed specifically to destroy them, basically removing the threat in the most cost effective manner possible.

 

The new naval strike jet would be the first of its type to be developed from the outset as an ‘under radar’ design and would need to provide excellent performance at low altitudes, as well as the capability to deliver nuclear munitions on their target, should that be required. Clearly, these parameters would place extreme demands on any aircraft, however, the new jet would need to achieve all this whilst operating from one of Britain’s diminutive aircraft carriers and it was clear from the outset that this would have to be a very special aeroplane indeed - as tough as they come and a fast, stable, subsonic weapons platform. Due to the sensitive nature of its intended operational profile, the new jet was developed under a cloak or secrecy, with the favoured design being one submitted by famous British naval aircraft manufacturer Blackburn Aircraft Limited and was initially referred to as the Blackburn Advanced Naval Aircraft (BANA), an acronym which would stay with the aircraft throughout its life. Extending the acronym slightly, the aircraft which later went on to be christened Buccaneer, would also be referred to colloquially as the ‘Banana bomber’, a name which is solely linked to its development acronym and not to its fuselage shape, as is often incorrectly quoted.

 

Although possessing plenty of experience in the production of naval aeroplanes, this new design would be the Company’s first jet aircraft type and the particular demands placed on its operating and performance criteria would pose plenty of manufacturing problems for the design team at Blackburn. As it would need to be an incredibly strong and durable design, components for the new aircraft would have to be worked from solid blocks of metal and this manufacturing expertise was not available in the UK at that time. Under normal circumstances, this work would be subcontracted to a US manufacturer, but in this case, it would have delayed the development of the aircraft by an unacceptably long three years, so the only alternative was for Blackburn to produce their own bespoke manufacturing machinery.

 

Clearly, producing an aircraft capable of withstanding the rigors of carrier operation and the stresses associated with fast, low level operations dictated that their new aircraft would have to be tough, but this strength would come at a cost. Building in the necessary levels of strength and durability into the design resulted in an aerodynamic penalty and the performance of the aircraft would therefore be compromised, nevertheless, what they eventually produced was a truly exceptional aeroplane. Their Buccaneer may not have been supersonic, but it was manoeuvrable, built like a brick outhouse and the most capable aircraft of its kind to be found anywhere the world – it also just happened to be the heaviest aircraft the Royal Navy had ever operated.

 

The Royal Navy were delighted with their new Buccaneer, especially when the upgraded S.2 variant came with two 11,100 lb Rolls Royce Spey RB168-1A Mk 101 turbojets and an extremely welcome 40 percent thrust boost - now the Buccaneer could really begin to cement its status as a legendary naval aeroplane.

 

Its development as a naval jet is definitely one of the reasons why the Royal Air Force were initially uninterested in taking the Buccaneer and it would probably even be accurate to say that they actually dismissed its procurement out of hand. Offered the aircraft as a possible replacement for their ageing Canberra’s in the low level strike and reconnaissance roles, the RAF could see no further than the incredibly exciting prospect of the British Aircraft Corporation TSR.2, which appeared to be the aircraft which presented them with everything they were looking for and forcing them to see the situation through TSR2 tinted flying goggles. The high profile cancellation of the TSR.2 programme forced the RAF to look in the direction of the American General Dynamics F-111, but as this programme continued to have problems of its own, the British Government would also decide to end their interest in this option as well. With no other viable option in place and a proven British built type ready to go, it was decided that the RAF would take the Buccaneer as their Canberra replacement, an aircraft they initially felt was forced upon them.

 

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Artwork produced for the first release from this magnificent new tooling. With an aircraft looking this good, how could the RAF not have been interested in the Buccaneer, especially when they found out it performed even better than it looked?

 

Entering RAF squadron service some seven years after it entered service with the Royal Navy, an initial order for 26 new aircraft was placed with Blackburn, with the RAF machines having a number of differences from their seaborne counterparts and designated S.Mk.2B. It was also decided that with the retirement of the Navy’s last big carriers, the RAF would inherit former Royal Navy Buccaneers, aircraft which would constantly remind their new owners of their naval heritage. It is interesting to note that the new aircraft ordered for the RAF would retain the folding wings and arrester hook of the original naval Buccaneers, as these features did not detract from the performance of the aircraft and they were extremely keen to avoid the expense of unnecessary re-development.

 

For an aircraft the Royal Air Force didn’t really want, the Buccaneer proved to be an exceptionally capable machine and by the time it was eventually scheduled for retirement, they were extremely reluctant to let it go. Although in truth they did end up with the naval aircraft they had originally dismissed, it didn’t take long before the camouflaged Buccaneers of the RAF began to show why this was definitely not a second choice aircraft type.

 

From an Airfix perspective, the Buccaneer in 1/72nd scale kit form, or to be more accurate the Blackburn NA 39, has been in the range since 1960 and as this represented a British aircraft design which was the envy of every navy in the world at the time of its introduction, it is not difficult to see why it proved to be such a popular kit. Telling the continuing story of Blackburn’s first jet powered strike aircraft design, the RAF variant of the Buccaneer joined the range in 1989 and over the next twenty-one years, this kit was released on several different occasions, with the final incarnation benefitting from the addition of some new parts.

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An exclusive first look at the additional frame of parts which will allow the modeller to build the Royal Air Force variant of the mighty Buccaneer

 

The popularity of the Buccaneer as a modelling subject always ensured that when modellers let us know what they would like to see added to future Airfix kit ranges in the form of new tooling projects, a new Buccaneer developed using all the latest design and manufacturing techniques always appeared high on any list. For that reason, when this fantastic new model was announced in 2019, it was a cause for great excitement and modellers were desperate to get their hands on one. In order to keep pace with the incredible demand, several production runs of this new kit have had to be placed since the launch of this initial Navy variant and as of the start of this year, this first kit now has high profile company. Although it couldn’t have come as a huge surprise to Workbench readers, the announcement of the Royal Air Force S.Mk.2B variant was certainly one of the kit highlights of the current range, but what has been a little surprising, is that it has yet to feature in any detail in a blog update - we are delighted to be putting that situation right now.

 

As you can see from the exclusive images featured above and below, when you eventually received your RAF Buccaneer update, it arrived in some style. Standing majestically at the head of this section, we are delighted to be able to show you the stunning box artwork which has been produced in support of this release and in addition to this, we are also showing the extra frame components produced to allow the S.2B variant of the Buccaneer to be produced. These additions include the bulged bomb bay door, altered airbrake section and wing slipper tank, and enhanced self-defence capability with the addition of An/ALQ-101 ECM pod, AIM-9 Sidewinder and chaff dispenser. On the offensive side, the extra parts include an AN/AVQ-23E ‘Pave Spike’ laser designator pod and Paveway II bomb, a capability addition which would see this magnificent aircraft called into action during the Gulf War of 1991.

 

Bringing this Buccaneer project review right up to date, let’s now take a look at the two appealing scheme options which accompany this release, to hopefully help you select yours in advance of the kits release.

 

Scheme A - Blackburn Buccaneer S.2B XV361, RAF No.208 Squadron, Lossiemouth, Moray, Scotland, June 1990. Aircraft is currently preserved at the Ulster Aviation Society, Lisburn, Northern Ireland

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With the original Royal Navy Buccaneer S.1 aircraft entering service back in 1962, it would probably now be fair to say that today’s most famous examples of this magnificent machine are the ones preserved in museums around the UK, with several different variants available to be admired. One of the most impressive of these is Buccaneer S.2B XV361, the prized possession of the Ulster Aviation Society at their Maze Long Kesh site, Lisburn, Northern Ireland, an aircraft which possesses a particularly interesting history. The aircraft was delivered to the Fleet Air Arm in 1968 and went on to serve with Nos.809 and 800 Naval Air Squadrons in both the strike and airborne tanking roles, with spells based on both HMS Eagle and HMS Ark Royal. Later upgraded to S.2B standard, the aircraft was transferred to the Royal Air Force, where she would provide a further 16 years of exceptional service, which ended with her becoming one of the six airframes selected to commemorate Buccaneer operations on the eve of the aircraft’s retirement.

 

This collection of aircraft were repainted in the colours of all six of the Royal Air Force squadrons to have had operated the Buccaneer during its service life and XV361 was presented as a No.15 Squadron aircraft for the tribute. Following the Buccaneers service withdrawal in 1994, she was put up for disposal by the Ministry of Defence and purchased by the Ulster Aviation Society, with plans immediately being drawn up to fly the aircraft to RAF Aldergrove. Once there, that’s where the Buccaneer fun really started to happen. Northern Ireland may now have its example of a Buccaneer, but how would they transport the aircraft from Aldergrove to their original museum site at nearby Langford Lodge, a satellite station of the wartime RAF Aldergrove?

 

Despite the rigidity of the Buccaneer’s impressive undercarriage, it was deemed impractical to transport the aircraft by road, which left just one viable option – to fly it one final time. In April 1994, Buccaneer S.2B XV361 made a record breaking flight for the Buccaneer, when it took off from Aldergrove and landed at the Langford Lodge site, a flight which lasted just 92 seconds - this even included the crew making a flyover of the intended landing site. It will not surprise you to learn that this was the shortest ever flight for a Buccaneer and one which was so short that the crew didn’t even bother retracting the undercarriage. On landing, the aircraft was finally passed to the care of the Ulster Aviation Society.

 

Buccaneer XV361 was moved one final time to the society’s new site at Long Kesh in 2005 and is now housed in a former WWII hangar, part of an impressive and extremely historic collection of aircraft and artefacts which celebrate the significant aviation heritage of Northern Ireland. When the museum is open to the public, you have the opportunity to get really close to their Buccaneer, which gives you a real appreciation of just how huge this aeroplane actually is and leaves you wondering how on earth they managed to land these monsters on the decks of Britain’s relatively small aircraft carriers. It is also interesting to note that this aircraft was the one scanned by our lead researcher when he was preparing his files for this impressive new Airfix model tooling project.

 

Scheme B - Blackburn Buccaneer S.2B XX885, RAF No.12 Squadron, Lossiemouth, Moray, Scotland, September 1993

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One of the last Buccaneer airframes to be completed, XX885 was delivered straight to the Royal Air Force when built in 1974, so whilst still retaining the navalised attributes of this famous aircraft, never actually spent time with the Fleet Air Arm - its naval heritage would, however, be acknowledged at an important point during her service career. During a busy service life with the RAF, XX885 would spend time representing Nos 12, 15, 16 and 208 Squadrons, in addition to working on No.237 Operational Conversion Unit, but perhaps the most significant period of her service life occurred in 1991, as this aircraft, which was scheduled for imminent service withdrawal, was required to underpin the operational performance of the RAF’s latest strike jets.

 

As coalition forces began air operations at the start of the Gulf War in 1991, RAF Tornados were forced to move their low level strike sorties to higher altitudes, as a result of the effective Iraqi anti-aircraft fire they were encountering. The problem was that in order for the aircraft to deliver their ‘smart’ munitions effectively, they would need their targets to be illuminated by TIALD laser designator equipped Buccaneers and these aircraft were back home in Scotland. The race was on to get these aircraft in theatre and in an exercise which highlighted the resourcefulness of the Royal Air Force in a crisis, within days, six Buccaneers wearing freshly applied Desert Sand AFTF (Alkaline Removable Temporary Finish) camouflage were on their way to the Middle East, to be joined a few days later by six more.

 

Blackburn Buccaneer S.2B XX885 was one of these famous twelve Gulf War Buccaneers, aircraft which would not only prove crucial to the success of RAF operations during this conflict, but ones which also posted an exceptional serviceability record during their time in the Gulf. She was also one of the aircraft to receive distinctive nose artwork during this deployment, where she sported the painting of a pin up on the port side front fuselage, along with the wording ‘Hello Sailor’ and ‘Caroline’. In recognition of their aircraft’s naval heritage, the Buccaneer force in the Gulf christened themselves ‘The Sky Pirates’ and painted representations of the ‘Jolly Roger’ flag on the starboard side of their aircraft’s noses. Also proudly acknowledging their association with Scotland, each of the twelve aircraft were named after a Scotch whiskey, with XX885 carrying the name ‘Famous Grouse’. During her time serving in the Gulf, this famous aircraft flew on seven operations and was credited with the ground destruction of an Iraqi Antonov AN-12 Cub transport aircraft and later displaying the mission markings to prove it!

 

Continuing the fascinating story of this aircraft, she also happened to be the final Buccaneer to pass through the British Aerospace factory facility at Woodford, where she received her mid-life upgrade and as a consequence, is considered probably the most ‘modification complete’ RAF Buccaneer in existence.

 

Following the Buccaneer’s withdrawal from RAF service, XX885 was sold at auction on 16th March 2000 and was purchased by the Hawker Hunter Aviation company. She was inhibited and transported by road and sea to their facility at RAF Scampton, given the registration G-HHAA and instantly becoming one of the most interesting aircraft on the British civilian register. The aircraft was acquired with the intention of securing specific advanced low level, high speed threat simulation contracts with the MOD and has been maintained in what is essentially airworthy condition since then. At this current time, the Buccaneer is still maintained in such a condition as to allow it to be re-activated for flight at relatively short notice, but a return to flight bid will only take place once a definite contractual arrangement for its unique services is in place.

 

Marking the RAF’s long term use of the Buccaneer, both of these scheme options would make for interesting build projects, particularly as both aircraft have such rich histories and are still maintained in exceptional condition to this day. Also, for anyone who has the Navy variant already in their display cabinets, surely you have to have an example of its RAF brother sitting alongside it. Our new Royal Air Force Buccaneer S.2B kit A06022 is sure to be a popular addition to the range and is still scheduled for a Winter, possibly very early 2021 release, but we will endeavour to provide readers with a definitive release update on this situation in our next blog.

 

V.P.

Edited by Homebee
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  • 3 weeks later...

I wonder if Airfix/Hornby plans to release a Sea Eagle and/or Martel equipped Bucc in the future. Or at least some aftermarket correct pylons for the Sea Eagle.

 

BTW, I was expecting by now to have a couple of them on their way already, anyone knows why the delay with the Bucc and the Vulcan?

Edited by CharlieGolf2009
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So would I. I think that the Bucc is now delayed until Jan, I saw it somewhere but can't remember where or why.

 

I remember where I have read about the delay and it was in the latest Airfix Workbench, the one that begins with the Blenheim. A little further on it has a Bucc built up and it is hidden in there, in the last sentence.

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16 minutes ago, Jabba said:

So would I. I think that the Bucc is now delayed until Jan, I saw it somewhere but can't remember where or why.

:sad:  I was hoping to have one of these for the Gulf War GB.

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  • 1 month later...
5 hours ago, Markyp2015 said:

Ok thanks my mistake. was just showing out of stock and for preorder at some shops

Available at Jadlamracing.

 

Ordered 2 RAF ones from the above last night and have been told that they are now on their way to me.

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  • Homebee changed the title to 1/72 - Blackburn Buccaneer S.Mk.2 by Airfix - S.2C & S.2B released - S.1 conv. set from Aerocraft & CMK detailing sets

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