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All your Bucc questions

Don H.

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On 9/26/2019 at 10:15 AM, Robert said:

In the last days of 809 Sqdn with the Buc they held an exercise in the Med aboard HMS Ark Royal. There was an article in Aviation News January 1980 V8 No16 and on the front page a Buccaneer is shown carrying 8 540lb bombs. Now there are 3 bombs under each wing and 2 in the bomb bay. Now l did not know that the Buc had 3 wing pylons under the wing or is the one where the wing tank is a dual bomb carrier ? Because the photo is black and white and on newspaper the serial cannot be ascertained and is not too clear about the carriage of the bombs. The photo is credited to the RN. 


Is there any 540lb available and what colour they might be and any ideas about the wing pylons.




I understand the bombs in the New airfix Phantom are 540lb.



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On 10/2/2019 at 9:28 PM, ForestFan said:

Hi, anyone know if a SAAF Buccaneer is doable from the new Airfix kit?

Yes with varying work needed depending on whether you're building an early,middle or late service one.

Early ones didn't have vortex generators or the fairing between the intakes and fuselage. Spine aerials were different..simple fix there.

Rocket motors fitted but their position can be easily scribed in as thy retracted and doors closed.

2 obvious strakes on early flat bomb door.

Long range tanks were totally different from British ones.

No in flight refuelling probes fitted when they were base at Lossiemouth.

Mark 4 ejector seats with the single 'D' style face blind handle


Not a difficult job to do any of them and if you have an original Airfix kit you could use its bomb door tank if building a later one.


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I'm really enjoying the new Airfix Buccaneer and I was wondering if an early RAF aircraft can be made  from the kit? I think that the bulged bomb bay was installed later in the 70s and xtradecals have a sheet that includes early RAF schemes. I would like to know if any changes need to be made to the kit to build an RAF plane from the Early 70s?


Thanks for any advice



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31 minutes ago, Scimitar said:


Early ones didn't have vortex generators 


I never knew that.   Did any mark of Bucc in UK service fly without those?



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16 minutes ago, David Womby said:

Did any mark of Bucc in UK service fly without those?


A small batch of RAF S2Bs were built as such . They were fitted later.

Somewhere in here there was a lovely build of one such machine.

Brain dead tonight so can't remember the modeller but he gave good information along with the build.

I'll leave you to do the search :)

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1 minute ago, Scimitar said:


A small batch of RAF S2Bs were built as such . They were fitted later.

Somewhere in here there was a lovely build of one such machine.

Brain dead tonight so can't remember the modeller but he gave good information along with the build.

I'll leave you to do the search :)

Thanks.  I will.  Odd though as the late NA39s and Bucc S1s had them IIRC.



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In short - yes, but ...... 😄


Early RAF Buccs were both new build S.2Bs (or at least interim S.2Bs with all the external changes required for the Martel system) and second hand RN Buccs which were S.2As.  The new builds were all within the XW serial range I believe (the XXs and XZs came later).  Some of the ex-RN Buccs were also upgraded with Martel capabilities but not all.

The kit has the correct bits for an early S.2A which were hand-me-down airframes from RN stock with no upgrades or Martel modifications (XT and XV serials).  You can do one of these with no changes to the kit. 


They were, however, mixed in with S.2Bs in the same period so you need to know exactly which one you want to do.  You just need to check references or, if you are after something in particular, just ask here and I will suggest something.


You could do XV356 circa 73 for a 12 Sqn Bucc:





Or you could do XV360 circa 74 for an OCU Bucc (be warned though that the OCU badge on the Xtradecal sheet is a different style than the one that appeared in the 70s :facepalm:😞



Also the particular airframes on that sheet are not S.2As.  If you were to do one of those airframes you will need the wider spade aerial on the spine and the long chord Martel capable pylons.  You will also need to remove the 5th from inboard vortex generator.  Here is XT287 (the OCU Bucc on your Xtradecal sheet) in August of 73:




Edited by wadeocu
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Notice too that some RAF Buccaneers kept the wing radar aerials and some did not. After transfer from RN to RAF some Buccaneers kept the aerials for a time then they had them removed

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That third picture really illustrates why it's best to use as many references for your particular build as possible, one aircraft in gloss, full roundels and white serials, one gloss two tone roundels and black serials and the third similar to the middle one but in matt finish.

The wide band homer wing aerials are fitted to the nearest aircraft only, and the furthest is the only one with the fin sides aerials, and it looks like they could actually all be without any vortex generators, which Buccaneers featured for a very short time during the early 1970s.


At the end of the day any Buccaneer can be built from any kit, but the early RAF ones from the new Airfix kit is easily achieved.

The RAF only noseleg mounted landing/taxy light is included in the new kit.

Just use good references!

Edited by 71chally
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15 hours ago, Scimitar said:

Not a difficult job to do any of them and if you have an original Airfix kit you could use its bomb door tank if building a later one.


And if you have the later Airfix boxing with the Granby box art, you'll have the larger South African slipper tanks.





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On 10/3/2019 at 6:28 AM, ForestFan said:

Hi, anyone know if a SAAF Buccaneer is doable from the new Airfix kit? What changes would be needed? Hope some of you knowledgable sorts can help!


It would be possible but not OOB.

Alleycat Models do a 1/72 resin conversion set designed to work with the previous Airfix release, however it could be adapted as  I imagine the shape and size of the old Airfix kit was not bad to begin with.

As already mentioned by Scimitar, you need to pick a time frame as the SAAF airframes changed during the life of the jet. I built a SAAF Bucc in one of the last configurations before their retirement, however I used the Matchbox kit as a base





Edited by Pappy
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Depends on how you configure it, like British Buccaneers South African ones evolved in service.  They originally had the flush bomb door and they could seen without the wing tanks, so essentially you could do one out of the box.  later they gained the bulged bomb doors and various unique mods, and with the wing tanks makes things more involved, but doable.


PS, the old Airfix Buccaneer kit (AO4049) contains a large array of weapons, pylons and tanks, including the SAAF wing tanks, it is a good source for reconfiguring the new kit, I picked one up for £5 recently



Edited by 71chally
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3 hours ago, Scimitar said:

Thanks..I didn't know that!

I could spare you a set - drop me a PM if that would be helpful.






[Edit] Scimitar was sorted already - @forestfan, would these help you out? I could also spare you the Airfix SA decal option.

Edited by Hook
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16 hours ago, Scimitar said:

here it is



Actually this makes a good point - a way to use the old Mbox kit which is missing the vortex generators.



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I completely forgot to say that the fuel dump pipe was moved from the position as per RN aircraft to under the port engine , just forward of the exhaust.

Moved because of the rocket motor.

There is a small hole on each rocket motor panel which I also forgot to mention.

Interesting to note that photos of S50s on the production line show the in flight refuelling probe fitted.

They did not have them when they were at Lossiemouth or on their delivery flight.

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Given the number of questions that have come up, I'll put this here for general reference.  Feel free to chime in with corrections or anything I miss and I will edit this post accordingly.  All of this is from memory so please correct me as needed.


The variant designations - S.2, S.2A, S.2B, S.2C, & S.2D - denote Martel capability.  The pre-Martel era Mk.2 Buccaneer, the S.2A and S.2C are not Martel capable and the S.2B and S.2D are.  S.2As and S.2Bs were RAF aircraft and S.2Cs and S.2Ds were FAA aircraft.  Before the RAF had Buccaneers, there was just the Mk.2 Buccaneer.  The changes required for Martel involved longer, more widely spaced pylons, the control unit, tv display and the removal of the fifth from inboard vortex generator which was over the outboard pylon in its new location.  Some pictures to illustrate:




The black controller and arm rest on the right and  screen in the middle of this picture of the Nav's office are for the Martel system.




An illustration showing different pylon spacing. 




Long chord pylons for Martel




And the pre-Martel short chord pylon.


Now that about does it for the variant specific differences.  The many other variations of equipment were associated with upgrades and modification programs over the years.  Many of these differences apply to As, Bs, Cs, and Ds.  Examples of each of these modifications can be seen on different aircraft at the same time. The OCU for example had S.2As in its inventory right up to the end.  So there are no bright line rules and, as is the usually the case with these things, you should try to find some photos of the subject you wish to replicate.


1) The airbrake petals.  The kit comes with pre-Mod 1503 air brakes.  There is a substantial reinforcement plate on the outside.  This would have been applicable to ex-FAA aircraft in the XN, XT and XV serial range.  The XWs, XXs and XZs were post-Mod 1503.  The XKs were converted S.1s and had a different type of stiffening panel.  I don't think we will see new air brake petals in any future releases so I think we will likely be on our own here.




This is a post-Mod 1503 air brake.




And this illustration shows stiffening plate which is depicted in the kit.


2)  Nose gear light.  This is an easy one.  The RAF adopted a head light for the nose gear.  One is in the kit.




3)  Tail fin bullets.  RWR gear was installed in the mid 70s. 





This is the old style.  The light is located on the point of the rear bullet.  This is offered as an optional part in the kit but the bits for the later version are not included in this release.


7519491C-6B63-43D4-BF73-48A5F013550D 182CA7B0-192F-46C0-B2A0-C980B109AC16


This is the RWR installed on the tail fin bullet.  Note the light relocated to the rear of the cap above the bullet.  I am not sure what the second bump is.




And the front bullet with RWR.  Also note here the base of the antenna that was installed on either side of the fin. 


4) Aerial on either side of the fin.  This was an early to mid 70s modification.  This was a bolt on piece.  Sometimes it was not installed but the base was visible (see picture above).




5) Intake fairing.  Installed from the mid/late 60s on.  Applicable to most RAF examples.




Without fairing




And with the fairing.


6)  Antenna on spine.  From the early/mid 70s onward the antennas were different.







7) Anti-collision beacon.  They were changed to a pointed style late in life.  I think this started appearing sometime in the late 80s.




8 ) Wide band homer.  These were attached to the wings but were removable and not always carried.   




This is the older round style.  




And this is the newer version which has a flattened oval cross section and stepped point.


9) Wing fold inspection panels.  This is not so much a modification but just something that varied over the years and in different contexts.  There are photos of Buccs from the late 60s onward with open hatches, closed hatches or just the front one open.  The FAA seemed to have the panels on more often than not which makes sense I suppose with the potential for corrosion.




Both front and back panels are removed here.  It looks like the kit provides an option for this although the current release is silent on the subject.


10) Slipper tanks.  I don't intend to address payloads in this post but the slipper tanks were carried so often that I tend to think of them more as part of the airplane than an external store.  These were revised in the mid 70s.  The new style had a sharper edge on the fairing on the top of the tank.  The current release of the kit has parts for the older style.


Blackburn Buccaneer S2A XT270 St Mawgan 8-8-73


This Bucc has the older style tank as provided in the current release of the new Airfix kit.




Another example of the old style tank.




This is the newer version.


11) The seat.  The older style is offered in the kit.  The older seat had a D pull handle and the newer version had a B handle.






Older version




Newer version.  The parachute pack was revised in addition to the different pull handle.  Note also the splayed thigh guards.  This is a rear seat; the front seat was not splayed.  The splayed thigh guard was to allow some room for the Martel tv display between the navigator's legs.


12) Under water ejection system.  This was deleted in the 70s.  Buccs that had it fitted had a third red triangle on the port side.




Not a great shot - it is a still from an old 8mm film - but it shows the shape to good effect.


13) Canopy MDC.  This upgrade happened in the 70s. 




13) Blade aerial/light on belly.  A blade aerial was placed where the strobe ahead of the bomb bay was formerly located.  The strobe was relocated to the electronics bay access door.  This happened in the mid 70s.




The electronics bay hatch is hanging open in this picture.  You can see the relocated light well in this picture.






The light is flashing in this picture.  The aerial is visible just ahead of the bomb door.  It is black with a white dot on the front.





The profile is clear in these pictures.



 Another view of its position.




In this picture the 2nd and 3rd Buccs have the new blade aerial and the 1st and 4th do not.  Note also that the light has been relocated to the electronics bay door on all four examples.  This picture is from mid 1973.  The picture of XT270 above with the older style slipper tanks also has the relocated light but no blade aerial as of yet; that picture is from the same time period.


That's all I can think of off the top of my head.  Please post corrections and additions if you think of any. - Jack 



Edited by wadeocu
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