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Buccaneer S2B - 237 OCU


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I've got one of the new Airfix Buccaneer S2B kits, and want to make a version from 237OCU as Honington is my nearest RAF base.

I can find the decals for 237 on Xtradecal 72307 (Buccaneer S.2 XT287 237 OCU RAF Honington 1972), but can I use this kit? It doesn't matter if I can't because I will use it for another aircraft, and I'll get an S2C as the base for this instead.


Can anyone point me in the right direction?




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Doing a S2B for 237 OCU can be a bit of a minefield. In general terms, the OCU was mostly equipped with S2A's (the RAF equivalent of FAA S2C's).

The S2B's went to the operational squadrons. The OCU finally had most of its A's replaced with B's when 15 & 16 sqns changed to Tornado's and the airframes were available. That was 83/4 just prior to the move up to Lossie.

 XT287 was given to 237 OCU from the FAA, it was an S2D with the Martel capable pylons as an S2B but without the bulged bomb bay door fuel tank. It was later converted to full S2B with door tank and went to 15 sqn at Laarbruch.

So if you want to do XT287 with the OCU markings, the S2B kit is correct, you just need a flat bomb door, or build it with the bomb door open.


Hope this helps.

Rob. (Ex 237 OCU armourer).

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There’s an image of XT287 wearing 237 OCU’s markings in Ian Allan’s tome on the Buccaneer in the Modern Combat Aircraft series showing her with the underside of one of the ailerons in Dark Sea Grey with everything else in Light Aircraft Grey, something that I don’t think Xtradecal picked up.  There are images of her in t’interweb in the early colour scheme in formation with two other Buccaneers wearing toned down national markings whilst ‘287 still has her original Red, White and Blue markings.

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Presumably for XT287 with 237 OCU you'd need to remove some of the reinforcing patches applied later on - the Airfix S2B kit depicts a late life airframe with various strengthening patches. These could be sanded off.   Interestingly, the S2C kit also has those reinforcements. Since I believe that some of the external reinforcement was a result of the Red Flag fatal crash, presumably some of the patches should  also be removed from the S2C - which at least gives you the non bulged bomb bay. 



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You will need bits from both the S.2B and S.2C kits to do XT287 circa 1973 accurately.  You need the flat bomb bay door and the pointy tail plane bullets from the S.2C kit and the spade antenna blade for the spine and wing pylons from the S.2B kit. Remember to remove the fifth from inboard vortex generator too.  The light on the belly was moved to the rear location behind the bomb bay but it did not have the blade antenna ahead of the bomb bay so you will need bits from both kits to do that.  The good thing is that you can still do an S.2A with the bulged bomb bay door with the other bits although you will need to sort out another spade antenna and the light and blade antenna on the belly.  You could get away with just using the S.2C kit, scratching a spade antenna and build it with just slipper tanks and no pylons. 


If you are after accuracy though, be warned that the Xtradecal sheet has some issues.  The OCU squadron emblem is missing the mortar board :doh:and the cutlasses should have white blades.  The best replication of the OCU emblem can be found on Modeldecal Sheet No.27.  Second after that is the old Xtradecal Buccaneer sheet - X022-72.  The decals that came with the CMR kits had an odd shape to the cutlass blades.  The new Xtradecal sheet was a letdown in a few ways sadly.


Here is a picture of the scheme I think you are after.  Notice the one white and one EDSG ailerons as SteveR pointed out:



And here is a top view; I believe that the tops of the ailerons were all grey with no green:



In case you haven't seen this, here is my explanation of the mods over the years:


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1 hour ago, Hook said:

Well, that's a surprise...


Not to anyone with an interest in Buccaneers! In fact, anyone who starts to look for images of the subjects on a lot of their recent sheets will very quickly come to the conclusion that they have done more research than Xtradecal.....


I've yet to find a single colour image that shows the white underwing serials, Royal Navy titling and side numbers that Xtradecal have depicted on their Buccaneer sheets for EDSG machines. Likewise, nothing I've seen supports the choice of light blue they plumped for either. All in all, a very disappointing pair of sheets. Some elements are useable in conjunction with other sources, but not everyone has access to a broad selection of other sources and frankly, they shouldn't need to either!



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