Adam Poultney Posted March 24, 2022 Share Posted March 24, 2022 Well... did anyone think I just wouldn't build a Vulcan for this? And before we get into this thread, a warning: rivet counting lies ahead, The Vulcan B.Mk2 From A Different Angle by Craig Bulman is recommended reading if you care for such details. If I get something wrong, please do question it, I enjoy trying to make my Vulcans as accurate as I possibly can. XM598, Black Buck 1 primary, at the RAF Museum Cosford I'll probably go with a Cyberhobby 1/200 kit, I don't actually have the Black Buck version in the stash at the moment; I cut up my last two to make a Vulcan B1a and a Vulcan B1. However, I've managed to source one today from someone along with a GWH 1/144 Vulcan, incidentally also a Black Buck kit although the GWH only contains 200 series jetpipes which are wrong for a Black Buck Vulcan (and if anyone building one in this group build cares and wants to swap for Trumpeter jetpipes which can be modified into half decent 301s easily I'd be more than happy to! I'd like a spare set of 201s to stick on my Trumpeter kit, I think 201s look a lot better). What I haven't yet decided is which airframe I will be modelling. I have a full set of Vulcan serials in 1/200 (and I mean a full set, as in for all 136 Vulcans) which I printed, so I'm not constrained to the decals in the kit. The Ascension Vulcans had their squadron markings painted over during the conflict, so the lack of those in the kit isn't an issue. So, the five options, for anyone who isn't aware, are: XM597 - this one is on the kit's decal sheet. It was the primary on Black Buck 4, 5 and 6, carrying American supplied Shrike Missiles. Black Buck 4 was cancelled due to a fault in one of the thirteen Victor tankers required to carry out the mission, Black Buck 5 was carried out successfully and Black Buck 6 ended in the famous incident where the refuelling probe broke, leading to the Vulcan diverting to Brazil. This Vulcan is preserved today at the National Museum of Flight in Scotland, although she's in a bit of a state. XM598 - primary on Black Buck 1 flown by John Reeve, but suffered a pressurisation failure so had to turn back. XM607 flown by Martin Withers took over and the rest is history. XM598 was also reserve on Black Buck 2, 4, 5,6 and 7. This makes it, despite not having carried out any of the missions, the most active Vulcan of the conflict. XM598 is preserved at the RAF Museum's Cosford site, although it's a bit hard to get a good view of in the cramped hangar. XM607 - the famous one. Flown by Martin Withers as reserve on Black Buck 1, as previously mentioned, and took over to go on to complete the attack. It was the primary on Black Buck 2, which was also carried out successfully. It was also primary on Black Buck 3 was cancelled before takeoff due to weather, and primary on Black Buck 7 which was successful. With three successful attacks, this Vulcan has the most combat experience of any Vulcan. Today XM607 is at RAF Waddington and was recently taken off the gate. However this was not to suffer the same fate as Marham's Victor, but instead for a restoration which I hope secures her long term survival. Currently, she's stripped back to bare aluminium on the upper surfaces. I have already modelled 607 in 1/200 though, so I must rule this one out. XM612 - reserve on Black Buck 3, which as previously mentioned was cancelled before takeoff. It wasn't assigned to any other missions. It is preserved at the City of Norwich Aviation Museum, and has recently been repainted. Some parts are left to finish on the restoration and the pylons should soon be back in place under the wings. XL391 - spare aircraft which was not assigned to any Black Buck missions, but was refitted in the same way as the others. You may notice the XL serial is much earlier than the mid-XM batch Vulcans that made up the rest of the Black Buck fleet; XL391 was held back on the production line and was the first to be fitted with Olympus 301 from new and had the full set of Skybolt hardpoints installed. Its configuration was identical to the batch XM597-612, hence why it was one of the airframes able to be considered for Black Buck. This is the only one of the five Black Buck Vulcans not to survive to today. It was originally retired to Blackpool and displayed there, but was not properly cared for in the salty sea air, Following a sale on eBay and finding that the airframe would be far too fragile to move, it finally succumbed to the years if exposure in early 2006 and was unceremoniously bulldozed over a few days. The cockpit was put on sale but no one bought it as the price was too high, and it had been damaged in the scrapping process. XL391 was the last Vulcan to be scrapped, all nineteen that have outlived XL391 are still intact. As I mentioned at the top of the thread, the Vulcans chosen were selected based on their engine type: Olympus 301. They all happened to be of the batch which was fitted with a full set of Skybolt hardpoints, which had been more or less forgotten about in the years they had gone unused. These came in use for mounting makeshift pylons to hang the Dash 10 ECM pods under the wings. Usually, all these hardpoints are covered with an aerodynamic blister, shown below on XM603: To fit the makeshift pylons, the covers obviously had to be removed. The coolant blister stayed in place, wiring was thread through it in all the way to the cockpit. In terms of the paintwork, the undersides were freshly repainted with Dark Sea Grey; the standard colour at this time for a grey undersided Vulcan was a light grey. The upper surfaces remained as Medium Sea Grey and Dark Green, the standard colours for a Vulcan (although wrap around schemes used DSG instead of MSG). The paint I will be using will be from Hataka which I had good results with on a wrap around Vulcan based on the same kit that I plan to build here. 13 Link to comment Share on other sites More sharing options...
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