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Pappy

1/72 Matchbox/ Buccaneer

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G'day people,

My 1/48 Bucc build is languishing, but I have begun its little brother, perhaps I may regain enough momentum to finish the 1/48 kit?

I bought the venerable Matchbox kit at my local model show last year for $5, bought on a whim for nostalgia. I will be turning it into a South African Air Force (SAAF) S.Mk.50 wearing The final scheme of EDSG over PRU Blue. I want to depict one of the Cuito Bridge bombers. This cosnisted of two separate sorties against the Cuito Bridge in which the indigenously designed H-2 "Raptor" missile PGM was used. The fist raid was unsuccessful, the second sortie however succeeded.

The Matchbox kit has a number of significant errors, some shape issues as well as a general lack of detail. If you want an accurate Bucc, use the Airfix Kit!

My childhood was spent building Matchbox kits so I have a soft spot for them, and I fondly remember the enigmatic box art, the clear panel in the box with just a tantalizing glimpse of the vivid, multi-coloured plastic sprues inside, the trenches that passed for engraved detail and the general speed of assembly. I was prepared for the lack of detail and heavy panel lines, however I was a little surprised at the poor fit of the parts. the kit has a conventionally vertically split fuselage, with a separate nose and airbrake assembly. The kit was no doubt broken down like this in order to fit into the standard Matchbox packaging. The engine nacelles and inner wing are attached to the fuselage sides, with separate intake and exhaust sections.

All these parts make for a slower build up, and the parts fit leaves a lot to be desired.

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The cockpit is very basic.

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The seats supplied resemble armchairs rather than a real ejection seat

I robbed a Hasegawa F-4 Phantom for a pair of MB.7's that had some canopy breakers added. They look close enough for me

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One thing I have always liked about Matchbox kits are their figures. I still think they are some of the most crisply detailed pilot figures of any manufacturer

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Whilst all that was drying, the wingtip nav lights were cut out and chunks of coloured plastic from a cheap toothbrush was epoxied into place. Once the glue had cured, the nav lights were sanded to profile and finally polished back to clarity with a nail buffing stick

SeaVixen007.jpg

CR42008.jpg

cheers,

Pappy

Edited by Pappy

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I'll be following this build as I do like SAAF aircraft.

That's a good tip for the navigation lights which I haven't seen before but which I'll definitely use from now on, thanks for that.

Gary

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I'll be following this build as I do like SAAF aircraft.

That's a good tip for the navigation lights which I haven't seen before but which I'll definitely use from now on, thanks for that.

Gary

G'day Gary,

I learnt that trick after seeing it on a forum, so pass it on. The hardest thing is trying to find plain old square handled toothbrushes, so many seem to be white or opaque. The plastic reacts well to sanding and polishing and normal styrene cement, Ca and epoxy will all work. The other good news is that a single toothbrush will last you several models, and apparently, the bristly end can clean teeth too :P

looking good mate

Cheers Mark!

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G'day people,

A little more work to show off.

As I stated, the kit cockpit is basically just an opening and two very non-descript seats. Matchbox have moulded in the side consoles in the form of a shelf, but there is nothing else provided.

CR42004.jpg

My kit will be depicted in-flight, but never the less, I wanted to busy up the office a little. I added a floor, rear and middle bulkheads.

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Once these were dry, detail was built up using thin strip stock.

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I made a new coaming for the pilot's instrument panel using a scrap of resin pour stub.

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It is important to keep test fitting to make sure everything will fit.

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This was fitted to the fuselage aperture after some supports were made using plastic strip. Fine copper wire and bits of scrap plastic were added to the coming to represent the HUD, gauges and air conditioning lines. I also started adding bits and pieces of scrap plastic to represent the control panels on consoles. It is not 100% accurate but it looks busy,

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While all that was drying, I turned my attention to the exhausts. Matchbox provide a small, thick lip to represent the exhausts, and there is really no depth to them at all.

I drilled out the openings and reamed out the parts until the chunky kit detail was gone.

CR42006.jpg

I then cut two small sections of aluminum tube to length and test fitted them.

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Result!

Edited by Pappy

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Superb stuff! :thumbsup:

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G'day people,

Today's little update mainly concerns the airframe. Having added furniture to the office, it was time to make this Bucc a Mk.50, so the mods unique to the SAAF were added. Externally, the mods include scribing in the doors for the JATO rockets, moving the fuel vent and the large Doppler radar blister underneath the fuselage aft of the weapons bay. There are also differences in antenna fit, but these will be added near the end.

The SAAF Bucc's were fitted with a par of JATO rockets to assist in take-offs in its hot and humid climate. These were later removed as they were seldom used, but the panels remained unchanged. I scribed in the two panels, one either side of the arresting hook.

buccupdate2018.jpg

A small hole was drilled as per my refefrence pics.

Next, it was the time to add the mysterious lump which looks like a Doppler radar unit. I did this by first stretching a piece of cling film over the area. A piece of Milliput was then prepared and placed over the same spot and left to cure.

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It was set after about two hours and the Milliput was removed, it was now perfectly shaped to the lower fuselage contour.

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I then set about shaping the Milliput according to my reference pics. I ended up with this,

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Minor details were then added in this area, again reference pictures were very helpful. I also added the long antenna forward of the weapons bay.

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once everything was done, the lower fuselage, seams and cockpit got a shot of grey paint.

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Now for some fun stuff, I was able to pick out some panels in the cockpit.

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A quick test fit with the crew in place, just 'coz I wanted to!

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cheers,

Pappy

Edited by Pappy

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Great stuff so far. . . Ive got one of these in the pile so will be watching

and pinching most of your corrections . Mine will be RAF . . of course

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Great work all of it, but the tip with the Milliput and clingfilm has gone straight into the 'bloody good ideas' file.

Steve.

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this is fantastic mate
Looking very good.

Thanks very much

Great stuff so far. . . Ive got one of these in the pile so will be watching

and pinching most of your corrections . Mine will be RAF . . of course

Fair enough , I learnt quite a few techniques through fora like this over the years.

Great work all of it, but the tip with the Milliput and clingfilm has gone straight into the 'bloody good ideas' file.

Steve.

Thanks very much but the clingfilm just seemed like common sense really!

G'day people,

A little update today.

The crew have now been glued in.

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The Bucc is a little different in that the pilot and nav seats are slightly off-set. The pilot is slightly offset to port and the nav to starboard. I don't know why but I am guessing it has to do with ensuring safe egress trajectories? I used 5-minute epoxy (Araldite) to allow me to play with their position of each crew member.

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I also added the nav's blast shield since Matchbox didn't seem to bother. I made it buy bending up a piece of clear acetate found in blister packaging and trimming to size. It was fixed in place with wood glue (PVA) applied with a toothpick which dries clear. The next item to get some attention was the inflight re-fueling (IFR) probe. The Matchbox IFR probe is not bad shapewise, and it is actually better than the Airfix effort (which has a weird 'bulbous' bit on the end ) but it is waaay too thick. I corrected this by sanding it down to a more scale like thickness. The final touch was to cut off the probe tip and substitute a new tip with one from the spares box, in this case a Hasegawa A-4E Skyhawk.

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I just need to add the seat overhead ejection handles and the canopy can go on. Unfortunately, when I bought the kit, the canopy was missing. I knew about it, and that is why the kit only cost me $5. Luckily, two Brit modellers Eng and Andrew have sent me decals and a canopy which are making their way to me as we speak. Hopefully, they should reach me this week so that the airframe can be finished.

Things under wings....

One of the main reasons for building this version was the weapons load out. The SAAF undertook two missions to destroy the Cuito Bridge in South Angola. The first sortie, on 12 Dec '87 failed, however the following sortie of 3 Jan '88 succeeded.

The load consisted of (from l to r):

1 x EL-555 ECM pod

1x Denel H-2 'Raptor 1" glide bomb

1x Denel H-2 'Raptor 1" glide bomb

1x Denel H-2 communications pod

Unfortunately, I am not aware of any aftermarket bits for these items. If there is some, please let me know. I gathered information using the 'net and information supplied by members of this very forum. The ECM and Comms pods are pretty basic items, essentially tubes with fins, so I used some missiles of an appropriate diameter to fashion these. The H-2 Comms pod is on the left, the ECM pod is on the right

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The Raptor glide bombs are a little more complex as they comprise a seeker in the nose, folded main wings and a tail stabiliser assembly with a propeller of some sort on the end. I used (you guessed it!) my spares box to cobble together a "Frankenbomb" in order to make a master.

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The folded main wings will be represented by a piece of plastic sheet and the tail stabiliser assembly will be added to each separately.

A silicon mould was made using 'Pinkysil'. I love this stuff, It is easy to use. Mix in a 1:1 ratio and it sets up in 30mins. It will take retain the most delicate of detail, right down to fingerprints - ask me how I know!

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Followed by two resin castings

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cheers,

Pappy

Edited by Pappy

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The Bucc is a little different in that the pilot and nav seats are slightly off-set. The pilot is slightly offset to port and the nav to starboard. I don't know why but I am guessing it has to do with ensuring safe egress trajectories?

That is correct.

I like the way that you have made the thingys under the wing and the refuelling probe.

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Next, it was the time to add the mysterious lump which looks like a Doppler radar unit. I did this by first stretching a piece of cling film over the area. A piece of Milliput was then prepared and placed over the same spot and left to cure.

buccupdate3012.jpg

Pappy, isn't it a chaff and flare dispenser??

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Lovely work on an oldie but goldie. It's great watching what can be down with a few scraps of plastic and wire to improve a basic kit. I never completed my MB Bucc as a kid as I lost the canopy. It later surfaced but the kit had been binned :(

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Pappy, isn't it a chaff and flare dispenser??

G'day Valmgat,

I think the raised bit in the middle is definitely a Doppler unit as it has a dielectric panel and antenna on top, however the bulges on either side could house chaff/flares. The pics I have show a smooth metal plate on top of each side bulge, so maybe they are blanking covers for chutes?I don't know enough to say either way, :undecided:

The pics of the Cuito jet '414' show that the inner pylons with the Raptors have two bracing struts going from two separate points on the pylon inboard to the fuselage. I can make out a post of some kind on the fuselage underside that the front bracing struts connects to. What I don't know is where the rear bracing strut goes to? Does it have a similar post to the rear or does it connect to the same front post? If you or one of your contacts knows it would be a great help,

cheers,,

Pappy

Lovely work on an oldie but goldie. It's great watching what can be down with a few scraps of plastic and wire to improve a basic kit. I never completed my MB Bucc as a kid as I lost the canopy. It later surfaced but the kit had been binned :(

G'day James,

If I was to do this again, I would start with the Airfix kit as it is better detailed, not by much, but I think the decider is the lack of wing vortex generators. The Matchbox kit has a better approach to the intakes, but the openings are narrow and very oval in shape. I had to do a lot of sanding to open them up to a more correct shape.

The fit is the biggest disappointment. Matchbox kits usually fit well, but this kit has gaps at every major joint. Still, I like going back to the kits built in my youth and doing them up with the skills I have acquired over the years. As long as the shape is basically correct, the rest I can improve on.

Edited by Pappy

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This is little gem of a build Pappy.

Superb work mate. :clap2::clap2:

Deacon

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The pics of the Cuito jet '414' show that the inner pylons with the Raptors have two bracing struts going from two separate points on the pylon inboard to the fuselage. I can make out a post of some kind on the fuselage underside that the front bracing struts connects to. What I don't know is where the rear bracing strut goes to? Does it have a similar post to the rear or does it connect to the same front post? If you or one of your contacts knows it would be a great help,

Will see what I can find.

Great work by the way. I love the Raptors!

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This is little gem of a build Pappy.

Superb work mate. :clap2::clap2:

Deacon

G'day Deacon,

That is very nice of you! I am having a ball.

cheers,

pappy

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Will see what I can find.

Great work by the way. I love the Raptors!

Cheers that would be awesome. I tried to register on the IPMS South Africa website, but I was blocked as the webmaster was not accepting applications from 'free' websites, bummer!

I have nearly finished the ordnance,

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I have had a small setback with one of my Raptor glide bombs. The two bomb castings used up the last of my casting resin. It was pretty old and a bit dodgy. One of the bomb castings turned out okay, the other not so much. I think either there was not enough catalyst, the resin wasn't mixed properly or (most likely) the resin was past its use by date. The end result was that this casting was constantly weeping an oily liquid. I have stripped it back and plugged all the weep holes with CA and will sand it, prime and re-paint in the hopes of salvaging it. I have some fresh resin on its way as well.

Here is the 'good' one. I added the seeker by building up a dome with 5 -minute epoxy. It still needs The yellow HE band and some stencils but is otherwise done.

buccupdate7013.jpg

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cheers,

Pappy

Edited by Pappy

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Hi Pappy,

Thats one amazing build, I can take some inspiration from this, I have an Airfix Buc to do, may start it this morning now!

I have just finished a Matchbox Hunter T7, its not up to the standard and accuracy of your Buc, but was great fun to do and I am starting to learn about correcting kits!

http://www.britmodeller.com/forums/index.php?showtopic=62251

Cheers

Simon

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Hi Pappy,

Thats one amazing build, I can take some inspiration from this, I have an Airfix Buc to do, may start it this morning now!

I have just finished a Matchbox Hunter T7, its not up to the standard and accuracy of your Buc, but was great fun to do and I am starting to learn about correcting kits!

http://www.britmodeller.com/forums/index.php?showtopic=62251

Cheers

Simon

G'day Simon,

A very nice Hunter, well done!

I would not call the Matchbox Bucc accurate. It has a nice shape but as I have said, the Airfix kit is a better starting point. Don't be afraid to experiment a little. I like to try something new on each build, whether this is a new weathering technique, a new paint brand or type of camouflage scheme for example. You will never improve your skills unless you push yourself a little bit. I would suggest trying something easy to begin with, such as thinning some parts down or adding very basic detail touches like replacing kit pitot probes or ejection seat handles with stretched plastic and wire, or adding seat belts using tape. You may surprise yourself,

cheers,

Pappy

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