Fleet Air Arm 
Blackburn / Hawker Siddeley Buccaneer

FAA  models in 1/72 scale
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Development of the Buccaneer as a low level fast strike attack bomber  began 1953 with first flight being in 1958. Operational naval use began in 1962 in the Royal Navy. Several versions emerged and the RAF later on also deployed the Buccaneer from land bases.

Airfix kit came with very first kits of the Buccaneer, starting with the pre-production NA 39 version and this kit is very simple. Typical of the NA 39 are the longer exhaust pipes, the lack of the area ruling fairings on top of the horizontal stabilizer and the small intakes.

NOTE: If you want to use this old Airfix kit for a SB.1 variant, you need to reduce the exhaust pipes fairing in length and make a more tapered look to the exhausts. (you will find than that the fuselage mould is not symmetrical, the left engine section being bulkier than the right section). Next, you will need to add the fairings on top of the stabilizer. But the small intakes are correct also for the SB.1 . Another smaller correction is replacing the air brakes strakes]. 

For the FAA modelling project it was decided to go for the later SB.2 variant as used by the Royal Navy. For this, the later Airfix SB.2 kit (intended for a RAF version) was used. It is vastly improved compared to the original kit and is for the S.2B variant: 

It also has the correct SB.2 larger intakes and all parts are improved. The main improvements needed are a new cockpit, improved undercarriage and some other small updates. 

First, the kit has raised panel lines. These were re-scribed and than sanded off. 

Next the cockpit tub was removed, a new cockpit of card with better seats to be made later on.

The stabilizer fairings can be sanded somewhat more a correct shape, see pictures of the real plane.

The Buccaneer SB.2 can be seen with round main wing tips with the ailerons extending to the ends or with the straight wing tips with fuel dump as provided in the kit. The kit parts were unchanged.

The tail hook bay with its retractable bumper was also deepened. As the inboard flap section is always drooped when a Buccaneer is at rest on the ground, this inboard trailing edge flap was thus cut out using a fine razor saw.

Next, the remaining gap was filled and the trailing edges sharpened through sanding.

Wheel bays will benefit with adding some details such as piping with plastic strips later on.

The main gear will also benefit by doing some  improvement. Alternatively, metal Aeroclub replacement set can be purchased as I did.

The characteristic rear airbrakes were cut- off and detailed with some card.

The real Buccaneer nose has a slight "bubble" coca bottle shape. The kit's nose is not accurately shaped. But through sanding the kit nose after it was assembled with ample putty applied a good result can be obtained. It will take some work with the " eyeball " but the shape will be much better. 

The stores of the kit are a bit rough and the slipper tanks are very inaccurate. Do not use these slipper tanks, simply leave them off the model. 

The main kit assembly was ready and a first coat of light grey primer paint (Revell 75 being very good for this) was sprayed on to check for any flaws. 

As a later SB.2 of the Royal Navy of 809 Squadron would be made next, an overall Extra Dark Sea Grey BSC: 640 coat was applied using Humbrol enamel paint # 123 . Decals will come mainly from ModelDecal set #20

   lower and upper views

The model, still with a fully empty "cockpit area". That needs detailling later on!

On to next [page 2 ].....

kit review building report 
kit review building report 
kit review building report 
kit review building report 
kit review building report 
kit review building report 
kit review building report 
kit review building report 
kit review building report 
kit review building report 
kit review building report 

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> Scale Aircraft Modelling, Aircraft in Detail by Paul Jackson (volume unknown)

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Created this page 
December 23, 2005