BAC Jet Provost / Strikemaster
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1/72 scale kits of the British Aircraft Corporation (BAC) Jet Provost and Strikemaster family
kit review / modelling report
The British Hunting Percival company developed after the Provost a jet trainer in the early 1950s. It became the Jet Provost, being a complete new design with side by side cockpit. First prototype flight was June 1954. This became the T.1, using from the Provost the similar wing and tail section and cockpit instrument panel. As it got a Viper jet engine, a long fairing with the lower tail with the jet pipe was needed as well as side air intakes. It also featured a tricycle landing gear with large nose gear bay and small main undercarriage bays. The wing had no tip tanks. The crew had no ejection seats. Wing span was 10,72 m, length 9,6 meter. A small number of the T.1 was flown by the Royal Air Force Central Flying School, only a dozen were built.
The T.2 got a Viper 11 engine, reshaped tail section and a different (shorter) landing gear with differently shaped bays but only some 4 development aircraft were made.
Soon followed the T.3, being a further improved version and powered by the Viper 102 jet engine. The type was ordered by the Royal Air Force in 1959 and got now Martin Baker ejection seats, optional tip tanks and a different canopy for better view. Some 200 were built between 1958 - 1962 and some were exported as Mk.51 with 12 aircraft to Ceylon, some 4 to Sudan and 6 mk.52 to Kuwait.
The T.4 followed with first flight in 1960 and production aircraft got a Viper 202 engine and Jet Provosts were now manufactured by the new British Aircraft Corporation (BAC) consortium. The type was used by the RAF but also exported with some 20 aircraft delivered to Iraq, some 15 to Venezuela, 8 to Sudan and a few ex-RAF Jet Provosts to Yemen.
The T.5 was a significantly different version that followed in the mid 1960s, this version having a pressurized cockpit for higher altitude training, new windscreen and upwards sliding canopy with a different nose profile and wing as well as new systems. But it still used the Viper 202 jet engine. For stall training, many were fitted with nose strakes by the RAF (or
at the wing leading edge at the fuselage junction, a fairing/fillament was located ?). Export versions were T.55 and sold to Oman, Sri Lanka, Kuwait, Iraq and Venezuela.

Based on the Jet Provost T.5, a light strike/ attack version was developed, called the Strikemaster (BAC type 166). It could have 8 wing pylons, had a slightly shorter undercarriage and Viper 525 engine. It also got better Martin Baker ejection seats and systems. It could be armed and be fitted with 2 guns. First flight of the Strikemaster attack version was in October 1967. Export versions were mk.80 with the first Strikemaster order by Saudi Arabia in 1967 with eventually some 47 aircraft delivered. Some 4 mk.81/ 82 were delivered to South Yemen and mk.83 to Kuwait (these later went refurbished in 1987 to Botswana). Mk. 82 to Oman and the mk.84 was sold to Singapore (16 aircraft) and the mk.87 to Kenya. In 1970 New Zealand ordered the mk.88 and Ecuador the mk.89 delivered in 1972. The last customer was Sudan but just 3? delivered due to an arms embargo, the others going to Oman and Ecuador.
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The Jet Provost was used as a trainer and the Strikemaster as a light ground attack aircraft. The jet Provost was unarmed, had nose strakes fitted for stall training and could carry 2 pylons. In the kit some small parts are included for each type: a couple of different air intakes and wingtip tanks.

The Strikemaster also had stronger undercarriage, could carry 4 weapon pylons and did not have the nose strakes. It usually had blast deflectors and was fitted with two guns with fairing at the lower section of each intake. 

had issued many year ago a 1/72 model of the the BAC Strikemaster / Jet Provost T.5. (kit 02044 and later kit A03049).

(note that Airfix also had another Jet Provost T.3 kit #01029, seen on page 2...).  In September 2016 Airfix released a brand new Jet Provost kit # A02103, see page 3...

SWORD released a few 1/72 kits many years later in 2015 (see page 8...)


Two older Airfix kits are built as Jet Provost, an old kit and a later bought kit. 
Starting with the old kit: 

These kit decals comprise 2 schemes:
- Strikemaster mk 52 of Oman Air Force
- Jet Provost mk T.5 of the RAF "Red Pelicans" aerobatic display team

The kit decals were yellowed in one kit and are better replaced....... (Alternatively stick them on a window for a few weeks for the sun light to brighthen them up).

.... and next the later bought kit: 
These Airfix kits have about 90 parts each. (Matchbox/ Revell also had a Strikemaster model in 1/72 which is much simpler.)

Many parts are for the stores that comprise wing tanks, drop tanks, bombs. The kit has raised panel lines, I left them that way. When the model is painted it will only be seen at a distance that they are raised and not inscribed. 

On the recently bought Airfix kit, the decals are much better and for a RAF and New Zealand scheme. They are also different as the first kit release seen above. 

Thus 2 models were made of the Jet Provost T.5 version. 

On the real aircraft almost always the undercarriage gear doors are closed on the ground, so there is no need for an actual nose wheel bay, nor any details inside the bays. Ensure adequate nose weight! 

This model really is further a straight forward build, and the model was further made as per instructions. I had some small difficulties to fit the nose strakes (parts 44 + 45) typical for the later Jet Provost. (these strakes helped with spin training). 

Seen are the two inside gear doors (parts 52) in closed position, sand as needed to get a good fit. 

Gap filling with rod was needed at the mid lower wing area. 

For the Jet Provots, no wing tip tanks were fitted. 
I always saw in the control surfaces with a TIGER razorsaw, like the ailerons, rudder and flaps. This makes things look better.
On a model, the ailerons were set at an angle: one down and reversed one slightly up.

Filler was needed particulary at the intakes and the wing root joints. Small amounts of putty were set and sanded after drying out. 

The kit cockpit has two seats that can benefit from some extra detail as well as the cockpit itself. ( A PAVLA resin set can be bought for this, but I simple added details with some plastic card and rod). 

Two models were thus made and when both assembled, they were ready to get the paint schemes. 

MODEL 1 : RAF Jet Provost trainer mk. T.5
The first kit was made in a scheme of a Royal Air Force trainer in red-white-grey using the later AIRFIX kit decals which were OK. 

  Here two old photos I took at the Air Tattoo at Fairford, probably in the early nineties.

Most work with this scheme is to apply with the airbrush the colourfull decal scheme of white, red and grey wing panels. The colour scheme was applied as indicated in the instructions. 

First, the overall model got a light grey base coat. Correct any irregularities as needed. 

For the RAF trainer scheme the colours used were...
White:  Revell acrylic 360301
Red:     Revell acrylic 36131
(these are the paints in the Revell blue square paint containers...)

.... and for the mid wing area of Light grey "BSC381C:627" : Gull Grey FS36440 using Gunze Sangyo acrylic 325

After decalling the model was completed by:
- adding the gears. 
- inside the canopy, I made a piece of flat card to close the huge gap the lower gap and a bulkhead inside the canopy. 
- the seats got each a ejection release handle on top. 
- for the instrument panels, decals were used from the decal spares box. 

A little wash only was applied on the recessed panels of the ailerons and flaps with PROMODELLER wash. 
Finally the model got a decal protecting gloss coat of Johnson Future/ Pledge with the airbrush.

NOTE: Oooops.....I later discovered that I  made a mistake as I glued the intake scoops on the left side and not the correct right side below the canopy...

Some views of the completed model..... 

  RAF JET PROVOST T.5   serial registration  XW423

and in a "landscape..." 

A nice addition to my RAF British trainer model collection

Note: when modelling other Strikemasters later on, I added the forgotton small control rods of the trim tabs on rudder and horizontal stabilizer and the pitot tube below the nose, seen here...

MODEL 2:  Test aircraft RAF Empire Test Pilots School

The second model was finished as a Jet Provost test aircraft at the Empire Test Pilots School at Boscombe Down, UK, 1995.

I got a nice decal sheet from AIRDECAL, set 7211, Raspberry Ripple PART 2. It has decals for a Jet Provost with serial XS230. 

The Airfix kit was assembled as indicated above as Jet Provost T.5. But note that the small air scoops should be fitted below the RIGHT side of canopy as indicated in the instructions.....

The Bedford paint scheme is quite challenging, but fortunately the AIRDECAL sheet does provide the red demarcation lines and the decals are accurate. 

Colours needed are white, red and blue, using:
White:  Revell acrylic 360301
Red:  Revell acrylic 36131
Blue: Revell acrylic 36156
(these are the paints in the Revell blue square paint containers...)

Start with a light grey base coat using your airbrush. Then do the white overall, mask the red and do the blue.

The AIRDECAL decals are quite brittle buty went on fine.

After applying the decals as per instructions, the final small parts were set onto the model and the cockpit a bit detailed, see above how. Also this model got a decal protecting coat of Johnson Future/ Pledge with the airbrush.

The end result of this colourful model is seen here:

           BAC JET PROVOST T.5  with registration XS230

Below a later model photo is seen where I added the 3 small trim tab control rods on the stabilizer and vertical tail

How about other British test aircraft, like those at Bedford or the Test Pilot School Boscombe Down? These are also on the AIRDECAL sheet......

A very old Airfix Jet Provost T.3 kit was also made (as well as Strikemasters...)

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Created this page
December 20, 2012