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Airfix 1/72 Hawker Siddeley Buccaneer S.2B/S.2D/S Mk.50


Airfix 1/72 Hawker Siddeley Buccaneer S.2B/S.2D/S Mk.50

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CODE: AF04049
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Description
Review

Hawker Siddeley Buccaneer S.2B/S.2D/S Mk.50. Decals included for the following aircraft:

  • Royal No.809 Naval Air Squadron, Fleet Air Arm, HMS Ark Royal, 1976;
  • No.24 Squadron, South African Air Force SAAF, Waterkloof, South Africa 1970;
  • RAF Lossiemouth Gulf War Detatchment, Operation Granby, Muharraq, Bahrain 1991 "Glenfiddich/Sky Pirates/Lynn"

Now with 2 additional sprues of weapons and underwing stores.

Read a Review of the Airfix 1/72 Hawker Siddeley Buccaneer S.2B/S.2D/S Mk.50

Review by Mike Williams.

The Buccaneer needs little introduction to most British aviation enthusiasts, as it was in service for a long time, first in the Royal Navy's Fleet Air Arm, and latterly in the RAF, performing a similar strike role in both branches of the British armed forces.

The Buccaneer was originally designed by Blackburn for the Royal Navy, which is why even the RAF aircraft retained their folding wings and arrestor hooks. Blackburn was later rolled into Hawker Siddeley, hence the name change on more recent boxings of this kit, which I think is a bit of a shame, as a generation of modellers may well not know the origins of this impressive aircraft.

The kit is a reissue, but has additional parts and ordnance to make a Desert Storm (Operation Granby to the Brits) Bucc, which is probably the most famous of her recent guises, often seen on the news in a shabby desert scheme, and used as a lasing aircraft for the more modern Tornadoes and Jaguars during the conflict.

The original sprues are obvious by their squared off trapezoid sectional sprues, and the fine raised panel lines, of which there aren't really many due to the method of construction of the airframe and the sleek lines (with a fat midriff). The wings have the vortex generators built into the upper surface, and these are commendably thin.

The age of the moulding shows in the rather blank canvas of the cockpit, but there are plenty of decals to busy this area up, and if you seat the included pilots, not much can be seen. It's clear that Airfix are listening to our wishes though, as the kit comes with a split 2-piece canopy - perfect for those who like to show their aircraft with canopies posed open.

The undercarriage bays are similarly simple, but if you're so minded, the main bays are easy to detail, as there is precious little in there on the real thing. The gear bay is nice and deep, unlike many older mouldings, but the nose gear and to a lesser extent the main gear legs are a little chunky and would benefit from some brake hosing to busy them up. The upside of the chunkiness is that when built, they won't be so easy to break.

You get a streamlined and bulged weapons bay in the kit, a pair of slipper tanks with extended tanks on the new sprues, which I'll come to later. You also get a set of 4 Martel missiles, various rails, and some smaller pods, which I have to confess I don't know what they are.

All of the original weaponry is undocumented for this release, and could be used if you wanted to "backdate" the kit to an older release. The new sprues include the extended slipper tanks, two Paveway II LGBs, a solitary AIM-9L Sidewinder, 4 SNEB 68mm rocket pods, and modern data/targeting pods in the form of AN/ALQ 23E Pave Spike and AN/ALQ 101 pod, which are both provided attached to their pylons. Pylons for the other weaponry is also supplied, as well as a pair of short wingtips, which the instructions describe as being fitted to the Gulf War Buccs, with a guide to cutting the old wingtips included.

All of the new parts are nicely moulded and have fine recessed and raised detail where appropriate. The decal sheet also includes markings for the weapons, which are covered in the painting/decaling diagrams.

The color painting/decaling diagrams are again printed in colour on glossy paper, and the decal sheet is crisply printed, in register and comprehensive. The airframes that you can model with this sheet are as follows:

* Bucc S.2B "Sky Pirates", RAF Lossiemouth Gulf Detatchment, Muharraq, Bahrain 1991
* Bucc S.2B No. 809 NAS, Fleet Air Arm, HMS Ark Royal 1976
* Bucc S.Mk.50 No.24 Squardon South African Airforce, Waterkloof, South Africa 1970

Conclusion

This kit will build up nicely from the box, and with a little extra detail added to the cockpit and wheel bays would produce a stunning model. For those that prefer recessed panel lines, the main airframe shouldn't be too hard to rescribe, as there aren't many panel lines! The weapons are already done for you too.

The choice of subjects on the decal sheet may be limited, but the area of operation is sufficiently different to appeal to most tastes. Overall, a nice addition to the line, using a combination of new and old toolings. Keep 'em coming!

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