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Saturday, March 24, 2012

Airfix Scottish Aviation Bulldog T1

My personal sources of modelling inspiration can come from just about anywhere. Very often there is an article in either a historical or modelling magazine that sets the train in motion, and sometimes it is a new product that causes something to get added to the queue. In the case of today’s example, it was a new decal sheet: Xtradecal 72050: RAF 2000 update.

I actually bought the sheet because of another aircraft entirely. I was looking for a simple black trainer Hawk with squadron markings, and settled on the 100 Squadron example with the blue/yellow checks and a skull and crossbones on the fin. But later, I noticed that there was a Scottish Aviation Bulldog T1 on the sheet in red and white trainer markings. I like trainers, I like light aircraft, I like RAF, and it isn’t very often that you see aftermarket decals for the postwar Bulldog. So off I went.

This is an elderly Airfix kit, which meant raised lines and rivets to get rid of. It is small and delicate – certainly the landing gear are – and it had four paint colors to apply. But it would mean a new type in the cabinet. I seem to be having problems with getting fuselage windows to seat properly in their location (though this one is not as bad as the Spit PR19). And the nose gear leg tried to escape at least once. But gradually, over time, I got the various colors painted and masked. I probably started this one in late 2010, so it has been in process for a while. Paints were the usual Xtracolour, with the exception of Model Master White.

This particular aircraft was owned by the Birmingham University Air Squadron in May of 2000.

As the plane was almost complete, I realized that it most likely had the black and white striped props that RAF postwar prop aircraft often had. A quick look on confirmed this. The masking job was a bit of a bungle, and along with some masking issues are the model’s worst features. And of course once you start taking close-ups of these things, you’ll notice all sort of issues that were not really visible to the 50 year old naked eye in the earlier instance. Still, it is a unique aircraft that can sit in a variety of groupings: RAF, trainers, light types.

This is completed model #380, finished in March of 2012.

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