One of the advantages of restarting your model production line after a hiatus is that you can start considering what your next models will be. That’s a wonderful time for modellers, not unlike when you first open the box of a new kit. Your imagination can run free. At that point it is the best model you’ve ever built, flawless in a way that will cause the judges in your local IPMS contest to circle around you in unrestrained awe and then drop to their knees in worship. It is only later that you actually have to build the thing, misalign the wings, get glue fingerprints all over the surface, paint it in orange peel, silver the decals, and then drop the model on the ground and break off all the landing gear. But that bit of modelling reality is not for today.
I personally am very interested in a decal sheet that Xtradecal will be introducing in time for the IPMS-UK Nationals in November. Here is the link: X72-156. They’re calling it the RAF Anniversary Update for 2011/12. It hits precisely on one of my favorite themes: RAF special markings. In particular it has two aircraft I’ve been waiting to see in decal form: the first Eurofighter special and that “Bomber Command” Hawk T1. Add to that a special markings Hawk T2 (from the same squadron that just stood up with T2s), two Tornado GR4s, and the newest squadron markings for the Eurofighter and I’m a happy guy. (Remember that I’ve got 4 Typhoons with current squadron markings already built, so this is part of a longstanding project to depict Typhoons in all their RAF markings. Why Eurofighters? I dunno.)
Luckily I have a spare Revell Eurofighter still in the stash (though to complete things I will need two more). I’ll need to pick up the two Hawks, but thankfully Airfix has priced them so that, even if I had to buy them retail to avoid shipping it wouldn’t be a big investment. And I have a spare Tornado GR1 in the stash as well. A grand fellow on the 72nd Aircraft forum, Jim Bates, was kind enough to send me a surplus-to-requirements resin second nose sensor so that I can build mine as a GR4. Plus Freightdog is about to release a GR4 conversion set. Then again, I do have a copy of the Model Alliance 72128 sheet, which is for a set of four GR4s, and it has some very nice schemes (that big star or the fox tail might coax me away from the Xtradecal sheet for this one.)
Plus there is a Chinook with a small set of anniversary markings included. I have a long-stalled Italeri CH-47 that might even fit that requirement.
So the upshot is that the new models that will enter the production cycle shortly will be directly pointed at this one decal sheet. As I’ve noted before, you have to be open to inspiration in this hobby when it hits.