Greetings Fellow Modellers!
I recently completed Airfix’s new tooling (2019) of Blackburn’s famous naval strike aircraft, the Buccaneer.
This kit really was a step forward from the old Airfix kits that I’ve built in the past, the detail is superbly done, the fit and engineering (mostly) well thought out and the mould quality top notch – technically the best Airfix kit I’ve ever seen.
Excellent stuff indeed? Generally the kit built really well and very easily (the fit is very very good in places) and I only really had a few minor niggles during the construction. I’ll highlight them here for anyone considering building this kit in the future.
The nose assembly – When you build up this kit yourself, you have to ensure that the cockpit and the nose halves are closed perfectly, otherwise you’ll end up with a very nasty step around the nose/fuselage join that will need to be filled – not an easy task when it’s being done around the intake mounting areas.
The intakes –These need a fair bit of fettling to ensure a good fit, you’ll probably have to sand back some of the intake trunking like I did.
The nose wheel – It fits, just. It has a strange floating assembly that obviously mimics the real aircraft but is a pain to fit and has no really positive location. I also don’t trust it to just collapse under the weight of the model at some point in the future. If I built another I’d reinforce the mounting.
The folded wings – These are a lovely feature and very nicely moulded, but even before I added any ordnance to the wing they started to collapse under their own weight. The join to my mind isn’t strong enough and after a week on the shelf my wingtips are now touching.
The Roundels – If you want to model a later FAA aircraft (like I did), you’ll need to change the kit roundels to the later blue/red types.
Other than that the kit goes together really well as I said, but did I enjoy it?
Well that’s a good question… It’s a kit that looks fantastic in the box and great on the shelf without question, but like most other new tool Airfix kits I found that it lacked, to me, a major tick in the box – the ‘fun’ factor. I don’t what it is, but I just don’t enjoy building their newer kits. Maybe it’s the minor niggles with fit or something else I don’t know, but I just find them a bit… Well boring. If a piece of plastic can be soulless, then this is it.
It was really only my growing interest in the Fleet Air Arm that pushed me to finish it, and now that I have I’m very glad it’s done, as I said earlier, it does look great on the shelf.
Would I build another? Well yes, if only because it’s the best kit available of the type at present, and you never know, now I know what the issues are I might well even enjoy the next one.
I’m really pleased to have my first British Naval jet completed and I’m now looking forward to adding a lot more FAA builds to accompany it in the future!