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Dan DeSilva
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1/48 Airfix Sepecat Jaguar Operation Granby

August 14, 2017 · in Aviation · · 22 · 4.9K

Years ago, I got an Sepecat and loaded up on all the Paragon resin parts for it. Then I entered a phase of major downsizing and decided to sell it off. Last year i decided to get one again, because the Revell AG boxing was cheaper than the Kity Hawk kit, and from box top photos- etch seat belts were provided!

Upon receiving the kit, I realized that the molding was very soft, and a number of details lacked the kind of crispness we have come to expect in even medium quality kits these days. I had never really studied the Jaguar kit I sold off.I also found out to my annoyance that there was no etch provided in the kit- whoever built the kit for the box photos added etch to their build!

In anticipation of receiving the kit, I found a great Jaguar decal sheet by Xtradecal (Hannants) that featured 2 options of Operation Granby markings. I had always wanted to build a desert Pink Jaguar.

With no intakes provided in the kit, I did some research and found an excellent walkaround of a Jaguar in Krakow that provided great photos of the intakes among other things. You can see that the actual intakes are square in cross-section until they get closer to the fans, so it was not too hard to build them up in the kit fuselage halves using card and tube. Using some scrap sprue and card I built up a representation of fan blades- very crude up close, but from a distance down at the end of the intake, they look pretty convincing!

Another area to improve was the seat. The kit seat has the earlier headbox, but by the time of Granby, the Mk10 seat had a larger headbox- and "SADMAN"- the airframe I was modelling, definitely had the later seat. Also the intake just aft of the canopy needed to be rebuilt, and a single offset blade antenna (also specific to "Sadman") was constructed from card and wire. The canopy was extremely ill-fitting and I had to shape and file until I could get it to sit fairly well on the cockpit sills.

I had also obtained a Paragon flap/slat set in advance of the kit, and used a number of online photos to determine the angles of flaps and model the actuators for the flaps. I replaced the kit sidewinder rails with spare ones from the Hasegawa A-4 kit. The kit sidewinders were surprisingly good compared to the soft molding of the other parts of the kit.

I used Xtracolour desert pink and then coated the pink with Future. I then used the standard green/grey camouflage pattern as a guide to smear and drybrush the two colours in specific areas to depict the wearing off of the pink finish in theater. I am particularly happy with the treatment of the drop tank front and how the effect on the flaps came out.

I was intrigued by the fake canopies that were applied to Granby Jaguars. I was frustrated with not finding much online- even some online builds that talked about applying the false canopy did not provide pictures of what they did! I found out how some were applied, and after looking at photos of "Sadman" I could see the black outer edges curving up around the fuselage near the cannon apertures. I feel I made an informed guess about its shape.

Positive locators for the landing gear struts are non existent, and general structure of the gear is fairly ambiguous in the instructions- again, walkarounds online came in handy! I found that General Purpose bombs were more often used in Granby so used the ones in my 1/48 Airfix RN Buccaneer kit.

In the end, I am very happy I decided to get the kit and get it built in this livery. While the Airfix kit is "soft" in details, if you are willing to work at it, you can get a good result.

One last thing- can someone please post a tutorial on Imodeller to show how we can insert images within the text body? I would rather set up my posts with text next to pictures of what I am describing!

Reader reactions:
12  Awesome

23 additional images. Click to enlarge.

22 responses

  1. Good lookin' 'Cat, Dan...those missiles mounted on the TOP of the wing never did look "quite right" to me (must've been a good reason to do it, though).

    • Thanks Craig- the over wing missile mounting is one of the things i really like about Jaguars! I was struck by how much the Jaguar wing reminded me of an F-15 wing while I was building it.

  2. Lovely looking aircraft, the only colour that looks right on these kites, IMHO

    • Thanks George- As I was a college age young guy during the gulf war- I can't think of Jaguars any other way either! I will always remember watching CNN the first night they attacked Bahgdad.
      I also remember when RAF aircraft came through Bermuda during the Falklands War when I was in high school.

  3. VERY cool cat, Dan! I'm with Craig: the over-wing missiles look odd but they've been working for decades.

  4. 🙂 ... Greetings ... 🙂 :
    Good work and paint job on that Jaguar Dan.
    Your dedication to the intake really can bee seen and appreciated, nice work.

  5. Dan this is one of my favourite Desert Storm aircraft. They weathered heavily in the harsh desert climate. I like those over-wing Sidewinders! Congrats, this is a masterclass desert cat!

  6. Hello Dan,
    Indeed a very good representation of the original aircraft. My compliments,
    and excellent photography. Regards, Dirk / The Netherlands.

  7. Nice work, Dan. The careful detail work on the Sidewinders really sets this Jag apart from the pack.

  8. I'm building a 1/72 version of this right now for the Year of the Cat group build, and now you've given me another nice reference! Really good-looking Jag, and great work on the intakes/blades! I thought briefly (about 1 nano-second) about trying to depict something like that in the Hasegawa kit, but then the thought flitted away never to be recaptured! Your effort there really paid off.

    • Thanks Greg- I have to say it is tough enought to see the fans looking in- once I got the intake openings on the kit, i couldn't photograph down the intakes- Which leads me to think that is why Kitty Hawk and Airfix (and aftermarket companies) didn't bother with intake detail! I have a 1/72 Airfix kit I may throw together with winter camouflage.

  9. Profile Photo
    said on August 15, 2017

    Nice one. Always liked the jag used to see them a lot doing low level training.

    • Thanks Anthony- my dream is to go to england where the RAF does low level training one day- i have heard too many stories from my British colleagues at work about hiking on the ridge of a particular valley and being able to look down on Eurofighters and Hawks as they fly by!

  10. Nice build! I think that's the first time I've seen the over wing sidewinders!

  11. Great Job Dan, on this cat. The desert scheme is well done and you have put a lot of effort into it with the scratchbuilding. The Jaguar allways impressed me with the huge weapon load and offcourse the wingtop mounted sidewinders. I'm building a 1/72 Jaguar for the group build at this moment, but like Greg mentioned I'll keep the Italeri intakes also as they are in the kit.
    Cheers, Ferry.

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