1/48 Airfix Sepecat Jaguar Operation Granby
Years ago, I got an Airfix Sepecat Jaguar 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 1/48 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!
23 additional images. Click to enlarge.