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The Badercane

‘The RAF needs men, not schoolboys.’

Douglas Bader’s Commandant had admonished him after he crashed at Woodley Aerodrome in 1931, having tried to roll his Bristol Bulldog at “naught feet.” Needless to say, the biplane became a ball of twisted metal and Bader lost his legs. Which did not stop him, as you, dear reader may know. He eventually returned to flying and aided the RAF in it’s time of need, becoming an ace with a final tally of 22.

In 1941 he was forced to bail out over enemy territory and taken prisoner, but his story might just become more unique. Treated with hospitality, a Luftwaffe-RAF agreement actually saw British planes allowed to drop a new leg for him during his imprisonment. The hospitality soured when those same British planes continued on to perform a raid. Despite his disability, Bader made a number of escape attempts (at one point being threatened with having his legs taken away) and was eventually sent to the prisoner of war camp at Colditz Castle, where he remained until ’45 when the camp was liberated by the US Army. Post war, he even continued to fly until 1979.

This is the (now) old Hasegawa kit, which I started more than a decade ago and it became a shelf-queen. I scored a few weeks health safety leave early in the Covid Crisis, and this was one of the first models I finished in a rather large burst of creativity. Typical of older Hasegawa kits, there are now better options but the base model more than aptly holds up, with few improvements to bring them up to snuff. A vacuform canopy, brake lines, resin wheels, PE seat belts, and a plethora of little odds and ends with the help of a Squadron Walk Around book were most additions.

I would like to say, with that Walk Around book, that the Hurricane has a grotesque level of little bits and details you can add, from springs to pipes to thingakabobs and whatsits, it’s a styrene addicts paradise. One could play hide and seek to find all the added details.

Thanks for looking.

10 additional images. Click to enlarge.


11 responses to The Badercane

  1. This is one of your usual wonderful builds, Kyle.
    Your Hurricane is full of nice details, DB’s figure included.
    Loved the small accompanying story, too: there were some bits I didn’t know.
    Congratulations on turning an often seen scheme into something unique!

  2. Nice model. Where’d you get it?
    Looks very good, well done brake lines and harness, crisp canopy frames. Dougie is well painted too.
    I know all about Hurricane fiddly bits, I did a 1/24th.
    No snow up there yet, eh?

  3. Very well done, I read about Douglas Bader years ago. A truly remarkable man with a lot guts and determination. You have put together a very nice display and a good looking build of the Hurricane. Good work with the pictures too.

  4. I think for any serious modeler or aircraft historian Douglas Bader is one of the standards that folks should read about and model. Kyle your build is smart and tight and I like the little touches that make the kit stand out, such as opening up the hand hold which was open in conjunction with the stirrup at the base of the port wing for the pilot to climb up on to the wing for entering the cockpit. Having the canopy open to show the Sutton harness and the cockpit details adds to viewers interest.

    I have both the Hasegawa and Airfix Hurricane kits on the bench right know. The Hasegawa example is fiddly compared to the Airfix kit. Getting all the inserts to properly be seated or trued up and filled with putty takes more time. However, once you get over that bridge the two kits look pretty good side by side.

    Two thumbs up Kyle. Looking
    forward to seeing your next build.

  5. Very nice work with this old kit and a great result. Super work, I love the Bader figure. The only question is, which of the – three! – “Bader’s Hurricanes” is this? Yes, it’s true – it’s why over the years people have fought back at the accusation of “doing it wrong” since they were in fact “doing it right,” just doing so with one of the three, unknown to them and others.

    Bader is indeed someone to know of and respect. I hate to say that, in person, he was like a few others I won’t take the time to name here, but they’re filed under “personally disappointing.” The man was known throughout his life for purposely saying offensive things in public to offend people, and when I met him at Virginia Bader’s art gallery here the year before he departed the pattern, he (sadly) did not disappoint, doing a fair “performing duo” with his acolyte Johnny Johnson (again reminding Americans that there is a certain type of Englishman that is indeed the one we enjoyed “giving the boot” to 244 years ago) , and leaving me a bigger fan of their fellow guest of honor Robert Stanford Tuck than I already was. There’s a famous story of his visit to the airfield in Spain where the flying was being done, where it appeared he was going to “play nice” with Galland and the others, till he climbed into one of the *Spanish* 109s and said “Hmmm, same Hun stench…” at which point Galland, Tuck and everyone else turned away.

  6. Bader was an incredible person, just as exceptional as your build of his plane, Kyle.
    Well done and thanks for the short story of Douglas’ history.

  7. That’s some smooth paintwork, Kyle. What paint did you use?

  8. Great looking Hurricane!

  9. Great looking Hurricane especially like the open canopy, one of my great disappointments with the Hasegawa kit. No open canopy option.

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