Airfix 1/72 Buccaneer (old mold)
Here's my build of the 1/72 Airfix Buccaneer S.2B (1989 mold). It's an old kit, and I decided to build it side-by-side with the new Airfix Buccaneer. Since there is little detail in the wheel wells and cockpit, I decided to build it as a wheels up display on a stand (which is something I haven't done in a long time). The build went as expected for an Airfix kit of its vintage: simple details, iffy fit, and plenty of omissions. The biggest fit problem was the large seams on the insides of the intakes. I cleaned it up as best I could, deciding that getting it done was more important than getting it perfect, and trusting in the flat finished camo to cover for me. Considering that there was not a “gear up” option, the wheel bay doors fit pretty well, and I sanded down the raised panel lines a bit to make them a little less obvious. I left off the inflight refueling probe, as it didn't look very good, and Bucs are sometimes seen without them. The pilot figures are exactly the same as the ones in the new kit, and they were painted up and put in the simple ejection seats. Ejection pull rings from copper wire were the only additions I made to the cockpit.
The paint is Tamiya acrylics: XF-54 Dark Sea Grey (mixed at about 3 to 1 with XF-2 White), with XF-27 Black Green (lightened about 2 to 1 with XF-2) for the wrap-around camouflage. I used a combination of masks photo copied from 1/72 plans and Blu-Tack rolled into long strips for masking. The metal parts of the leading edge were masked and painted with Tamiya TS-17 Gloss Aluminum. The decals are from Kits-World (set number KW172137), and they worked well, although the long yellow walkway boundaries were very thin and it took a lot of effort to get them in place (they also lack the red diagonal stripes along their edge). I ended up using the serial number from the Airfix sheet, as the Kits-World one was noticeably too small. Final coat was Vallejo Matt Varnish. I used pastels to add some subtle weathering. The markings represent a machine from No.208 Squadron, RAF Lossiemouth, Scotland, 1988.
I thought this would be a good time to attempt a “Blur Effect” for the base, in the style of the ones offered by Coastal Kits, as I wanted to show the Buc in its natural environment: racing along very close to the ground. Being too cheap to pony up for one, I decided to make my own.
My first attempt was to use watercolor pencils on watercolor paper. It looked pretty good, but after gluing it onto the wooden base and leaving it for a few days, it started to warp and buckle. I then took out my Olfa circle cutter and used thin plastic sheet for my next attempt. I painted the circle overall with Tamiya XF-26 Deep Green, and airbrushed lines of XF-4 Yellow Green and XF-5 Medium Green over that. I brought in some oils (greens, yellows, and browns) after that to help blur the edges a bit. This achieved the effect I was looking for, pretty close to others I've seen. I drilled holes in both the kit and base, and mounted the plane on a length of ⅛ inch clear rod from Plastruct (Part #AR-4H).
All in all this was a fun build, but I would definitely recommend using the new mold Airfix kit if you are interested in modeling the Buccaneer, as it has much more detail and is more accurate. This will make a nice contrast to my new one, as I am building it in Royal Navy markings, with folded wings, deployed speed brake, and open cockpit.
My main reference for the project was Aeroguide 5 Buccaneer, by Roger Chesnau and Ray Rimell (Linewrights Ltd, 1984. ISBN 0 946958 04 1), plus photos on the internet.