Living here just down the hill from RAF Waddington, life has got a bit quiet since late last summer. Waddo's runway is being extended at the Harmston (southern) end and will be technically closed for around 18 months. The E-3D's have moved accross to RAF Coningsby and their sorties are flown in and out of there. We still hear the odd BN-2T Islander going in and out of Waddington though as of course they don't need much runway to get in and out of. I'm hearing all sorts of rumours of future Air Traffic Control plans for Lincolnshire, some say taht there are plans to equip Scampton tower with multiple cameras and no to have humans in the tower their but to do ATC remotely from Waddo! Strange but possibly true. All well and good to cut down on staff but what happens when the camera is not pointing at a Red Arrow when he declares an emergency in the visual circuit? The Mk.1 eyeball always beats a camera then
All this talk of Shackleton's has got my modelling juices going and as I have had a couple old 1/72 scale Avro Shackleton Mk. 3's hidden away in the stash for years, so now maybe the time to get one out and have a go at building it.
Frankly the kit which was originally produced by FROG and released in 1966 is well by it's sell by date. The example I am building used the same moulds but was issued by Eastern Express in the late 90's and judging by the amount of flash residue on the kit parts the mould is shot. But it appears that Revell are still producing examples of it spasmodically.
The first question is how to do it? Straight out of the box rivets and all or to lavish some time on it and try to produce something special. Time and inclination preclude the latter but I'd like to make a good job of it. So the first 3 or 4 sessions were spent sanding off most of the rivet detail, but not all, as close up photos especially of the AEW Mk.2 in Manchester's Engineering Museum clearly so that the rivets are actually very prominent on the real thing.
So the past 2 weeks have been spent essentially preparing, cleaning and priming the parts before any serious construction or painting takes place. This where I am now, the next phase is deciding which version to do, I fancy building the MR Mk.3 Phase 3 aircraft that is currently on display at the Newark Air Museum as I actually worked with Sqn Ldr Bill Houldsworth in Scampton Operations just before he retired in 1977, the pilot who is famous for recovering this actual aircraft after "dipping" it into the sea! The major task will be to rebuild the outer engine nacelles and fitting a viper jet engine into each but that is about as far as the modifications will go. Here's some pictures of the actual aircraft and progress so far.
Well within 24 hours Revell had announced that they too planned to release a 1:72 Shackleton kit but theirs would actually be the AEW Mk. 2 and would most probably, judging by their recent releases be cheaper that Airfix’s offering that will be sold at £39.99.. This announcement has now also sparked a massive set discussion threads on Britmodeller as to who will be the most accurate as the Shackleton Society now state that they allowed Airfix to examine their aircraft a Coventry airport and that they hold al the rights to the original manufacturers drawings. Not only that, Revell had been rude to them last year when asking to look over the plans they needed so watch this space as this one will run and run, sse below for excerpt from Revell's 2015 catalogue.
Here we are the first day of 2015. My book is now available worldwide on Amazon (at last) and my first book review has been done by Cybermodeller and it was positive, great news and a relief.
Christmas was quiet and restful mainly because of a cricked back that kept me away from the PC. After a trip to the Doc's and some serious pain killers things are getting a bit easier in the lumber department.
I'd like to start the blog off with some terrific news from both Airfix and Revell. Immediately before Christmas they announced their new releases for 2015 in their kit ranges and much to many modellers surprise they both announced 1:72 scale Avro Shackleton kits that will be released in 2015. Wow we wait 45 years for one and then two come along at once, incredible.
Many fellow modellers who attended Scale Model World 2014 back in November at Telford were fired up for Airfix to announce a kit of the Shack, especially after a mega thread had been going on for months on the Britmodeller website anticipating such an announcement, well they didn’t and there were many disappointed plastic bashers out there who were gutted and felt Airfix had been leading the modelling community up the garden path, me included. So much so that I gave one of the Airfix Reps on their stall a real hard time about it. He did say in reply however, that they hadn’t announced everything for next year and to wait for Christmas when the rest of the catalogue was to be announced!
Well around 22 December they duly made the announcement and yippee it did finally include a Shackleton MR Mk.2 which would lend itself to a very easy conversion to an AEW MK.2 or even Airfix may do what they did with their Vickers Valiant kit and bring out an extra conversion set later with the AEW radome included. To say I was delighted is a massive understatement, it went a long way to cheering me up for Christmas back and all – see below for the details Airfix have released: