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For model builds earlier than this, please use the “Last Years Models” links on the navigation bar.

January 2018

Happy New Year!

Last year, finding any time for modelling proved really quite difficult - hopefully 2018 will be a little better!   At least I seem to have got off to a good start, with two AV-8 Harriers assembled over the Christmas break, both using the old ESCI kit, which is still my favourite Harrier model in all its versions.

The first is in its original export guise - from VMA-542 “Tigers” of the US Marines.  

What a joy it is to build a well fitting model straight from the box with no build issues!

Then to follow,  whilst I am in the mood I have added a rather more brightly coloured AV-8S Matador of the Spanish Navy, 008 Esquadrilla.  

The Armada Espaniola pioneered the use of the Harrier at sea in an air defence role, flying from the ir sole aircraft carrier, the WW2 era, wooden decked (ex USN Escort Carrier) SNS Dedalo.  The Spanish experience was very positive, paving the way for development of the famous Sea Harrier.

February 2018

Two very different aircraft designs comprise my builds for this month, both developed to counter the USAAF’s high-flying massed bombing raids at the end of WW2.  

The first is the ancient FROG kit of the Luftwaffe’s Heinkel He-162 Volksjäger, a very simple but effective design, which came too late to affect the outcome of WW2.


Then, a rather more conventional design from the other side of the world, the Nakajima Ki-44 Shoki (Tojo) interceptor of the Imperial Japanese Army Air Force, using the very nice 1980s era Hasegawa kit.

March 2018

This month’s sole build is the marvellous Amodel De Havilland Dove/Sea Devon in Royal Navy markings representing 718 Sqn at RNAS Culdrose.  One of the most successful of Britain’s early post war civil aircraft, its distinctive bubble canopy is instantly recognisable.

Website News and Updates:


Fred’s Scale Modelling Website

My virtual display shelves of (mostly 1/72 scale) aircraft, ship and AFV models…

April 2018

100th Anniversary of the establishment of the Royal Air Force

2018 seems to be progressing in a less than satisfactory direction, with a family bereavement earlier this month followed rapidly by a major injury to my leg.  Clearly, modelling has been a low priority and I am struggling to build anything whilst currently stuck in bed!  However I did kick off two builds to celebrate 100 years of the RAF and have managed to complete one, an Airfix Hawk T.1 from the amazing Red Arrows.  

Sadly, just as this model neared completion, one of the Red Arrows aircraft crashed at RAF Valley, killing RAF engineer Corporal Jonathan Bayliss.  My thoughts are with his family and colleagues at this very difficult time.   

Finished at last ! The second build is an earlier Red Arrows mount, the Folland Gnat  T.1. It’s an earlier Airfix mould to a much lower standard or level of detail. I have struggled to build this one due to my leg injury and total lack of mobility, but trying has been a useful distraction!

May 2018

When all else fails, refurbish an older model !   This is an Airfix Lynx Mk.3 ICE from HMS ENDURANCE that I built in 2009 whilst living in a hotel room.  I decided to do a rotor blade fold as an experiment and felt that some handling bars were required.  The only thing I could find were a set of cocktail sticks, which looked OK, but were clearly too thick.  Nine years later, I have added plastic rod as a more realistic substitute.

As I am still stuck in bed/sofa with my broken leg, I have attempted something a little smaller and easier to handle than normal, that doesn’t need any filling or sanding.  This is the Revell MAN Mil GL 5 tonne  Kat 1 4x4 truck in 1/72 scale.  A complex little kit that requires some care to build, but looks good when completed!

June 2018

Something a little more challenging this month to help my recuperation.  

This is a simple conversion of the excellent 1/72 Airfix Spitfire 22 into a Seafire 46 from RNAS Lossiemouth in 1948, using a mix of kit and Model Alliance decals.

July 2018

This month really has been a difficult build, not helped by my injuries,  but I think I would have struggled in any event.  

Completing my Seafire variant collection after sitting for over a decade in the stash, this is the CMR resin kit of a Seafire 45 from 771 Sqn at Lee on Solent.  Not an easy build!

August 2018

The scorchingly hot weather here in the UK over the last 2 months has not really been helpful for modelling, so  this has been a rather relaxed build, making use of a kit that might otherwise have been headed for landfill.  I’m quite pleased with the way it’s turned out though.

This is the ancient Airfix Spitfire IX, hacked into a Seafire LIII of 880 Squadron in 1945.

September 2018

Another classic RAF aircraft for this RAF100 centenary year.  The Hunter is definitely one of the most elegant jets ever produced; this is the FROG kit from the 1970s, in the colourful markings of a Hawker Hunter FGA.9 of 54 Sqn RAF in 1968.  

This old kit is definitely still a worthwhile and enjoyable build today, albeit lacking in the sort of detail we now expect.

October 2018

As I expected, this Mach 2 kit has not been an easy build, but it was an enjoyable challenge and I am pleased with the end product.  With a few scratch variations from the kit as supplied, this is the US Coast Guard Hu-25 maritime patrol aircraft based on the hugely successful Dassault Falcon 20G business jet.

November 2018

            100th Anniversary of the end of the First World War

Two substantial builds this month, both variants of the same versaile aircraft design, and both performing the same role, but in very different parts of the world.

First, a FROG Canberra B(I).8 from 88 Sqn, RAF Germany in the 1950s and 1960s.  A low cost and reasonably accurate kit of this nuclear armed Cold War aircraft, albeit lacking in fine detail.

Then the US development of the same aircraft, in the form of the Martin B-57 Canberra, in this case serving with the 8th Bomb Sqn at Phan Rang AB, Vietnam in the 1960s.  

USAF Canberras were the first US aircraft to bomb North Vietnam, and together with their Australian Canberra counterparts, formed the backbone of the nightly assault on the Ho Chi Min trail.

December 2018

HMS QUEEN ELIZABETH First of Class Flying Trials -  FLY NAVY

One of the very few bits of good news this year has been the incredibly successful completion in November of parts 1 and 2 of First of Class F-35B Flying Trials onboard HMS QUEEN ELIZABETH, off the eastern seaboard of the United States; fixed wing fast jets have returned to the Royal Navy in spectacular style.

As well as the first ever landings on QNLZ, undertaken by Royal Navy pilot Cdr Nathan Gray and RAF pilot Sqn Ldr Andy Edgell, the trials also included for the first time ever, an automated Shipborne Rolling Vertical Landing (SRVL), this time by BAE Systems pilot Peter Wilson, a maneouvre that will be essential to allow the F-35B to return onboard with unexpended ammuniiton.

To celebrate this historic event, I have built another F-35B, using the Fujimi kit, in speculative operational RN markings (never say never) and updated my build from last year celebrating the first departure of QNLZ from Rosyth. My first model now includes the commemorative tail badge worn by the F-35B Integrated Test Force (ITF) aircraft and pilots.

….and on that deliberately upbeat note, 2018 ends for me. My best wishes to all and see you next year!