August 2011
Chieftain MBT

 Jaguar GR.1AChieftain Mk.2

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PoppySelected WW2 70th Anniversaries this month:

2 Aug 1941 - The US begins the supply of Lend-Lease war materiel to the Soviet Union.

3 Aug 1941 - British Catapult Armed Merchantman (CAM Ships) score their first aerial victory when a Hurricat from HMS MAPLIN, flown by Lt Robert W. H. Everett RNVR shoots down an attacking FW-200 Condor. After the action, Lt Everett ditches alongside an escorting destroyer, only managing to escape from his sinking Hurricane when it was 30 feet under. Everett is awarded the DSO for his actions.

Link to my Hurricat Model: Hurricat


9 Aug - Winston Churchill and Franklin D Roosevelt meet in Newfoundland. Their joint statement becomes the basis of The Atlantic Charter, setting out their joint vision for a post-war world.

25 Aug - British and Soviet troops jointly invade Iran to prevent the Axis from seizing the Iranian oilfields, and to open a new supply route into Russia.


Muharraq Bahrain, Operation Granby, 1991.

Revell 1/72, with Modeldecal markings

Jaguar GR.1A

Since its premature departure from RAF service during the savage 2007 defence cuts, the Jaguar has become a somewhat forgotten aircraft. Developed in the late 1960s as a joint Anglo-French aircraft to be built by the Société Européenne de Production de l'Avion d'École de Combat et d'Appui Tactique (SEPECAT), a joint venture between the British Aircraft Corporation and Breguet, it remains in service with the Indian Air Force and Royal Air Force of Oman. In its final RAF form, the Jaguar GR.3, with TERPROM navigation and precision guided weapons, was a remarkably capable aircraft.

I find it difficult to believe that this year is the 20th Anniversary of Operation Granby / Desert Storm. Twelve RAF Jaguars made a very significant contribution to Gulf War one and were some of the first RAF combat assets deployed to the region. Between them, the 12 aircraft flew 612 combat sorties, achieving an astonishingly high sortie rate and level of availability. Twenty eight French Air Force Jaguars also participated, with a similar level of operational success.

Jaguar GR.1A

After some of the more difficult kits I have built so far this year, I fancied doing something rather less stressful. This one came form the Marks & Spencer outlet shop in Swindon for the grand sum of £4.99 (reduced from an original £12!) - Marks often sell reboxed Revell kits for Xmas with the less popular sold off at cut price a few months afterward.

The Revell kit is a joint Revell/Italeri mould, and has also appeared in Tamiya boxes in the Far East. It assembles without drama and is acceptably accurate, although the Hasegawa kit may be better in some respects. Decals in the Revell issue include an RAF Gulf War aircraft (including semi-naked "Debbie" noseart) and an RAF Germany aircraft of 2(AC) Sqn at RAF Laarbruch. However, for various reasons I decided to use Modeldecal markings for XX733 "Biggles" instead, with rather less inspiring but more politically correct nose picture of a pink Spitfire.

Jaguar GR.1A

Sidewinders were replaced by Italeri weapons kit versions - nothing wrong with the kit ones, but these were already assembled and painted, plus the rather crude, kit supplied CBU-87 Cluster bombs were replaced with some double load RAF 1000lb bombs instead. Paint is Humbrol 250 enamel, with an oil wash. I attempted some green/grey peeling areas, but they weren't hugely successful and in any event, most war-era pictures show the ARTD pink paint to be very dirty, but not too badly peeled (I suspect much of the peeling actually happened post war as the aircraft were cleaned).

All in all a very pleasing and quick build.

Jaguar GR.1A

More Gulf War aircraft on my Friends and Allies pages

Chieftain Mk.2 Main Battle Tank
Airfix 1/76.


For many years, the Chieftain was the best armoured and most lethally armed tank in the world. If only it had been fitted with a reliable engine (the Leyland L60's ability to run on all fuels, from chip fat to paraffin was a nice idea, but left the Chieftain with a rather less than reliable reputation).


In combat (with the Iranians and the Kuwaitis, both against Iraq), when it was actually working, the Chieftain acquitted itself very well indeed. But hey, BL built it - and like so many British products of that era, it was a superb concept that never quite reached its full potential.


Airfix still make the only small scale injection moulded Chieftain kit. Based on an early variant it lacks many of the familiar lumps and bumps of the later versions.


However, it is reasonably accurate and conveys the sleek angled design of this iconic Cold War tank well.


More tanks and other AFVs on my Dark Side pages

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Background Image: Kuwait City from the Sea

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