Part 1 -
Part 2 -
815 Naval Air Squadron, HMS EAGLE , Mediterranean, 1954
Airfix 1/72 with Xtradecal markings.
In contrast to today's sohisticated ASW Merlin helicopters, 70 years ago the Grumman Avenger AS.4 was the RN's main ASW aircraft.
A variant of the US Navy's TBM-
One hundred aircraft were delivered from 1953 as the Avenger AS.4 to fill the gap between withdrawal from service of the Fairey Firefly and Barracuda until the delayed introduction of the Fairey Gannet. These were followed by 80 more updated AS.5 aircraft, with all serving in first line squadrons until 1955, after which they remained with RNVR units until the RNVR air branch was disbanded.
Building the Airfix Grumman Avenger Kit:
This kit was a "cheapy buy" of a dirty plastic bag full of unidentified kit parts
for the grand sum of £3.50. It's the ancient (1966) Airfix TBM-
The kit has the modified cowling of an Avenger III (lower chin intake and extra cooling
flaps), but the Observer's square lower rear windows are not correct for British
Avengers/Tarpons, which had round bulged dome windows. An easy soloution is to build
it as an AS.4 (also based on the TBM-
I kicked off with a small modification that probably wasn't worth the effort, but
was easy to do -
Merlins and a Cormorant -
Rivets everywhere !
One of the distinctive features of this kit is the liberal spread of overscale rivets across its entire surface. These are clearly too big, and I snaded most of them off, but wherever I could I left some sign of their existence, because, believe it or not, the real thing does have a liberal spread of rivets across most of its surface! The wings are perhaps the smoothest area, but in several parts of the fuselage, the rivets are quite large, as the following pictures will show.
Another noticeable difference between the Airfix kit and many others is the lack
of the regular vertical fuselage join lines. Again, this si not completely wrong
Background: A superbly restored Avenger displays at the RNAS Yeovilton Air Show
Part of my reason for Choosing the 815 Sqn aircraft was to allow me to use the kit’s
provided rocket armament -
Exterior paint is Humbrol 104 enamel (2 coats). For the interior, I used Humbrol
interior green, all brush applied of course. I have seen modellers use black for
the interior of later aircraft, but I have based my choice on a quick peek inside
the Avenger at the Fleet Air Arm Museum, which pretends to be a WW2 aircraft, but
was actually a post-
This was a fun build, without any particular expectations for the completed model, but I am pleased with the way it has turned out. The kit may be an oldie, but it is still worth a pop !
Below: with my other Avenger kits. From Left to right -
These and more can be seen on my RN Props pages