May 2008


Hawker Hunter T.8M, 899 Sqn, RNAS Yeovilton, 1982.

This month's project will be the ultimate Hawker Hunter, the beautiful T.8M, equipped with the Sea Harrier's Blue Fox radar. Used initially by British Aerospace for Sea Harrier development, 2 of the 3 T8Ms built, XL580 and XL603 subsequently entered service with 899 NAS for training purposes, whilst XL602 remained with British Aerospace for trials purposes.

The kit is the Matchbox T.7, an example of which I have already used to build a FRADU T.8. It is a typical mid period Matchbox kit, rather crude, with deeply engraved panel lines and a slightly suspect shape. The kit can also be built as a single seater using a different forward fuselage section. Using copious amounts of putty, I will attach one of the many spare SHAR 1 radomes left over from my SHAR 2 builds.

Base model:

Matchbox Hunter box


  • Fill the gaping hole where the tailpipe should be, using an old rocket pod, suitably trimmed.

  • Chop off and refit elevators and ailerons suitably deflected from straight.

  • Fabricate and fit inner air intakes and undercarriage bay roofs.

  • Cut back nose and position/align new radome using sprue

  • Fill gaps and reprofIle nose.

    Tail pipe & elevators

    How to make a new nose: First position the new tip in the correct place:

    Fill the gaps with lead and sprue:

    Sprued up

    Apply putty, leave to harden overnight and then sand down. Hey Presto, a T8M nose!

    Nosey parker

The base kit suffers badly from the legendary Matchbox "trenches" and the nose/fuselage joint is less than perfect, so I have applied copious amounts of Tippex to fill the gaps. (the T8C, built 2 years ago will be used as a template for the cockpit. The BT@K Spitfire is youngest daughter's, in for undercarriage repair after a hard landing!

TipppeX galore

Tippex sanded back:


Don't you just hate those white finshes; this is after 2 coats, looks like a third will be needed!

ccomplete White

Still a bit rough, but getting there:


Cockpit complete, canopy on, beacon light added, pitot fairing added, pylon ejectors and other protruberances touched up

Still rough, but forging ahead.......


And here she is, complete:

Hunter T.8M

Hunter t.8M

which means I now have a nice trio (pack?) of Naval Hunters:

A pack of Hunters

More Pictures of Hunters and other RN Jet Aircraft on the Jets pages

Hawker Siddeley HS 125 Dominie T.1, 55(R) Sqn, RAF, Cranwell 2004.

Intended to be a really fast build "Out the Box", after looking at a few Dominie pictures I realised that the window configuration has changed on the current black/white painted aircraft, so I just couldnt leave well alone, filled two windows on the port side and drilled two new holes on the Stbd side.


I then glued the clear parts behind the new holes, filled them and left them overnight. Not too bad although not entirely in line! (the holes are in the right place, the clear parts were too low).

Oh well, never mind. Once the fuselage is painted black you probably wont notice this.

Infuriatingly, I have also just found a superb picture of a very early Dominie on Air Britain, in bare metal with red training bands. Would have much preferred to do that scheme, but now my windows are in the wrong configuration ! Still thinking about it, but I may yet change them back. So much for a fast OOB build.

Its been throwing it down here all day, so the family day out was cancelled. Plenty of time for modelling then: ....48 Hrs into the build and making good progress. In the background you can see what I have been doing whilst paint dried - a white metal Bv206 of the Royal Marines - more on this later.

Finished. The decals with this kit are really superb; one of the nicest sets I have seen with any Airfix kit and at least the equal of any othe rmanufacturer:

Dominie T.1

More Pictures of this and other non RN aircraft on the Friends & Allies pages

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