May 2007


Saunders Roe/Armstrong Whitworth P177N (Freightdog Models)

What a fantastic model - fits all my favourite criteria, RN, Cold War, exotic, serious technology, excellent detail and easy to build. Although I have used resin parts many times before, this was my first full resin kit and it went together surprisingly easily, with no filler other than a bit of extra superglue here and there.

Built entirely out of the box, using the superb included transfers for a "what if" rocket and jet powered interceptor aircraft, cancelled as a result of the infamous 1957 Duncan Sandys Defence Review, that could have served with 803 Sqn, late 1960s, based onboard the planned CVA01, HMS QUEEN ELIZABETH.


Saunders Roe SR53 (Airfix)

After the P177N it seemed only right to continue the theme, digging deep into the stash for my Airfix SR53 as the progenitor of the P177N. Back in the 1960s, this kit was the very first model that I actually built for myself - my dad had put together my first kit, an Airfix P1127 Kestrel, but I built this one myself. The Airfix kit is as rare as hens teeth nowadays, commanding silly prices on e-bay. I swiped this one 3 years ago, for a princely 2 at the Yeovilton FAA show. It was missing its canopy. I am fairly sure it is genuine Airfix, not an eastern european clone, however it came in a placcy bag with Airfix style instructions (even down to the type of paper, but minus card art) depicting an aircraft with serial no XD150 - strange as the 3 real aircraft were XD146 (at Cosford), XD151 (crashed, killing the pilot) and XD 153 (cancelled before building) - and with transfers marked "Eagle". Perhaps a freebie given away with the famous comic - who knows ?. In any event, the kit is much as I remember it; basic, relatively accurate and altogether smashing. The Firestreak missiles provided were laughable, so an ex-Matchbox Lightning set were substituted, along with a sewing pin nose probe, scratch cockpit and spare seat, plus separately sourced roundels and markings, but otherwise "out of the bag".

And here they are with another great British Aircraft - the Fairey Delta 2

And here is the real thing at Cosford in 2003:

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