Airfix 1:48 Buccaneer S.2B, Royal Air Force

The Story

With the change of Tornado attack altitudes from low-level to medium level, there arose a problem with lack of precision delivery of unguided ordnance from such altitude. Being the only laser target marking aircraft then in service with the RAF, S.Mk.2B Buccaneers from RAF Lossiemouth were alerted for redeployment. The Buccaneers were deployed elsewhere and had to return to Lossiemouth to fit modifications for combat operations in the gulf. On January 26th, the first two of twelve Buccanners deployed to Muharraq Air Base. There, they would designate targets with their AN/AVQ-23E "Pave Spike" pod for Gr.1 Tornado aircraft dropping Paveway laser guided bombs. On February 2nd, the first Buccaneer interdiction mission was launched in which to bomb a bridge over the Euphrates near As Samaawah was bombed by Tornados. Later in the campaign, Buccaneers acted as both designators and bombers dropping Paveway LGBs. Buccanneers flew 216 sorties, destroying bridges, aircraft shelters, runways, command bunkers, ammunition stores and aircraft on the ground. By the end of the conflict, Buccaneers had flown 250 sorties, 'spiked' 169 LGBs, and dropped 48 LBs of their own. No Buccaneer was lost to combat. On, March 17th, the Buccanneer detachment left Muharraq for home.

The Kit

I changed little on this kit to represent an in-flight Buccaneer. I used pilot figures from Hasegawa to replace the kit figures. A Paveway bomb was constructed using Hasegawa guidance and tail fin sections and then attached to a RAF bomb from an Airfix kit. Painting was done with Xtracrylix "Desert Pink".