Airfix 1:48 Jaguar GR.1 XZ358 Royal Air Force

The Story

During August 1990, the Royal Air Force deployed twelve of its GR1A Jaguars from RAF Coltishall to Thumrait, Oman. While there they guarded against Iraqi aggression into Saudi Arabia. As part of their training, Jaguar pilots practiced low level tactics to avoid the Iraqi SAM threat. In October, the Jaguar force moved to Muharraq, Bahrain. Unfortunately in November, a Jaguar along with its pilot was lost when the aircraft flew into a ridge during low level training. Just prior to the war, Jaguar crews began medium level training having concluded that low level tactics were unnecessary to defeat the SAM threat. While Tornados flew primarily at night, the Jaguars flew by day. Tasked with attacking a variety of targets - interdiction targets, supply dumps, surface-to-air missiles sites, artillery, Silkworm missiles - the Jaguars distinguished themselves. Jaguars proved effective using the Canadian CRV-7 rocket pod against Iraqi naval targets, destroying patrol boats and landing craft. During the war, the Jaguars flew 618 strike and reconnaissance sorties without a combat loss.

The Kit

The Airfix and Heller Jaguar kits share the same mold, the only significant difference being the respective inclusion of parts for the British variant or French variant. Aside for being for the GR1A variant, I used all the same aftermarket sets I used for my Jaguar A build. These include: Paragon bulged wheels set, Paragon flaps and slats set, Paragon exhaust/ECM/gun bulge set, Two-Mikes intakes, Neomega Jaguar GR1 cockpit set, and Eduard GR1 photo-etch set. I made a few minor modifications like the fuel dump at the tail and adding more probes on the nose. I did not like the kit BL755 cluster bombs so I chose to depict my aircraft with four 1,000 lb bombs. The bomb parts, which I believe are from the Italeri Tornado kit, were donated from fellow ARC member "Stephen". The two AIM-9 Sidewinders are from the Hasegawa Weapons Set. Painting was done with Xtracrylix Desert Pink which was toned down with gray. Weathering and other details were done in various enamels. Decals are mainly from the Model Alliance MA-48117 Jaguar Gulf War 1990-91 sheet. I chose to build mine as XZ358 "Diplomatic Service". I thought the bomb mission markings were too small so I used the mission marking decal included in the kit. A few decals I took from various other sheets such as the black "W" on the tail fin.