Short SB.5

The Short SB.5 (serial WG768) was a “highly unorthodox, adjustable wing” British research aircraft designed by Short Brothers in response to the UK Air Ministry requirement ER.100; to provide input for the design of the English Electric P.1 (prototype of the English Electric Lightning) by testing the low speed flight characteristics of various configurations of wing-sweep required for supersonic flight.



Handley Page HP.137 Jetstream

The Handley Page HP.137 Jetstream is a small twin-turboprop airliner, with a pressurised fuselage.

This Jetstream which served at RAF Finningley was on display at RAF Cosford.

Jetstream T Mk.1

The aircraft was designed to meet the requirements of the United States commuter and regional airline market. The design was later improved and built by British Aerospace as the BAe Jetstream 31 and BAe Jetstream 32, featuring different turboprop engines.

26 Jetstream T Mk.1 aircraft were ordered from Scottish Aviation Ltd at Prestwick for RAF Training Command (XX475 – XX500) to serve as multi-engined pilot training aircraft to replace the Vickers Varsity, with 16 later modified and diverted to the Royal Navy.

Lockheed SP-2H Neptune

This Lockheed SP-2H Neptune was on display at RAF Cosford.

The P-2H Neptune is a land based maritime patrol and anti-submarine aircraft. It was designed during WWII and is powered by two piston engines and two jet pods to assist in take-off and for extra power when required to reach submarine contacts.

Its first flight was on 15 May 1945 and squadron delivery was in March 1947.

More than 1100 were built and no other post war maritime patrol aircraft has been built in such large numbers.

Bought by several armed forces, the Neptune served with the Royal Air Force in six squadrons of Coastal Command and on one flight (No.1453 Flight) for Airborne Early Warning Trials during the period 1952 to 1957.

English Electric Lightning Mk1

This English Electric Lightning was on display at Duxford. The Lightning is a  twin-engine (Rolls-Royce Avon 301 afterburning turbojets) sweep-wing, single-seat, supersonic fighter.

English Electric Lightning

The English Electric Lightning is a British fighter aircraft that served as an interceptor during the 1960s, the 1970s and into the late 1980s. It remains the only UK-designed-and-built fighter capable of Mach 2. The Lightning was designed, developed, and manufactured by English Electric, which was later absorbed by the newly-formed British Aircraft Corporation.

This aircraft, XM135, was the second production Lightning. It served with the Air Fighting Development Unit at RAF Coltishall, Norfolk, for three years. It then joined No. 74 Squadron, and served until 1964 as part of the Fighter Command Aerobatic Team. After a period of storage and maintenance it joined the RAF Leuchars Target Facilities Flight in Fifeshire. The aircraft joined No. 60 Maintenance Unit in 1971, and was acquired by the Imperial War Museum in 1974.

In 1966, an RAF engineer, Wing Commander ‘Taff’ Holden, accidentally flew the aircraft. While carrying out a ground test, he inadvertently activated the aircraft’s afterburners, and was forced to take off. He was able to land it safely. ”I needed to do one more test. On opening the throttles for that final test, I obviously pushed them too far, misinterpreting the thrust…and they got locked into reheat… I had gained flying speed…and I had no runway left. I did not need to heave it off the runway, the previous test pilot had trimmed it exactly for take-off and with only a slight backward touch of the stick I was gathering height and speed… Once airborne, with adrenaline running rather high, I found myself in a rather unenviable position. No canopy, no radio, an unusable ejector seat, no jet flying experience, Comets and Britannias somewhere around me and speed building up…’


Hawker Siddeley Nimrod R1

Hawker Siddeley Nimrod R.Mk.1

The Nimrod maritime reconnaissance aircraft was derived from the Comet airliner. It originally entered RAF service in 1969 in MR.1 variant to replace the Avro Shackleton. From 1979 35 aircraft were upgraded to the improved MR.2 standard. Nimrod continued in service until 2010 when its successor, the MRA4 was cancelled. The aircraft was modified to carry wing mounted Sidewinder air-air missiles for self -defence during the Falklands conflict in 1982 were known as the RAF’s biggest fighter! Less successful was the airborne early warning version, Nimrod AEW3 which was test flown but did not enter service.

The three Nimrod R.1 electronic-intelligence gathering aircraft entered service in 1971. They carried up to 29 crew and were involved in all major conflicts in the latter part of the 20th and early 21st centuries. When one of the original aircraft was lost following an accident in 1997, XV249 selected as a replacement and, after conversion, flew with No 51 Squadron from RAF Waddington. It took part in operation Ellamy over Libya in 2011 thus remaining operational until its withdrawal from squadron service on 28 June 2011.

It arrived at RAF Cosford in 2012.

Hawker Siddeley Nimrod R.Mk.1

The Hawker Siddeley Nimrod was a maritime patrol aircraft developed and operated by the United Kingdom. It was an extensive modification of the de Havilland Comet, the world’s first operational jet airliner. It was originally designed by de Havilland’s successor firm, Hawker Siddeley; further development and maintenance work was undertaken by Hawker Siddeley’s own successor companies, British Aerospace and BAE Systems, respectively.

Three Nimrod aircraft were adapted for the signals intelligence role, replacing the Comet C2s and Canberras of No. 51 Squadron in May 1974.

Hawker Siddeley Nimrod R.Mk.1

It was fitted with an array of rotating dish aerials in the aircraft’s bomb bay, with further dish aerials in the tailcone and at the front of the wing-mounted fuel tanks. It had a flight crew of four (two pilots, a flight engineer and one navigator) and up to 25 crew operating the SIGINT equipment.

Undercoating the Aeronautica Imperialis Grot Bommers

Was given some reinforcements for Aeronautica Imperialis, in the shape of some Grot Bommers as a present, which was nice.

Having finished construction of my Grot Bommers I gave the planes, the Grot Bombs and the flying Grot Bombs a white undercoat.

I sprayed the bottom half first and then left that to dry before then spraying the top half.

I do like the undercarriage of the model which looks very Orky, but reminds me of the Antonov An-225 Mriya or the Messerschmitt Me 323 Gigant. I suspect this was intentional on the part of the designers.

Spraying the Grot Bombs was a little more challenging as the force of the spray blew them about on my painting box. However I managed to get them all done in the end.

See the full workbench feature on the Aeronautica Imperialis Grot Bommers.

Finished constructing the Aeronautica Imperialis Grot Bommers

Was given some reinforcements for Aeronautica Imperialis, in the shape of some Grot Bommers as a present, which was nice. Having progressed construction I was able to finish making the models. I added the tail pieces.

These are slightly different to the tails on the Eavy Bommers.

So feeling quite pleased with the finished models.

I looked over the sprue to find some  parts I hadn’t used. Now there were the tail pieces, but I also had four of these parts left over. I had no idea what they were.

I checked the instructions and I realised that these were part of the dorsal gunners that I hadn’t used. So I had to remove the dorsal guns, glue in the part and then restick them to the bommers.

I also constructed the Grot Bombs, both the underwing ones and the flying models.

I decided that I would paint all of these separately rather than fix them to the wings.

The next stage is a white undercoat.

See the full workbench feature on the Aeronautica Imperialis Grot Bommers.

Getting the Adeptus Titanicus Imperial Knights done

I hadn’t actually planned this purchase of some Imperial Knights for Adeptus Titanicus. As part of a prize draw I had to top up my purchases to get past £50, so rather than buy more paint, I looked to see what models I could buy. So when browsing what to get, I thought, why not get some tiny Titans, well the big titans for Adeptus Titanicus aren’t exactly cheap, so I decided that I would go for a box of knights. This box was just £17 (after discount) so I thought, yes, that takes me over £50 and I get some tiny knights as well.

Acting as scouts for the Titans of the Adeptus Titanicus, Imperial Knights support their titan legions with speed and agility granted to them by their small stature.

This multi-part plastic kit contains the components necessary to assemble 3 Imperial Knights for use in games of Adeptus Titanicus. Each of these machines is armed with a reaper chainsword, with a thermal cannon, rapid fire battlecannon, avenger gatling cannon and 3 heavy stubbers available (1 of which can be optionally replaced with a meltagun.) These are highly detailed miniatures which, though at the scale used to play Adeptus Titanicus, are as impressive to behold as their larger brethren – thick armour plating, a curved carapace, exposed hydraulics and visible engine blocks/exhausts are hallmarks of the kit, with each also featuring its own tilting plate.

Within the box is a single sprue with the parts for the three Imperial Knights.

You also get three 40mm bases, transfers and instructions.

Having had these in the cupboard for a while and now having purchased the Precept Maniple Battleforce a few weeks back, decided I would construct and paint these.

They are quite fiddly and delicate models to make. I took a methodical approach to building them, in an attempt to get them all constructed.

I did find some of the parts didn’t fit together as easily as I thought they should, but once you worked out they fitted together it was a good fit.

Here are the finished models.

Next stage will be their bases and then undercoating.