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.

Short Sunderland

The Short S.25 Sunderland was a British flying boat patrol bomber, developed and constructed by Short Brothers for the Royal Air Force (RAF).

Short Sunderland

This aircraft was the first production Mk V . 15 May 1945 went to Calshot which was at that time a Flying Boat Servicing Unit. March 1946 she joined No.4 Operational Unit at Wig Bay, in July 1946 was put in Storage at 57 MU. December 1949 the aircraft was allocated to the French Aeronavale under the terms of an agreement between the French and British Governments. June 1950 the aircraft went to Shorts Brothers at Belfast to undergo modifications as specified by the French Navy. These were completed by Aug 1951 when the aircraft went to France via 57MU at Wig Bay. The aircraft went on to serve with various units of the Aeronavale. 30 January 1962 the aircraft was struck off charge. 1965 the aircraft was purchased by M Bertin from the French Navy training base at Brest and transported by road 353 kilometres to La Baule in Brittany where the inside was gutted out and she was turned into a discotheque and drinks club. In May 1976 the aircraft came to the attention of the Museum as it became known that the local authority wished to have the aircraft removed as it blocked the path of a proposed road.

Progress on my Aeronautica Imperialis Grot Bommers

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

Have made more progress on the models since my last blog post on them.

The main wings and engines are now complete. The engines were relatively easy to construct and fix to the main fuselage.

I have also added the tail section and the dorsal gunners. The dorsal gunners were a little fiddly.

They are nice big models which will look very imposing against the Imperial Navy.

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

Pre-production Concorde G-AXDN

Concorde G-AXDN forms part of the Duxford Aviation Society British Airliner Collection and is proudly on display in the Airspace hangar at IWM Duxford.

The British and French pre-production aircraft had several changes in design compared to the earlier prototype Concordes. These consist of a lengthened fuselage, smaller passenger cabin windows, a new glazed visor design and the aircraft were fitted with the Olympus 593-4 engines. The pre-production aircraft were used to further develop the design of the final production aircraft.

Other changes to the design included a different wing plan form that of the prototypes, a larger fuel capacity, and different air intake systems. Both the two pre-production Concordes differed in size and design from each other, the French one which built last, being close to the final production design.

G-AXDN flew faster than any other Concorde! She flew higher and faster than any other Concorde history.

Starting my Aeronautica Imperialis Grot Bommers

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

The diminutive Gretchin have long been enthusiastic supporters of Ork aviation, whether gleefully pushing bombs out of open bays, crawling into tight spots to fix engines, or acting as spotters and even gunners on ork planes. It doesn’t take long before they become obsessed with flying just like their bigger kin, begging for their own turn on the control stick. Some enterprising Ork meks decided this arrangement could be mutually beneficial, and created guided missiles that could be flown like a tiny, gretchin-sized airplane. Fitted with a short-burn rocket engine and stuffed with unstable explosives, some rabid grots are happy to climb aboard just for the (short-lived) thrill of speed and freedom. They’re loaded into the wings of specially-fitted Grot Bommers, and launched in support of the Air Waaagh!

I did say in a post last year that these would be my next purchase for Aeronautica Imperialis would be these planes.

The obvious answer for me is a pair of Grot Bommerz. I do like the concept of these, though I am not a big fan of the actual models, but Orks is Orks, so they are next on my shopping list.

Here are the sprues, there are three (well two and a half) sprues in the box.

This sprue has the engines, the tails and the cockpits.

This sprue has the wings and the main fuselage.

The (half) sprue had the Grot Bombs.

I followed the instructions which are very clear and straightforward.

Lots of lovely detail for such tiny models.

I like the different engines and cockpits used, very Orky in appearance.

I will probably follow a similar process I used on my other Ork aircraft. Though I think yellow or orange might be the way to go as with these models that I saw at Warhammer World.