Plastic Spitfire Kit

1:1 scale Airfix Spitfire as featured on the James May Toy Stories series shown on BBC2, complete with a model pilot.

To see if he can entice a new generation of kids into enjoying model kits, James May assigns a group of pupils with constructing a life-size model of Airfix’s notable kit – the Spitfire. While May must train up the pupils in becoming an organised model-making team, the kit’s life-size parts require a specialist company in Cornwall to create these and handling the issues their creation cause. When the kit is finally created and brought to an air museum for construction, the real test comes with the completed model being able to hold itself together, especially when the supports for the main body are removed. The project proves a success when the completed kit can be showcased to an audience that include the pupil’s parents and RAF WWII veterans.

Behind it is the BOAC de Havilland Comet 1XB.

BOAC de Havilland Comet 1XB at RAF Cosford

This BOAC de Havilland Comet 1XB was on display at RAF Cosford. These photographs go across three visits to RAF Cosford, in 2008, 2015 and 2017. As you scroll through the photographs you will see the planes underneath and next to the Comet change.

The first flight of the Comet, the world’s first jet powered airliner, took place on 27 July 1949. With a cruising speed of 725kph (450mph) and a range of 4024 km (2500 miles), the prototype established many records on long distance flights. With jet engines and a pressurised cabin, it offered unprecedented levels of comfort and speed for the 36-40 passengers.

Unfortunately several disasters were to befall the Comet; in 1952 and 1953 there were take-off accidents and a Comet broke up in a violent storm over India. On 10 January 1954, the first production Comet crashed into the Mediterranean whilst en route from Rome to London. This was closely followed by a similar incident involving a Comet en route from Rome to Johannesburg, resulting in withdrawal of the Certificate of Airworthiness. The cause was found to be fatigue failure of the pressure cabin.

After further development of the type, the Comet 4 was used as an RAF transport aircraft and formed the basis of the design which later became the Nimrod.

Comet Cruiser Tank

The Comet was was a British cruiser tank that first saw use near the end of the second world war. It was designed as an improvement on the earlier Cromwell tank, mounting the new 77 mm HV gun in a new lower profile and part-cast turret. This gun was effective against late-war German tanks, including the Panther at medium range, and the Tiger.

This Comet was on display at the Imperial War Museum Duxford in their Land Warfare Exhibit.

The Comet saw action in the closing stages of World War II and remained in British service until 1958, but was rapidly eclipsed by Centurion. In some cases, Comets sold to other countries continued to operate into the 1980s.

Service history of this tank is unknown. It spent the last years of its service life as a test bed at the tank development unit at Chertsey. It is painted as a tank of 7th Royal Tank Regiment about to be despatched to Korea from Hong Kong, 1953 (war ended before transit).

There was another Comet at the entrance to the museum.

I do have some of the Flames of War plastic models, but they are still currently still in their boxes. I have been thinking of using them not only for Late War Flames of War games, but also 1950s Cold War games. The Comet remained in British service until 1958. Reading the Hot War books from Harry Turtledove has inspired me to think about gaming some scenarios from the books. British Comets and Centurions versus Russians T34-85 and T54 Soviet tanks with American M26 Pershing and M48 Patton tanks. In the book there are also Sherman manned by (West) German forces.

Why such a liking for this tank, well, as with other models, I suspect that it was because I bought and made the Matchbox Comet many, many years ago.

A34 Comet Tank

Within the Tank Museum at Bovington is the A34 Comet Tank.

A34 Comet Tank

The Comet was was a British cruiser tank that first saw use near the end of the second world war. It was designed as an improvement on the earlier Cromwell tank, mounting the new 77 mm HV gun in a new lower profile and part-cast turret. This gun was effective against late-war German tanks, including the Panther at medium range, and the Tiger.

The Comet saw action in the closing stages of World War II and remained in British service until 1958, but was rapidly eclipsed by Centurion. In some cases, Comets sold to other countries continued to operate into the 1980s.

I do have some of the Flames of War plastic models, but they are still currently still in their boxes. I have been thinking of using them not only for Late War Flames of War games, but also 1950s Cold War games. The Comet remained in British service until 1958. Reading the Hot War books from Harry Turtledove has inspired me to think about gaming some scenarios from the books. British Comets and Centurions versus Russians T34-85 and T54 Soviet tanks with American M26 Pershing and M48 Patton tanks. In the book there are also Sherman manned by (West) German forces.

Why such a liking for this tank, well, as with other models, I suspect that it was because I bought and made the Matchbox Comet many, many years ago.

A34 Comet Tank

Guarding the entrance to the Imperial War Museum Duxford is an A34 Comet Tank.

A34 Comet Tank

Imperial War Museum Duxford is a branch of the Imperial War Museum near Duxford in Cambridgeshire, and on a recent visit I was able to take a range of photographs of the aircraft and tanks on display.

A34 Comet Tank

The Comet was was a British cruiser tank that first saw use near the end of the second world war. It was designed as an improvement on the earlier Cromwell tank, mounting the new 77 mm HV gun in a new lower profile and part-cast turret. This gun was effective against late-war German tanks, including the Panther at medium range, and the Tiger.

I do have some of the Flames of War plastic models, but they are currently still in their boxes.

Plastic Comet

The Comet (A34) was a British cruiser tank that first saw use near the end of World War II. It was designed to provide greater anti-tank capability to Cromwell tank squadrons. It was armed with a 77mm HV, a derivative of the 17 pounder, with the result it was one of the few British tanks with the firepower to challenge late war German designs.

One of the most popular posts on the blog is an article I wrote back in 2011 on the Battle of the Bulge reporting on the news that Flames of War was going to release models and rules for the Battle.

Then I said:

I would like to see two tanks in particular, the M24 Chaffee and the British Comet. These tanks are currently not in the FoW range.

I was pleased when Battlefront released the plastic model back in 2015, however I didn’t manage to get some until now. I am not a great fan of the plastic kits, much prefer the resin models which have more weight.

Flames of War Comet Tank

It was on the eBay I purchased two of the sets containing two Comets each.

Flames of War Comet Tanks Box OFBX08Flames of War Comet Tanks Box OFBX08

The box contains two plastic Comet sprue and were designed as expansions to the original Open Fire starter box. So you get some data cards too.

Flames of War Comet Tank Datacard

Though you don’t get the (metal) commanders that you get in the five Comet box.

Really pleased that I have some now, I have been thinking of using them not only for Late War Flames of War games, but also 1950s Cold War games. The Comet remained in British service until 1958. Reading the Hot War books from Harry Turtledove has inspired me to think about gaming some scenarios from the books. British Comets and Centurions versus Russians T34-85 and T54 Soviet tanks with American M26 Pershing and M48 Patton tanks. In the book there are also Sherman manned by (West) German forces.

So time to get building and painting.

The Comet is on its way…

Battlefront have shown a preview of the new plastic Comet boxed set.

Flames of War Comet

One of my most popular blog posts is from 2011 when I discussed the then forthcoming Battle of Bulge supplement.

I made the request

I would like to see two tanks in particular, the M24 Chaffee and the British Comet. These tanks are currently not in the FoW range.

The Chaffee arrived in 2012, but it has taken a little longer for the Comet to arrive. As with many of the new models from Battlefront it is a plastic kit. It looks great and the instructions simple, resulting in an effective looking model.

Flames of War Comet

The Tank, Cruiser, Comet I (A34) was a British cruiser tank that first saw use near the end of World War II. It was designed to provide greater anti-tank capability to Cromwell tank squadrons. It was armed with a 77mm HV, a derivative of the 17 pounder, with the result it was one of the few British tanks with the firepower to challenge late war German designs.

Flames of War Comet

The Comet is coming

One of the most popular posts on the blog is an article I wrote back in 2011 on the Battle of the Bulge reporting on the news that Flames of War was going to release models and rules for the Battle of the Bulge.

Then I said

I would like to see two tanks in particular, the M24 Chaffee and the British Comet. These tanks are currently not in the FoW range.

In June 2012 we saw that we were going to get Flames of War Chaffee tanks that were eventually released in September, however still no sign of the Comet.

So you can guess I was quite pleased to see the news from FlamesCon 2014 that Flames of War are going to release a 15mm Comet, in plastic.

Cromwell and Comet

It looks like a really nice model and I might get a few.

Why such a fascination, well I suspect that it was because I bought and made the Matchbox Comet many, many years ago.

Comet

This Comet is at Bovington, well the photograph was taken fifteen years ago I think, so it was certainly there back then… 😉

The Tank, Cruiser, Comet I (A34) was a British cruiser tank that first saw use near the end of World War II.

The Tank, Cruiser, Comet I (A34) was a British cruiser tank that first saw use near the end of World War II. It was designed to provide greater anti-tank capability to Cromwell tank squadrons. It was armed with a 77mm HV, a derivative of the 17 pounder, with the result that it was one of the few British tanks with the firepower to challenge late war German designs.

As a development of the Cromwell, it was an interim design before the Centurion tank. Seeing post World War II combat during the Korean war, the Comet remained in British service until 1958. Comets sold to other countries continued in some cases to operate into the 1970s.

It is one of those tanks that I think I like because of the Airfix and Matchbox influence, there was a lovely 1:76th scale plastic kit of the Comet from Matchbox that I remember building. I am expecting that we might eventually see one for Flames of War… you never know.

Flames of War – Battle of the Bulge, coming soon…

Back in February 2011 in a blog post I discussed what we might see if Battlefront released a Battle of the Bulge supplement for Flames of War.
In the July issue of Wargames Illustrated we shall see news of “Devil’s Charge” the Flames of War supplement covering the Battle of the Bulge. No news yet on possible model releases but just from the cover I suspect we might see a Schwimmwagen and a King Tiger.

Will we see allied forces? Don’t know, but I would like to see a Comet and the M24 Chaffee.