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Drongo CO

67 Squadron, on which I spent a year, was one of those less-known units that came and went, in the Middle East in WW I, in Burma and India in the Second World War and in Germany for the beginng of the Cold War. My time with them, and subseqently 148's Valiants, must have contributed to my abiding interest in squadron histories and markings, particularly RAF, and has been a constant factor in much of my modelling. I have seen a few pictures of 67's aircrft over the years, but I've only ever seen one of a Spitfire in Burma; so to find one included on the DK decals was a real treat, not only when it Spitfire VIII, 67 Squadron CO, Akyab Jan.1945identified it's pilot as the Squadron CO, Sqn Leader R. Day (confirmed by the invaluable John Rawlings whose "Fighters" book fostered and confirmed my squadron addiction) but also revealed the name Mary Ann on the nose (any further information on a postcard, please). I've had a Hasegawa Spitfire VIII lurking on one of the nearer fringes of my stashes for several years, and pleading to be used even though I'd stopped making single-engined Spitfires; the arrival of the DK decals was obviously A Sign, and to be on the safe side I added a Freightdog pointed rudder.

It's occurred to me that my younger reader may not know just how big the Javelin was but everyone knows the size of a Spitfire; here's a hint

South East Asian time spread

I do like SEAC roundels!

Oh, Sir Geoffrey!

It's always reassuring to find out that a "new" What If? possibility was a genuine project, especially when a subsequent model can be based on a available kit. I understand that the information for this pair came from a company brochure which, although unsuccessful when offered to a possible customer, can be based on an available plastic; is this case as I hope you can recognise it's the recently re-issued Airfix Dominie (the RAF would insist on using scholastic names for its trainers).

It's a good idea for Airfix to re-issue some of these earlier kits, especially as they seem to be of subjects that haven't been covered elsewhere (you may well see the Jetstream, or at least parts of it, here later). What did surprise me was to find the date of the Dominie'a original issue on the inside of one upper wing half; given that I must have made it when it first came out, 1968 astonished me a little, not least because it was the year in which I joined IPMS and when my older son was one!Dominie T.20, 784 NAS Lossiemouth, 1982 While some of its features might not be accptable in a new kit today, notably the raised panel lines, it's survived well. Freightdog have turned up two variants that were proposed for the Fleet Air Arm, one that was proposed as a trainer for the radar that was to be worn by the interceptor variant of Hawker's P.1154, and for which the new parts include a very evident nose, a pair of nacelles of corrected shape, and new wheels. The second is a COD "Courier", with the same wheels and nacelles, a flight refuelling probe and a hook. There is no provision for folding wings, but you could fold your own.

I had always planned to apply the green/white checks of 764 NAS to the radar trainer; consulting Ballance and Sturtivant one of its tasks had been weapons training - hence the radar Red Tops, also by Freightdog - and the mixed scheme I applied was partly based on that worn by the unit's Hunter.T.8s, so I could use Fantasy Printshop's decals. The last time I'd applied dayglo I'd used Humbrol acrylic 209, but this time I could only get enamel, and I'm a little uncertain of the shade. The same tome gave me a colour picture of a Dominie C.21, FONAC Yeovilton 1984FONAC Sea Devon of 781 NAS, with its colour described as "Grass Green"; this Admiral's Barge scheme has always been eye-catching, though I think the Mr.Hobby acrylic 26 may be a bit bright. The additional parts in this set are the wheels and engines, and a nose-mounted refuelling probe and a tailhook that fits either side of the ventral fin. I did think of trying to fold the outer wings but settled for scoring "break lines" immediately inboard of the ailerons; I've considered a USN COD example, with the precedent set by a variant of the Avro/HS 748, so I might get back to that.

 

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