“I think it’s clearing up.” 1/48 Chinook HC.2 Bravo November

Finally finished after a very long hiatus (at least ten years). This is the Revell 1/48 kit showing the famous Bravo November after reaching Stanley at the end of the Falklands War. BN was transported on board Atlantic Conveyor, necessitating removal of the six huge rotor blades. After refitting a test flight was needed and the aircraft was airborne when Atlantic Conveyor was hit by an Exocet missile. Thus, BN became the only British heavy lift helicopter to reach the islands, and had a very busy and eventful war.

All spares and specialist tools were lost with Atlantic Conveyor and for the subsequent weeks BN was maintained in the field with only a simple inspection tool kit. Working hard transporting troops. material and casualties, the aircraft became dirtier and dirtier, and it was a struggle to keep the rotors properly balanced. BN earned another nickname – The Shuddering Shithouse.

The aircraft was nearly destroyed in one incident. Flying low it suddenly encountered drastically reduced visibility and descended to meet the surface of a body of water. Spray was ingested by the engines and they started losing power. The load crew in the main cabin were thrown off their feet and one had his intercom set ripped from his head. In the ensuing struggle to remain airborne he was convinced the aircraft was crashing and was preparing to jump from the rear ramp, before being grabbed by his crewmate who explained they were back in the air and aproaching 1500 feet! The port side flight deck door was also lost, and BN could often be seen in the air with a co-pilot in various coats, gloves and sleeping bags to keep warm. This would be remedied when the aircraft reached Stanley at the end of the war and a replacement door was cannibalised from a captured Argentinian machine. (You can see the khaki drab door in the photos.)

The model shows BN waiting for the weather to clear after a sleet shower, inspired by a photo I have from a documentary about the aircraft. It’s designed to be viewed from the starboard side, so I couldn’t resist adding a little Easter egg to the port, for anyone who looked a bit closer.

The model does have rotors, but they are absolutely huge and won’t fit in my soft light box for photographing. It looks much better with them fitted! ;O)

The two pilot figures are originally Fleet Air Arm fast jet crew. I filled in the details on the G-suits as best I could to make them look more like flight overalls, and changed the pose of the heads. The ‘scare crow’ is a Hasegawa figure modified to look like he’s clapping at the gulls to send them off. The gulls themselves are 3D printed items from miniprints.com, and very good they are too.

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