Fly 1/48 Jet Provost

This is a new work in progress, following the build of the Fly 1/48 Jet Provost T.5a. The ‘JP’ has long been a favourite of mine, going back to my spotting days in my teens. Two or three times a week I’d bicycle to RAF Shawbury (around 70 miles round trip) to photograph the aircraft there. Back in the late 80s it was home to the RAF ATC School and No. 2 FTS. The ATC school had a flight of Jet Provost T.4s and 2 FTS flew Gazelle and Wessex helicopters. Given it’s second line status, spotting at Shawbury could be dull, but made all the more exciting when a visitor showed up. Most frequently we’d see JP T.5s visiting, and a decent photo would make the trip worth it. A Jaguar or Hawk was like catching a pike in the canal! (I was studying in 6th Form at the time and abused my new found freedom to go to Shawbury too often. I ended up getting a stern talking to from the head of sixth form, and having to give up my trips.)

I bought Fly’s kit at Milton Keynes show a few years ago, and rediscovered it in the stash when a part of the Mustang flicked off the back of my bench and I had to reach out some boxes to recover it. It will be an interesting scheme to paint. Despite the ‘short run’ nature of the kit, it should be a simple build process. I’m adding two Aires MB Mk.4 seats to the cockpit, those supplied with the kit being quite poor.

Here is probably the flimsiest kit box I’ve ever encountered. It was mint condition when I bought but had fallen apart by the end of the car journey home!

The kit plastic is on three runners, with one solely dedicated to the drop tanks. The have gone in the big round spares box known as the bin, as I won’t be using them and can’t imagine what they’d be useful for. The plastic is nicely moulded, but it’s obviously a ‘short-run’ affair, with poor detail in some areas, and no locating pins or holes, just simple ‘butt’ joints.

There’s some nice resin parts for areas that need finer detail, and the two Aires seats are also in this photo.

Teh decal sheet looks good, but there’s no indication of who printed it, so no idea how these will perform before I try them.

The transparencies have nicely defined frames, but are a little ‘milky’. A quick polish with a nail buffer has improved them no end.

Over the last few days the weather in the UK has been horrendous, with snow, torrential rain and hail, along with periods of 50 -60 mph winds. There’s not much better than being down here with some good TV, some good food and a few beers whilst just outside it looks like this.

While I’ve been holed up in the shed the, admittedly simple, construction of the JP has progressed. (It’s a simple little aeroplane, so a simple model is logical.) After dressing up the instrument panel with some decals from Airscale and the spares folder it was fitted in to the fuselage, and covered with the transparencies as masks.

This is the first primer coat, which helps to highlight the flaws and gaps in the model. It’s gone together really well considering the ‘basic’ nature of the kit. As always, a little bit of part preparation and some test fitting will pay dividends.

I’ve started the seats, perhaps the most detailed part of the model. The photo-etched brass straps were first heated gently with a small flame, before quenching in some water to anneal them. This takes most of the ‘spring’ out of them and they conform to the resin seat more readily. The straps themselves are like some abstract 3D spatial reasoning test, and I’m pretty sure I failed. I’ve just stuck them down in the best approximation of the instructions I can make.

And to finish this entry, there’s a little update on Dougie’s progress. He’s becoming great company in the shed on the days we’re home alone, although he does sometimes prove a distraction when it comes to walk time.