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For model builds earlier than this, please use the “Last Years Models” links on the navigation bar.

November 2019


Two Vietnam-era  builds this month, covering an early and a late variant of the A-4 Douglas Skyhawk, which bore the brunt of early US Navy operations in South East Asia.

First up is the Hasegawa/FROG kit (1969 mould - 1999 issue), that I have built several times before, but this time in late USN Markings of an A-4F of VA-55 Warhorses, based onboard USS HANCOCK on Yankee Station in the early 1970s.

Then an earlier “Scooter” from the same conflict, this time using the newer (2012 mould - 2019 issue) Airfix kit  for an A-4B of VA15 Valions, of USS INTREPID  in the late 1960s.  

This aircraft bears many mission markings, plus the well known “Tonkin Gulf Yacht Club” badge that was applied to 7th Fleet  aircraft. As the CAG aircraft, it bore the side number “00” instead of what should have been 300, and was known rather irreverently as the “double nuts”.

December 2019

I’m closing out 2019 with a model of an aircraft that has become very familiar to me over the last year, since I have been flying from Bristol to Amsterdam in them almost every fortnight.

This is Revell’s updated mould for their current issue of the Embraer E190, with 26 Decals from an aircraft of the KLM Cityhopper fleet.

January 2020

Happy New Year!

To start the year, I have continued with my Skyhawk “binge”, this time with two late model Douglas Skyhawks, both kits from Italeri, and both operated by the US Marines.

Firstly, the upgraded A-4M, used as an interim aircraft until the arrival of the AV-8A. This one was operated in a training role by VMAT-102 at MCAS Yuma in the early 1980s.

Then an even later OA-4M twin seater, operated by H&MS-12 as a Forward Air Control aircraft in the late 1980s.  These aircraft were converted from twin seat TA-4 trainers, brought up to roughly the same equipment standard as the single seat A-4Ms.

Gengriz Scale Modelling Website

My virtual Display shelves - 50+ years of model building!

February 2020

A very long time ago, I was lucky enough to observe a series of large scale Soviet Navy exercises off Murmansk. One of the things I really hoped to see was a Helix helicopter, but only the much older Hormone put in an appearance.  In retrospect, I now think the Hormone is the marginally more interesting design and have already built an Airfix kit of that type, but in any event, I have now assembled a Kamov Ka-27 Helix A to join it, using the fairly straightforward and widely available Zvezda 1/72 kit.

March 2020

An important addition to my helicopter collection this month.  The Sikorsky R-4B Hoverfly was initially procured by the RN with anti-submarine warfare in mind, but its limited payload precluded any useful activity. Nevertheless, it did confirm the validity of the concept.  An R-4B was the first helicopter in UK service, performed the first deck landing on a British warship and developed the first helicopter SAR techniques.  This is the MPM kit, not the easiest of builds!

A combination of early retirement and limited activity, as I seek to postpone the arrival of the Coronavirus at home for as long as I can, has allowed me to do a little more building than normal.  As a result, I have a mid-month addition in the form of an Airfix Tornado GR.4 from IXB Sqn RAF .  This kit has seen quite a few changes from the basic items supplied in the box.

April 2020

Lock-down - please stay safe everyone and protect those around you.

What a difference a month makes and not  a good difference !   Although in lock-down I’m fortunate enough to be sat at home with shelter, food, warmth, good company and thus far, good health. More than most people around the world can say.

I’m spending a good amount of my spare time model making and have picked up on two old favourites for this month; a FROG Fairey Gannet, using the old Model Decal markings and a little bit of hacking to make a Gannet COD of HMS ARK ROYAL.

I’ve also added to my (not insignificant) collection of Hawker Sea Hawks, this time using the modern Hobby Boss kit  to build an aircraft of 810 Sqn onboard HMS ALBION at Suez. The kit does provide these markings, but I have used another old Modeldecal set to correct a few small errors.

May 2020

Throughout the last month I have continued building a few older favourites “with a difference”.  As a result, FROG and Airfix dominate, starting with a different take on the old Airfix Fairey Firefly. As supplied in the box, this builds into a grey and sky Mark V Firefly as used in Korea, however a few quick changes allow it to be built as the short-lived Mk4 in WW2 era temperate Sea Camouflage scheme.  The Airwaves wing-fold set gives it an even more different look!

Here then is my Firefly FR.4 from 814 Sqn, in HMS VENGEANCE in 1949.

Although the Mk.1 Firefly was pretty much obsolete by 1949, it still lasted a few more years in RN service. Indeed, some of the first UN air strikes in Korea were undertaken by Royal Navy Mk.1s (accompanied by Seafires) from HMS TRIUMPH.  This is one from a more peaceful setting, an aircraft of 766 Sqn at RNAS Lossiemouth in 1949 wearing the post-WW2 two-colour camouflage scheme.

June 2020

What strange and sad times we live in.  As a”shielded” person with an underlying condition, I’ve been stuck at home; thank goodness for the internet and modelling!

This month marks the 80th Anniversary of the  Battle of St Valery-en-Caux, which has a particular significance for my family.  To reflect this, I have updated my 51st Highland Division and Lothians & Border Yeomanry tribute page.

For no particular reason, I have added two US Aggressor aircraft to my collection.  

Firstly, an Italeri F-21 Lion / Kfir C.1, of VF-43, which is really quite a pleasant kit.

Then, not quite so pleasant or as detailed but still enjoyable, the 1980s era Airfix F-5E, this time of VMAT-401 in a rather bright desert camouflage scheme.

Take care everyone - we’re getting there, but its not over yet!

July 2020

During lockdown I’ve made quite a few kits, but these are probably my favourites so far.  

Harking back to the late 1980s, this is a Fujimi F-4 Phantom FGR.2 of 228 OCU at RAF Leuchars.   I’ve used Modeldecal markings rather than the kit ones, plus a set of Flightpath etched brass ladders.

Then, a slightly different slant on a UK Phantom - this is an ex-US Navy F-4J (UK) of 74 Tiger Squadron at RAF Wattisham.  It’s the Italeri F-4S kit, with a few Modifications and a set of Kits-World decals.

August 2020

Some additional F-4 Phantoms join the haunting!   These are both Fujimi kits, one that I built a few years ago but which has had an update, the other just finished.  I plan two more RN Phantoms and two more RAF ones, but may take a short break next month.

First then is the new Phantom FG.1 of 892 Sqn Fleet Air Arm in HMS ARK ROYAL, 1977.

Then, depicting a newly delivered Phantom FG.1 of 767 Sqn at RNAS Yeovilton, with the unmodified F-4 tail.  I built this kit 30 years ago, but it was looking a little sad and tired, so has had a tidy up and a new top-coat.

Finally, with a total of 6 Phantoms now in my collection,  I have taken a few group shots and added two new F-4 Phantoms page to the website under the Specific Types button, an F-4 model page and an F-4 walkaround page.

September 2020

Whilst waiting for my latest Phantom to dry/set/complete, I started a quick build of an old FROG Buccaneer to join it.  This one uses some Xtradecal markings to represent a Buccaneer S.2 aircraft from 801 Sqn in HMS HERMES, serving in the Mediterranean during 1968.  As the smallest of the RN’s 1960s carriers, HERMES struggled to operate large modern aircraft, but nevertheless played her part  in full.  

Then typically, I had the Buccaneer bug, so had to build another.   As a result of the 1960s RN Carrier force draw-down as Britain withdrew from “East of Suez”, the RAF inherited ex-RN Buccaneers and took over the NATO anti-shipping role.  They didn’t really want the Buccaneer -  “not invented here” was the saying, but like the ex-RN Phantoms, it was what they were given and it gave long and very successful RAF service as one of NATO’s most capable Cold War strike aircraft.  

Here then is one of those early transferees, a Buccaneer S.2A of 12 Sqn at RAF Honnington in 1969, looking all shiny and new.

October 2020

Built last month in recognition of the 80th Anniversary of VJ Day, this is the old (1973) FROG kit of a Grumman Avenger, operated by 857 Sqn of the British Pacific Fleet .  

The FROG kit may be old, but in 1/72 scale it can still hold its head high.  

This one was in fact built back in the depths of the April 2020 lockdown.  It’s another old FROG, this time the Martin 167 Maryland, as operated by 771 Sqn Fleet Air Arm and representing the Royal Navy reconnaissance aircraft that confirmed that the German battleship Bismark had sailed from her Norwegian lair in 1941 .