Buccaneer S.2 801 Sqn RN
Buccaneer S.2A 12 Sqn RAF
Hawker Siddeley Buccaneer S.2
801 Naval Air Squadron, HMS HERMES, Mediterranean 1968
FROG 1/72 with Xtradecal markings
As the smallest of the RN’s modernised carriers, HMS HERMES was never able to operate
After a period of service as a Commando and then ASW carrier, “The Happy H” finally regained a fixed wing complement in the form of the Sea Harrier and saw her most important operations as Flagship of the 1982 Falklands Task Force. Although her RN days ended in 1984, she went on to serve for even longer with the Indian Navy as the INS VIRAAT until 2017.
HERMES’ saw 3 Buccaneer squadrons during the brief period that she carried them -
Building FROG’s Buccaneer:
Once again, both of this months builds are the same kit but in different markings.
Out the box, FROG provides markings for a South African Buccaneer and for an early
S.2A of 12 Sqn RAF at Honnington. The S.2A variants were minimally modified ex-
The FROG kit is now hopelessly surpassed by the new Airfix offering, although IMHO it remains better than the older Airfix issue. The fuselage is an empty hulk, with basic cockpit, no interior to the wheel wells and intakes that allow you to see into the cockpit and out of the jet pipes. In its defence, it is easily available, normally cheap to buy and can make for a fun build challenge with a little scratch building thrown in.
Fit is so-
Decals are simple and the RAF ones a little misleading (I know nothing about the
The Xtradecal markings come from their older Buccaneer set (X014-
It is also worth pointing out that XV348, the RAF aircraft depicted by FROG was lost in 1977 over Norway after striking power cables, resulting in the death of pilot (RN Lt D J H Owen), although the Navigator (RAF Flt Lt P D Locke) was able to eject successfully.
The RN weapons (Bullpup missile and 1000lb bomb) come from my spares box.
Fun, but now I’m really looking forward to my build of the new Airfix kit!
The real thing: RNAS Yeovilton’s Buccaneer S.2 in similar markings with a WE-
As this machine saw RAF service after the RN, it still bears some post RN mods, such as the tail bullet ECM pods.
The real thing:
Crown Copyright © IWM MH 33794: HERMES leads ARK ROYAL and VICTORIOUS
Many more RN Jets (and Buccaneers) on my RN Jets pages:
During the late 1960s, RAF planners convinced the UK government that it could cover the entire world from shore bases. Anecdotally, it is believed that this included the use of a special briefing map that moved some countries to be within range. This flawed theory was to be disproven with dire consequences for British servicemen’s lives in the Falklands, in early operations in Afghanistan and even the 2011 Libyan campaign, where the ability and most importantly the operational flexibility of the RAF proved severely limited.
As a result, the RN’s carrier force, already decimated by the withdrawal from “East
of Suez”, was further reduced with the intention not to replace HMS ARK ROYAL when
she left service. Although the RAF wanted different aircraft (F-
XV348, the subject of the FROG kit, was one of the first 4 ex-
On 31 October 1977, XV348 struck power cables at Glomfijord, Norway and crashed. Navigator Flt Lt PD Locke RAF was able to eject safely, but sadly the pilot, Lt DHJ Owen RN, was killed.
The real thing:
© IWM TR 35833
© IWM CT823
© IWM TR 34539