Thursday, 18 February 2016

Fleet Air Arm Grumman Avenger

 I'm back at the bench building another warbird! And the above title will leave you in no doubt as to which flying legend will be brought to life in my scale model hangar!

The Grumman Avenger was never going to win any beauty contests, but with it's robust design, three man crew, machine guns and torpedo's it was a force to be reckoned with.

The Avenger saw service in just about every theatre and was a mainstay of the US Navy and US Marine Corps air wings. Under the lend-lease programme The Avenger also served with the Royal Navy Fleet Air Arm and other Commonwealth Naval air wings.

I have always had an interest in the Fleet Air Arm and anyone from my days over at FSM forums will tell you I have built more than my fair share of FAA aircraft. I just like 'em!

The video below is an episode of "SEAWINGS" This documentary gives a history of the aircraft and is an enjoyable watch if you have the time. I prefer to offer a video as this way you can skip the history and get straight into the build should you wish.

So onto the build! This project is a special one for me. The particular airframe in question is one that was based at HMS Ringtail, a WWII Naval Air Station which was my local air base. The base no longer exists and most of its land has been taken up by an industrial estate. However, when I walk my dog along the canal I can still see the last remaining aircraft hangars across the fields and my imagination often wonders back to the 1940's and  I think about the all the naval aircraft that would have once flown in the skies above me. 

I want to build an aircraft that was based there so when Freightdog Models released their "Brits at Sea" decal sheet and I saw a FAA Avenger that was based at HMS Ringtail I was delighted! 

My Avenger is JZ670 "AHBX" of 707 Squadron. She was an Avenger Mk.II and she can be seen in the photograph below during an open day at HMS Ringtail.

The kit I have chosen for this build was a no brainer-the 1/48 scale Accurate Miniatures TBM 3D. This kit has been reissued several times but this is the boxing I have..........

This is a highly detailed and comprehensive model, this will not be a "Shake 'n Bake" kit by any means! Still, all good things to those who wait. Time I got started on construction and as usual that begins in the office..............

Well, that's me for now! I'll be back with another update soon. Right now I could use a drink...............