Supermarine Scimitar

Supermarine Scimitar

The Supermarine Scimitar was the first swept wing single seat jet fighter to be produced for the Fleet Air Arm, and was the first FAA aircraft to be capable of supersonic flight and to carry an atomic bomb.


The Scimitar emerged from a long line of development aircraft, starting with experiments in operating on flexible decks.

Type 505

The line began with the Type 505, a twin engined jet with straight wings and a butterfly tail (instead of having a vertical tail and horizontal control surfaces this just had two control surfaces, angled up quite steeply). This was designed for experiments with a flexible deck system. The idea was to reduce the weight of jet aircraft by removing the undercarriage. They would take off on a trolley and land on a flexible rubber deck. Tests with a Vampire eventually proved that the idea would work, and Supermarine began work on their own design, for a twin engined jet powered by the Rolls Royce Avon. However the idea was soon overtaken by improvements in jet engine power, which made it rather redundant. Supermarine took the experience they gained on the Type 505 and used it on a more conventional aircraft, the Type 508.

Type 508 (VX133)

The Type 508 kept the basic layout of the Type 505, with side by side Avon engines. In order to fit a conventional tricycle undercarriage the wings had to be made thicker, and the wings were made large in every direction to reduce the aircraft's landing speed. The Navy ordered three prototypes, to Specification N.9/47. The first and third were to be given extra instruments for use in experimental flights, the second was to be a service test machine, armed with 30mm cannon. The first two were to be powered by two Avon RA3 engines, each providing 6,500lb thrust. The air intakes were on the side of the cockpit, the jet exhaust pipes on the sides just behind the wings. The Type 508 kept the straight wings and butterfly tail of the Type 508.

The first Type 508 (VX133) made its maiden flight on 31 August 1951, with Mike Lithgow at the controls. This aircraft didn't have powered controls, and the aircraft came close to disaster on a couple of occasions later in the year before this was fixed and powered controls were installed.

Type 529 (VX136)

The second prototype produced to Specification N.9/47 was completed as the Type 529 (VX136). This made its maiden flight on 29 August 1952. It kept the basic layout, with straight wing and a butterfly tail, but carried four 30mm cannon below the engine intakes. Both VX133 and VX136 were used on carrier trials successfully. The Type 529 was damaged during an emergency landing on 19 December 1953, and wasn't repaired as the Type 525 was nearly ready.

Type 525 (VX138)

The third prototype under N.9/47 was completed as the Type 525 (VX138). This aircraft kept the basic fuselage layout, with two side-by-side engines, but used 7,500lb Rolls-Royce RA7 Avon engines. The big difference was the introduction of swept wings. The Type 525 also had a new tail, replacing the butterfly tail of the earlier designs with a fairly standard tail with horizontal and vertical surfaces, all of which were swept back. It had NACA double slotted flaps on the wing trailing edges, and tapered leading edge slots, both in an attempt to provide high lift for carrier operations. The Type 525 was also given blown flaps, in which air from the engines was blown across the wing trailing edge to reduce turbulence. The blown flaps reduced landing speed by 18mph and also improved the controls at low speed.

The Type 525 made its maiden flight on 27 April 1954, with Mike Lithgow at the controls. The Type 525 didn't perform quite as well as expected. The shape of the fuselage and wings limited its speed, and it could only just break the speed of line when in a dive. The Type 525 was lost in a fatal crash on 5 July 1955.

Type 544 (Scimitar)

The production version of the Scimitar was built to specification N.113D. It was developed from the Type 525, and shared the same basic layout, with twin engines with intakes on the sides of the cockpit and jet exhaust pipes on the side of the rear fuselage. This gave it a rather short and squat fuselage. It had swept back wings, and a modified tail, with horizontal tail surfaces that sloped slightly down. The fuselage was designed using the area rule principle, which allowed the Type 544 to break the speed of sound in a shallow dive. It used the blown flaps tested on the Type 525. It had Fairey power-operated controls, the first in a British naval aircraft.

The first prototype (WT854) made its maiden flight on 19 January 1956, with Mike Lithgow at the controls. The second (WT859) and third (WW134) prototypes were completed later in the same year.

WT854 made its first deck landing on HMS Ark Royal in April 1956 and 148 deck landings and catapult take offs had been completed by November 1957. The first production aircraft (XD212) made its maiden flight on 11 January 1957.


The Scimitar went to No.700X Trials Flight at Ford in May 1958 for trials.

On 17 June 1958 Lt-Cdr D.F. Robbins of the Royal Navy Test Squadron at Boscombe Down, flying a Scimitar, set a new London to Malta speed record of 2hr 12min 27.2sec at an average speed of 588.05mph

The first squadron to receive it was 803 Squadron, which began operational training with the type on 3 June 1958. Eight aircraft went to the Mediterranean on HMS Victorious late in 1959. Over the next few years the squadron took the type to Malta, Singapore and Malaya, and on HMS Hermes and HMS Ark Royal. The squadron was disbanded in October 1966.

Second to receive the Scimitar was No.807 Squadron, which re-commissioned with the type on 1 October 1958. The squadron used the type on HMS Hermes and HMS Centaur and took part in an earlier Kuwait crisis. The squadron was disbanded on 15 May 1962.

No.800 Squadron got the Scimitar in July 1959, and used it on HMS Ark Royal, and in the Far East, before merging into No.803 Squadron in February 1964.

No.804 Squadron was the last front line squadron to get the type, receiving it in March 1960. The squadron operated on HMS Hermes and in the Far East, but was disbanded in September 1961.

The Scimitar was also used as a fuel tanker, supporting the Buccaneer S.1 on HMS Eagle in 1964-66, when the Scimitar was operated by 800B Squadron.

The Scimitar was withdraw from front line service when No.803 Squadron was disbanded in October 1966.

The Scimitar was also used by a number of second line squadrons – 700 Squadron at Ford and Yeovilton and 736, 764 and 764B Squadrons at Lossimouth.


The Scimitar was only produced in one version, the F.1. A total of 76 were built at South Marston, while the last 24 from the order for 100 aircraft were cancelled.


Engine: Two Rolls-Royce Avon 202 turbojets
Power: 11,250lb static thrust each
Crew: 1
Span: 37ft 2in
Length: 55ft 4in
Height: 17ft 4in
Empty weight: 23,962lb
Loaded weight: 34,200lb
Max speed: 710mph at sea level, Mach 0.97 at altitude
Climb Rate: 12,000ft/ min
Service ceiling: 47,000ft
Range: 1,422 miles
Armament: Four 30mm Aden guns or four Bullpup air-to-ground missiles or four Sidewinder air-to-air missiles
Bomb load: four 500lb bombs or four 1,000lb bombs or twenty-four 3in rockets or nuclear bomb

Collection Search

1961 - Abbotsinch
Tags: Abbotsinch, Royal Navy, Scimitar, Supermarine, XD212

XD220 - Supermarine Scimitar

XD225 - Supermarine Scimitar

XD228 - Supermarine Scimitar

1963 - Brawdy
Tags: Brawdy, Royal Navy, Scimitar, Supermarine, XD228

XD231 - Supermarine Scimitar F.1

1961 - Leuchars
Tags: F.1, Leuchars, Royal Navy, Scimitar, Supermarine, XD231

XD235 - Supermarine Scimitar

XD248 - Supermarine Scimitar

1959 - Unknown
Tags: Royal Navy, Scimitar, Supermarine, Unknown, XD248

XD267 - Supermarine Scimitar

1964 - Yeovilton
Tags: Royal Navy, Scimitar, Supermarine, XD267, Yeovilton

XD268 - Supermarine Scimitar

XD275 - Supermarine Scimitar

1963 - Culdrose
Tags: Culdrose, Royal Navy, Scimitar, Supermarine, XD275

XD278 - Supermarine Scimitar

Leading Particulars

VariantType 508Type 529Type 525Type 544/N113DF.1
First flight31 Aug 195129 Aug 195227 Apr 195419 Jan 5611 Jan 1957
ArmamentNoneFour 30mm cannonNoneFour 30mm cannon, up to four 1,000lb bombs or four AGM-45 Bullpup AGMs or four AIM-9 Sidewinder AAMs 2" or 3" rockets, 2,000lb Red Beard nuclear bomb
Powerplant2 x 6,500 lb Rolls-Royce Avon RA 32 x 7,500 lb RR Avon RA72 x 10,000 lb RR Avon RA242 x 10,000 lb RR Avon RA24/26, later 11,500 lb Avon 200 series
Max. speed524 kt / 0.89 Mach562 kt / 0.954 Mach640 kt / 0.968 Mach
Service ceiling50,000 ft?46,000 ft
Range?1,422 miles
Empty weight18,850 lb19,910 lb23,962 lb
Max. take off weight25,630 lb28,169 lb34,200 lb
Wing span41 ft37 ft 2 in
Wing area340 sq ft450 sq ft484.9 sq ft
Length * 50 ft50 ft 6 in53 ft 0.4 in55 ft 3 in
Height * 12 ft 4 in14 ft 11 in17 ft 4 in

* Lengths are for standard nose cone and do not include instrumentation boom on early aircraft or IFR probe on later ones. Heights are with wings spread and aircraft on jacks with undercarriage legs at full extension and wheels just touching the ground.

Site contents copyright © 2021
Damien Burke/Handmade by Machine Ltd.
This page last updated on Sunday 20th November 2016

Supermarine Scimitar - History

Type:Supermarine Scimitar F Mk I
Owner/operator:803 Sqn FAA RN
Registration: XD240
Fatalities:Fatalities: 1 / Occupants: 1
Other fatalities:0
Aircraft damage: Written off (damaged beyond repair)
Location:English Channel, near HMS Victorious, off Portsmouth, Hampshire - United Kingdom
Phase: Landing
Departure airport:
HMS Victorious, at sea off Portsmouth, Hampshire
On 25 September 1958, the Royal Navy aircraft carrier HMS Victorious had just completed a 20 million Pound refit and was embarking her aircraft at sea off Portsmouth.

The Commanding Officer of No. 803 Naval Air Squadron landed his Scimitar on the flight deck normally, but the No. 1 arrestor wire failed and the plane ran at low speed over the ship's side and fell into the the sea.

The pilot was unable to escape the sinking aircraft and died.The rescue diver from the Whirlwind SAR helicopter - who was on the scene in seconds - actually sat on the sinking aircraft to try and get the canopy open but to no avail.

Commander John Desmond Russell, Royal Navy, killed in a flying accident. R.I.P.

Divers recovered the nose section of XD240 and Commander Russell's body four weeks later and underwater escape training was improved as a result of the investigation. Trials of ejections through the canopy were carried out in 1959, resulting in the fitting of canopy breakers to the head box of the seat. Underwater ejection trials did not take place until 1962.

Shortly after this accident, the ejection seats of all Scimitars were issued with modified leg restraint garters that had removable D rings to cope with when the cords would not disconnect from the seat pan. According to contemporary reports, it was said that when XD240 sank, the pilot was free apart from his leg restraints. He could not undo them in time, and the aircraft dragged him under.

In those days the emergency egress drills on the surface recommended that you undid everything before getting rid of the canopy on the basis that it provided protection from fire on the ground and water coming in at sea.

At the time of the crash, large numbers of the press had been invited aboard for a "photo-opportunity", hence the accident was front page material in the press of the next day - before the family had been informed. It also accounts for the news footage below which captured the tragedy as it happened

This article is from the Hush-Kit Book of Warplanes. Preorder your copy today here.

From the cocaine, blood and flying scarves of World War One dogfighting to the dark arts of modern air combat, here is an enthralling ode to these brutally exciting killing machines.

The Hush-Kit Book of Warplanes is a beautifully designed, highly visual, collection of the best articles from the fascinating world of military aviation –hand-picked from the highly acclaimed Hush-kit online magazine (and mixed with a heavy punch of new exclusive material). It is packed with a feast of material, ranging from interviews with fighter pilots (including the English Electric Lightning, stealthy F-35B and Mach 3 MiG-25 ‘Foxbat’), to wicked satire, expert historical analysis, top 10s and all manner of things aeronautical, from the site described as:

“the thinking-man’s Top Gear… but for planes”.

The solid well-researched information about aeroplanes is brilliantly combined with an irreverent attitude and real insight into the dangerous romantic world of combat aircraft.

  • Interviews with pilots of the F-14 Tomcat, Mirage, Typhoon, MiG-25, MiG-27, English Electric Lighting, Harrier, F-15, B-52 and many more.
  • Engaging Top (and bottom) 10s including: Greatest fighter aircraft of World War II, Worst British aircraft, Worst Soviet aircraft and many more insanely specific ones.
  • Expert analysis of weapons, tactics and technology.
  • A look into art and culture’s love affair with the aeroplane.
  • Bizarre moments in aviation history.
  • Fascinating insights into exceptionally obscure warplanes.

The book will be a stunning object: an essential addition to the library of anyone with even a passing interest in the high-flying world of warplanes, and featuring first-rate photography and a wealth of new world-class illustrations.

The Scimitar was originally designed from Supermarine's undercarriage-less Type 505 concept. It was redeveloped in 1948 to feature a nosewheel undercarriage after the first design came under question by the Admiralty, and became the Type 508. Three of these were ordered in late 1947, with the first of them making its maiden flight on 31 August 1951 and performing carrier trials in 1952 on board the HMS Eagle. The second prototype had many notable differences which led to it being redesignated the Type 529, and first flew on 29 August 1952. The third prototype was the Type 525, which featured swept-back wings and first flew on 27 April 1954. The Scimitar's design was mainly developed from this example, and another prototype designated Type 544 was built based on it. The Royal Navy ordered 100 of these hoping they could be used as low-level nuclear strike aircraft in addition to fighters. The Type 544 first flew on 19 January 1956, and after several modifications, started being produced as the Scimitar in 1957. 

A flight of Scimitars in 1962.

When the Scimitar first entered service in 1957, the Royal Navy mostly used small aircraft carriers, which made operating the relatively large aircraft difficult, and led to several landing accidents. Despite never seeing combat, over half of the 76 Scimitars built were lost, and the aircraft required record amounts of maintenance hours. It also quickly lost its usefulness, as its role as fighter was covered the de Havilland Sea Vixen and strike aircraft by the Blackburn Buccaneer. Some were used as refueling aircraft, but most Scimitars were retired by 1970.

Scimitar: Marines and Muslims

A scimitar is a long curved sword or saber, sometimes wider near the point and sharp on one side. Styles vary. Blades range from 30 to 36 inches (76 to 92 centimeters). There is no pommel, per se. Instead, at the end of the hilt there is generally a 90 degree bend that extends for one or two inches (about 5 cm). This actually made for a more stable weapon that was easier to hold onto when being swung with a slashing motion.

Designed as a one-handed weapon, the scimitar was most effective when used from horseback. It was also a close in weapon for foot soldiers. Heavier two-handed versions were made on occasion, especially for use against heavily armored foes. Scimitars were designed for slashing, hacking, and even a hooking stab. Its curve made it effective against shields when in the hands of a practiced user.

The scimitar probably originated in the early 8th century and may have been an Asian adaptation of a long, though straight, saber used by the Byzantine Empire. It became a favorite of Arabs and Muslims throughout the Middle-East. The scimitar fist came to the notice of Europe during the Crusades. It was a weapon commonly used by the Saracen that occupied the Palestine region during the Middle Ages.

The English word for the sword comes from either the French cimeterre, or the Italian scimitarra. The Persian term was shamshir. Popular in Muslim regions, the scimitar goes by many different names in different countries. The Arabic word is saif, which can be applied to swords in general. The Turkish is kilij. In Afghanistan it is called the pulwar and in India tulwar.


Die Scimitar wurde speziell für die britischen Marineluftstreitkräfte geplant und entwickelt. Sie war das erste Marineflugzeug mit gepfeilten Tragflächen. Konzipiert war die Maschine für den Einsatz mit Unterschallgeschwindigkeit. Der erste Prototyp aus dem Jahr 1951 hatte ungepfeilte, der 1954 folgende zweite Prototyp gepfeilte Tragflächen. Der seriennahe Prototyp (Typ 544) wurde im Januar 1956 vorgestellt. Die Maschinen, die ab Januar 1957 in Dienst gestellt wurden, konnten mit speziellen Kameras am Bug sowie mit Luftbetankungsbehältern ausgerüstet werden. Die Bewaffnung der Maschine war ausgesprochen modern. So konnten neben den vier fest im Rumpf installierten 30-mm-Kanonen an den vier Außenlastträgern unter den Tragflächen Luft-Luft-Raketen vom Typ Sidewinder, Luft-Boden-Raketen vom Typ AGM-12B Bullpup, konventionelle Bomben oder auch eine einzelne taktische Atombombe befestigt werden.

Von den 76 in Dienst gestellten Scimitar sind 39 (51 %) durch Unfälle verlorengegangen. [1]

Have the Supermarine Scimitar be more successful

Bonus points if you can get it in service with the RAF and foreign air forces.


Mike D


Have the Supermarine Scimitar be more successful.

Bonus points if you can get it in service with the RAF and foreign air forces.

Blackburn makes no Buccaneer

Its engineering problems are magically fixed over the years

by RAF you mean in addition to its FAA service ?

It can become a strike/recon aircraft with a more extensive EW suite



You've seen that video of the F100 just sort of losing it and crashing? That was standard back in the 50s. It was one of the reasons behind the USAF poor air to air performance in Rolling Thunder, they spent the previous 5 years focused on flight safety because they kept losing planes and pilots to a lot of avoidable things because the planes were so temperamental.

The 50s is a crappy time to try to 'save' a plane. It's likely that it will be obsolete in a handful of years so it really isn't worth the effort the way it is for anything after 1960.




Hunters were replaced by Phantoms and Harriers in the late 60s.

But maybe you're right about it being a better attack aircraft than the Hunter. Hmmm.

Peg Leg Pom


Don't be silly, that would be like replacing the Hawker Tempest in the ground attack role with the Hawker Hurricane.

4 x 20mm vs 4 x 30mm.
1400kg vs 3400kg underwing.
680mph vs 715mph at sea level.

You've got 30mm cannon on the hunter rather than 20mm, the Hunter can haul 2 tons more bombs at 3400kg than the Fury. Sea level the Hunter will carry 35mph more speed at 715mph, and it triples the climb rate of the Fury up to a higher service ceiling. The Fury only comes out on top when it comes to range on maximum fuel and drop tanks with an extra hundred miles.

Finally, I'll put judging it in the hands of people at the time:

Fury Exports: 0
Hunter Exports: 22

Furies still in military service: 0
Hunters still in military service:


@Riain, assemble your lynch mob and @Just Leo, prepare to spin in your grave.

IOTL Supermarine designed a two-seat all-weather fighter version of the Scimitar called the Type 556. One prototype was ordered by the RN, but it was cancelled when the Service decided to turn the DH.110 into the Sea Vixen. The FAA wasn't big enough for two all-weather fighters.

Supermarine submitted a Type 526 to Specification F.3/48. According to the Putnams Supermarine Aircraft this was a development of the Type 525 with 2 Avons and swept back wings. However, the RAF selected the Hawker P.1067 and ordered 3 prototypes of what became the Hawker Hunter.

Its rival Supermarine had already been given a contract for 2 aircraft of the Supermarine 510/517/528/535 family to Specification E.41/46. Another pair of Swift prototypes was ordered to Specification F.105D in November 1950 and 100 production aircraft were ordered at the same time to Specification F.105P. Subsequent contracts increased the total number of Swifts ordered to 526, which included 146 ordered from Short Brothers. However, the failure of the Swift as a fighter combined with the defence cuts of 1954 and 1957 meant that only 177 Swifts were built.

ITTL the Supermarine Type 526 was a two-seat night-fighter, which Supermarine submitted to Specification F.4/48 and 4 prototypes were ordered in place of the 4 Gloster GA.5 prototypes ordered IOTL. Half the prototypes were cancelled in the 1949 defence cuts, but 4 additional prototypes were ordered later on, which brought the total number that was built to 6. These orders were followed by production contacts for 448 Scimitar two-seat night-fighters with Sapphire engines for the RAF. However, 18 were cancelled which reduced the number built to 430 production aircraft and 6 prototypes. About 70% of the production aircraft were built by Supermarine and the rest were built by Short Brothers.

One prototype and 18 pre-production two-seat Scimitars with thin-wings were ordered to Specifications F.118D and F.153D. They took the place of the 19 thin-wing Javelins that were ordered IOTL. However, in common with the "Super Javelins" of OTL these "Super Scimitars" were cancelled in June 1956.

Supermarine and Short Brothers factories didn't have the capacity to build the Scimitar night fighter and the Swift. Therefore, HMG ordered 504 Hunters and 20 Sea Hunters from Armstrong-Whitworth, Gloster and Hawker's Blackpool factory instead of the Swift contracts that were placed with Supermarine and Short Brothers from November 1950 IOTL. At least 175 would be built for the RAF.

There wasn't a Supermarine Type 545 "Super Swift" ITTL, because Supermarine was working on the "Super Scimitar". Therefore, the Hawker P.1083 wasn't cancelled. The Ministry of Supply ordered another 2 thin-wing Hunters in place of the two Supermarine 545 prototypes ordered IOTL, but these were cancelled in December 1955.

Meanwhile, 13 De Havilland DH.110 prototypes were ordered in April 1949 to Specifications F.4/48 and N.14/49. However, the order was reduced to 2 aircraft in November 1949, which flew in September 1951 and July 1952 respectively. The semi-navalised Mk 20X was ordered in February 1954 and flew in June 1955. But, ITTL that is where the DH.110 story ended.

That was because it was decided to put the Supermarine Type 556 into production instead of turning the DH.110 into the Sea Vixen. The Type 556 prototype of OTL was completed and it was followed by 21 pre-production and 124 production aircraft that were built in place of the 21 pre-production and 124 production Sea Vixens that were built IOTL.

The 6 single-seat Scimitar prototypes and 76 production aircraft that were ordered to Specifications N.9/47, N.113D and N.113P were still built ITTL.

That brought the grand total of Scimitars built ITTL to 664, which was made up of 82 single-seaters for the RN, 146 two-seaters for the RN and 436 two-seaters for the RAF.

Supermarine Scimitar - History

Brief History

The Supermarine Type 525 first flew on 27 April 1954 and proved sound enough to proceed with an outwardly fairly similar looking aircraft, the Type 544 Scimitar, to specification N.113. A total of 100 were ordered although the Royal Navy had changed the specification to a low level strike aircraft with nuclear capability rather than a dedicated fighter. It had no radar

The first of the Type 544s serving as prototypes for the later production series flew on 19 January 1956. The aircraft evolved more with the third Type 544 incorporating different aerodynamic changes and a stronger airframe strengthened for the new low level role. Various aerodynamic "fixes" to try and counter pitch-up effects at high speed and altitude included flared-out wingtips and wing fences. The tailplane was also changed from dihedral to anhedral. The combined modifications led to the final Type 544 being considered the "production standard". The first production Scimitar flew on 11 January 1957.

At the time of introduction the Royal Navy had only a couple of large carriers. Most were still quite small and the Scimitar was a comparatively large and powerful aircraft. Landing accidents were common. Overall the Scimitar suffered from a high loss rate 39 were lost in a number of accidents, amounting to 51% of the Scimitar's total production run.

The aircraft was perceived by many as too innovative mechanically. It pioneered fuel flow proportioning and integral mainplane tanks along with "blown" flying surfaces to reduce landing speeds. At one time, it held the notorious record of 1,000 maintenance hours per flying hour!

Although the Scimitar could be configured as a fighter (with no radar!), the interceptor role was covered by the De Havilland Sea Vixen (with radar). In the attack role it was replaced by the Blackburn Buccaneer, which rendered the Scimitar rather surplus to requirements. The Scimitar was, however, retained as a buddy-buddy tanker to allow the underpowered Buccaneer S.1 to be launched from aircraft carriers with a useful weapons load.

The Scimitar was the last in the line of Supermarine fighters which began with the Spitfire.

There are some aircraft that just look cool. They don&rsquot have to be famous or have done great deeds, they can just sit there and look cool. The Scimitar is one of those aircraft. This is a kit by MPM made for Hannants, the big model mail order organization in the UK. It is a limited run kit and has all the usual features of such kits no locating pins, big ejector pins and large gates, flash, rather soft detail and the necessity to trial fit everything a dozen times before committing to glue. At long last,a relatively mainstream injection moulded kit of the Scimitar!

My example exhibits a slight scar running down the intake and nose side of one of the fuselage halves but not difficult to eradicate. There is an adequate cockpit but little undercarriage bay detail (the main gear doors are closed on the ground) a nice resin ejection seat, no wing fold option (not a problem for me), four of the later style pylons plus four drop tanks but no weapons or other stores these aircraft normally also carried Bullpup missiles, sidewinders, bombs or a buddy refueling pod. The nose appears to be a little too short. A basic IFR probe is supplied. The vertical fin is about right but the lower part, below the tailplane, where it meets the fuselage, should follow an almost vertical line and this means adding plastic or filler to remove the curve. Some sources claim that the fin is too large but my references reckon it&rsquos about right with a little trimming. The tailplane is a littleoversized and the shape is a bit awry, so needs to be cut down at the tip and trailing edges. I have compared the parts with drawings and, although I don&rsquot usually trust drawings, I didn&rsquot regard any of these problems as being insurmountable. Incidentally, I read a very critical report of this model elsewhere ( where it claims that the kit tail span is 19 ft instead of 15.5ft. Well, their model must be different from mine. I was suspicious about the wing tip shape and planned to check the span when the wings were assembled.

Moving on, the fairings behind the exhausts are too shallow, a little tricky to build up with filler but it needs to be done. The arrestor hook and tail bumper are crude but usable. The area ruling of the fuselage sides should be more pronounced but this would be rather difficult to do and is difficult to notice. Only two of the gun ports are moulded open (and are too shallow), the other two are faired over, presumably based on a preserved example.

Two decal options are provided. The first is XD321 coded 116/E which could also be fitted with a buddy-buddy refueling pod as the tankard emblem on the fin indicates an air-to-air refueling role. I have a photo of this aircraft and can confirm that the markings are correct, although there shoud be additional numbers on the inboard flaps. The second option is XD332, coded 194/C (should be 192/R). The 194 decals actually represent the aircraft as it is now, having been slightly incorrectly painted for the RIAT air display some years ago.

On the plus side the overall shape of the wings looks to be good, there's a fair stab at the intakes with good engine faces as usual, finely done panel line detail - and of course, finally, we have a Scimitar kit in 1/72 scale. The last time I built one it was the old Frog kit in 1963!

Construction starts with removing the ejection pins from the inside of the intakes and fin, then drilling out the gun ports. The cockpit is small, simple but adequate I&rsquove spent half my life putting in super-detailed photo-etch cockpits only to find that you cannot see anything. This one is black as a coal mine and as long as the ejection seat is well done, the rest doesn&rsquot matter that much as the aperture is so small. I installed the intake plates (to which the cockpit attaches) and decided that I needed to sort out the jetpipe pen-nib fairings before installing the jetpipes (which is done from the inside, before gluing the fuselage halves together). Basically, Xtrakit give us a suggestion of these fairings but in reality they are far more prominent. I did this with Milliput shaped with a wet paintbrush handle and managed to get the desired form to minimize the amount of work to get the final shape and finish. This proved easier than I had expected.

The fuselage went together well as did the wings but locating the wings fore-and-aft was tricky as there is no positive tongue. The easiest way is to ensure that the open and closed undercarriage doors on the underside line up. The wing trailing edge is very thick and will need thinning and the joint between wing and fuselage will need a little filler, although there is no wing-to-fuselage fairing on this aircraft the wings butt against the fuselage.

The model wingspan is 153mm. It should be 157.4mm (11.33m wingspan) and I decided to add the extra to the tips which will also allow me to correct the shape because of the two drawings I referred to, both showed a more curved tip and this is backed up by photographs. Also, I extended and fattened up the nose because it looked a little &lsquopinched&rsquo&hellipmore like the 525 prototype than a Scimitar. All of these corrections were made with Milliput which can be shaped when wet to get close to the final shape and the process doesn&rsquot destroy surrounding panel detail as the excess can be washed away. When dry it can be shaped and finished like plastic. Whilst waiting for it to cure, I tackled the tailplanes which were easy to rectify. The wing trailing edges were thinned by scraping&hellipa lot. then wet-and-dry. Then I re-scribed the lost surface detail.

Because the fit of major assemblies (wings, etc&hellip) is a little approximate, I resorted to superglue here and there, and decided to assemble as much of the aircraft as possible before painting as I didn&rsquot want to mess around trying to fit pylons and undercarriage parts on a newly-painted model. The tailplanes were secured by Superglue as they are the weakest part of the model they have anhedral (they droop) but there is no other way of determining the correct angle or that each side is the same. Superglue! Remember that there should be no gap between the rear part of the tailplanes and the tail bullet as this was an all-moving tailplane a little filler was required here. There are lots of little intakes and other details to add the intakes are rather prominent (and a bit over-sized) so I drilled out the openings rather than painting them black. The location of the fuel tank pylons looks like a mystery but, get it wrong and the undercarriage doors and main wheels will not fit. In fact, there are some very faint marks under the wing to show where they should go. Don&rsquot sand them away! I only found out too late and had to reposition the inner pylons.

The paint job was straight-forward. I used Tamiya rattle-can white primer which was the underside colour and a satin extra dark sea grey which I mixed myself, applied with the Testor Aztek airbush. The jetpipe pen-nib fairings were hand painted (over masking) in two different shades of dark metallic paint. The wheels were added and I noticed that the aircraft has a slightly nose-high sit, which is OK, but maybe a tad too much. The only way to deal with this would be to shorten the nose undercarriage leg by a half-millimetre or so. The fuel tanks should all be parallel to each other and with the ground but I found that the pylons made them point down, so these had to be trimmed.

Watch the video: Supermarine Scimitar F (January 2022).