You can now accurately build early South African Buccaneer S.50s in 1/72 and 1/48 scales, thanks to new resin conversions from Freightdog sub-brand Guerrilla Models.
While there are myriad ways in which you can complete a British Buccaneer with Airfix’s new-tool kits in 1/48 and 1/72 scales, an entirely different opportunity lies in the South African S.50 sub-type. It sported an interesting colour scheme different to that worn by British ‘Buccs’, but there were also structural differences. These are now offered by Guerrilla Models – a new sub-brand of long-running UK firm Freightdog Models. Sets GM7201 and GM4801 (above) provide the same resin parts, just scaled differently.
Above: An early South African Buccaneer S.50 with the larger wing tanks and flush bomb bay door... the latter sporting surface blisters and aerodynamic strakes. South Africa was the sole export customer for the type, operating it solely with 24 Squadron from 1965-91. (Key Collection)
They comprise the longer 430 gal long-range slipper tanks fitted to the S.50, as well as the ‘flat’ bomb bay door with longitudinal strakes, surface blisters and a fuel vent. Note that these sets provide parts for South African Buccaneers in the early part of their career; later the airframes gained chaff dispensers, doppler radar panels and TANS navigation gear, among other equipment. We can only hope that Guerrilla/Freightdog provides these features in another set.
Above: Set GM7201.
The casting is excellent, with fine engraved panel lines, raised/recessed rivets and fine surface indentations. Strakes and fuel vents are commendably thin too. All you need to do is remove the casting stubs from the fuel tank attachment surfaces before the parts can be employed (the bomb bay door is a direct drop-in replacement. You will also have to scratch-build two raked blade aerials for the spine and an additional wing-mounted pitot tube. No decals are provided, but they are readily available from Hannants' own-brand Xtradecal and Kits World.
The sets cost £9.50 (1/72) and £13.50 (1/48) and can be purchased directly from Freightdog Models.