Corgi 1/144 Avro Vulcan Falklands 30th Anniversary

Avro Vulcan XM 598 was built as part of the 5th and final contract for Vulcan bombers.  It was built to carry the Blue Steel weapon, and had fittings to carry the Skybolt project, though that was cancelled, and entered service in 1963.  Those fittings were put to good use later on to carry Martel and Shrike anti-radar missiles.

Starting out in life in the all-white scheme it saw service with a variety of squadrons, and also suffered a number of damage incidents and repairs during its' career.  By 1982 the Vulcan force had been reduced to Nos 44, 50 and 101 squadrons, all based at RAF Waddington, and were expected to be disbanded by June 1982, while XM 598 was on strength with 50 squadron.

That was all changed though, thanks to the events in the South Atlantic, and the Falklands crisis.  XM 598 was one of the aircraft selected due to those Skybolt fittings, and with the addition of ECM pods, extra navigational equipment and inertial navigation equipment, the squadron markings were painted out on the fin and a colour of Dark Sea Grey was applied to the undersurfaces.  Then the first two Vulcans, XM 598 and XM 607 left Waddington for Wideawake airfield on Ascension Island.

Both aircraft were detailed for the first 'Black Buck' mission to the Falklands, though while XM 598 was primary aircraft, it had to return very soon after take off as one of the cabin windows refused to seal and they couldn't pressurize the cabin, leaving XM 607 to take over and bomb the runway at Port Stanley.  At that point my own uncle lost his nearly new Cessna 172.  It had been left parked beside the runway at Port Stanley when he was forced to leave by the Argentine invaders.  As the Governor of the Falkland Islands (Sir Rex Hunt), he had been taken off the islands following the surrender at Government House.  His Cessna however had been left behind and was reduced to scrap.

XM 598 was due to be primary aircraft once again on Black Buck 4, but this time the refuelling equipment on the final Victor tanker failed to work, and the raid was aborted.  It later flew as reserve on Black Bucks 5 and 6 before returning home to Waddington in June of 1982. The Vulcans were removed from service in December and early in 1983, XM 598 was flown to Cosford, where it remains on display today, now part of their major Cold War exhibition.

Corgi's model is very nicely done, complete with the Dark Sea Grey undersides and neat details around the cockpit markings and the stenciling seen on both upper and lower airframe surfaces.  You have the option of mounting it on a stand which is included, in 'flying' model, or fitting the undercarriage and sitting it 'on the deck'.  Either way, a very nice model, made by Corgi as part of the 30th anniversary of the Falklands War, and for me a personal reminder of a little bit of our own family history. 

Like this? It is available in our Modelenium store - here