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Nimrod Kit

Airfix 1/72 Nimrod Kit First Look

By Fotios Rouch

Date of Review February 2008 Manufacturer Airfix
Subject Nimrod Scale 1/72
Kit Number 12050 Primary Media Styrene
Pros Beautiful details, positionable flaps, open weapons bay, lots of weapons options Cons  
Skill Level Basic MSRP (USD) $61.95

First Look

Nimrod Kit
Nimrod Kit
Nimrod Kit
Nimrod Kit
Nimrod Kit
Nimrod Kit

The Nimrod came into existence in the 60's as a replacement to the aging Shackleton. The Nimrod was a redesigned version of the De Havilland Comet airliner and it entered service in 1969. The Nimrod was the only jet anti-submarine and maritime patrol aircraft (until the P-8A Poseidon enters service and if we discount the S-3 Viking).

The Nimrod has seen numerous upgrades in its life from the MR.1 to the MR.2 standards in the 70's and 80's and then the big redesign in the mid 90'ws bringing out the mostly new MRA4 (Maritime, Reconnaissance and Attack Mk 4). Only portions of the MR.2 fuselages were reused and even then they were refurbished to last another twenty five years of service. The rest of the aircraft was brand new with new cabin pressure floor, new larger wings with four hardpoints and new undercarriage, bomb bay, engines, etc. The cockpit now was a 2 pilot all glass design and the technology was adapted from the Airbus A-340. The mission electronics are totally up to date making the aircraft capable for ELINT missions as well. Of course all that comes at a cost and schedule delays and the aircraft has yet to see service. Boy, would that be nice if a resin conversion comes out to cover that!

The Airfix kit covers the MR.1, MR.2, MR.2P and R.1 variants. Back when Airfix first announced the Nimrod, I have to admit I was not a believer. Then Airfix died and with them the hopes of seeing a Nimrod in 72nd scale (other that the Vac kit). The Airfix came back to life with great promises and a Nimrod and Canberras and what not!

This is not a simple undertaking by any means. The last big jets I remember from Airfix were the AWACS kits. The first impression upon opening the kit is the very nice packaging. Well put together box with an extra cover for sturdiness and very nice packaging with padding between fragile parts and sharp edges. Rich decal sheet, good clear parts, color camo guide and comprehensive instructions round the package.

The gray plastic looks much better than limited production would suggest. The sprue gates are reasonable and careful cutting is all that is needed. The surface detail is great and I noticed no sink marks on the plastic except maybe on the upper wing parts over the landing gear bays and even then they are barely noticeable.

I am very pleased to see the great stock of offensive and defensive weapons and the complete bomb bay loadouts that will really dress up the model. Seeing the three pilot figures brought back memories of other Airfix kits of yesteryear!

The dropped flap option looks great to me as well as all the separate flying surfaces. If you like antennas you are in for a treat as all the different configuration antennas seem to be present. The landing gear is very well detailed and the wheel are very well represented.

 From a first look it appears that this will not be a difficult kit to put together with a possible exception being the intake top and bottom lip and the intake trunk integration.

The decals look very complete with all kinds of stencils and warnings but the solid big single color areas like the blue and red/pink of the national insignia might not appeal to some. I have three Nimrod decal sets from Model Alliance on order and that should rectify my concerns.

This kit is very much recommended to all the modelers that collect models like the Orion, Mariner, Marlin, Shackleton, Neptune, Shinmeiwa PS1, Tracker, well you get the picture.

Editor's Note: You'll note the AIM-9L Sidewinders among the nice weapons options of this kit. Those of you who've followed the operational history of the aircraft will remember the experiences of the Nimrod crews that made the long trek out to patrol the Argentine coastline during the Falklands conflict looking for signs of naval activity, especially the aircraft carrier Veinticinco de Mayo breaking out to engage the Royal Navy. During several of these flights, Nimrod crews would see an Argentine Air Force 707 heading east to monitor the British ships and the Nimrod crew could do nothing about it. After several encounters with the 707, the crew managed to scavenge a few AIM-9L Sidewinders and launch rails and "McGyver" them to work with the aircraft's existing controls (the Air National Guard did the same thing with the AIM-9 and their A-10s about a decade later). Needless to say, they were anxious to meet up with that 707 again, but now that the Nimrod had heaters, their 'target' was not seen again the rest of the war. So here you have the parts to go 707 hunting with your new Airfix Nimrod as well!

This kit is very much recommended to all the modelers that collect models like the Orion, Mariner, Marlin, Shackleton, Neptune, Shinmeiwa PS1, Tracker, well you get the picture.

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